The Overshadowing of Mary: Finding Favor With God

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.”

Luke 1:28-31

As we are in December, our thoughts turn to the birth of Jesus during the Christmas season. God sent an angel to Mary giving her favor with a promise. The angel told Mary that she had found favor with God. Why Mary? How did she get such a favor? Obviously only one would have such a privileged role in giving birth to the Messiah. I would think we could at the very least say that Mary had lived an exceptional life of purity and devotion in the Presence of God. She was hand-chosen by God for the hour and purpose. She had found favor with God. In this favor she was given the promise that she would be “overshadowed” by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of God.

How did she respond to such an outlandish promise like this? First she said, “How can this be?” This was a normal natural response. It was not the response, “This can’t be”. There is a big difference between the two.

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God…”

Luke 1:35

In response she says, “Be it to me according to Your Word.”

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her…

Luke 1:38

That settled it. Because of her response it was as good as done. When you think about the promises that God has given to you, what is your response? God looks for a simple faith that believes what He says is true. It is not about our multitude of sacrifices to move God to do something. When His Word comes to us all He expects is us to respond like Mary did, “Be it according to Your Word.”

From the point that Mary accepted the promise God took over. The Holy Spirit came, overshadowing Mary for conception. The rest is a really natural process in a supernatural paradigm. Mary carries the child in her womb over the nine months to birth the promised Child. When it is time to give birth it is only natural to do what is necessary to bring the baby into the world. When it is time to push, you push! From what I’ve been able to tell, being a man, when the woman is ready to give birth there is no stopping it! Then the baby is born.

With the promises God has given us there is a time for conception, a time to carry the promise and a time to birth the promise. Birthing would be the most intense time and most obvious transitional time moving the child into a completely different world outside the womb. 

Understanding these different points of the process we can only expect to do what is natural to do. We are not going to try to push out a baby prematurely. There is a time for promises to come forth. As we abide in the Presence of God we can expect that God will give us the nudge to “push” these promises forth at the perfect time.

Some promises are quickly apprehended and taken while others take longer. I believe this is not an “either or” but a “both and” reality. Some promises can come the day you receive the word and others will mature to fullness over time. Whatever the case, God has loads of promises for us so that we may partake in His divine nature! He has varied timelines for these. Some take more patience than others.

Practical Steps:

  • Hear His Word
  • Believe and Receive His Word
  • Let the Holy Spirit Overshadow You
  • Conceive the promise. Allowing God to embed it in your spirit.
  • Carry the promise through abiding in His Presence with meditation upon it – whether it be a day, a year or longer.
  • You will know the time for it to come forth. Engage in some prayer pushes and see the manifestation!

Walking in simple faith in God’s Presence is the key to know where you are in the process. There is no need to be anxious about anything, but give thanks to God in all things knowing that He is faithful to bring these things forth in their due time. Therefore we do not “let go” of any promises, but carry them in our hearts to fulfillment. Can you imagine Mary carrying that promise of the Messiah in her womb? Could it be that during that promise at some point she thought, “this is too lofty to be true… who am I!” But she held on to what God had said and believed. God gives us big promises that are far beyond ourselves. They are “God-sized”, because if we can do it ourselves it probably is not Him.

Just as Mary embraced the “rest of faith”, so we too must embrace that same rest knowing that God will guide us each step of the way to see all of His promises fulfilled in our lives.

May the blessing of God’s good favor be poured out upon your life today!

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