Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Rhema of God

Let it be to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38)
The angel Gabriel continued his answer to Mary concerning how this great prophecy would be fulfilled. He drew upon the testimony of Elizabeth:
Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1:36-37)
The Greek word translated “indeed” is actually the word translated “behold” in verse 31. Gabriel was calling on Mary to behold something again, only this time, it was something she could verify with her natural senses, though its significance still required spiritual understanding. Mary certainly understood that Elizabeth’s conception was miraculous. For Elizabeth, who even in her younger years had been barren, was considerably beyond childbearing years — and yet she was now in her sixth month of pregnancy.

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Instead of “nothing” read “no thing.” Same meaning in English, but I want to reveal the underlying Greek word. That word rendered "thing" is rhema. “With God, no rhema will be impossible.”

So, what is a rhema? It is a word that is acutely spoken or articulated. It is an utterance or saying that has a personal application meaning. In the Bible, it is often a word directly delivered from God. That is why, with God, no rhema will be impossible — because it comes from Him in the first place. His Word will not return fruitless but will be fulfilled in all His purposes.

No wonder Gabriel twice enjoined Mary to behold, for he was bringing a word from the Lord, a rhema that required her full attention and spiritual vision.

Mary’s reply to this was quick and succinct: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Mary was speaking very directly — “Behold!” Gabriel, who had brought a revelation of God’s heart, was now receiving a revelation of Mary’s heart.

Mary presented herself as the “maidservant of the Lord.” She had seen the servant-heart of God, and now she responded to Him in kind (the initiative always belongs to God). Surely, this is one of the mysteries angels intensely desire to look into and are craning their necks to see (1 Peter 1:12).

“Let it be unto me according to your rhema.” Her heart was lined up with God’s and she was in full agreement with His Word. She received this wonderful Word, believing it in her heart and confessing it with her lips. Heaven and earth were coming together. His Word would now be fulfilled in her. His kingdom would now come, and His will would now be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

“And the angel departed from her.”

Paul says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word (rhema) of God (Romans 10:17). Mary heard the Word of God delivered by the angel, and faith rose up within her. She believed it, she spoke it, it was done.

When God impresses His Rhema upon your heart, let it do its work in your spirit. As your heart fills up with it, begin to speak in agreement with it. Give yourself completely to the Lord. Let His servant-heart develop within you a like heart. Then speak out in full agreement with His promise for you: “Let it be to me according to Your Word.”