The Work of God: Brought About Through Intimacy With Flesh or An Act of God

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses thirty-nine through sixty-six of the first and opening chapter of this New Testament book. “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:39-45).

            “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the might from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. 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 1:46-55).

            “And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house” (Luke 1:56).

            “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoice with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by his name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him” (Luke 1:57-66).

            “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; For he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raise dup an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:67-79).

            “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel” (Luke 1:80).

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the beloved physician coming to a close. The first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke begins in a way and manner that is quite intriguing and quite astonishing when you take the time to truly consider it, for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that it was written based on oral accounts, testimonies and witnesses from those who were actually eyewitnesses to the events which had taken place during the days in which Jesus was publicly manifested in the midst of the earth as the Word made flesh. What sets the gospel narrative written by Luke apart from the other gospel narratives is that Luke chose not to begin with the baptism of John the Baptist, nor even with the preaching of John the Baptist in the wilderness. If you read the gospel narrative which was written and recorded by John Mark you will find that immediately after he opened his gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ he transitioned to the baptism of John the Baptist—and not only the baptism of John, but also how Jesus the Christ would come unto Him from Nazareth that He might be baptized by him. John Mark would make a brief few statements concerning John the Baptist and how he fulfilled the prophetic word which was spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah, and then he would immediately transition to describing how Jesus would come from Nazareth unto the Jordan River where John would be baptizing that He Himself might be baptized in the midst of the waters of the Jordan River to fulfill all righteousness. What makes this quite astounding and remarkable is when you think about the fact that the gospel narrative which was written by this traveling companion of the apostle Paul and Barnabas would begin with and from the prophetic witness and ministry of John the Baptist as he would prepare and make ready a people for the Messiah and for the coming of Jesus through repentance and baptism in waters unto the remission of sins.

            If and as you consider the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle Matthew you will find that this apostle of Jesus the Christ would begin a little further back than that which was written by John Mark. As you read the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by this apostle of Christ you will find that he would begin with Mary having already conceived through the Holy Spirit, and how Joseph had it is in heart and mind to quietly put Mary away. After learning and discovering that Mary was pregnant Joseph purposed and determined that he would put Mary away, and were it not for the divine intervention of the living and eternal God speaking to him through a dream he would have actually gone through with putting her away. It would be in a dream which would be given unto Joseph that the living and eternal God would speak directly unto him and would encourage him to not be afraid to take Mary unto himself as his wife, for that which was growing inside of her came not from man, but rather from the living God. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the apostle Matthew would choose to begin his gospel narrative and account of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ with the powerful account of Mary being pregnant with the Messiah which would be born unto her and would be the Saviour of the world—and not only would He be the Saviour of the world, but He would sit upon the throne of His father David. It would be this child and this life which would be conceived within the womb of Mary from the living and eternal God that the living God would indeed and would in fact bring into the world that which the Law and the prophets would speak of and foretell during their own generation.

            We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for it calls and invites us into the place where we think about and consider the tremendous significance of how the beloved physician Luke chose to begin his gospel narrative. For the beloved physician Luke he would choose to begin his gospel narrative even further back in time and history than the apostle Matthew would. Upon reading the gospel narrative which was written by the beloved physician Luke you will find that he chose to begin with two distinct angelic visitations that would take place six months apart, in two different locations, and unto two different people. It would be the same angel who would appear unto both of these individuals bringing forth a great tiding and a great revelation of the work of God in the midst of the earth and during that generation—and not only would it be the same angel, but it would also be the same God who would send that angel into the earth out of the realm of eternity and out of the realm of the supernatural and the spiritual. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this, for when the beloved physician Luke chose to write his gospel narrative he chose to begin with the angelic visitation from Gabriel who stood in the presence of the LORD and before His throne in heaven. It would be the living and eternal God who would indeed and would in fact send the angel Gabriel unto the town of Nazareth in the land of Galilee unto Mary who was not only a virgin, but who was espoused to be married unto a man named Joseph. Moreover, it would be the living and eternal God who would send the same angel Gabriel unto the city of Jerusalem—and not only unto the city of Jerusalem, but into the very Temple of the Lord which stood in Jerusalem—and would send him there unto a man named Zacharias. What I find truly intriguing when you read the words found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke is that he deliberately and intentionally—according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—chose to begin with the angelic visitation of the Lord, and how the angelic visitations of Gabriel would indeed and would in fact prepare both Mary and Zacharias for that which would take place in the midst of the earth.

