Dreams on the altar

“Behold, the bondslave of The Lord; may it be done to me according to your word”. (Luke 1:38)

I have given much thought to the verse above over the past weeks, especially after seeing a play done by believers about the birth of The Lord Yeshua. I have always liked what Miriam said and the attitude she had when she received the amazing news that she would give birth to the Messiah. Truly remarkable. At a time when it was considered a shame and disgrace to be found pregnant out of wedlock, and especially at a time where such a thing could result in the death of the woman (which are probably some of the reasons Joseph wanted to send her away secretly) Miriam had completely surrendered both herself and circumstances to God, despite the fact that she was probably still in her teens at that time.

Another verse that caught my attention was what the angel told her: “Do not be afraid Mary; for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30).  Wow! How I wish that I would be told that I find favor with God! I’m reminded of the passage in Matthew, where the servants who were diligent in their work, while waiting for their master’s return, were told “well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21). Miriam found favor with God and considered herself a bond slave. Shouldn’t we as believers not be bond slaves also? I believe we should be, though I think it matters how we understand what it means to be a bond slave. I mean, by being saved and surrendering our lives to God is absolutely necessary, but have we willingly surrendered ourselves to His Lordship over our lives? I wonder how Miriam and Joseph felt, what their dreams were and how they changed, when hearing of God’s plan for them.

Being a bond slave means that we willingly forfeit our freedom, our wills and desires, to our master, who is The Lord Yeshua. We say “no longer my will, but yours”. A person might say he is a bond slave, but his actions can show otherwise. We are saved, but don’t really trust God to have His will done in us, but, instead we still try to live our lives as the masters instead of God. That is what I mean by being a bond slave in heart. Our willingness to submit and to commit all things to His sovereignty is reflected in our attitudes, thoughts and behavior.

A slave or servant can do all that his master asks him to, and it can be done exactly the way it should be. But, if it is not done willingly and with the right attitude, the joy and satisfaction of doing what the master asks is not there. If what the master requests is done with joy and a desire to please the master, can you imagine what the result will be? Miriam found favor with God. I pray to be that kind of woman, who finds favor with God and is truly a bond slave of Christ.

However, it’s easier said than done. I have my dreams, my desires and longings, and I have my stubborn will that I need to continually surrender to God.

I work as an E.S.L. teacher in a community center. I love what I do and am very grateful to have this job. However, it’s not what I studied for. I have a B.A. in Educational Counseling and Political Science and afterwards, I received a teaching certificate in Civics. I had a plan to study and become a counselor. That changed a few times and eventually I went to a teachers’ school to get my certificate in Civics. Again, I had a plan. I thought I was going to finish my studies and find an apprenticeship quickly and start working in a school. Well, that didn’t work out. I couldn’t find an apprenticeship and after a long time, by God’s grace, I found this teaching job in the community center. Did I pray about my studies and job options? Yes, I did. But I had my plan. I wanted things to go my way, on my terms. I am learning that I have my plans, but God’s plans and ways are greater (Isaiah 55:8-9). I need to surrender my will to His will for me. I know He led me in my studies and in finding this new job. And I know that though my plans didn’t work out the way I planned, God will still use the certificate I have and my studies for His glory. I may not see it now, but I’m learning to just trust and obey. I’m learning to put my desires on the altar, so that God may receive a sweet fragrance from my life.

Are we willing to give God our dreams and desires to have his will be done? It’s not easy. There are things I wish to control and do my way. But, my prayer is that I will be like Miriam, a bond slave of Messiah Yeshua, finding favor in His sight, and that God’s will be done in me.

© Hannah Kramer