By Kathie Lee Gifford & Rabbi Jason Sobel
God chose perhaps His most unlikely vessel to set into motion the salvation of mankind: a teenage girl named Mary. Mary thought she was waiting for a wedding to a carpenter named Joseph, but something came to her that was far different—an improbable event she never would have dreamed of. A holy interruption. Much about Mary and her relationship with God is revealed when we read about her response to the angel when she was told she would give birth to the promised Messiah (see Luke 1:26–38). Mary showed tremendous humility of heart—the same humble quality we find in Yeshua (see Philippians 2:6–11).
A characteristic of humility is receiving. Probably understanding some, though not all, of the misunderstanding and scorn that would surely come, Mary embraced God’s new vision for her life without complaining or sarcasm. 1 Peter 5:5 tells us that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (NKJV). Do you want God’s grace? Become humble. Mary was humble in spirit. Being willing to decrease so that others can increase is the essence of humility (see John 3:30). It’s important to note, however, that I’m not talking about self-abasing. A truly humble person is secure and confident in God’s love. They know who they are. Genuine humility is not thinking less of ourselves. It’s thinking of ourselves less.
It also takes humility for us to be completely transparent before others, allowing them to speak into our lives, encourage us, sharpen us if needed, and help us in our journeys. Notice that when the angel ended his time with Mary, he said, “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37 TLV). Mary needed to be transparent to receive that word and then live by it. She responded by humbly worshiping and magnifying the Lord (see verses 46–55).
Think of what obedience meant to this young girl. She needed to confront Joseph and risk a divorce. She had to face her neighbors, whose imaginations must have run wild. She had to confront her parents and Joseph’s parents. But through all this confrontation and gossip, she was able to cling to the angel’s promise to her and to Joseph’s loyalty to her after his angelic visit (see Matthew 1:18–25).
I find it interesting that Mary obeyed without hesitation. Obedience was her delight. Looking back at the times God has called me to do something, I have to ask, Did I react like Mary? Not all the time. There were moments of hesitation. I wonder what blessings from God I lost. Today, we often regard obedience as a weakness. Mary’s example should correct our thinking. In Scripture, we can almost see that His will became her will. She willingly yielded to what God wanted for her instead of fighting for her self-defined life direction.
As in Mary’s experience, faith and humility together will lead us to God’s favor. To walk in our divine assignments and sing our unique songs, we will need to seek God’s presence, understanding that He is the source of favor to open the doors that only He can open— doors that no man can shut. Humility is knowing that you are in God’s control and, when the situation calls for it, having the bold faith to do what God has asked you to do.
Mary was most likely a young teenage girl when the angel Gabriel visited her in Nazareth with a startling message: she had been chosen by God to give birth to the long-awaited Messiah, whom the prophets had foretold for centuries.
In Isaiah 7:14 we are told that a “virgin will conceive and give birth” to this Redeemer of the world (NIV). The fact that this young peasant girl’s response to the angel was, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be unto me as you have said” is unbelievable to me (Luke 1:38 , paraphrase)!
She—like Abraham and Sarah and Moses and Joshua before her—was willing to give up everything she knew and depended on to obey the calling of God in her life to journey into an unknown future.
When we believe, miracles abound.
Adapted from The God of the Way: A Journey into the Stories, People, and Faith That Changed the World Forever by Kathie Lee Gifford and Rabbi Jason Sobel. Click here to learn more about this book.
Now a New York Times Bestseller! Kathie Lee Gifford and Rabbi Jason Sobel the authors of the New York Times bestseller The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi bring you an exciting new life-changing message that will help you read the Bible with new eyes and take you into the heart of God’s people in Scripture – from Abraham to Ruth to Jesus and His early followers.
In The God of the Way, Rabbi Jason shares wisdom from his Jewish heritage and helps us read Scripture in the cultural context of biblical times. Kathie Lee adds personal stories and reflections from her spiritual journey and studies, serving as a companion as you go deeper in your relationship with God.
You will experience:
- The God of the How and When: When you don’t know the details…God does.
- The God of His Word: When you can’t see God…trust His heart and the promises in His Word.
- The God Who Sees: When you feel abandoned and forgotten…God knows and cares about you.
- The God of the Other Side: When you feel overwhelmed and unworthy…God never passes by but crosses over and brings freedom.
Journey into God’s word, from the creation of the world through the desert and empty places, the Hebrew nation, and meet Jesus, the disciples, and his followers. As you do, you will see how you are part of God’s epic story of redemption – a radiant testimony to the truth that belief in God’s promises is never wasted.
Kathie Lee Gifford’s four-time Emmy Award-winning career has spanned television, film, recordings, Broadway, cabaret, and commercials. She has authored numerous books, including her most recent book, The God of the Way, and five New York Times bestselling books, including The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi and It’s Never Too Late. She is also an actress, singer, songwriter, playwright, producer, and director.
Rabbi Jason Sobel is the founder of Fusion Global, a ministry that seeks to bring people into the full inheritance of the faith by connecting treasures of “the old and the new.” Rabbi Jason’s voice is authentic, being raised in a Jewish home, and qualified by years of diligent academic work, he received his rabbinic ordination from the UMJC (Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations) in 2005. He has a B.A. in Jewish Studies (Moody) and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies (Southeastern Seminary). He is a sought-after speaker and the author of Breakthrough, Aligning with God’s Appointed Times, Mysteries of the Messiah, and coauthor with Kathie Lee Gifford of New York Times bestsellers The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi and The God of the Way.