Words of Faith 2-20-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,  where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!  But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
 And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord .. ."
I have a confession to make. I am one of the slowest when it comes to a new program or computer operating system. I especially hate to read computer manuals. My apology to those of you who write them. I remember my first experience with Windows OS and a new gadget called a "mouse". I worked and worked on a project and suddenly, POOF, it was gone! Not just the document, the whole PROGRAM! I was in a panic!
Of course, I stubbornly refused to read the Windows manual. I called a patient computer-savvy friend who explained, "Your application is still there, you just can't see it."
"Thanks. And what good is an application you cannot see?"
He said: "It is just minimized."
I thought, "This is crazy!"
My friend finally talked me through the now familiar workings of Windows. How everything you have "open" is displayed on a "desktop". Any one application can take up either all of your screen-- all of your vision-- or it can be minimized so it takes up a small part of your screen, or it can go away completely from sight but remain running. People who don't know this might accidentally "minimize" a program and think it is lost for ever. Of course, the now familiar "trick" is to MAXIMIZE the program you want to work on. You make it BIG. And you MINIMIZE the other programs that might otherwise be a distraction.
It is interesting that we can make one thing our FOCUS, the dominant program on the screen. We can have a lot of things going on, and as long as they are minimized there will only be a lot of little icons on the bottom of the screen. But if we want to focus on something we have to MAXIMIZE that window.
This is exactly what a young Galilean girl named Mary did. No, Mary didn't have personal computer or even a Palm Pilot. But she did have a lot of personal problems. Faced with a crises pregnancy, Mary had a lot of things on her mind. The voices of many critics would soon be speaking into her life. The angel had indicated that her relative Elizabeth would understand and believe because she herself was miraculously pregnant in her old age.
The purpose of the visit can perhaps be summed up in these five words: "My soul glorifies the Lord."
The King James language is lovely, "My soul magnifies the Lord." The Greek, psuche, means literally my "soul, my very self, the breath of life within me". Mary declared that her soul makes God BIG (megaluno). Now don't misunderstand. It is not that Mary could make God bigger in the universe. But in the language of the computer world, Mary MAXIMIZED the God application in her life. Aha!
So just what was this all about? It was about WORSHIP. Mary and Elizabeth got together for a rather unique worship encounter. They were the very first to celebrate the coming of Jesus and the dawn of the Messianic age.
Mary came to visit Elizabeth who was now about six months along. When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leapt in her womb. Suddenly Elizabeth KNEW something that she could not have known. Elizabeth ANNOUNCED something that she could not possibly announce. That is called prophecy. Even the baby within her was aware of the presence of the very Messiah he was destined to announce. They were ready to have church!
Elizabeth was suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit. Don't think that the Holy Spirit didn't come around until the book of Acts. Here He was. She began to prophesy. The first person to preach prophetically under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the Messianic age of the New Testament was Elizabeth!
Next, Mary broke into what we can only describe as worship: My soul maximizes God my Savior! I am minimizing all the distractions and pop-ups that might get in the way. I am closing the dialogue boxes from the accusers and doubters around me. No IMs for a while! I am focused on God. He fills my screen!
This is the fundamental key to worship: Maximize God. Worship is not about a particular song or style of music or particular art form. Worship is about maximizing God, that is, deliberately making Him your focus, and minimizing the many distractions that get in the way. Of course there is more to the aspects of worship but this is where it all starts. One cannot worship if the screen of the soul is filled with windows and dialogue boxes.
O God, My soul glorifies the Lord. Be exalted in my life. Be magnified in my view. Minimize the distractions and pop-ups. I maximize You, O God my Savior. In Jesus' name.