            Perhaps one of the most intriguing and astonishing realities I can’t help but think about when I read the words found in the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke is whether or not Zacharias went home and actually informed his wife Elisabeth of how the angel Gabriel had appeared to him, and what the angel had spoken unto him. We know that it was because of Zacharias’ unbelief within his heart that the angel Gabriel would declare unto him that he would not be able to speak until the fulness of time would come for that which he had spoken unto him. Eventually the angel Gabriel would depart from the Temple and would depart from Zacharias, and upon the departure of Gabriel from the Temple Zacharias would essentially be dumb and unable to speak. Scripture is unclear how long it was before Zacharias would actually engage in sexual relations with his wife Elisabeth, however, we do know for certain that it would come to pass in the fulness of time and at the appointed time that the Lord would remember Zacharias and Elisabeth and would open the womb of Elisabeth that she might conceive a child in her old age. If there is one thing that is actually captivating about the angelic visitation of Gabriel unto both Mary and Zacharias is that I would dare say that neither one told their partner of the encounter they had with the angel Gabriel. We know for a fact that Mary would not tell, nor would she make it known unto Joseph that the angel Gabriel had appeared unto her, nor that the angel Gabriel had emphatically declared unto her that she would indeed conceive within himself a child that would be the Son of the Highest. This is evidenced from and by the fact that when Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant he thought to put her away quietly. Undoubtedly there would come a point when Mary could no longer hide that she was pregnant and with child, for eventually there would come a point in time when she would start showing that there was a child growing within her womb.

            I sit here today thinking about the fact that it is very possible and highly likely that neither Mary, nor Zacharias actually spoke of that which the angel Gabriel had spoken unto them. There is not a doubt in my mind that Mary kept the angelic visitation from Gabriel to herself and treasured it within her heart. In fact, it wouldn’t even be Mary who would tell Joseph that she was pregnant, and Joseph would essentially learn that she was pregnant simply by nature taking its course and his realizing and recognizing that Mary was indeed pregnant and with child. What makes this all the more intriguing and captivating when you take the time to think about it is that Joseph would learn Mary was pregnant simply be her eventually showing within her physical person and body that she was with child, and he would learn that what was growing within her womb was not from man, but was directly from the living and eternal God. Oh Joseph would not receive the same revelation Mary received—namely, how the Holy Ghost would come upon her, and how the power of the Highest would overshadow her and would thus cause her to conceive within herself the life of the Messiah. Joseph would learn of Mary being pregnant and with child simply by seeing the outward and external evidence within her physical body of the life which was growing inside of her. What makes this truly incredible is that although there would indeed and although there would in fact be life that was growing inside of Mary it would be permitted to go unnoticed and undetected by those around her for a period of time. Oh there might very well be a period of five or six months when there would be no evidence that anything was different about Mary—that is until she would eventually begin showing that she was with child. It is truly something worth thinking about that Mary would keep the angelic visitation of Gabriel unto herself, and would not speak, nor would she reveal anything unto Joseph concerning what was spoken to her. Joseph would learn of the child and the life growing within Mary simply and solely by nature taking its course and Mary eventually showing that she was indeed pregnant—something that would and could not be avoided solely based on nature and the life which grows within the womb of a woman would eventually begin showing.

            There is something incredibly powerful and unique about the gospel narrative which was written by Luke, for we know for a fact that the angel Gabriel would indeed and would in fact appear unto Mary and would declare unto her that she would conceive within her womb the life of the Messiah whose name would be called JESUS who would deliver men from their sins, and who would sit upon the throne of His father David. I do not believe for a single moment that Mary would tell anyone of the angel Gabriel’s visit to her, nor even what the angel Gabriel had spoken unto her. This would at least be the case until Joseph would receive a dream from the Lord in which he would be encouraged to not be afraid to take Mary unto himself as his wife, for the life which was growing inside her was not of man, but rather came from the living and eternal God. Not only this, but the beloved physician Luke would eventually and ultimately record how around the sixth month point of the pregnancy of Elisabeth Mary would journey unto the hill country of Judaea where she would indeed and would in fact witness and behold that which the angel Gabriel had spoken unto her. What makes this narrative so absolutely astonishing and powerful when you take the time to think about and consider it is when you read how not only would the angel Gabriel declare unto Mary that she would conceive within her womb the life of the Son of the Highest, and that His name would be called Jesus, but the angel Gabriel would also declare unto Mary that her cousin Elisabeth was pregnant and with child. Moreover, the angel Gabriel would declare unto Mary that it was now the sixth month during the pregnancy of Elisabeth, as well as making the emphatic and powerful declaration that with God there is absolutely nothing impossible for the living God.

