And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. (Luke 16:15)
Jesus spoke about a person justifying himself because men approved a thing or matter. Many of the Pharisees had a wrong view of what should be esteemed, esteeming things such as wealth. They believed if a person had money it was because he or she was living righteously, and poverty was a curse or a sign of God’s disfavor. It is quite interesting that those who had been given the Law of God by angels and had not kept it were now the chief persecutors of Christ. They were the chief antagonists of righteousness against the God of their covenant. How did they arrive at a place of holding the truth in unrighteousness? How does one drift so far away? One answer is: by esteeming man’s ways rather than God’s. His ways are not always the most desirable or the easiest. His is often the road less traveled, and as my friend, Pastor James Fields, would say, “The Path of Most Resistance.” The way of the Lord is often ‘the path of most resistance.’ The scriptural admonition is: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Do you sometimes choose the easy way, that which your friends or even family have chosen, rather than the path preferred by our Heavenly Father? He tells us, “for My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways” (Isaiah 55:8).
During this season, I cannot keep myself from thinking of God’s ways and of a young girl, who was not esteemed by any human means, named Marywho traveled this extraordinary path. One day while she was doing something ordinary, God did the extraordinary in her life by sending the Angel Gabriel to this poor teenager of an insignificant town called Nazareth to make the announcement of the ages! The “unlikely” was God’s choice to become the mother of His Son through a supernatural act of the Holy Spirit! I believe the Lord is poised to do such a thing in your life also. Are you prepared?
A stanza in the Christmas carol “Joy to The World” says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.” It is important that you make room for Jesus in your heart and life. Without a doubt, Mary had made room for God. Her encounter with the angel Gabriel continues “And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:28). When the angel uttered these words, the most High God had just bypassed all of those who seemed by worldly standards to be highly esteemed, and sent His Spirit to rest upon a young girl who was of little significance to the world. This is the same way in which God still works today. This could very well be the day in which your “reset” becomes a reality and an earth-shaking “revealing.” For God esteems disesteemed people and things. Therefore, let us embrace what He embraces and esteem what He esteems. A young girl named Mary did so and the world has never been the same!