“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]. Isaiah 7:14 AMP
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [latter] time forth, even forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7 AMP
Now in the sixth month [after that], the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 To a girl never having been married and a virgin engaged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, Hail, O favored one [endued with grace]! The Lord is with you! Blessed (favored of God) are you before all other women! 29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled and disturbed and confused at what he said and kept revolving in her mind what such a greeting might mean. 30 And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace (free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving-kindness) with God. 31 And listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great (eminent) and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His forefather David, 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages; and of His reign there will be no end. Luke 1:26-33 AMP
Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah prophesied that a virgin would give birth to a son called Immanuel, God with us. The government would be upon His shoulder, and His name would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Everybody knew of this prophecy. Mary must have known of this prophecy, but still, it was undoubtedly a surprise to her to actually see an angel standing in front of her and to hear him talking to her about becoming pregnant with a son who would reign on the throne of David.
And Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I have no [intimacy with any man as a] husband? 35 Then the angel said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a shining cloud]; and so the holy (pure, sinless) Thing (Offspring) which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God. 36 And listen! Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is now the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. 38 Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her. Luke 1:34-38 AMP
At first, Mary’s thoughts went to the natural process of conception, pregnancy and birth. How was she to become pregnant when she was a virgin and not yet married? However, when the angel explained that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, the power of the Most High would overshadow her and the holy Thing which would be born of her would be called the Son of God, she accepted it without any further questions or arguments. Most of us would have continued to argue and reason with our minds, as we do now when the Lord tries to direct us, but Mary accepted her heavenly assignment with grace and faith.
The angel assured her that with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. Mary believed the Word of God spoken by the angel and she said, “Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said.” We can all be very grateful that Mary was humble, yielded and obedient to the Lord. We can be grateful that she was willing to be used of God to bring Jesus into the world so that He could fulfill His destiny, which was to take our place, to save us from death and hell and to bring us into the family of God.
All this took place that it might be fulfilled which the Lord had spoken through the prophet, 23 Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel–which, when translated, means, God with us. Matthew 1:22-23 AMP
This was not a small thing that Mary said yes to. Unlike this day and age, an unwed mother and an illegitimate child were completely unacceptable. Not only did she say “yes” to a pregnancy without a natural father, but she also said “yes” to persecution and rejection, because no one would believe her – except Elizabeth and Joseph, who had both heard from God on the subject.
This is the kind of faith and commitment that God looks for in you and in me – the faith that will say “yes” to that which is impossible in the natural and the commitment that will say “yes” even when misunderstandings and persecution are virtually guaranteed. We cannot refuse the Word of God – we must accept our destiny and contend for the will of God in our lives!