Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

by Jeannette Haley

Beautiful, powerful, anointed, and true are the inspired words from the lips of a woman, chosen of God, by the name of Mary. These wonderful words, as recorded in Luke 1:46-55, reveal an incredible inner knowledge of God and His attributes. Therefore, as we turn our thoughts and hearts this time of the year towards the advent of our Lord and Savior, may the words of Mary lift up our souls in adoration and praise to the only One who is worthy to receive all glory, honor and praise.

Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s proclamation and prophecy began with, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” The word “magnify” means to declare great, and it comes from the Greek word “megas” which implies exceedingly great, greatest, high, and mighty. This word also intimates response such as sorely afraid, and fear. The only other time this word is used in the New Testament is in Acts 10:46a, which reads, “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” We can be assured that such magnification of God was pure worship, involving the entire soul. This means complete surrender of one’s mind, will, and emotions in such a way that everything within him or her is totally, without hesitation, reservation, self-consciousness, shame, or duplicity focused on God and His greatness. After all, He created all things, both visible and invisible. He upholds and sustains all that He has created, a truth that our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend. Is there anything or anyone greater than the Lord God Almighty? Can any human explain and fully understand the mystery of how Jesus could leave the glories of heaven, and “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” Philippians 2:6-8?

Mary continued in verse 47, “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” It has been my experience that in those times when I have truly moved into magnifying the Lord in worship, my being has been filled to such an overflowing sense of God’s presence that all self-awareness is diminished to a point of pure joy and ecstasy. If He is to “increase” in our hearts and lives, then we must, as John the Baptist said, “decrease.” Decreasing is the opposite of the world’s ways, and opposite of the flesh and the devil, all of which strive, through vanity and pride to exalt self, to become important in the scheme of things, and receive honor, glory, and worship.

As Mary magnified the Lord, her spirit rejoiced in Him as her Saviour. When we truly magnify God, we will find ourselves in a place where the Holy Spirit is able to reveal to our spirit the glorious Saviour, and our need for Him. Mary was just as human as you and I, and she knew that “both Jews and Gentiles…are all under sin” and that“There is none righteous, no, not one” Romans 3:b; 10:b. Her joy was the purest of all joys, as she rejoiced in her own salvation. How can there be any greater joy under heaven than knowing that you have been redeemed by the blood of Christ? The second greatest joy that I have ever experienced is whenever a soul is led to salvation in Christ. All other earthly joys are fleeting and temporary, and will eventually fade; but, the joy that we have in Jesus is eternal. It can never be lost, ruined, stolen, diminished, tarnished, or altered because this joy is our life in Christ. He never changes, He is eternal, He is almighty, He never fails, He is mighty to save, His kingdom will come, and He will reign forever and ever.

Does this joy mean that we will always be happy and on top of it in this life? Not hardly. The joy of God abides in the eternal recesses of our being. An illustration of this can be the ocean. In the great depths, unlike the rolling and tossing waves near the surface, there is a calm that is hidden from view. So is the life hidden with Christ in God. Within the innermost part of man the joy of the Lord can reside in spite of the storms of life that assail. We may not feel it, or be able to find it in our worst hour, but God knows how to keep that flame of joy reserved for us in Heaven. We know that the greatest of sorrows pierced Mary’s heart as she watched her son die in agony on the cross. In the dark night of her soul when all joy turned to sorrow, the eternal flame still burned within her spirit, and in due time she, and Jesus’ brethren, were among those who received power to be witnesses at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14).

Luke 1:48, “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,” reveals the humble attitude of Mary—an attitude that every believer should possess. Mary recognized her own “low estate” as well as the knowledge that she was God’s handmaiden, or servant. God resists the proud, but chooses instead to show Himself mighty through humble clay vessels. Unlike people, God is no respecter of persons, college degrees, titles, religious affiliations, worldly successes, gender or a person’s popularity. Instead, the Lord uses willing and yielded vessels who are generally disregarded by both the world and the church. “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence” 1 Corinthians 1:27-29. We have had to tell people on more than one occasion that if God can use a jackass to speak to a man, then He can use a woman as well. God is not limited in the type of vessel that He chooses to use for His glory. The test remains the same for each of us as believers—we must receive a matter based on whether it is truth from the throne room of God, and not according to the vessel the Lord chooses to expound or exhort it.

Mary eloquently expressed her reason for magnifying the Lord and rejoicing in God her Saviour, “For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.” It is humbling to consider that God, although almighty, knows each of us in an individual and personal way. For this we should give Him all the glory, as did Mary. No other human being has ever had, or ever will have, the unique honor that God bestowed upon Mary to be the vessel through which the sinless Saviour of the world would be born. While sin entered into the world through one man (Adam), through one woman God sent His Son, the resurrection and the life.

