A Christmas Suprise

As presented to the Celebration Church Radiance Women’s Ministry

Tonight’s message is about God’s assignments for our lives!
Hear the voice of God, understand our assignment, be prepared to listen attentively, write the plans He has for us, and use our God-given abilities, talents, and gifts, take actions and obey God’s will for our life. When we do this, we willdo our best work and live our best life. The assignment God has given to each of you is for you and you only.  How does this fit into ‘A Christmas Surprise’? Pay close attention to The Birth of Jesus foretold in Luke 1: 26-38 NLT.

MARY’S ASSIGNMENT:
God surprised Mary by sending an angel to share with her the assignment He had chosen for her.  Mary, a young woman! A woman who was due to marry Joseph but she had not been intimate him or any man. She was a virgin!  The angel appeared to Mary and got her attention by saying “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! God will not always use this method of getting our attention. It is important that we are attentive to hear God’s voice. Mary was confused! But the angel told her, don’t be afraid, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!” Mary said to the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” Noticed, Mary did not say what, why me or ‘I am not accepting this assignment’. Instead she asked how? How many of would say ‘Who me’ or ‘Why me’? We might even think of refusing the
assignment or ignoring the assignment.

The angel answered Mary and explained how, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God.” After Mary understood the instructions, Luke 1:31 tells us of her response. What was Mary’s response? “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

How many of us are ready to accept our assignments? How many times have we said, let me pray about it or let me ask my friend to pray with me? Although God or the Holy Spirit has shown favor with you by giving you an assignment, you questioned accepting the assignment.

Mary a virgin must have been embarrassed, probably talked about or even ridiculed but that was her least worry. She had another concern, and that was Joseph her fiancé. How was she to tell him, she was with child?! For nothing is impossible for God! When God is in the midst of a situation, everything will fall into place. Let’s take a look at Joseph’s obedience

JOSEPH’S OBEDIENCE
Matthew 1: 18-25 : “The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, do not be afraid of taking Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name of Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.” When Joseph woke up, he was obedient and did as instructed.

Let’s take a deeper look at these two encounters. We will understand that both Mary and Joseph accepted their assignments that God had specifically chosen for each of them. Mary had favor like no other woman. Her unique gifts prepared her for this amazing surprise assignment. She was given one of the most worthy assignments that a woman could receive. God favored Mary! Joseph was Mary’s supporter. When God gives us an assignment, believe me, God will send those you need to help and support you to give birth to your assignment. But you must first BELIEVE in yourself.

Each time God is ready for me to take my ministry to the next level, I like Mary and Joseph, perform three key actions to give birth to the vision or assignment. These same three key actions are available for all of us to follow to give birth to any assignment that God has chosen for us.

THE THREE KEY ACTIONS:
HEARING: Both Mary and Joseph heard the voice of God. (Mary’s assignment was given to her when she was awake. She heard from the angel Gabriel, and Joseph’s assignment came to him in a dream).

Ladies, YOU have found favor with God. Many of you have received assignments. Perhaps you did not hear the assignment because of busy schedules, appointments, activities, Facebook, cell phones, everyday life, working overtime, or even our children. What about hearing God’s voice, what about being attentive with your spirit to know that you are highly favored for an assignment from God? The hearing is not always with your ears but also with your heart. We must also be still to hear the voice of God.

Yes, your surprise assignment could come to you as a:
• soft voice speaking to your spirit, or
• a prophetic word, or
• while you’re reading a book, or
• Listening to a song or
• Being challenged with a situation and seeking God for the solution.

When God gives you a Vision, He also gives you a personal walk in the Spirit of Excellence. He wants and expects you to go beyond status quo and beyond average to a level of excellence. He has created you a Masterpiece and equipped you with your anointed gifts and talents to fulfill your destiny. I believe obedience is hearing the voice of God, seeing in your mind the vision or end result, then listening for the required steps to take action, and obeying His will to bring the vision to reality.

Be attentive to hear the voice of God because Jesus tells us in Luke 11:28 “But even
more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” The assignment that God has for you is for you. If you do not take the time to hear His voice, He will give the assignment to another servant. In our day-to-day life, we must be attentive first to listen to what is being assigned to us before we can plan our action steps.

The second thing Mary and Joseph did was to:
LISTEN to the instructions from the Holy Spirit during their entire journey of giving birth to a son and naming him Jesus. The scripture told us Mary listened because she replied, “I am thy servant! May everything You have said about me come true”. We know Joseph listened because he took Mary as his wife and supported her. They both were in one accord. They believed in themselves, and they believed in God.
After you receive your assignment from God what can you do to ensure that you are listening to the instructions, so that you give birth or bring it to fruition?

Habakkuk 2:2 KJV tells us to write the vision, and make it plain upon the tables, that he may run that readeth it.

‘Run’  indicates an action or movement.
• Active Listening also involves you:
• Reading the Bible,
• Meditating,
• Praying,
• Fasting,
• Being sensitive to what your spirit is guiding you to do.
• Listening involves preparing yourself to take action.

I find “ME” time and encourage you to do the same. When you hear God’s Voice giving an assignment, write it down or record it in  your phone’s voice recorder. Use  technology. What’s critical here is to record the details clearly so you follow God’s instructions and not your own.  Know that when God gives you an assignment, the fulfillment will come in God’s appointed time.

