Luke 1:46-49 Human frailty is the foundation through which divine power becomes manifested in the world

Luke 1:46-49 Human frailty is the foundation through which divine power becomes manifested in the world

45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
46 And Mary said:
“My soul exalts the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49 “For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.

Background

Mary visited Elizabeth, her cousin and was greeted by an exhilarated baby in Elizabeth’s womb. Mary recited a song praising God for His favour upon her and for the people. Indeed, Mary is the human vessel through which Jesus, the omnipotent God is birthed. Today’s devotion teaches us that human frailty is the foundation through which divine power becomes manifested in the world.

Observation

For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave… For the Mighty One has done great things for me.

Mary, having heard the words of Elizabeth burst into song exalting and rejoicing in God. She declares God as her Saviour for He has esteemed her highly despite her humble state. Indeed, God does not judge a person according to his social status, moral condition, abilities, racial or religious backgrounds, but the posture of his heart. Mary’s humble state has become the foundation through which the mighty works of God are wrought. By virtue of the mighty works that were done through a humble vessel, Mary will be honoured forever.

Truth

Human frailty is the foundation through which divine power becomes manifested in the world.

Indeed, Mary is the human vessel through which Jesus, the omnipotent God is birthed. Paul taught,

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23.

Divine power must be birthed and manifested in the world through frail human vessels. Human frailty is the foundation through which divine power manifest itself in the world. Indeed, Mary is the quintessence of human frailty for she is first a woman in a male dominated culture, scantly educated, and of humble background. Jesus Himself was beset with human weaknesses, and his disciples were mere fishermen. In the eyes of the Jewish society, they were ignoble being numbered with scums, sinners and tax collectors. Yet, the power of God is displayed through their seemingly awkward and unpolished demeanour. The psalmist said,

From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease. Psalm 8:2

What are these human weaknesses? They include the propensity to feel discouragement, despair, distress as well as bodily weaknesses. When Paul was tormented by the agents of Satan, he asked God to remove the human weaknesses from him. However, Jesus said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. Our human weaknesses are in fact the seed of God’s power without which, divine power has no foundation. As Paul becomes determined to embrace his weaknesses and boasts in them, he experiences greater manifestations of divine power. Jesus, was crucified openly and in that sense, He boasted of His human weaknesses that became His resurrection. Should our human weaknesses be removed, we cease to become vessels of divine power. Therefore, we must be humble in boasting in our weaknesses and not despise them. For our weaknesses will certainly lead to unprecedented manifestations of divine power.

Many are afraid to acknowledge their inadequacies for fear that they may suddenly lose control, self-confidence or respect. They hold up their frame by forcibly putting on a strong front not knowing what else they can do. For they do not yet understand how by acknowledging their weaknesses they may become strong. Indeed, when Paul said, “for when I am weak, then I am strong”, he really meant it! That said, the bible describes the proud as one who refuses to acknowledge his weaknesses. Such pride themselves on human supremacy refusing to give God the glory. The humble, on the other hand openly acknowledge their weaknesses and failings because they are true to themselves. God esteems their honesty and humility and grants them grace. Peter taught,

God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. 1 Peter 5:5-6

Divine power and wisdom arise from divine virtues of faith and perseverance.

That said, how do we facilitate the manifestation of divine power through our weaknesses? Make no mistake about it: divine power does not equate strength. Many in wanting to possess divine power accentuate their strengths while masking their weaknesses. However, Paul said in defence of his apostleship, “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.” (2 Corinthians 12:12). Indeed, the source of his divine power comes not by social approval or display of strength but by faith and perseverance. Faith pertains to the motives and posture of one’s heart. It answers the question: why we do what we do? Perseverance, on the other hand is persistence to the course despite difficulties or delay in achieving success. That said, it is important to note that faith must come before perseverance. Unless we possess faith; the right motive, perseverance to the course becomes meaningless.

Many tried in vain to obtain divine power through “training” and “practice” supposing it can be obtained by learning the right methods. They attach themselves as “disciples” to gifted ministers with the intention to “obtain” divine power through their mentoring. Such do not have faith as their seeming submission to authority is based on a personal agenda apart from the vision of the organisation. Mary had no training or practice nor did she pursue divine power. But she was granted the highest honour in bringing forth the omnipotent God into the world.

Application

How do we facilitate the manifestation of divine power through our weaknesses?

  • Firstly, we must humbly acknowledge our weaknesses knowing that our failings are foundations of divine power.
  • Secondly, we must boast of our weaknesses and be contented with them. Here, we no longer try to escape from our circumstances or to seek distraction from our despair but rather embrace them.
  • Thirdly, focus not on obtaining power and ability but rather pursue the virtues of faith and perseverance.

Dear Lord, I appreciate that my shortcomings are foundations through which divine power are manifested in the world. I am determined to pursue the virtues of faith and perseverance. Pour down from heaven divine wisdom and power through which I may become a worthy vessel for your use. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.


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