This article is part of Brother Jerry’s series on events in the life of Jesus Christ.
The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)
As confirmed in Matthew 1:22-23, the above prophecy is fulfilled when the Christ child is conceived within the womb of a virgin named Mary. A virgin having a baby? Most would say that’s impossible. However, as the angel Gabriel says to Mary as he is explaining what will happen: “With God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
He explains to 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” (Luke 1:35).
OK, so it’s possible for God to place a baby inside a woman who has never been with a man. But, why do it this way? Why does God use a virgin to bring forth His Son? Simply put, God wants to make sure He gets the credit for being the father of this baby. If He uses a woman who is also sleeping with a man, everyone will say that the baby is the son of the woman’s husband rather than the Son of God.
Needless to say, the initial reaction of everyone who sees that Mary is carrying a child is to not believe that she is still a virgin. However, since she is unmoved in her account of what happened — giving God all the credit — the people are forced to make a choice between calling her a liar or believing that God has done this. And those who choose to believe her, such as her fiancé Joseph, are then able to become fully invested in serving God as they see that He is alive and working in the life of someone they know.
It can work the same way today. If we are unmoved in giving God the credit for what He does in our lives, it will affect the people who know us.
First of all, we need to make sure we actually give God credit for what He does for us. This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen it forgotten on many occasions. I would personally be embarrassed if I had some type of answered prayer and someone had to remind me to give God the credit for what happened. “Weren’t you anointed for that?” “Didn’t you ask the congregation to remember you in prayer for that?” As servants of God, we shouldn’t need to be reminded to give God the credit — we should always be looking for ways that we can acknowledge how He is working in our lives.
OK, so you have an answered prayer or some type of blessing from God. You acknowledge what God did by telling others. And then it happens — you tell someone what God did, and the person offers an alternative explanation for what happened, giving the credit to something other than God. It goes something like this (alternative explanations in parentheses):
- This girl was brain-dead and God brought her back to life (the doctor misdiagnosed her)
- God gave me a great job (your education and experience got you the job)
- I was sick and God healed me (the medication you took made you better)
- God arranged for me to be in the right place at the right time (it was a coincidence)
- God protected me from getting ill (your mask protected you)
How do you respond to this? I can think of three possible responses:
Oh yeah, you’re probably right — I don’t know what I was thinking.
I would hope we wouldn’t respond this way as it indicates that we ourselves don’t have a very strong belief in the testimony we are giving.
NO! God did this and I don’t want to hear anything else.
This response may be suitable in some instances. However, responding in this way can make us sound unreasonable and even fanatical, not even willing to consider any other explanation for what happened. Besides, God can and does use people and things (doctors, medication, etc.) to do His work at times.
I can understand why you might think that, but I know within myself that God did this.
I would tend to think that Mary used some version of this response when people didn’t believe that she was a virgin having a baby.
Obviously, a person who doesn’t have a strong belief (or any belief) in God is unable to accept that God does anything, especially something miraculous. Acknowledging the other person’s viewpoint while still standing firm in giving the credit to God shows that I have considered the other possibilities and am still convinced that it was God who did this. And the rest of the message (whether spoken or unspoken) is: My friend, if you know me and trust me, then you should consider that possibility as well.
God is still in the miracle business today. He is more than capable of doing the “heavy lifting.” He just looks to us to let people know what He is doing. So, whenever good things happen, let’s make sure God gets the credit. If we don’t do it, who will?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.