“… my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” ~ Luke 1:47
In the opening line of her song of praise to Jehovah, Mary testified of her salvation: “My soul doth magnify the Lord” (Luke 1:46). It was God that was most important in her life, not herself, and not anyone or anything else.
In our text, which is the second line of her song of praise (Luke 1:46-55), Mary testifies of her (ongoing) sanctification.
The key word in Luke 1:47 is the word “rejoice”. To rejoice means to be very happy; to rejoice in the Lord means to be very happy in the Lord or to find happiness/joy in the Lord.
What/Who do you find your happiness in?
So-called Carnal Christians find happiness in the things of the flesh: the pleasures of the world. They recognize and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Saviour, but find little happiness in Him. For them, the “grass is greener” on the world’s side of the fence. They might have come through the strait gate and set a foot on the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14), but they delightfully inhale every aroma from the broad road that wafts by.
Each person has both a body and a spirit. When Adam sinned, his spirit died (Genesis 3). And all Adam’s offspring to come, all of mankind, are born with dead spirits that can only be enlivened by salvation (Ephesians 2:1-5). Therefore, the unsaved can only find joy in their bodies, through (physical and mental) interactions with the world.
However, the saved have both bodies and reborn (quickened) spirits. And each saved person must decide in which they will find their happiness. Will the saved continue to seek joy in the world through their bodies? Or will they find their joy in God through their reborn spirits?
God’s Word defines sanctification as being made holy. Sanctification is the process of being made more ready to serve God in more ways.
“…in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:20-21
The Christian that finds joy only in their flesh will not be able to endure sanctification; because they find neither pleasure nor value in spiritual development. Indeed, things of the spirit are only hindrances to the happiness they seek.
Mary was not carnally minded. Not only was she saved, she sought and found her joy in the LORD. Mary is an example of who we must become so that God can work through us.
From a secular viewpoint, as a poor, uneducated young woman from a “bad neighborhood” (i.e., Nazareth), Mary didn’t have much going for her. The best she could realistically aspire to was to get married to a good man.
Being called by God to be the mother of Christ Jesus, meant that even that modest dream was in jeopardy.
How could she explain her pregnancy to Joseph? How could he believe her? And, even if he did believe her, why would he still want to continue with the marriage. Her embarrassment would become his if he did. Indeed, no man would want her now. And she would bring lifelong disgrace on her family.
Every worldly hope of happiness would be lost.
But though her circumstances were surely a concern, Mary was neither distressed nor despondent. Because she did not find her joy in the approval of people. She did not find joy in the elevation of her social status. She did not even find joy in her betrothed, Joseph. Yes, she loved him dearly; but Joseph was not the source of her joy: Jehovah was. Mary’s joy was in the Lord.
If we are to serve God, we must undergo the process of sanctification. But we will never have the courage to become holy until and unless our happiness is found in The LORD. And, without God’s sanctifying work in us, we will never be able or available to serve Him.
Mary rejoiced in The Lord her Saviour, therefore God could commission her to give birth to His Son.
Where do you find your joy? And what can God do with your life?
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” ~ Philippians 4:4