advent, relentless journey

Stepping Out In Faith [Advent: Day 8]

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This Advent-time
we remember Mary and Joseph,
giving thanks for their faithfulness,
courage and obedience,
stepping out into the unknown
in the strength of your Spirit,
playing their part
in the fulfillment of your plan
to bring your prodigal people
home again.
We pray that their example
might be the pattern of our lives,
that when your gentle whisper
breaks through the clamor of this world 
and into our small corner,
we might be ready to listen,
and having listened, to act.
(Source :: faithandworship.com)

For today’s passage, read Luke 1:26-38

I love the words used in this prayer to describe Mary and Joseph, faithful, courageous, obedient. Words that any Christian would love to be described as. Imagine being in Mary’s shoes when she was visited by the angel Gabriel. Her first reaction was fear and I can’t say I blame her.

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:30

Mary asked just one question. “How can this be, since I am a virgin.” By all accounts a great question. Without God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, this would never happen. But faith wouldn’t be faith without an element of unknown.

Think about the last time you took a step of faith in your life. Were you afraid of the unknown? Did you seek the Lord in prayer? Did you ask the Holy Spirit for guidance as you moved through the process?

From what I can see in these verses, Mary’s first response was fear, a natural reaction for many of us when we are being called to step out in faith. But she didn’t sit in that fear. She took solace in the fact that she was a servant of the Lord and leaned fully into the power of the Holy Spirit to do the unspeakable in her life.

Personally, I am convicted by these verses. I wonder how many opportunities have been missed because of my fear and questioning. I wonder how many times I have not listened to the gentle whispers in life missing out on opportunities to see God show up in ways that only He can. I wonder how many times I have listened to that voice and yet been afraid to move.

As I read through the story of Mary and Joseph, I am convicted now more than ever to not miss those opportunities in the future. The wonderful thing about God is that He is gracious to forgive, and merciful each and every day. Don’t beat yourself up if, like me, you feel you have missed opportunities in the past.

Instead, today, lets ask right where you are for the Holy Spirit to give you strength today. Ask to be attuned to the voice of God so that you may not miss opportunities to hear His voice and to act. Ask for God to do things that only He can do. Step out in faith, even if it may seem small or insignificant. Like Mary and Joseph, I believe God can do the impossible in our lives. Our belief and our faith go hand in hand. Thank you Jesus for who you are in our lives and may we walk in strength, courage and obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

Day 1: One True Hope

Day 2: Waiting With Joy

Day 3: Hope Through The Storm

Day 4: The King Is Among Us

Day 5 : Praise To The King

Day 6: Be Still And Know

Day 7 : Christ Our Redeemer