“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: Wherefore the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God. And behold Elizabeth thy kinswomen, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that was called barren. For no word of God shall be void of power. And Mary said, Behold the handmaiden of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”
What an exciting but yet challenging time for the young girl Mary as she was hand chosen by God to bear His Son. I can only imagine all the wild thoughts that must have been racing through her mind as the angel appeared and began to unfold his message to her. The interesting thing though, is that none of this is recorded. It would seem that the angel’s declaration that “no word of God shall be void of power” clinched the deal for her. Another translation states that “no promise from God will be impossible of fulfillment.” (Luke 1:37 Weymouth Translation) It is obvious that Mary had a very personal knowledge of her heavenly Father, and when He gave His promise, she knew that He meant it and would take good care of her, no matter what hardships it entailed for her.
The original Greek for “word” in Luke 1:37 is “rhema” in contrast to “logos.” According to Vines logos can include the whole Bible, the written word, while rhema can refer to an individual scripture quickened to us by the Holy Spirit. Robert’s Word Pictures says that in this usage “Rhema brings out the single item rather than the whole content (logos)” Another explanation that distinguishes rhema from logos states that rhema is at times called ‘a word from the Word,’ referring to the revelation received by the reader from the Holy Spirit when the Word (logos) is read, or as an utterance from God to the heart of the reader via the Holy Spirit.
In our story of Mary at the beginning of the New Testament we find that Mary has received a rhema word from the Lord. It was a questionable word that would not be found to be very plausible to many of her relatives, religious friends and her neighbors but never-the-less, it was a special word from God for her that she was certain would come to pass. That is evident by her instant positive reply (totally opposite to her uncle Zacharias when told that his barren older wife would bear him a special child) saying “be it done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38 NAS)
As I meditated on this thought this morning I heard that small still voice inside of me saying: “Never underestimate or ignore God’s rhema word given to another believer.” In my personal experience over the last three years we have had some close friends and relatives smile and then ignore the relevancy of some rhema words that the Lord has given to us concerning my wife’s healing. It would seem that their own thoughts on how it was to happen overrode where we are in our faith, and the direction that the Lord has been leading us. Once again, as I meditated further on this I could see how I have been guilty of the same infraction over the years in my heartfelt desire to help other believers.
What I came away with from my study this morning was the knowledge that I needed to slow down in my attempts to assist others and be more inquisitive and sensitive to where they are in their understanding and faith and just what it was that they are actually believing for! I think that this might be a good lesson for each of us to learn. In Colossians 1:4 the Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in the city of Colossae that he was thankful to God because “we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people.” (God’s Word ©) He had heard about their faith that was working because of their acts of love to each other. I am certain that these loving acts included taking the time to get to know each other, their needs and their level of faith in the Good News which was producing results in their lives. (Colossians 1:6)
This is a good way for us to act throughout this holiday season. I would encourage you to let His love flow through you as you sensitively participate in the lives of those in your family, on the job, in your church or at the mall. Have a great weekend. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today?”