The ninth of the 12 Essential Ways to Copy Jesus is to surrender to God’s will.
You have to trust that God has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11)
Therefore, Jesus teaches us to pray “thy will be done” in the Lord’s Prayer.
Mary’s Willingness to Surrender
One of the most fascinating stories involving surrender in the Bible has to do with Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The angel Gabriel was sent to Mary with this message:
And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:28-33 ESV
Just being visited by an angel had to be quite an experience, but the things Gabriel told Mary had to blow her mind.
This is fairly evident by her response:
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Luke 1:34 ESV
Mary was confused. She didn’t see how it could possibly work out as the angel had said. God’s plan wasn’t adding up in her mind. She’s baffled and I don’t blame her.
Gabriel tries to explain:
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;” Luke 1:35
Here’s what my response would have been, “DO WHAT?!?”
I’m absolutely certain that answer would have created a LOT more questions in my mind.
Yet, here is Mary’s response:
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38 ESV
And just like that, the angel is gone. No more questions. No more answers (not that they helped much anyway).
A heavenly angel tells a young woman, “You are going to have a child even though you are still a virgin. He will be called Son of the Most High and will be king. Oh yeah, and, his kingdom will never end.”
Her response is, “thy will be done”.
Choosing Mary Was No Accident
I’ve always been totally astounded by Mary’s faith and willingness to unconditionally surrender to God’s will. Gabriel laid some pretty heavy stuff on her. Things that seem nearly impossible to understand and even more impossible to come to pass. I would have still been trying to process all of it, but Mary knew her place. She was a servant of God.
Obviously, God knew Mary’s heart. He knew how she would respond. Mary didn’t win some divine lottery. It wasn’t an accident.
Mary was CHOSEN because God knew her willingness.
Mary didn’t need all the answers. She fully trusted that He had plans to prosper her and not to harm her.
I hope someday I will be as willing as Mary. I want to boldly say without any reservation, “May it be done to me according to your word.”