            The question I can’t help but ask myself and wonder is whether or not Mary made the journey unto the hill country of Judaea to indeed and in fact witness and behold that which the angel Gabriel had spoken unto her, or whether or not she would go there to have a safe and quiet place for the life which was growing within her to actually come to pass. We know that it is possible that Mary might not have yet conceived with her womb the life of the Messiah and the life of the Son of the Highest, although Scripture provides no concrete evidence of this. We do know that it would be when Elisabeth heard the greeting and the salutation of Mary the mother of her Lord that the babe within her womb would leap for joy within her. What a truly awesome and tremendous truth it is to think about and consider the fact that the angel Gabriel would indeed and would in fact appear unto Mary in the town of Nazareth and would declare unto her that she would conceive life within herself which would come directly from the God. Moreover, the angel Gabriel would declare unto her that the Holy Ghost would come upon her, and that the power of the Highest would overshadow her, thus allowing her to conceive within her womb the life of the Son of the Highest. What’s more, is that the angel Gabriel would also add the declaration that her cousin Elisabeth had conceived life within her womb—Elisabeth who was previously barren and unable to conceive children. Oh I wonder what it was like for Mary to think about and consider how not only would she as a virgin conceive the life of the Son of the Highest within her womb, but also how she who was barren would indeed and would in fact conceive within her womb the prophet of the Messiah and the prophet of the Christ, the Son of the living God. It would be during those days that the living and eternal God would indeed and would in fact cause both the virgin and the barren to conceive life within their wombs, and would allow them to bring forth that which would be mightily and powerfully used by the living God to dramatically alter and transform history. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the living and eternal God would open the womb of the barren and would even enter the womb of the virgin that they might conceive life within them—life which would eventually and ultimately be the Messiah and the messenger of the Messiah.

            OPENING THE WOMB OF THE BARREN AND ENTERING THE WOMB OF THE VIRGIN! It is something worth thinking about and considering the narrative of Elisabeth and Mary, for when and as you read the words found within these chapters you will encounter and come face to face with the fact that it was the same angel Gabriel who appeared unto Zacharias and Mary, and it was the same God who would bring to pass that which His servants the prophets had spoken of and foretold in times past, and yet the work of God would be entirely different. The work which the living and eternal God did inside and within the womb and physical body of Elisabeth would be entirely and altogether different from the work which would be done within the womb of Mary. The womb of Elisabeth was indeed and was in fact closed as Scripture holds nothing back by describing her as barren and unable to conceive life within her womb. Moreover, Scripture records and reveals how Elisabeth was old and stricken in years, and that up to that point in time she had not been able to conceive life within her womb because she was barren. What makes this all the more incredible is when you think about the fact that both Zacharias and Elisabeth were righteous before and in the sight of the living God, and both would be found blameless in His sight. Despite the fact that they were both righteous and blameless in the sight of the living God Elisabeth was still barren and unable to conceive life within her womb—that was until the appointed time ordained by the living and eternal God would be manifested in the earth and the Lord would open her womb, thus allowing her to conceive life within herself.

            The more I think about the narratives written concerning Elisabeth and the ability to conceive life within her womb, as well as Mary and her ability to conceive life within her womb, the more I can’t help but be brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that it was the same angel Gabriel who would appear during those days, and it would be the same God who would bring about the works which Gabriel would speak of, and yet it would be two entirely different works which would take place. When we speak about the case of Mary who was espoused to be married unto Joseph we find that what was conceived within her and what would grow inside of her would not proceed, nor would it come from man. The life which would be conceived within Mary would be conceived through the person and presence of the Holy Ghost and the Highest coming upon and overshadowing her, thus allowing her to conceive life within her womb. In the case of Elisabeth we find that she too was able to conceive life within her womb, however, the life which would be conceived and would grow within her womb would indeed and would in fact come as a result of her union and engagement with man and with physical flesh. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely awesome and powerful truth that while it was indeed true that it would be the same God who would be present during those days, there would be two entirely and altogether different works which would take place during those days and times. It is truly astonishing and remarkable to think about and consider the fact that during those days the living and eternal God would open and unlock the womb of the barren that she might conceive life within her, while the living and eternal God would actually enter into the womb of the virgin. Pause for a moment and think about and consider how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to truly understand that which took place during those days. When the appointed time ordained by the living God had come for the Messiah and His messenger to be brought forth into the earth, the living and eternal God would open and unlock the womb of the barren, thus allowing it to conceive and bring forth life, and the living and eternal God would enter into the womb of the virgin, thus allowing it to conceive life within her.

