“And Mary said, my soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”
St. Augustine once said, “He who sings prays twice.” This happened in the home of Elizabeth when her cousin Mary burst into song and prayer. Mary realized that God loved her with amazing lavishness and grace. She responded with overflowing gratitude for the gift of God that grew in her womb. There’s no better way to respond to a miracle than to praise God in song and prayer ….
This means we have to make a deliberate decision. We have to choose not to listen to our personal playlists and pay attention to Mary’s song. When we do, we’ll find ourselves humming a different tune.
We might even join Mary in singing, “I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God …. “For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy” (v.49-54)
Mary sang of God’s strength to deliver the proud and boastful to their rightful place of ruin. Tyrants and dictators don’t give up control willingly; it has to be broken by someone greater. God can do that …. We have to give up our desire for control. Mary kept her heart and hands open for God to fill. She prayed and sang with a heart of humility ….. This touches my heart and I am humbled to think of the many ways in which He blesses me. I overflow with gratitude. How about you?
I know it sounds too easy: making a deliberate decision to praise God and sing His praises, when you may be in a stressful situation; when you feel like the storms of life are about to consume you. And to tell Jesus you sinned and ask for forgiveness is difficult too. But it is simple really, just as it’s easy to depend on God when you have no other way. This simplicity … this depending upon what Jesus has already done, and is going to do, well, it is the gospel, my friends. We long for the power of the gospel, but we struggle with its simplicity. But what if you fulfilled your longing for freedom by asking Jesus to cleanse you of your sin and cleanse your conscience? Imagine a life free from guilt and shame, and full of the presence of God …. Wouldn’t that just make you want to sing praises unto Him? To be free; to be forgiven; to know that your name is written in the Lamb’s book of Life; what greater thing is there on earth to fill a heart with humility, gratefulness and songs of joy and gladness ..
“A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage; his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown, but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn and he names the sky his own.
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams, his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream, his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.” ….. (“I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou)
Why? Why is this freedom so important in the life of a believer? Let’s look at that:
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)
The three words “how much more” tell us there is one huge purpose to having our consciences cleansed by Jesus. Christ cleanses us so we may serve the living God. The word serve comes from the Greek word “latreuo”, and it means to worship and enjoy the presence of the living God. Jesus wants you free from sin and shame so you can enter into God’s presence, and sing and praise His name. Let me ask you: What in your life keeps you from experiencing intimacy with God? Whatever the answer, Jesus wants to set you free today. Just ask Him ….
Let us pray ~
God; I want to sing of Your tender mercies with a heart of humility. May I make Mary’s song my own today. I thank You Jesus; for making this simple for me to come to You with my requests today. Please replace my guilt with Your innocence and relieve my burden of condemnation. I want to bask in Your acceptance and praise You with all that I am. God, I offer myself to Thee ~ to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. All this I pray in the holy name of Jesus, Amen ….
God is with us …. Praise the Lord forever!!!