And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38 KJV)
As 2021 comes to a close, two remarkable women consume my thoughts. The first woman is Mary, the mother of our Savior. Mary’s “Be it unto me…” re-echoes through the corridors of time as an example to those who faithfully follow the Lord.
Read Luke 1:26-56
This chapter of the Bible gives the most detail about this time in Mary’s life.
The angel Gabriel greets Mary saying, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (v. 28)
Despite how you may feel at times, you are highly favored. The Lord is with you. You are blessed among women. Therefore, “Do not be afraid (startled, alarmed, struck with fear, or put to flight), for you have found favor (grace, goodwill, loving-kindness) with God” (v. 30).
Just as God chose Mary to conceive and give birth to the Savior of the world, there are things the Lord planned to birth through you—your life, marriage, ministry, abilities, etc. This can only come to bear through the power of the Holy Spirit and your “Yes.” So relax, it’s not as if God expects you to do this in your own strength. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (v. 37)
Three Characteristics of Women Who Say Yes to God
Despite how our lives may differ, women who say yes to God share three common characteristics—an awareness and acceptance of their calling, connections, and commitment.
Merriam-Webster defines calling as “a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action, especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.”
Scripture says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
Even without benefit of an angelic visitation, our attitude can be the same as Mary’s.
A verse to an old song says:
I’ll say, “Yes, Lord, yes”
To Your will and to your way.
I’ll say, “Yes, Lord, yes;”
I will trust You and obey.
When your Spirit speaks to me,
With my whole heart I’ll agree,
And my answer will be, “Yes, Lord, yes.”
Connection (Luke 1:36, 40-45)
We can do God’s will, but we cannot do it alone.
When the angel departed, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth and stayed with her for six months. “Elizabeths” are those people who’ve also said yes and are more pregnant than you (v. 36). These may be mentors, role models, or those people who speak the word over your life, fueling your faith but not your fears (vv. 42-45).
Commitment (Luke 1:46-56)
In the above verses we see Mary’s song as she rehearses and rejoices in God’s glorious plan for her life. However, in Luke 2:34-35 we see her sorrow: “Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also.”
When we say yes to God we’re also saying yes to the pain and sorrow of heart that accompanies servanthood. We just don’t give up and throw in the towel because we know that “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).
These characteristics were prominently displayed in the life of the late Dr. Lois Irene Evans. Esther 4:14, one of Lois’ favorite Scriptures, underscored her yes.
“…Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Saying yes to God led her to creating the First Lady Conference, a thriving ministry to pastors’ wives that began as a pilot and then blossomed into its own standalone conference from 2000 to 2011. Pastors’ wives from across the country and around the world have been strengthened in their roles and relationships with other PWs because of Lois’ yes! Many continue to fellowship and find encouraging ministry tools through her books and online ministry at loisevans.org.
Know this, beloved, when we hold on in faith to our calling, connections, and commitment we will be commended. We are promised to hear our Lord and Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:23). Until then, have a blessed, healthy, and Happy New Year. And remember to say, “Yes!”