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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 favored, 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 favor 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 Mary said 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...For with God nothing shall be impossible."

(Luke 1:27-35, 37)
I have a very special Christmas wish for you, as a believer, this year. It is a wish that you may initially find rather surprising. This Christmas, I wish that you'd get pregnant.

Rest assured, I'm not suggesting you get physically pregnant. (Guys, I'm sure you're relieved to hear that; and no doubt, many of you ladies are, too!) No, my desire is that your heart would be spiritually impregnated by a promise from God so that you could give birth to that promise in your life during the year ahead. What kind of promise am I talking about?

One that will meet a great need, or satisfy a deep desire in your heart. The Bible is full of such promises. Promises of health and healing, of spiritual and material prosperity, of protection and deliverance for you and your children. Promises of blessing for every area of your life!

Planting Incorruptible Seed
Actually, Christmas is the perfect season to look at this issue because Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the biblical model of spiritual pregnancy. She was the prototype, the very first person to have the promise of God literally come alive within her.

You see, in Old Testament times, people received the Word of God objectively. It was written on clay tablets or spoken by a prophet. They responded to the Word from the outside. In Mary's case, however, God's Word didn't remain an external thing.

No, when the angel Gabriel said to her, "thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus," (Luke 2:31), that promise actually entered her by the power of the Holy Spirit - and she BECAME PREGNANT WITH THE PROMISE OF GOD!

Through the action of the Holy Spirit the Word of God actually causes you to conceive God's life within you. This life is known as "Zoe" (Greek) or eternal life. It is the highest quality of life imaginable, includes no death, disease, or lack of any kind and flows from God Himself.

You first received this God-kind-of-life within you when you made Jesus your Lord. At that time you were "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which lives and abides forever" (1 Pet. 1:23). Spiritually, you became a new creature.

But God never intended for you to stop there. His plan was for you to keep on bringing forth that divine Life - in your body, in you soul, in your finances, in your family, and in every other area of your life.

He gave you "very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world" (2 Pet. 1:4 NIV). In other words, He intended for you to get pregnant and give birth...get pregnant and give birth to His life over and over again.

Your Miracle Is on the Way
That's exciting but it can't happen without your cooperation. You have to participate in the process just like Mary did. You have to respond as she did when you hear the promise of God. You have to say, in essence, "Be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38).

That phrase is very significant. It reveals that Mary submitted to God's Word. She didn't say, "Let me think about it for a while and get back to you." She didn't say, "Oh, I'm just an ordinary person. That wonderful promise couldn't possibly be for me." No, she simply received and believed what the angel told her. She responded to God's Word in faith - and you must respond the same way.

He has given you His written Word and it's full of messages just for you. He's given you preachers and teachers to help you receive that Word. And He has put the Holy Spirit within you to quicken that Word to your heart.

Waiting for Due Season
After Mary conceived, she didn't immediately give birth. The baby within her had to grow and mature within her for a period of time first. Biologically, that time is called the gestation period.

Your spiritual pregnancy has a gestation period too. This is the time you must nurture God's promise within you until it's ready to be manifested in the natural realm. Unfortunately when you're "expecting" spiritually, it's not a predictable nine-month wait. The Bible simply assures us that if we don't get weary and give up, "in due season we shall reap" (Gal. 6:9).

What should you do while you're waiting for due season? The same thing natural mothers do. Keep nourishing and protecting the Life that's growing in your heart. If you're believing for healing, open your Bible and look up all the references on healing. Write them down and meditate on them daily.

Continually confess the healing scriptures out loud and refuse to speak words of doubt and unbelief. As time passes, the revelation of healing will grow within you. Finally, one day, the symptoms of sickness will disappear. Your due season has come and God's promise is manifested in your life!

Beware of Disappointments
I know that sounds simple - and it is. But I must warn you, there is one complicating factor. His name is Satan. Whenever the Word is sown in your heart, he comes to steal that Word and keep it from coming to pass in your life.

Jesus warns us about him in the parable of the sower, saying: "The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved" (Luke 8:11-12).

Exactly how does Satan steal the Word from your heart? He delays your due season by bringing you one disappointment after another. He devises circumstances to make it appear that God's promise will never come true for you. His goal is to destroy your expectation and cause you to miscarry the promise of God. At that point, your faith has been replaced by unbelief. Satan has robbed your heart of God's Word and you've miscarried spiritually.

Minimize the Problem and Magnify the Lord
It's a dismal scenario but, praise God, you don't have to put up with it. You can triumph over the situation and stop Satan in his tracks. In fact, you can actually hasten your due season by warding off discouragement and keeping your expectancy high.

First, get on top of disappointment immediately. No matter what negative circumstances or seeming setbacks come your way, refuse to be depressed or indulge in self-pity. Focus on future success rather than past failures. Then do something that will make Satan mad - wholeheartedly worship God.

Worship is an important part of spiritual pregnancy because it begins in your spirit, the very center of your heart. That's where the Holy Spirit planted God's promise in the first place. As you worship, your expectancy will be rekindled. You'll envision God's blessing, deliverance and provision. Joy will flood your heart and discouragement will disappear.

One way to worship is to magnify the Lord. To magnify means to make bigger. The bigger God is in your eyes, the smaller your problems will seem. So turn your attention away from your circumstances and put it on the greatness of God instead. Study His Word and rehearse His promises until you can think of nothing else.

Let yourself get carried away with how magnificent God is. Rejoice over the awesome nature of His plans for you. And don't be dignified about it. Jump up and down! Shout! Magnify God with your whole being.

Follow Mary's example. Fight off Satan by leaving no room for doubt or disappointment. Keep the promise of God so large in your heart that eventually, like a child being born, it must burst forth into reality.

A Gift to the World
When that happens, you'll be ready to apply the final lesson Mary's life provides - and, often, it is the most difficult of all. You must learn to give to others what God has given you. At the very beginning, the angel made it clear to Mary that she would eventually have to do that. After all, Jesus wasn't meant to be her private blessing. He was a gift to the entire world.

Mary went through the hardships of giving birth to Jesus. She fed, nurtured and protected Him. But eventually she had to release Him to the ministry He was sent to perform. And ultimately, she had to stand at the foot of the cross, watch Him die, and release Him again to His heavenly Father.

Likewise you too must realize the promise of God delivered through you is not just for your private blessing. Although you will certainly benefit from it, the larger purpose is to advance God's plan in the earth and change the lives of others. As God heals, prospers or delivers you, He expects you to share the blessings with those around you in a way that influences them to turn to Him.

Granted, that won't always be easy. It won't always be comfortable. But in the end, you will find more joy in giving away your blessing than you found in receiving it. It is than that you, like Mary, will realize you are truly and forever blessed!

Mac Hammond Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area and can also be viewed at winnersminute.com. He is also the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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