Giving Up My Plans for God's Plans

I had to write a devotional for the small group blog at Saddleback on Luke 1:26-38. I did this for my devotional this morning and here is what I wrote:

In this passage the angel comes to Mary to tell her that she will become pregnant and give birth to the Messiah that the entire nation of Israel had been waiting for, a man they expected would over throw the Romans and set up an earthy kingdom and re-establish Israel as a sovereign nation again. Now I am sure it was overwhelming enough to have an angel show up at all, but to be the mother of the Messiah? I’m sure there were a ton of feelings and questions going on in her mind like, why me? Are you sure you have the right Mary? My cousin Martha is really wanting to be pregnant right now and I am just trying to get married, wouldn’t she be a better choice? Yet Mary’s first question was not about why but how. She asked how it would happen since she was a virgin. We don’t know why she asked that question but I wonder if she was concerned she would not be married to Joseph because God had someone else in mind to be the father. Or, maybe she thought that someone had started a rumor that got back to God that she and Joseph had slept together before their marriage. We really don’t know what was going through her mind but her response to God changing the plan for her life is an incredible example to us.

She could have been concerned with what the neighbors might think and could have asked for a little more time so they could get married first so she wouldn't have to deal with all the grief she would get from other people. Knowing that her reputation could be at stake makes her reply even more incredible. Instead of negotiating with God, she said, “I am the Lord’s servant and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.” What an incredible servants heart to give up the life she had planned to submit to what God had for her, even when God’s plan messed up her own plans. I wonder how often we miss the miracles that God has for us because God’s plan does not line up with our own. I think many of us are afraid to tell God we will go and do anything he wants us to do for fear that God will mess up our plans. We tell God later, or I will do what you want after I get this job, or get to this place in my career, or have enough money to retire and serve full time, or until I get married, or have children or... We have a lot to learn from Mary this Christmas season on what it means to trust God with our very lives knowing that his plan may not be clear to us and we may not understand how he is able to make things work in our current circumstances but we know God’s love and heart for us and his plan is way beyond any plan we could devise or think up. As you think about your own life circumstances, here are some things to consider:

1. How have I tried to negotiate with God to get him to go along with my plan?
2. How willing am I to accept whatever God wants for my life?
3. What are the things that I refuse to surrender to God?
4. In what ways do you feel God has messed up your plans?
5. Do you really trust that God has your best interests at heart?
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