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Answering God's Call by Pastor Aaron Pankey

One of the joys I have since returning home has been to connect with some solid guys plowing the fields here in Baltimore. One of these great guys is my friend Aaron Pankey. I've asked Aaron to post here today a thought on Answering God's calling. Many of my readers wrestle with this so I thought his words may be of use to you. Have a great weekend.

Answering God’s Servant Call
(Luke 1:26-38)Add Image

Imagine receiving news as a young female teenager. Your whole life is before you. Yet on this day, you get a call that would dramatically and permanently alter the trajectory of your life. As a matter of fact, the news that you receive threatens to make your plans for your life collapse. Have you ever been there?

That’s the dilemma facing Mary in Luke 1:26-38. She’s introduced to us as a young virgin engaged to be married to the man of her dreams. Life is going well for her. However, we meet Mary in this text at a time where she is faced with the monumental decision to answer an astonishing call to service.

Mary responds twice to this call: 1). how can this be . . .? v. 34 and, 2) Lord, let it be . . .” v. 38. Faced with a similar call to serve today, will we respond in questions that lead us down the road of distrust and resistance to God’s call OR will we respond in complete vulnerability and trust to the Sovereign, Master plan of our Heavenly Father who has chosen us for the task for such a time as this. Prayerfully, our time in this text will nudge us, by the grace of God, and by the Spirit of God, through the Word of God to answer our own call from God to serve. It’s interesting, God’s invitation to Mary was “Greetings, O favored one! The Lord is with you.” His welcome, His grace, and His presence need to be focused on as we answer His call.

Mary’s First Response: “. . . How can this be. . . .? (v. 34)

Answering God’s call may cause us fear for numerous reasons. It could be because:
1. We feel too insignificant for such responsibility
2. We feel too inadequate for such responsibility
3. We feel too ill-equipped for such responsibility

How will this be . . . (v. 34)?

When we feel too insignificant, remember Our significance comes from Him. He relishes placing His servants in impossible positions so that they can trust Him and bring Him glory in the fulfillment of His call on their lives. When the task seems BIG, remember that the God who gave the task is BIGGER. Rest assured, He makes no mistakes. He called Mary to answer His call to serve. He never sends a message to the wrong address. Mary was the right person for the role. The task He may be giving you today does not come by accident or coincidence. His personalized call to you to serve came especially for you and especially from Him. He will never put more on you than you can bear (I Cor. 10:13).

How will this be . . . (v. 34)?

When we feel too inadequate for the great responsibility to answer the call to serve remember the very moment we sense fear is the very moment we can have our fears addressed. The angel said . . . “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (v. 31). We have no reason to fear. He hasn’t given us the sense of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). Our adequacy to serve comes because the Lord is with us. Fear comes from elsewhere but, most assuredly, not from Him. He has called you to this! What’s more staggering is that He has extended this precious call to you precisely because He knows you can handle it. Mary found favor in God’s eyes and for those of us who know Christ as our Lord as Savior, we have, in a very real, tangible manner found favor in His sight.

How will this be since I am a virgin. . . . (v. 34)?

When we feel too ill-equipped, like we don’t have the necessary experience we are often tempted to believe, “Surely, someone else would be better able to carry out this task. Certainly, there is someone else out there more experienced to handle this duty?” However, you already know God doesn’t make mistakes. His servant call came personally to Mary. He has taken care of her fear issues, and now she is coming to the place where she is prepped to own the servant’s call that has been given to her.

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 (v. 38).

Mary’s second response: I see in Mary a young, vulnerable individual who has responded to a daunting call to serve. She may have felt insignificant, inadequate, and ill-equipped. However, because the Lord was with her (as He is with us who know Christ) she was able to rise to the occasion and fulfill God’s Servant Call. Today, your initial response may have been to question His call, but will your final reply be to embrace His call for you to serve?

Devotional Reflection Questions?
1. What about God’s call to serve makes you feel too insignificant to answer?
2. What about God’s call to serve makes you feel too inadequate to answer?
3. What about God’s call to serve makes you feel to ill-equipped to answer?

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (verse 38).
I pray that this will always be the response of God’s people . . . Will you answer His call today?

Humbly submitted by
Aaron Pankey
Pastor of Infinity Church

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, March 12, 2010


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