I love getting up really early. The house is quiet, it’s still dark outside and I feel very much alone. But in this case, alone in a good way. What I’m really saying is that I love time to myself. That first cup of coffee is always so good, Jack is sleeping peacefully behind me on the floor and I am alone with my thoughts and with the Lord. My favorite time of day!
This morning I started reading in the book of Luke, chapter 1. This chapter is all about the angel Gabriel coming both to Mary and telling her she is about to have a baby and then going to her cousin Elizabeth’s husband and telling him that they are about to have a baby as well. Now when you read this story, their reactions are interesting. Both Mary and Zacharias, her cousin’s husband, ask basically the same question. How is this going to happen? I mean come on, I’ve not been with a guy before or in Zacharia’s case, my wife and I are both old. Good solid questions, right? But notice that these questions come from two different hearts. Mary believed Gabriel, Zacharias did not. Oh, my. May I please never be of the “I don’t believe you God” kind. I’m not sure how I would react if I was suddenly told by an angelic being that I’m going to have a baby. I might just be a tad bit skeptical myself, since it is no longer physically possible for me either.
At any rate, as I continued to read this story, something else jumped out at me and it was actually very much related to their reactions. After both Mary and Elizabeth are pregnant, Mary goes to visit her cousin. No doubt to give herself some time to consider the implications of being pregnant out of wedlock. But that’s a whole other story which we won’t delve into today. When she enters the house of Elizabeth, her cousin says to her that the baby in her womb jumped for joy when Mary (now pregnant with Jesus) walked in. It is what Mary says next, that got to me. She says the following:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoiced in God my Savior”. Luke 1:46
That word magnifies just jumped out at me and I began to consider what it means. When I think of the word magnify I immediately think of a microscope or magnifying glass. Does my soul magnify or enlarge the Lord? Do my emotions, my will and my mind enlarge, enhance, expand, intensify or make to appear larger, the Lord? Because if my soul does, then shouldn’t someone else be able to see that in my life? I couldn’t help but notice something else as I read the above passage. She is using a present tense and a past tense in the same sentence. Her soul magnifies the Lord, present tense, happening right now and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior, past tense, happened already. In other words, my spirit has to have an encounter with the Lord, and rejoice in Him, my Savior before I can magnify the Lord through my mind, will and emotions. There has to be an awakening of my spirit before I can magnify Him through my soul. And if my soul is not magnifying Him, then what needs to change in my life?
Looking at this made me wonder if perhaps this is the explanation for the two very different heart reactions to the angel Gabriel’s announcement. Mary’s reaction even though in the form of a question, came from a heart of faith, because she believed God. Zacharias’ reaction, also in the form of a question, came from a heart of unbelief. Gabriel even says to Zacharias the following: Hey dude, I’m Gabriel, I stand in the presence of God. You’re not saying another word (read struck mute) until this stuff happens because you didn’t believe me. (translation mine) Luke 1:19-20
My desire in life is to magnify the Lord, to glorify Him, to show Him to others so they can see how wonderful, amazing, kind, loving, and faithful He truly is. Perhaps that fulfillment has to start with a heart of faith. Perhaps it has to start with a daily encounter with my Savior, which brings joy to my spirit. So I want to encourage you this peaceful morning, to spend time with Him. Rejoice in Him. Trust Him. Receive His words and His plans for your life. You will never be the same.