Have you ever felt unimportant, put down, or unappreciated? Mary must have had some of those feelings. She was born in poverty. Her parents were of an unimportant background as far as the world was concerned. She was considered a peasant, and in her day and culture, the poor people were looked down upon because it was believed that God had made them that way. This belief was part of their religion.
Mary undoubtedly grew up rejected by society until the day an angel appeared to her with the news that she would have a child. Being a pure and upright woman, her dumbfounded response was, “ ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’ ” Luke 1:34, 35
How do you think it would feel, never having had relations with a man, to be told that you would become pregnant and that your child would be the One that you knew would be the Messiah? Physically speaking, Mary would feel no different than any other pregnant woman, but from a heart perspective, how do you suppose she felt?
We can know how Mary felt because she tells us in a song. Unimportant in the world’s eyes, she must have had tremendous gifts because she composed one of the most beautiful songs in the Bible, especially to those who feel unimportant, rejected, and unappreciated.
“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
“ ‘He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly.
“ ‘He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy. As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.’ ” Verses 46–55
Mary composed this song for all the humble and unappreciated of all the ages. She was given the most important job of any woman who has ever lived or will ever live in this world. She was to be the physical abode for Jesus until He was born into this world. And as He physically dwelled within her body, He desires to find a spiritual abode inside us.
Paul adds a final verse to Mary’s song in 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
God desires to dwell in you, and whatever the world may think, that makes you important. Mary could rejoice because He who is mighty had done great things by her. Whatever the world had done or thought, no matter what her community or her peers thought of her, God had chosen her for this important task, and she praised God. But friends, God also has chosen you, to dwell within you, and if you will accept Him, then you can rejoice as Mary did.
Sadly, while God found a dwelling place within Mary’s body and her humble heart, He did not find a dwelling place within the rich in Jerusalem, within all the lives of the priests, or within the hearts of those who were mighty and proud. The song of Mary is a song for the humble, but it is also a song for the proud. In Mary’s day, you had to have money or position to be important. Church offices were obtained by quid pro quo, prevalent in the church in those days.
When Mary came to Bethlehem, ready to deliver her baby, there was no room for them in the inn. It was already filled with those who were believed to be of greater importance. But a place was found in a humble stable for Mary’s baby, the Saviour of the world, to be born.
Looking at our churches today, are they filled with so many programs, that when God has a plan or program for His church, there is no room left for it? Are our minds so filled with information that we do not hear when God speaks, and no room is found in our hearts for His truth?
It is only God’s program, His truth that will survive. Everything else will be put down, pulled down, and destroyed. Mary’s song tells us so. The Bible says, speaking of the end-time church and the people who will claim to be God’s people, they will believe that they are rich, increased with goods, and have need of nothing. But Jesus says, “I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
What is your condition today? Are you self-satisfied? Are you rich, in need of nothing?
Or are you poor, blessed, and heirs of God’s kingdom? Are you hungry for what God has to give you? Do you need to be filled with His grace? Only those who are hungry can be filled.
We must not envy the proud, but rather pity them, because though they think they are filled, the Bible says they are wretched and miserable, poor, blind, and naked. God can never find an abiding place with the proud of spirit, with the self-satisfied, or the self-conceited.
Today God wants to find an abiding place in your heart. Are you humble enough to receive Him? Are you humble enough to sing Mary’s song? Jesus tells us how we can have Him abiding in our hearts this very day, how we, too, can rejoice and glorify God.
“ ‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.’ …
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
“ ‘For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.’ ” John 6:51, 53–56
Jesus abides in the hearts of those who eat His flesh and drink His blood. Both spiritually and carnally we become what we consume. If from day to day, our mind food consists solely of things of this world, then we are wholly of this world. If instead we fill our minds with the Scriptures, committing them to memory, meditating upon the messages contained there, with prayer and thanksgiving, then we will become holy, a fit dwelling place for God’s Spirit.
Eating the body of Jesus and drinking His blood, is symbolized by the communion service. On Jesus’ last day with His disciples, He established the communion service as He told them, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. … This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19, 20. We partake of the bread and grape juice that symbolizes the acceptance of the word of God into our hearts and minds and the salvation purchased by His own beloved blood. Consuming His word and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us once again into the image of God, we become the humble abode of His Spirit. We cannot be the abode of the Spirit if we are proud and worldly.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
“For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and lofty place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15
And thus, we can sing the song of Mary, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.”
Pastor Marshall Grosboll, with his wife Lillian, founded Steps to Life. In July 1991, Pastor Marshall and his family met with tragedy as they were returning home from a camp meeting in Washington state, when the airplane he was piloting went down, killing all on board.