“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”
The angel Gabriel visited Mary with a most unusual message from Heaven. She had been chosen to give birth to the Son of God. Mary needed an explanation for how this might occur, since she was a virgin. The angel said that through the power of the Spirit of God, she would conceive in her womb; it would be a supernatural birth. Mary immediately surrendered to God’s will for her life, referring to herself as “the handmaid of the Lord.” She was God’s servant, available and submitted to His plan for her life.
God had a very unique purpose for Mary’s life, but He also has a purpose and plan for each of us. Her response to the heavenly messenger was to offer herself as a willing servant. This should be our response to God’s will for our lives. We are His servants, ready to follow His leadership, available to carry out His orders. It cannot be overstated; when the Lord saves us, He wants to use us in His great work. Unfortunately, too many of those who claim to be His children appear to be unwilling to be His servants. Mary saw herself as the Lord’s handmaid. In expressing her submission, she said, “be it unto me according to thy word.” She was willing to be whatever God said she was to be, and do whatever the Lord stated that she should do.
How is it that we might know God’s will for our lives? We read of it in the pages of Scripture. Our confession should echo Mary’s desire, “be it unto me according to thy word.” We want it to be, in our lives, according to what God has said. If God says we are to be His witnesses, we want that to be true in us. When God says we are to love each other fervently and forgive all who wrong us, we want it to be in us according to His Word. Because the Lord tells us in the Bible that our lives no longer belong to us since we have been bought with a price, we heartily agree to what He says. When God’s Word commands us to use our gifts and resources to serve Him in and through the local church, we cheerfully obey. Wherever He wants us to be and whatever He wants us to do, we are His willing servants. We stand ready to follow His directives. What a blessing it is, and what glory it brings to our Lord, when we can sincerely say to our caring heavenly Father, “be it unto me according to thy word.”