            I find it absolutely incredible to think about and consider the fact that when the appointed time ordained by the living and eternal God had come for the Messiah and the messenger to be brought forth into the earth—not only would the barren womb be opened, but the virgin womb would be entered. What’s more, is that there is something truly remarkable when we think about and consider the words and language that is found within the opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the physician Luke, for there would be that work of God which would take place in the midst of the earth and would be brought to pass based on an act of flesh as Zacharias would know his wife Elisabeth and how as a direct result of that engagement and interaction she would conceive and would bring forth life within her. In the case of Mary we find that the work of God which would take place within her would not come as a direct result of the flesh, and there would be no flesh involved in the work which would be conceived within her. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the living and eternal God would engage in two distinct works which would take place during those days and times, and yet one work would be accomplished and brought to pass based on an act of the flesh, while the other work would be accomplished and brought to pass based on an act of the Holy Ghost—and not only of the Holy Ghost, but of the living and eternal God Himself. Oh stop and think about the fact that there would be a work of God which would take place in the hill country of Judaea, and there would be a work of God which would take place in the town of Nazareth, and yet one work would involve the flesh, while the other work would involve the Spirit. This is something truly worth thinking about and considering, for when we seek to recognize and understand the work of God we must needs understand that there are those times when the work of God is indeed brought to pass through acts of the flesh, while there are other times when the work of God is brought to pass through acts of the Holy Ghost and His person, His presence and His power. It is with this in mind I invite you consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament epistle which was written unto the churches in Galatia concerning the work of the Spirit as set in direct contrast to the work of the flesh:

            “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a cruse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one. And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For it the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise” (Galatians 3:1-18).

            “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage unto the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Brethren, I bessech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an agnel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present within you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you” (Galatians 3:1-20).

            “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free” (Galatians 3:21-31).

            I fully realize and recognize that I included a lot of Scripture which was found in the third chapter of the New Testament epistle which was written by the apostle Paul unto the churches in Galatia, however, it is absolutely necessary that we understand and recognize this tremendous difference between the work of the flesh and the work of the Spirit. What’ smore, is that it is absolutely necessary that when we read the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke that it was the same God and it was still the work of God, and yet the work of God was manifested in two entirely and different ways and manners. When we think about and consider the fact that the work of God was manifested in the life of Elisabeth as a direct result of the flesh we must needs realize and understand that it is possible for the work of God to be manifested within our lives, and for it to be brought to pass and conceived through the flesh. Please note that by flesh I do not mean the flesh that needs to be crucified, but rather by flesh which is manifested in the persons before and around us. When I speak of the work of God being brought forth and manifested within our hearts and within our lives being produced and coming to pass as a direct result of the flesh I am speaking of those who come alongside us who help to bring about the conception of that which the living God desires to bring within our hearts, within our lives, and within the spiritual wombs which are present within us. When I speak about the work of God being manifested within our hearts and lives and coming to pass as a direct result of the flesh I am speaking about how there are times when it is necessary for others to come alongside us and to help facilitate the manifestation of the work of God within our lives. There are indeed and there are in fact times within our hearts and lives when the work of God can and will be manifested within us, and yet it is brought to pass by and through others coming alongside of us to help facilitate the conception of the work of God which was purposed and appointed for us. There are times when the living and eternal God can and will bring others alongside us to help bring about the manifestation of the work which He ordained and appointed for and within us. There are times within our hearts and lives when the living and eternal God will ordain and appoint those who can and those who will come before and all around us that they might help bring about the manifestation of the work which He desires to bring within us.