In all reverence and adoration Mary declared, “holy is his name.” God never steps outside of who He is. Individuals and governments may scoff at God’s holiness, yet the truth remains—God is holy, He always has been holy, and always will be holy. He calls us to holiness according to His Word and ways, not to happiness according to our own perverted perceptions and fleshly desires. In our day and age we are living in the times foretold by Jesus in Matthew 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” The sin of iniquity is immorality. It is no secret that immorality abounds in our world in these end times, but what is even more alarming is the abundance of immorality that can be found within the ranks of professing Christians.

As many of you know, the Lord called Rayola and me to minister to the churches in America. After over two decades in this difficult harvest field, we are witnessing such a decrease in holiness (or any real desire to be holy) and such an increase in blatant immorality that it boggles our minds and breaks our hearts. Countless “churched” people, from the leadership on down, are increasingly becoming callous to such heinous sins as fornication, abortion, pornography, child molestation, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and perversion on a scale that would make Sodom and Gomorrah blush. Woe to the shepherds who are soft on sin, preaching that God is “comfortable” with our sin, claiming that such ungodly wickedness as pornography is a “habit” when it is an abomination to God! Woe to the shepherds who ignore God’s holiness and His command to be holy as He is holy! Woe to those who humanize God while deifying man, preaching  socialism, which is another gospel and exalting another Jesus, while adhering to another spirit. (See 2 Corinthians 11:4.) Woe to the people who love to have it so! Yet, in the midst of it all, God still has His remnant, Jesus is still building His Church (the true Body of Christ). He knows those who are His, and while we look back with joy and wonder at His first Advent, we can look forward in faith and hope to His second coming which is very nigh, “even at the door.”

Mary prophetically declared, “And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation” Luke 1:50. If only this could be declared from every pulpit in America instead of the feel-good slop that spews forth from so many profane lips! God is merciful indeed, but on whom? On those who fear Him! “Oh how great is thy goodness, that thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou has wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men” Psalm 31:19! “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” Acts 10:35. Note that these promises are not exclusive to the male gender only, nor to certain religious affiliations, nor to certain races or nationalities, nor to any particular age bracket, but to all who fear God, and who live (or work) righteousness, which is faith in action; that is, in deeds and good works. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” James 1:22. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” James 2:26. Therefore, one must ask, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation” Hebrews 2:3a?

The truth that most ears will never hear in our dulled down, politically correct churches is this: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” John 3:36; “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day” Psalm 7:11; “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” Romans 1:18; “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them” Ephesians 5:6, 7. (Emphasis added.)

In Luke 1:51 Mary continued to magnify the Lord, declaring, “He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” How great and mighty is our God! Psalm 89:13, 14 says, “Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” Mary saw with spiritual eyes that God’s mighty arm had scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. What a powerful revelation of God’s majesty, power, might, and holiness. How exhilarating to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God knows the imaginations of the proud in heart, and that in His righteous judgments He shall scatter them, thus weakening their alliances to storm the gates of the righteous to bring them to ruin. We are given such precious promises, that Mary knew full well.“The righteous shall never be removed; but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth” Proverbs 10:30. “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

Those of us who morn over the state of the world, and the fall of America, can take heart in Mary’s inspired proclamation, “He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree” Luke 1:52. It is no secret that the wicked and proud “mighty” are seated in high places plotting the destruction of at least 80% of humanity, plotting to starve the remnant into submission and servitude, and plotting to destroy the earth. As in the days of Noah, so are the days in which we live, just as Jesus foretold. Yet, as God’s children, we know that we shall be saved if we “endure to the end.” In that glorious day, when all the world lies in darkness, He shall suddenly come accompanied by ten thousands of his saints, and the holy angels, in power and great glory. Then shall that which was told and foretold by Mary be fulfilled, for He shall indeed put down the mighty from their exalted seats, and exalt them of low degree. As she declared so long ago, “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; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever” Luke 1:53-55.

Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness He shall fill with the good things of His eternal Word, and those who are “rich” in their own conceits and self-importance He shall send away empty. All of His promises to Israel He shall fulfill in His mercy, as He promised to Abraham, and his descendants forever. This shall He do, for faithful is He who promised.

As we celebrate the fulfillment of God’s promises of He who came into this world two-thousand years ago through His humble handmaiden, may we also look up in faith and hope knowing that His promises are still being fulfilled, and will be fulfilled in the sudden return of the King of kings and Lord of lords with whom we will reign and rule for a thousand years. Rejoice that all evil will be banished. Rejoice that the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. If you are truly born again, rejoice that your name is written in the Book of Life!

God bless you!