This is Part 2 of of the (re)Vision talk on leadership principles from the Life of Mary.
We don’t know much about Mary. There are only about 40 verses about her in the entire New Testament. We are introduced to her in Luke 2 when the angel Gabriel showed up to tell her that she was going to have a Son. And not just any Son—God’s son. Verse 29 describes her as being “confused and disturbed” by this information. I imagine that's gotta be one of the greatest understatements in all of Scripture.
The first principle from Mary's life that I want to focus on is the idea that Mary was not a passive bystander in the plan of God. She did not simply stand still while God worked in her midst. She actively and aggressively received the call and plans of God for her life.
In Luke 2:38, we read Mary’s response to Gabriel’s shocking news, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.”
Can we just pause for a moment and let this sink in? We read this story in hindsight, knowing that Mary will be heralded as a woman among women. A woman whose image will be preserved in stained glass and whose story will be told and retold through generations. But at this point in the story, Mary was a simple teenage girl in Nazareth.
I don’t know if Mary was one of those girls who dreamed what she would do with her life or dreamed about being a mom or (in my case) dreamed of being the first female major league baseball player, but I'm fairly certain that this encounter with the angel and the news she received did not fit into her plan. If Mary dreamed about her wedding as a young girl, I can guarantee this was not the way she dreamed it. This was a potential nightmare. And yet she received her calling with eagerness.
What an amazing example of actively receiving God’s will. I’m not sure that would have been my response; I would have had a lot more questions to go over. Like, "could you let Joseph know?...and my parents?" Mary undoubtedly could have imagined a thousand different preferred scenarios for her life, but she simply and aggressively embraced God's will for her life. She did not simply resign herself to the inevitable; she reached out and grabbed it. That’s what women of influence do- they actively receive the call of God on their lives no matter what it might be, how difficult it might seem, or how different it might be from their plans.
How aggressive are we to accept what God has offered us?
When you look at your season of life. Your career. Your family. Your friends. Your calling. Do you embrace what God has called you to in this season? Is there something God has offered that you have refused?
Here is a thought that has challenged me: I will never be offered anything as crazy as Mary. God will not ask any one of us to do anything more difficult than he asked Mary. So we don't have an excuse.
Being a woman of influence is not passive; it’s active. It’s risky. It’s courageous. And Mary steps up. God does not call us to easy things. He calls us to stuff that is risky and dangerous and sometimes kinda stupid. If we want to be women of influence, we’ve got to be the kind of women who dare to prophesy to kings like Huldah and drive tent pegs through the heads of enemy commanders like Jael and glean from the fields like Ruth and trust God with his promises even if it takes decades like Hannah. We must actively and aggressively receive and embrace the call of God on our lives no matter what.