            With all of this being said we must needs think about and consider that there are times within our hearts and lives when the living and eternal God needs to bring about the work which He desires and purposes for our hearts and lives by and through the person of the Holy Spirit. There are times within our hearts and lives when there is absolutely no flesh which can, and no flesh which should indeed be involved within our hearts and within our lives, as the work which the living God desires to produce within us can only come to pass by and through the work of the Holy Spirit. This is perhaps seen and evidenced—at least in part within the life and the example of Abraham and Hagar and Sarah. Although we might not be able to say that Ishmael was a divine work of God and that which He would bring into the earth, we must needs realize and understand that Ishmael was conceived and brought forth—not by the Spirit, nor by the promise, but by the flesh. Ishmael would only come about as a direct result of Sarah giving her handmaid unto Abraham as his wife that he might know her, and that through Hagar they might conceive that which the living and eternal God had promised and spoken of. What makes the narrative of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah so incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about and consider it is when you consider the fact that it would be through Sarah that the actual promise of the living God would be brought forth in the midst of the earth. What’s more, is that this promise which was given by the living God would indeed and would in fact be brought to pass according to the promise, according to the word, and according to that which the living and eternal God purposed and designed to take place in the midst of the earth. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the direct contrast between that which is born of the Spirit and that which is born of the flesh. What’s more, is that this calls and draws our attention to that which is born according to the promise and that which is born according to the will and purpose of the man. OH there is a vast different between that which is born of the flesh and that which is born of the Spirit, as well as that which is born of promise versus that which is born of the will of man.

            Oh I am absolutely and completely convinced when reading the words found in the first and opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the beloved physician Luke that there is a tremendous truth we can and must learn based upon the reality that there are those works which God desires to conceive within us that can only come as a direct result of the work of the Spirit. There are times within our hearts and lives when the work the living God desires to produce and bring within us can indeed and can in fact only take place as a direct result of the person of the Holy Spirit. What we find within the verses contained within the opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke is the work of God being manifested within the earth, and yet the work of God being manifested in two entirely different ways. The work of God would indeed and would in fact be manifested in the midst of the earth through the opening and unlocking of the barren womb, while the work of God would be manifested in the midst of the earth through the entering of the virgin womb. The work of God would indeed be manifested in the midst of the earth during those days, and that work would in fact take place in two different realms and in two different spheres—namely, that of opening and that of entering. WE must needs realize and understand this, for it calls and draws our attention to an incredibly powerful truth concerning the work of God within our own lives. There are times within our lives when the work of God can and will be manifested through the opening of that which was previously closed and that which was previously barren, while there are other times when the work of God can and will be manifested through the entering of that which has never known anything before.

            The more you consider the language that is found within the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke the more you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome truth that within this passage there was and there is the same God, and the living and eternal God was indeed and was in fact working, and yet that work would be manifested in two entirely different ways. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for there is not a doubt in my mind that when we think and speak about the work of God being manifested within our hearts and lives we must needs recognize and understand that there are times when the work of God is manifested within us as a direct result of opening and unlocking that which had previously been barren, and that which previously was not able to conceive and bring forth life, while there are other times when the work of God is manifested within us as a direct result of entering into that which has not previously known intimacy, and that which previously has not experienced any work or manifestation of the flesh. I absolutely love the words and language I find within this passage of Scripture, for there is something truly powerful when you think about and consider the fact that within this text we find the same God, and we find the same God working, however, we find that living and eternal God working in two entirely and two altogether different ways. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that in the case of Zacharias and Elisabeth the work of God would indeed be fulfilled and would indeed be manifested through and by an act of the flesh, while in the case of Mary the work of God would be fulfilled and be manifested by and through an act of the Spirit. The life of the messenger of the Messiah would indeed come to pass as a direct result of an act of the flesh as Zacharias would know Elisabeth, and as the living God would open and unlock Elisabeth’s womb, thus allowing her to conceive. When, however, we think and speak about the work of God within the life of Mary we must needs realize and understand that the work of God within her life was entirely and altogether different, as the work of God which would be manifested in the midst of Mary would come—not as a result, nor by an act of the flesh, but by an act of the Holy Spirit.

            Oh how truly awesome and powerful this is when you take the time to think about and consider it, for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful truth concerning the work of God within our hearts and lives and how that work is indeed manifested within us. I am absolutely and completely convinced that when we read the words which are found in the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke we are brought face to face with the same God and the same God who is at work within the lives of two different individuals in two different places, and yet in order to bring about the work which He had ordained and appointed He needed to accomplish it in two entirely different ways. In Nazareth the Holy Ghost would come upon Mary and the power of the Highest would overshadow, thus allowing the virgin womb to conceive within her; while in the hill country of Judaea the work of God would be manifested through an act of the flesh as Zacharias would know his wife in an act of intimacy, communion, covenant and marriage. Oh how absolutely and incredible it is to think about the fact that work of God which would be manifested within the womb of Elisabeth would indeed and would in fact take place in the context of intimacy and covenant. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of how absolutely incredible this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and powerful truth that there are indeed times within our lives when the work of God can and indeed is manifested within our lives as a direct result of our walking on intimacy, relationship and covenant with others. If there is one way we must needs understand the words and language that is found in the opening chapter of the gospel narrative which was written by the physician Luke it’s that the work of God would indeed and would in fact be manifested in the life of Elisabeth—not only by and through a work of the flesh, but also through an act of covenant, intimacy and relationship.

Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found within this portion of Scripture is the fact that there were two different locations and two different individuals, and yet the work of God would be manifested within the lives of broth of them. There would indeed and there would in fact be the same God at work within the lives of both Elisabeth, as well as Mary, and yet that work would be manifested in two entirely different ways. The work of God would be manifested within the womb of Elisabeth as the living and eternal God would open and unlock her womb, thus allowing her to conceive and eventually bring forth a son. The work of God would be manifested within the womb of Elisabeth as not only would her womb be opened and unlocked, but also that work would indeed be manifested as a direct result of an act and work of the flesh. With this being said, however, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize the tremendous and powerful importance surrounding this work within her life and within her womb, for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome truth that this work of God would come as a direct result of intimacy between Zacharias and Elisabeth. The work of God would indeed and would in fact be manifested within the womb of Elisabeth as the LORD would have to open and unlock her womb, and with that being said we must needs understand that the way for that work to actually be manifested and brought forth within her life was through an act of intimacy and covenant. What’s more, is that not only would this work of God be manifested as a direct result of an act of intimacy and covenant, but it would also take place as a direct result of Elisabeth not only having walked with Zacharias for a number of years, but also walking with Him in faithfulness before the Lord all those years. Oh if there is one thing we must needs realize and understand when thinking about and considering this tremendous truth it’s that there are times in our lives when the work of God can and will be manifested as a direct result of our intimacy, fellowship, relationship, and covenant with others. There are times within our lives when the work of God can only be manifested as a direct result of our walking in fellowship and our walking in covenant with those before and around us—and not only walking in fellowship, but also walking in faithfulness, obedience, and righteousness before the Lord.

            If there is one thing I absolutely love about the account of Elisabeth it’s that the Lord would indeed engage in the act of opening and unlocking her womb that she might conceive, however, it would indeed require an act of intimacy and an act of covenant to activate that which the living God did. Oh we must pay close and careful attention to this, for I am convinced there are times within our lives when the living and eternal God can and will open and unlock our spiritual wombs, and can and will open and unlock those areas within our hearts and lives that He might bring forth that which He purposed and designed to come to pass, and yet in order for it to be activated and conceived within our lives we must engage ourselves in a singular act of intimacy, or perhaps multiple acts of intimacy with those before and around us. Please note and please understand that when I speak about this act and these acts of intimacy I am speaking about walking in fellowship and covenant with others. What I am speaking of and referencing is our walking in communion and fellowship with our brothers and sisters and engaging ourselves in prayer, in intercession, in worship, and in those practices and disciplines we as the disciples and followers of Jesus actually give ourselves to. There are times within our lives when the LORD can and will speak something to us, and when the LORD can and will unlock and open our spiritual wombs that we might conceive and bring forth what He had purposed, designed and intended, and yet that cannot and will not be manifested without and apart from our willingness to walk in intimacy and fellowship with others. There are times when the LORD will speak something to us, and there are times when the LORD will indeed do a work within us such as opening and unlocking our spiritual wombs that we might conceive of and from Him, and yet it can and will only happen in the context of our walking in intimacy, fellowship, relationship and communion with others.

            When we think and speak about the life of Mary who would be the mother of Jesus we must needs acknowledge the fact that the angel Gabriel would indeed speak and declare unto her that she would conceive within her womb the life of the Son of the Highest and that His name would be called JESUS. The angel Gabriel would appear unto Mary and declare unto her that she would conceive and bring forth a Son who would be Savior of the world and who would sit upon the throne of His father David. With that being said, however, it is absolutely necessary that we understand that this work would be brought about and would be manifested within her life and within her physical body as a direct result of the Holy Ghost coming upon her, and the power of the Highest overshadowing her. When it comes to the work of God being manifested within the life of Mary there would be no act of the flesh, nor would there be any flesh involved in bringing it to pass. As you read the gospel narrative and account of Mary you will find that instead of opening and unlocking her womb as He would do Elisabeth her cousin, He would actually enter into her womb. When the Holy Ghost came upon her, and when the power of the Highest overshadowed her God Himself would enter into her womb. What’s more, is that not only would God Himself enter into her womb, but God would allow Himself to grow within her, and ultimately come forth as a male child. It is truly something worth thinking about considering when reading the gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke that when we read of the work of God being manifested within the life and womb of Mary—it was not a matter of the living and eternal God opening and unlocking her womb allowing it to conceive, but it was about God Himself entering into her womb and allowing Himself to grow inside and within her. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of how incredibly important and powerful this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that not only would the work of God within the life of Mary take place as a direct result of the work of the Spirit, but it would also take place as a direct result of God physically and actually entering inside of Mary. Oh how truly remarkable and wonderful it is to think about the fact that the living and eternal God would indeed and would in fact enter into the womb of Mary, and as a direct result of Him entering inside her the life of the Messiah and Christ would in fact grow within her.

