One Standard to Measure All Things

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 81

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

–Luke 1:30-33 (ESV)

What was being asked of Mary was a glorious thing. This is true. Nevertheless, it was the will of God that had captured her attention, not the glory of her assignment. It was the will of God alone that was able to touch her. Apart from that will, no glory could impress her.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

Mary’s encounter with the angel could have overwhelmed her, especially considering the weight of what he said. But what, in fact, was the weight of what he said? There is no scale to measure it. As it is, Mary took it well, and was ready with a perfect response, as we will soon see.

Mary had her own way to measure what the angel was telling her. It was the standard test she used on everything. It was a yes-or-no question: Is it the will of God? If the answer was yes, then Mary was satisfied.

Unless you live by the same standard, you will be overwhelmed by the glory of your assignment, or perhaps underwhelmed by its plain and unassuming nature. Or perhaps you will vacillate between self-importance and self-contempt, both stemming from the root of pride.

No, this is not necessary. Mary has shown us the way forward. She was captivated by the will of God—as a spiritual revelation, not an intellectual concept. At least, that is how Jean Pierre de Caussade has pictured it for us, and the picture he paints give us a good example to follow.


The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.