“And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’”
How easy it is to fall into the trap of trying to prove ourselves to God. We talked a bit about this at church this morning, and yet this afternoon I found myself caught in that mindset.
My relationship with God as of late has felt distant. Much different than it used to. I haven’t been investing the time that I once did – I believe that’s the root of the problem. I don’t allow time enough to rest in His presence, to dwell on His Word, to hear what God is saying to me and listen as He unfolds and connects it all. Realizing this, guilt settles in. And I make excuses, but I know that’s all they are. And today I sit here and wonder what I’ve missed out on as a result of not choosing “the good portion” (Luke 10:42)
I sat in our sunroom, my Bible open, praying that this would be the starting point to renewed depth in my relationship with Christ. And as I read, there was this sense of pleading within me…God, please, please show up. Please speak. There was an element of fear that I would be left wanting.
It wasn’t until I came to this verse that I recognized what I was doing. It was like God was speaking to my heart: “Do not be afraid, Melody, for you have found favor with God.” I have found favor with God. I am living constantly in the favor of my God. I don’t have to prove myself worthy of that. I don’t have to prove myself in order for Him to speak to me. There isn’t a time frame of guilt or punishment that I must endure before He shows up – He is here.
God is drawing me to Himself. He wants me to delight in Him, to pursue Him so that I realize He is the only One who will satisfy, the One who will fill me with Himself and make me whole. So while there may be dry seasons where we must search for Him, let us always remember – we have already found favor with God. This season isn’t for us to prove ourselves. It is to strengthen us for joy. Our God is here. He will not hide Himself. We do not search in vain. There isn’t a risk here that we’ll be weighed, measured, and found wanting. God has already loved us enough to die for us. He already has chosen us to be His. He is already drawing us to Himself. We simply must respond, and we will be drawn into joy.
I wrote a couple of months ago that the word “propitiation” is noted in my Bible as meaning “a sacrifice that bears God’s wrath and turns it to favor.” Jesus Christ was sent to be the propitiation for our sins. He is the sacrifice which bore God’s wrath and turned it to favor for us. In Christ, we find favor with God. Forever. So we need not fear. We did not earn it. And it will never be lost. Because our God will not let us lose Him. His wrath has turned away, our iniquities have been taken away from us, and we walk confidently in the favor of God.