I have been journaling since the age of 11. I encourage you to journal too. It is taking a pen to paper and writing what you are hearing, feeling, believing and trusting. It is a process.  My journal ‘TRANSFORMATION Write + Share + Live’, was an assignment God gave to me in a dream while I was asleep. I heard the voice, listened to the instructions how to design the book and obeyed each step. It took 3 ½ months from start to the book signing.

This brings us to the third key that Mary & Joseph did and that was to OBEY! Mary and Joseph obeyed each instruction given to them and understood that God had shown favor to them and entrusted them with one His greatest assignments. Mary gave birth to a son, and named him Jesus; He will be called Son of the Most High, He will reign over Israel forever, His Kingdom will never end. Joseph married Mary and helped her to birth a son, and name Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.

Are you hearing God’s voice? Are you attentive to your spirit to know that you are highly favored? Do you believe you are a Masterpiece that God created? I ask you this evening when God sends his Holy Spirit to you and surprises you with an assignment, can He trust you to hear His voice, can He trust you to listen to His instructions, and can He trust you to obey His will for your life?

James 1:22 NLT tells us, don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. After all, God knew you before you were born, He has ordained you to do what He has assigned to you. He has equipped you with spiritual gifts, and God-given abilities, and talents. He has made you the Masterpiece you are and has already prepared you, but you must be ready to hear His voice.

The Christmas Surprise QUESTION
My question to you is this, “How many of you have received a surprise assignment from God, but you have not yet given birth to it?” Is it a business, a ministry, a book, a story, etc.?

PREPARATION FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT
Tonight the message of ‘A Christmas Surprise’ is to encourage you to understand that God has already given you a surprise! That surprise is you. You are a giftYou are a Masterpiece that He created. He is waiting for you to hear His voice, to listen to the
instructions, to plan, to understand, to do what He wants you to do.

God has chosen us for specific assignments. God expects us to become the influencers, to be the leaders, to mentor the inexperienced, to impact generations so they can grow stronger and stronger in Him and in their gifting. With God all things are possible.

RISE and Surrender to be the Masterpiece God created you to be!
Are you ready to surrender yourself to be a vessel that God can use to make a difference in this world, at Celebration, at your church, at your job, in your family, or in your life?

If you are able, please rise and close your eyes. Please place your right-hand on your forehead and your left hand over your heart. Keeping your eyes closed, I want you to  allow yourself to recall an assignment that God has assigned to you that you have not yet given birth to. This assignment could be one that you have written down but have not yet given birth to it. It could be one that you received this evening as I shared my experience and the message from God. It could be one that you received yesterday, last week, last year, two years ago but you have not yet brought it to fruition. If you could not think of an assignment, then, I ask you to pray and seek your assignment. Find that ME time to hear from God.

The assignment is now in your mind. I want you to transfer it to your right palm, slowly move your hand downward until it is on the left hand that is in your heart. The purpose of this movement is to move the assignment from the head to your heart because God looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16: 7 tells us man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. Hear God’s voice and allow him you guide you. God has created you to be the Masterpiece that you are. He has given you your unique gifts. He has uniquely created you for a purpose. Oh, but it is you that must give birth to the vision.

Are you ready? Are you ready to trust God? Are you ready to listen to the Holy Spirit? Are you ready to step out in faith? Are you ready to say “Lord, here I am, use me!” When the Holy Spirit reveals your assignment, are you ready to say, “I am thy
servant, do unto me as You have said?” If you have not surrendered yourself to God, now is the time. God is saying, “Hear My voice, listen to My instructions, and obey My will so that you may birth the many assignments I have for you.“ Ladies, God is ready to place you in a position of power and influence. Now is the time for women to rise to a new level of determination, courage, and unwavering faith. God is establishing Godly women with authority, and that will bring freedom to societies throughout this earth. The greatest joy we can know in life is that we have found favor with God. You, as His child, can know His favor and blessing in your life.  When this is a reality, you can face any storm or challenge that comes your way.  Do not give in to fear and doubt. Believe for God’s favor and loving-kindness to shine upon you.

Let us pray:
“Oh, gracious Father, the Father of the universe, the One who sits high and looks low, the One who allows us to conceive visions, dreams and assignments through Your voice and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Father, I come before you this evening, thanking You. Thank you for these ladies and their assignments. Thank you for showing favor to allow these ladies to conceive Your assignments. Oh, Father God, as we come before You this evening, thanking You for the visions You have placed in each of us, the ones You brought back to our mind and now have placed in our hearts. I thank you that each lady is open to saying, “Here I am, use me, use me for I am Thy servant, do unto me as you have said.” Father, the ladies who have not been able to recall an assignment from You, I pray that they will seek their assignment! They will find time to hear from you! They make  time to study Your word. They allow a time to meditate and quiet their spirits from their busy lives.

Father, I thank You that ladies who heard Your voice, listened to the instructions and are obedient to give birth to the vision. I thank you for the testimonials that will come forth one after another sharing stories about Your goodness.

Father, we are grateful to You for Mary, a virgin who accepted her assignment and conceived through the Holy Spirit. She listened to the instructions and obeyed Your will and brought forth a son and named Him Jesus, the child that was sent to save us from our sins. As we go into this Christmas Season, let us remember the reason for the season is Jesus, and we thank You for our Savior.

Father, let us be hearers and doers of Your word. Let us listen for understanding when we receive your instructions. I thank You for all of these ladies and thank You for their hearts as they receive their assignments. Thank you for the ladies present here this evening as I delivered Your anointed message. I thank You for allowing me the opportunity to speak into their lives, for I am Thy servant! I humbly submit this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

Maxine Phillips