Mary also received prophetic words: Her Son would be king of the Jews. So why were they banished and suffering in an uncomfortable and foreign land? Mary didn't realize that the prophetic timetable for the fulfillment of Jesus' destiny would be a grueling 30 years long. You, too, will spend time in the wilderness; you will experience seasons of barrenness. Are you willing to wait on the Lord's timing?
An Ordinary Life "Finally, after several years in Egypt, God spoke to Joseph again in a dream. Herod was dead. This time it was I who grabbed Jesus and ran out the door with Joseph trailing behind. We couldn't get home fast enough.
"Things eventually settled down, but mothering Jesus was always a challenge. Once, when He was 12 years old, and we were returning in a large group from the festival in Jerusalem, I realized He wasn't with the other children. We frantically returned to the city to look for Him. Finally, we found Him in the temple. You know what He said? He said I should have known He was there! Oy vey! I wanted to ground Him until He was 21!"
Do you feel as if you're on a shelf, living an ordinary life? Are you changing diapers, cooking dinner and dealing with the neighbors while crying out in your heart: Lord, have you forgotten me? Why don't people recognize my gifting? Don't they realize I had a radical visitation back in 1990?
Mary had 30 years of obscurity to develop a hidden testimony--a secret history with God. You, too, have an appointed time to build family, community and greater intimacy with Jesus. In the midst of that time you may feel like crying out, What's taking so long? By the time my destiny comes, I'll be pursuing it in a wheel chair! But seasons of preparation are important. These are the times when God works patience, radical passion and deep devotion into your life.
Finally, Ministry Begins "When I was 45 years old, life changed dramatically for Jesus and me. He started bringing home a ragtag bunch of fishermen to dinner. Then, at a wedding, He changed water into wine. From then on He moved in amazing signs and wonders, and a huge crowd followed Him everywhere. The excitement grew daily as Jesus walked among the people, bringing revival. But I still don't understand what He meant when He said, 'Who is my mother?'"
Mary had to relinquish control of her life and Jesus' life in the midst of an outpouring of the Spirit. In your life and ministry, you also have to let go--of your plans, your expectations, your ways. Just as Jesus had to leave His home and follow the Father, you also have to relinquish control of your life and follow the Father, even if it takes you to the cross.
And it will.
The Dark Night "Why God, why? Why have You forsaken Him? Why have You forsaken me? He was supposed to deliver us. He was our salvation, and now He's gone. If you really love us, why have You allowed this to happen?"
Jesus was in the prime of His life. The countryside was in the midst of a tremendous revival. But now He was dying on the cross--and so was Mary. Overcome by feelings of abandonment and betrayal, she was in the middle of a crisis of faith.
When Jesus chose to go to the cross, Mary was compelled to go there, too. The truth is, the cross is always being worked in our lives--sometimes through the choices of others. Your daughter has an abortion; your son abuses drugs; your husband files for divorce. You never intended to go to that cross, but there you are.
You want to believe the Lord will rescue you at the last moment, but often His plan is to crucify you. Everything dies at the cross: relationships, ministries, agendas, reputations, finances. It's painful, but it's necessary. If you cry out to be part of the bride of Christ, then you must be--you will be--identified with the sufferings of the Bridegroom.
Resurrection "He's alive! I thought I'd cried all my tears on Golgotha, but when our eyes met, it was like a flood. As I ran into His open arms, He scooped me up and spun me around in joyous laughter.
"The times we shared after the resurrection were the most precious of my life. They made it easier to release Him--again. As I watched Him ascend, I prayed again, 'Lord, let it be unto me according to Your word, for the rest of my life.'"
Out of great death comes great life. Mary's prophetic promises had been limited by her worldview. In her mind's eye she had seen Jesus as king over the little nation of Israel for the span of His lifetime. In reality, He was King of kings and Lord of lords for all people and all time.
At the cross, God crucifies our limited view concerning the fulfillment of our prophetic destiny and resurrects it to His eternal view. The Lord revives our broken dreams--when they come to pass, they rarely look as we thought they would.
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