What does a man look for in a woman? The answer may surprise you. Initially he may be attracted by looks, a certain style, a winning personality. But when it comes to making a commitment, the main issue for men is trust. It is much easier for a man to give his body than to give his heart. Before he commits his heart to a woman, he must know: Can I trust you?
What does God look for in a woman? When He has an extraordinary work that needs to be done, when He has a special calling that requires a “certain someone,” how does He choose? Again, the issue is trust.
Consider Mary, the young woman selected by God to birth His only begotten Son. What was it about Mary that persuaded God to choose her? The Bible tells us nothing about her appearance—nothing about her hair, her stature, her shape, the texture of her skin or even the attractiveness of her personality. Yet according to the angel who greeted her, she was “highly favored” and “blessed...among women” (Luke 1:28, NKJV).
Why was she chosen? I believe the answer can be found on the lips of Simeon, the old man in the temple who took the baby Jesus in his arms, blessed God and spoke these words to Mary: “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35, emphasis added).
I believe God chose Mary because He knew He could trust her. And not just with good times. Anyone can do well when times are good, when blessing and prosperity and comfort are the norm.
He knew He could trust her with trouble! Throughout her life her heart would be pierced, again and again. Yet Mary could be counted on, in the words of the commercial, to “take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.”
The fact is, when you’ve been selected by God, it’s for the long haul. His question is not “Can I trust you for one event?”; it’s “Can I trust you through stages and ages, through eras and eons, to be as faithful at the end of time as you were at the beginning?
“Can I trust you to go through changes and still not change? Can I trust you to relocate and never move? Can I trust you to be altered and never be different?”
Simeon told Mary that a sword would pierce her soul. She was about to embark on a journey into the very purpose of her life—and it would cost her everything.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow” (Heb. 4:12). If you are going to find God’s word for you—if you are going to fulfill His will and purpose for your life—I guarantee the journey will pierce your soul as it did Mary’s.
Can He trust you? Can you be counted on to “deliver,” even though your heart is pierced in the process?
Mary’s heart went through seven “piercings”—seven painful trials, seven tests of trust—that might have shaken and moved any one of us. But in them all, Mary proved that God’s trust in her had not been misplaced.
You, too, will suffer many piercings if you’re serious about pursuing the will of God for your life. But you can learn from Mary’s example as you face the questions that are on God’s heart:
1. Can He trust you with misunderstanding?
Not even Joseph understood at first. All he knew was that he was engaged to a young girl carrying a baby she said God gave her! God straightened him out, but Mary still faced the whispers and sneers of the other people around her. She walked through adversity and delivered in the midst of misunderstanding—without fighting for herself or arguing to prove it was a holy thing.
God never has to be defended. And when He has called you to get the job done, you can be confident that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
If you are going to be “highly favored,” if God is going to do anything mighty in your life, you cannot spend all your time trying to get everybody to understand and agree with you. Are you willing to be controversial to produce the “Christ” in you? Is God doing something important enough in your spirit for you to endure misunderstanding?
2. Can He trust you to hide the treasure?
Mary took the wonderful baby she had birthed—the very Son of God—and hid her “treasure” for two years in Egypt. God knew that He could trust her to possess a great treasure—and keep it to herself.
Can God trust you to keep a secret? Can He do something wonderful in your life, knowing you will not flaunt it? Can He give you an ability, knowing you will not rush to put it on stage?
The birth of Jesus was a new thing. It had never happened before! Some of the things God wants to do in your life will be new, as well. But like Mary, you have to know when to hide the “new thing.”
Mary took Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod’s death warrant. The enemy is after your “baby,” too. He is after your dream, your vision. He wants to kill it early, before it is fully developed.
Just as God had to know that He could trust Mary with a supernatural blessing, that He could depend on her to hide it until the time was right, He wants to know: Can He trust you to hide the treasure He’s given you until the appointed time?
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