Encouragement for Today - Dec. 18, 2007
December 18, 2007
If You Choose to Accept This Assignment . . .
By Amy Carroll
‘“I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38 (NIV)
How was Mary so accepting of her assignment from the Lord? There is no doubt that it was a glorious assignment. To carry the promised Messiah and raise Him as His mother was awe-inspiring; however, it came with tremendous personal cost. Jewish law demanded that women who became pregnant out of wedlock were to be stoned to death. Even though Joseph came to her rescue and did not end their betrothal, there were surely whispers and innuendos for the rest of her life.
In a beautiful scene in CS Lewis’ book The Horse and His Boy, Hwin, a wise horse in the story, faces a fierce lion. The lion, Aslan, is the perfect picture of the Lord in all His glory. Lewis’ characters often say of Aslan, “He’s not a tame Lion, but He is good.” The story continues like this: “Then Hwin, though shaking all over, gave a strange little neigh and trotted across to the Lion. ‘Please,’ she said, ‘you’re so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I’d sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.’” This little horse was consumed by a love and awe for Aslan that was so great that she knew Truth and inspiration in a flash.
Mary was able to be a willing servant because she knew Truth and was well acquainted with the greatness of the Master. Her praise of Him in Luke 1:46-55 displays the depth of her knowledge of Him. She praises Him as Savior, for His mindfulness of His children, as the Mighty One, for His mercy, for His power, as the mighty but compassionate King, as Provider and as the compassionate Lord of Israel. The One who gave the assignment was no stranger to Mary. Her heart of praise reveals her deep love and awe for Him.
God has an assignment for each of us, too. He created us with a purpose in mind and with good works for His children to perform. How do we respond to His assignments for us, especially if they involve personal cost? If we have invested our lives in knowing our Master, it will be much easier to be joyful servants. We will know that our highest good is linked to His glory. We’ll know that true personal loss comes in the form of disobedience to the Lord. We’ll remember that He is worthy and that serving Him is its own priceless reward.
There have been times that I’ve ignored His voice. Sometimes it was because of busyness. Sometimes I questioned whether it was His voice or my own I heard. Other times it was just outright disobedience. Every time I was left with regret and emptiness. He is so merciful, and He forgave me when I asked. He gently and faithfully restored me. I don’t want to miss any more opportunities to say “yes” to His assignment, so I’m fixing my eyes on Jesus. I want to know my Master so well that I hear His voice and follow Him into any assignment that He gives me. I want to become a maidservant to the Lord, just like Mary.
Dear Lord, You are worthy of my entire life and all of my devotion. Help me to hear and obey Your voice. I desire to joyfully accept every assignment that You have for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Shaped with Purpose CD and Workbook by Renee Swope
6 Habits of Highly Effective Christians by Brian T. Anderson & Glynnis Whitwer
- Recognizing When God Speaks by Priscilla Shirer
Write down the last assignment that you heard God give to you.
List the steps that you’ve taken or need to take to say “yes” to that assignment. Pray and ask God to help you take the next step.
What are some times that I have clearly heard God’s direction?
Have I responded in obedience or disobedience? What have been the results?
Do I really trust God to give me assignments that are both for His glory and my good?
Psalm 84:10, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” (NIV)
Philippians 3:8-9, “...I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105