How to Allow God to Work in your Life

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Luke 1:26-38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Be Willing.

“Allow God”? - He is in complete control!
Yes, but He gives us a choice about how involved He is in our lives.
Mark 5:17-18 - Jesus, when begged by people in the land of the Gadarenes to “depart from their region”, did not force them to listen to or follow Him. When they pleaded with Jesus to leave - He LEFT!
1 Samuel 8:7 “And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”
God will NEVER force us into a relationship with Him. We have to DESIRE Him.
Mary’s mindset is a key we can use to make our service to God real and true.
Embrace the title of DISCIPLE.
Mary was “blessed” “among women” (Lk 1:28), and had “found favor with God (1:30).
She was a follower of God, a disciple of the Most High.
Our understanding of disciple: a FOLLOWER of the Christ.
John 8:31 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”
Mary ultimately followed Jesus completely.
Acts 1:14 “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
When the Master is going in a certain direction, the disciple follows. This maintains the Master-Student relationship.
When Jesus TELLS, SHOWS, or IMPLIES a certain direction - we follow!
Cultivate a SERVANT mindset.
Mary’s desire was to be the “maidservant of the Lord”.
Handmaid/maidservant - “female slave”
Mark 10:43-45 “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””
We must remember that the servant mindset demands NOT that we are only thinking of others; we are thinking primarily of the Lord!
Colossians 3:23 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,”
YLT - “and all, whatever ye may do -- out of soul work -- as to the Lord, and not to men,”
Remember that Paul is speaking of slaves in this context as well!
Whatever we are doing, may we be loyal slaves of God!

Be Active.

Find and use opportunities to work for the Lord.
Luke 1:39-40 “Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.”
This was Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy (1:36). Mary was likely coming not just to tell her the news of her impending pregnancy, but to help her in the last three months.
NOTE: No evidence that Mary went because someone told her to go. Yes, the angel told her about Elizabeth’s pregnancy, but it is MARY who thinks of going to her.
Our faith is tied to what we do.
John 14:12 ““Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
Encourage others to join in God’s work.
Luke 1:41-45 “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.””
Elizabeth’s statement would never have been made if Mary had not visited her. Mary’s work influenced her!
Acts 11:22-26 - Barnabas sought Paul to include him in the work at Antioch.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 NKJV - And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Look to God’s fulfillment with optimism.
Luke 1:46-56 - Mary’s “psalm” of hope and promise.
Similarity to Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 2).
Mary could have focused on the negatives. Luke 2:34-35
Sometimes we work for God with negativity - mumbling and grumbling our way through our service.
We need to have an atmosphere of optimism. Not disregarding our struggles and difficulties, but trying to encourage positive things among each other, and not scoffing when others try to encourage such things within us!
Even in difficult and trying times, look for the bright spots in the clouds, accentuate and praise the good!

Be Aware.

We are tempted to put CONDITIONS on our obedience to God.
“I’ll do this if YOU do this”
Some think that if they do everything right, God “owes” them blessings. This is a shallow faith.
If we suffer persecution, we end up blaming God.
James 1:13 NKJV - Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
Let your love for God be WITHOUT conditions.
Instead of wholly following God, we are tempted to COMPLAIN.
Working, but whining.
Our work for God is vain if we are grumbling through it.
Philippians 2:14 NKJV - Do all things without complaining and disputing,
Let your work for God be COMPLETE.
We are tempted to pride ourselves by acting as a MARTYR.
Quiet thoughts that puff ourselves up.
“If everyone knew what I have given up for the cause, they’d know how special I am!”
Luke 17:5-10 - Increasing faith is accomplished through DOING the work in an honest and genuine manner.
Let your work for God be HONEST.
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