December 15, 2021
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High (NIV)
I never pass over a single word in Scripture. Every syllable is rich for our spiritual enrichment. The phrase that stood out to me was that Mary “found favor.” As we discussed yesterday, this instance of favor was being chosen to bear the Messiah. But Mary was not looking for this favor.
When we think of finding anything, usually, there is an element of searching. We desire what we have never had or perhaps we are looking for what we lost. I recently lost my shoes. I know, how does a grown man lose his shoes? But I did. When I decided to go and look for them, they were my focus. I had lost something and was trying to find them. But with Mary, this favor was something she never had. It was something she was unaware of. How can we look for something we have never seen or that we don’t really know exists?
This is more in line with finding something rather than searching for something. If you go walking on a trail and suddenly see something shiny. As you get closer you realize that you have found something of value. You weren’t looking for it. It was just on the path you were traveling.
When we get on God’s path, we will find an unexpected treasure. These could be of the shiny kind, but more often, they will be the glorious kind. We will find God doing things in our life that could only be Him so that only He could receive glory. It is not a matter of going in search of what you have lost, but simply staying on the path God has mapped out for us in Scripture.
Scripture speaks of the highway of holiness where there is leaping and shouting joy. Holiness is not simply following rules from Heaven. Holiness is communing with God that His character becomes ours. We love as He loves. We think as He thinks. We respond as He responds. We move as He moves. This is the path where we will find favor.
We see from her immediate faith and submission along with her song later that this young teenage girl was righteous. She was not in search of favor. She was not following God to find something. She was following God to honor Him. But along this path of pleasing God, she ‘found favor.’ What path are you on?
Prayer: Lord, help me to stay on the path, not in search of favor, but knowing I will find it there. Amen.
Did you miss yesterday’s devotion?