I mentioned last week that we have started BSF again. We are studying Matthew. Which starts with Jesus' genealogy and then birth. We were sent over to Luke 1 for more perspective on the birth. I.e. a woman's perspective.
I am sure you all are familiar with the story. Gabriel meets Mary and tells her about the fact that God has chosen her to birth Jesus Christ, God's Son, the Savior of the world.
The question for this section was "how do Mary's words show her faith?"
Of course, we all jump to the words:
I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (NIV) (Luke 1:38)
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. (KJV)
Great words of faith, but not her only words in the passage. How about verse 34?
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (NIV)
I think her question shows faith too. (and if you're in my group, and reading this, don't steal my answer for tonight.=))
We all have questions, right? We are finite beings and we don't always understand the why's and wherefore's, let alone the how's of God's plan for us.
It takes faith to take our questions to God. To pour out our hearts to Him. He already knows what we are thinking. He knows what's in our hearts. But, when we pour out our hearts-our questions, problems, feelings and attitudes and even the ugliness-to God, it is clarifying. It is us being honest with ourselves.
James tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God. He gives liberally and upbraids not. God doesn't find fault with us or scold us for our questions. He will give the needed wisdom.
James goes on to tell us to ask in faith. Which would assume the position that it is possible also to not ask in faith. (like Zechariah a few verses earlier in Luke 1)
Questions should demonstrate faith in God-that He knows the answer, is the answer.
But, there isn't merit in simply asking questions. Faith takes another step. Faith embraces the given answer. Faith doesn't ignore the answer we are given because we don't like it. Faith joyfully submits to the answers of our questions, to the will of God, no matter the repercussions.
Mary could have been stoned for being pregnant with an illegitimate child. Big repercussion.
In our day and age, I think we have a lot of questions. Questions have been encouraged via vehicles such as Google and Wikipedia. And if you don't like the answer you are given, you can probably find the opposite view somewhere else.
We shouldn't handle God's answers that way. A smorgasbord to pick and choose what we want to hold on to.
People are trying to reconcile their ideas of God and the Bible and Christianity with our cultural norms. How does it all fit? Young people question tradition. What does God think? How should Christians react? Sometimes though, instead of bringing our questions to God, we answer them in our own wisdom. I know I have been guilty of ignoring the answers God has given in His Word, the Bible.
Open hands...open to give, open to receive. You can't do either with your hands fisted.
Do you have questions for God? He already knows what's in your heart. What's your response to His answers?
I am Your servant...may Your word be fulfilled.