There is a story about a little girl who was asked if she got all she wanted for Christmas. She said, “No, but then again it’s not my birthday.” The way we celebrate the birth of Christ is more than a bit dysfunctional isn’t it? And yet we insist, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” It sure doesn’t look like it. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing under my tree for Jesus.

In Luke 1:28 God came to the Virgin Mary. God still comes to us today. The three primary ways we interact with God are:

His church.

Prayer.

Meditation of His written Word.

God comes to us, or maybe we should say He is willing to come to us but do we come to Him? In other words, are we engaging the Lord through these spiritual disciplines? James the brother of Christ told us if we draw near to God He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

Almost half of born-again Christians say they have no process or plan in place to help them develop into fully functioning reproducing disciples of Christ. The result of this is we are spiritually an inch deep and a mile wide.

I get it. Sometimes when we do come to the Lord it’s easy to be afraid of what He asks of us. The mission given to Mary was big. In Luke 1:29 & 30 we are told Mary was “greatly troubled” and “afraid.” We are also told that she (we) should not be afraid that God’s favor is on us. Mary was not better or special per se, she was favored for the same reason you and I are favored - we are recipients of God’s grace (unmerited favor).

So, Ken, what do we do when the Lord requires much and how do we get out of the “inverted Gospel” we have created and/or our spiritual dysfunction?

Be like Mary, say, “Yes!” to God. I love Mary’s response in Luke 1:38, “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’”

A million years ago we were trying to decide about acquiring a piece of commercial real estate. The Blonde and I went back and forth, back and forth. I called the realtor (I called several times, no doubt he earned his commission) and asked him what he thought, I was looking for a promise that the risk was minimal and that our venture would be a success. Finally, the veteran broker said, “Ken, the only thing stopping you is you.”

The only thing stopping you from becoming all that wants you to be is you. Say, “Yes!” to God. He told me to tell you that.

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Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at kenansell1@gmail.com.