Conceived

Matthew 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” 

This Christmas season has been different. Our year old cats have broken ornaments after climbing our Christmas tree. They pulled off red ribbon that I had wrapped around the tree so I had to strip the tree of all of its ribbons which circled from the bottom to the top. Apparently, the cats had a party while we slept and jumped on the tree so much that when we awoke on a Saturday morning, we found ornaments strewn on the floor.

I feel like I’ve always known that the true meaning of Christmas is not in a Christmas tree, but I have enjoyed placing special ornaments on the tree. I knew that it would be unwise to decorate the tree this year with anything of sentimental value because there was a pretty good chance that the tree would experience drama from the cats. Sure enough, I was right.

After stripping the red ribbon from the tree and rolling it up, I began thinking about how Jesus had to strip away His will and follow His Father’s perfect plan to come to Earth. His mission was clear: save the world from sin. He had to come and be a part of humanity, cry as a baby, be held by Mary, taught carpentry by his earthly father, Joseph, then go about his heavenly father’s business. His willingness to come required careful planning from God. The Holy Spirit of God orchestrated the entrance of the Jesus into the world.

The Savior of the world came into the world as a human baby after He had been conceived or created in Mary’s womb. I read the words that an angel spoke to Joseph in a dream and accept, by faith, that God who knows all things knew how to place Jesus into Mary’s body. The angel shared words that echo throughout history: “that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit”. The miracle of Jesus being created in Mary’s body is incredible and it teaches me principles of how God carries out His perfect plans.

  1. He thinks though details but doesn’t always share the specifics.
  2. His Holy Spirit will accomplish His perfect plan.
  3. Whatever needs to be created will happen by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  4. By faith, we must accept God’s plans and trust Him with the outcome.

The power of the Holy Spirit accomplished the will of the Father. Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to the Earth with the purpose of saving the world. I know that God provided Jesus in the body of Mary and that he had to have a human birth to become Emmanuel, God With Us. I am grateful that Jesus humbled himself to leave His heavenly home to do what only He could do.

My plan to have a tree decorated with all that made me happy had to change this year. I have come to realize that my plans must be in submission to my father in heaven. I need the power of the Holy Spirit to conceive in me the ideas that I need to function and succeed in my life. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit continues to bring about needed changes in my life and keeps me in tune with the perfect will of God. The word of God, prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit create an environment that helps me focus on the truth and on Jesus who has saved me from my sins.

Thankfully, I will ask him to conceive in my heart the plans that he has for me and for my family. I want to be ready to receive whatever He conceives in me. His Word tells us that God has prepared “things” for those who love him that we haven’t ever seen, heard or conceived. I can count on the Holy Spirit of God to do the work in my heart and in my circumstances to bring about His will in me.

1 Corinthians 2:9 “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him– “

Covered

I gripped the steering wheel for two hours as I encountered blinding, torrential rain at dusk on that humid August night in N.C..  My hazard lights blinked furiously to alert the other interstate drivers that I could barely see them. After safely arriving at my parents’ home that Monday evening in anticipation for my dad’s open heart surgery on Tuesday, the phone rang around 9:00 p.m. and my dad’s surgeon explained that the surgery for the next morning had been postponed.  The monster hail storm had knocked out power to the hospital and they were running on generators.  

While I sat on my parents’ back porch on Tuesday, I prayed. A Scripture in Luke touched my heart in Luke 1:35:  “And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy  – the Son of God.” The Power of the Most High God came over Mary and overshadowed her allowing her to be filled with the holy Son of God!

Just as Mary was trying to understand how it could be that she could have a child, I was trying to make sense of why my dad was having to go through a massive ordeal with having his heart surgery and now the delay of surgery.   I decided that whatever God had planned for my father and family, we needed to go into it by asking His Holy Spirit to cover and overshadow my father to allow us to accept His perfect plan.  When God is preparing you for the purpose that he has planned, He provides His Presence.   

Later that evening, I shared Luke 1:35 with my parents then I prayed.  I asked God to come on my dad and overshadow him and the whole process with His Holy Spirit.  He had transformed the insides of Mary and I trusted Him to transform the heart of my dad through surgery.  On Wednesday morning, the surgery happened and lasted nearly seven hours. As we waited, we trusted God to overshadow and protect my dad. 

Sitting in a hospital waiting room with my husband who had driven two hours that morning to be there, my parents’ pastor to Seniors, his wife, and two life long friends, we kept waiting for the call from the operating room that surgery for my dad was over.  The operating room had called at 12:45 p.m. stating that the surgery would take a bit longer than expected. We thought it would conclude around 2:30, but it was almost 4:00 p.m. and the open heart quadruple bypass surgery was still happening. Having friends sitting and talking with us gave my mom, my husband and me support and comfort. Just after 4:00, the surgeon shared that the surgery had been successful, although there were some difficulties, but my dad had survived!

We had prayed for God to come and overshadow my dad the night before his surgery.  The next 24 hours allowed us to see my dad wake up from the surgery, walk through the Heart Intensive Care Unit with a walker and sit in a chair.  Each day, he made more progress, left ICU and a week later, would go home. This life changing surgery will take many months of physical therapy to learn how to move now that his sternum has been opened and wired together, but I believe that my dad and his amazing nurse, my mom, have had and will continue to have a supernatural overshadowing by God.  I am praying that whatever the challenge, the Holy Spirit of God will overshadow and help them both.

On Thursday of that week, the day after my dad’s surgery, I travelled back home by a two hour road trip, conducted my daughter’s planned birthday party and went back to work on Friday then the first day of school happened the next Monday.  I knew God hovered close throughout the whirlwind of events. I appreciated all of the prayers of our friends which God heard and granted. I also couldn’t have been ready to host a party at my home without the wonderful support of my mother and father in law and my daughters!

On Saturday evening, I returned to the hospital two hours from my home and chose to spend the night in my dad’s hospital room so that my mom could rest at home with my family who had also come for a visit.  Laying on the hard hospital recliner, I sensed that my dad’s recovery would be a way for God to reveal His covering on my father. I slept very little but knew God was preparing me to trust Him even in the details.  My prayer shifted for God to help my dad in every single detail of his recovery.

God promises that we can experience His Presence as we dwell in His shelter and abide in His shadow.  As Mary was overshadowed by the power of God to allow His purpose to be produced, Mary was prepared and protected.  In our lives, we can pray for Him to overshadow us and our families as we embark on new challenges.  It may not be open heart surgery, but believe me, there will be something to cause an uneasiness and questions.  When disruption arrives on your doorstep, invite the Presence of the Most High God to come on you and overshadow you.  Count on Him, my friend, to come and cover you like only He can do.  

His power will produce His purpose for you as you are prepared and protected.

I have also been inspired by Psalm 91:1 (ESV) to build on my understanding of God’s Covering:  “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” The King James version says “secret place” instead of “shelter”.  I have learned that the original Hebrew word for “secret place” means a cover, covering or protection while “shadow” in this Scripture means shade, overshadowing, hovering.  I love how as Believers in Jesus we can live in His covering and be overshadowed by Him. It is my hope that we can all ask the Most High God to cover us and shade us from the frenzy around us, whatever it may be. There will be disruptions to alter our plans, but our God is great and mighty, a shade and a cover for us.  

I learned about the original Hebrew from Psalm 91:1 from this site:  

https://www.fromhispresence.com/3-ways-to-stay-under-gods-overshadowing/

For more encouragement, visit http://lisamaples.net