“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they (the shepherds) had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” – Luke 2:16-19
I love this passage because it shows us such a clear glimpse into Mary’s thoughts, wisdom, and maturity, though she was only a child of 13-14 years of age. By this point Mary had already had and encounter with an angel, bore a son though she was a virgin, and now here come random shepherds who themselves were seeking to test the spirits and receive confirmation of rather or not this thing that they had been told by Angels was from God. Upon seeing the confirmation promised to them they believed, and told Mary how God had identified her child to them as “the savior“, yet still Mary with great wisdom and patience “kept all of these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
She did not choose to doubt, nor did she choose to believe it blindly but rather, she chose to seek God, test the spirits, and allow God in His great love, mercy, and understanding to bring her the needed confirmations that would clarify God’s will, her place in it, and build the faith that would be required to walk it out with endurance and assurance.
I can recall God giving me personal promises and instructions as to something that He was telling me to walk out. As He did this I asked, as I always had, for Him to send me at least three confirmations that I would know that this thing was really His will and not the enemy or my own. Upon asking this, I felt immediate shame and guilt that my asking might be seen by God as a lack of faith, I mean He had already proven Himself to me so many times before. As quickly as the thought came over me, God smiled upon me and lovingly said, “fear not Child, I will do this thing that you ask, it is not a lack of faith, for it is wise to test the spirits. I have instructed you to do as much in My Word. To lack faith is not to question rather or not a word truly came from Me, but rather a lack of faith is failing to believe that I can or will fulfill that word once you know it to be from Me.” So with that, He told me clearly what confirmations He would send, one of which being that I would soon receive a phone call from an unlikely young girl (whom He named) to tell me that God had just shaken her world. With in moments my phone rang, it was that exact girl who proceeded to tell me that while she was praying she thought that an earthquake had hit her apartment but when she ran out into the hall no one else seemed to have felt it. I asked what she was praying about and it was the same thing that I had been praying about. With that, I knew exactly what I needed to do and had the faith to walk it out even though it was very difficult, and from that point on, I never feared to seek God for confirmation and clarification of His words and will. To this day, though He has blessed me with great discernment, I still test the spirits and do the same, less being puffed up with pride, I fall into a snare (1 Timothy 3:6).
Never be afraid to seek God for confirmation and clarification, and wait patiently for them. He is not the author of confusion. He is kind, loving, patient, understanding, and above all powerful and fully able to make His ways known unto those who truly desire to walk in them. So in all things, be quick to listen and slow to speak, (James 1:19) and seek the Lord, leaning not on you’re own wisdom but on His, and He shall direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:…” – 1 John 4:1