Be it unto me according to your word
by Ivan Ho 24 Dec 2020
The true story of Christmas shows the contrast between the right response and wrong response (or no response) to the prophetic word of God.
Zacharias responded in unbelief when an angel of the Lord prophesied the birth of his son John. As a result, he was made dumb until the promise was fulfilled.
Sometimes, God stops communication with unbelievers, naysayers for a season without allowing them to negate the prophetic word.
And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
Luke 1:11-22 KJV
By contrast, Mary responded well even if she didn’t fully understand the prophetic word delivered to her by angel Gabriel declaring the birth of Jesus. She responded: “Be it done to me according to the word”.
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:26-38 KJV
The Zacharias response
So why did Zacharias’ response displeased God? Having been told that his wife Elizabeth would give birth to a son John, Zacharias said to angel Gabriel : “How shall I know this? I am an old man and my wife is well advanced in years”.
First of all, Zacharias was a priest who should have known better. He wasn’t an unbeliever who didn’t know God. He knew the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob as well as being knowledgeable about the scriptures. However, he did not seem to have learnt much from his predecessor Abraham, his journey of faith as well as his mistakes. Zacharias’ response was similar to Abraham’s wife Sarah when God promised to give them a son. Instead of praising God, they said: “But we are too old, there’s no way we can give birth to a child.” Like Zacharias, many believers today are behaving like unbelievers when the word of God is sent to them. They may attend church regularly and some even hold leadership positions but when they hear the prophetic word of God, their true nature would be laid bare. They are either being unresponsive or respond in unbelief, focusing on their own ability or personal weaknesses instead of the almighty power of God.
When God speaks to us, it’s no longer about what we can or cannot do, but what God will do regardless of human and circumstantial limitations.
As a result of Zacharias’ unbelief, God basically shut him up until God’s prophetic word was fulfilled. Zacharias was a priest who had a lot of followers, waiting outside when he was inside the temple performing his religious duty. Imagine the kind of influence the unbelieving priest would have had on God’s people if he continued to speak. Words are powerful which can bring life or death to the hearers, and that’s why Zacharias was made dumb for a season.
Despite the unbelief of Zacharias, the prophetic word of God came to pass when John the Baptist the forerunner of Jesus was given birth. Our unbelief won’t cancel the prophetic word of God.
During the time of his silence, Zacharias was hearing from God, and as soon as his mouth was opened, he praised God and spoke prophetically the destiny of his son John. Luke 1:57-80 KJV
The Mary response
When angel Gabriel spoke to Mary about her giving birth to Jesus the Son of God, her initial response was: ” How shall this be? I do not know any man.” Notice she didn’t say “How CAN it be” but “How SHALL it be?” She wasn’t questioning God’s ability to fulfill His word, but rather, she wanted to know how God would do it despite of her own limitation. Gabriel explained to her that the birth of Jesus would not be by natural means but by the power of the Holy Spirit! “With God, nothing is impossible“.
Mary then responded: “Be it done to me according to your word“.
The prophetic word, when released, has to do something deep in the lives of individuals to whom the word is sent.
The prophetic word spoken to Mary wasn’t a general word like : “God is good, God loves everyone …” or anything like that. The prophetic word was sent at a specific time for a specific individual for a divine purpose. The prophetic word delivered to Mary foretold the single most powerful historical event of mankind. Mary was highly favoured to be part of God’s plan and kingdom purpose, being chosen as the mother to deliver baby Jesus into the world. Jesus the Son of God was born as a human to become the Saviour of the world, to die on the cross for our sins and be resurrected on the third day, and ultimately to establish His eternal kingdom on planet earth!
When God speaks to you a personal prophetic word, it isn’t just to make you feel good but given to you for a God given purpose. Do not dismiss it lightly and go about business as usual. You are highly favoured when the word of God comes to you. Let it be done in you (not somebody else) according to the word!
Blessed are the ones to whom God’s word is sent.
Merry Christmas to all who receive the word of God and respond well.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:4-11 KJV