            Perhaps one of the questions I can’t help but ask myself when thinking about the life of Mary is whether or not she was aware of that moment when the Holy Ghost came upon her, and was aware of that moment when the power of the Highest came upon her. Was Mary at all aware of that moment when the Holy Ghost would come upon her, the power of the Highest would overshadow her, and the life of God Himself would be implanted within her. Did it perhaps take place while she was sleeping and she was awakened out of her sleep knowing something had taken place within her? Was she perhaps going about her day and committing herself to her daily duties and responsibilities and the Holy Ghost came upon her? Was she preparing herself that she might be ready for that day and that time when she would actually become the wife of Joseph? I would love to know what Mary was doing when the Holy Ghost came upon her, and when the power of the Highest overshadowed her, and whether or not she was aware that it had indeed and had in fact taken place. When the angel Gabriel appeared unto her in the town of Nazareth he informed her that the Holy Ghost would come upon her and that the power of the Highest would overshadow her, but the angel Gabriel did not tell her how it would in fact take place, nor even when it would take place. Oh how incredibly unique and interesting it to think about and consider the fact that the angel Gabriel would declare unto Mary what would take place within her life, however, the angel Gabriel would not declare unto her when it would take place, nor what it would feel like when it would take place, nor whether or not she would even be aware of what had taken place within her.

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the account of Elisabeth and Mary and how it is absolutely necessary for us to understand the narrative of the same God and the narrative of the work of God, and yet it being manifested in two entirely different fashions, and two entirely different manners. Although it would indeed be the same God, and although it would indeed be the work of God which would take place in Nazareth and in the hill country of Judaea, the work would be entirely and altogether different. The work of God would take place in the life of one as a direct result of intimacy between a husband and a wife, while the work of God would take place in the life of another as a direct result of not having had or known such intimacy. On the one hand we find the work of God being manifested as a direct result of intimacy between man and a woman, while on the other hand we find the work of God taking place and being manifested as a direct result of what you might call intimacy between God and a frail human vessel. With this being I feel it is absolutely necessary and imperative to state that I do not believe for one moment that the living and eternal God engaged in a physical act of intimacy with Mary as a man and woman would engage in, nor do I believe for one moment that God came in unto Mary as the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men during the days of Noah. When I speak about the work of God being manifested within the life of Mary as a direct result of intimacy with God I am referring to the tremendous truth that the life of the Son of the Highest would be conceived within her as a result of this encounter and experienced when the power of the Highest, when the presence of the Holy Ghost, and when the actual divine and eternal nature would come in direct contact with frail human flesh. The life of the Son of the Highest would indeed and would in fact be manifested within the womb of Mary, and yet it would come—not as a result of intimacy between man and woman, but as a result of what we might very well say is intimacy with God and man. This same reality and concept is found and echoed in the first and opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John, as the apostle John would write about those whom Jesus would give the power to become the sons of the living God. Consider if you will the words which are found in the first and opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John, as well as the words which are found in the third chapter of this same New Testament gospel:

            “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, TO THEM GAVE HE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, EVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE ON HIS NAME: WHICH WERE BORN, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:6-14).

            “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:1-13).

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I feel it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the absolutely awesome and powerful truth surrounding the work of God which would take place within the life of Elisabeth and Mary. Here were two totally and entirely different women who would both be used mightily by the one true and living God to bring forth His divine plan and purpose into the world, and yet the work of God within their lives would be done in two entirely different means and methods. I continue to find myself absolutely captivated with and by the fact that in the case of Elisabeth the work of God would be manifested as a direct result of an act of the flesh, as well as an act of intimacy and covenant between herself and her husband, while in the case of Mary the work of God would be manifested as a direct result of an act of the Holy Ghost and the act of the Holy Ghost coming upon her, the power of the Highest overshadowing her, and God Himself entering inside of her. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we pay close and careful attention to this reality as it points us to the awesome truth that there are times within our lives when the work of God can indeed and can in fact be manifested as a direct result of our walking in communion, intimacy and fellowship with others, while there are other times when the work of God can indeed be manifested as a direct result of our walking on communion, intimacy and fellowship with the living God. There are times within our hearts and lives when the work of God can only be accomplished as a direct result of our intimacy and fellowship with the one true and living God, and there is absolutely no flesh which can at all be a part of that which the living God is doing. There are times within our lives when the work of God being manifested within our hearts and lives can only come as a direct result of our walking in covenant, intimacy, fellowship and relationship with Him, and as the Holy Ghost comes upon me. Oh we must needs recognize and understand the drastic difference between the work of God being manifested through and as a direct result of acts of the flesh and flesh being involved in the process, and the work of God being manifested through and as a direct result of an act of the Spirit. This reality is wonderfully and powerfully seen within the life of narrative of Abraham as Abraham would bring forth into the world one child by, through and according to the flesh, while he would bring forth into the world another child by, through and according to the Spirit.

            I am absolutely and completely convinced that when we read the words found in these passages of Scriptures present us with an incredibly powerful picture of the direct contrast between that which is born of the flesh and that which is born of the Spirit. While the context found within the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke is not the same as that which is found in the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the churches in Galatia we must needs recognize and understand how the work of God would be manifested in the earth in two entirely different means and methods as it would involve the opening and unlocking of one womb, while actually entering into another womb. This is incredibly important for us to realize, for there are times when in order for the work of God to be manifested within our lives He needs to open and unlock those areas within us, while there are other times when He actually needs to enter in. There are times within our hearts and lives when the work of God can in fact be aided as a direct result of our walking in intimacy, in communion, in fellowship and in covenant with others, as those who are before and around us are used by God to help us conceive that which He has purposed and planned for us. There are times within our lives when the living and eternal God will engage in the work of unlocking and opening those areas within ourselves that life might be conceived and brought forth, while there are other times within our lives when the work which He desires to produce within us can only be accomplished as a direct result of our union, fellowship and intimacy with Him. There are times within our lives when the Holy Ghost needs to come upon us as He did David after he was anointed by Samuel, and as He came upon Samson giving him supernatural strength to be able to wreak havoc upon the Philistines. There are countless examples in the Old Testament of the Holy Ghost coming upon men and women that they might accomplish and fulfill that which the living and eternal God desires and purposes within the earth, while when we look at the narrative and account of Mary we find the life of God Himself being able to be conceived within her as a direct result of the Holy Ghost coming upon her, and the power of the Highest overshadowing her.

Perhaps the single greatest question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are able to be in a place where the Holy Ghost can come upon us, and where the power of the Highest can overshadow us. We must needs ask ourselves the incredibly challenging and difficult question of whether or not we are walking in union, in communion, in fellowship, in covenant, and in intimacy with the living God that the power of the Highest might overshadow us and that the Holy Ghost might come upon us. We must needs ask ourselves whether or not we are those whom the living and eternal God can not only overshadow and come upon, but also enter in that the divine life of the triune Godhead might be manifested within us. Oh dear reader the only way for the life, the character and the nature of Christ to be conceived within us and brought forth as a direct result of our lives is by and through the Holy Ghost coming upon us, and by the power of the Highest overshadowing us. WE must needs recognize and understand that there is indeed a work which needs to be wrought and performed within our lives, and the question we need to ask is whether or not the power of the Highest can overshadow us and whether or not the Holy Ghost can come upon us. WE have all been called to conceive and bring forth the life of the Son of the living God within our hearts, within our spirits, and within our minds and persons, however, the truth of the matter is that it cannot and will not come without and apart from the person, the presence and power of the Holy Ghost being manifested and evidenced within us. The work of God does in fact need to take place within us, and the question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not God Himself can enter us as a direct result of the Holy Ghost coming upon us and the power of the Highest overshadowing us. In the Old Testament it was solely about the Holy Ghost coming upon people in order for the work of God to be accomplished, however, in the New Testament it is not merely about the Holy Ghost coming upon men and women, but about God Himself entering in. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we hear the sound of the knock at the door and whether or not we are willing to not only open the door and invite God Himself to enter in and abide within us, but also invite the Holy Ghost to come upon us and the power of the Highest to overshadow us. Oh that we would be vessels and conduits of the divine life and nature of Jesus the Christ and that we would be completely, entirely and altogether transformed from the inside out.

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