Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, author, and former newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psychology and Biblical studies
Women in Christian churches have been using Luke 1:38 as a mantra and saying "I'm blessed and highly favored" for decades. In context, this scripture was stated to only one woman and that was the virgin, Mary. The Lord sent His messenger angel Gabriel to announce to Mary that out of all the women in the earth, she alone had been chosen to bear the Savior of the world. This was indeed a high honor and nothing like it has happened since. Believers in Christ are not to worship the mother of Christ but should take the scripture as it is written.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
The Bible does not command us to use this verse for our personal use like a magic charm where we quote it so many times and it happens. What has happened, however, is that preachers who teach "name it claim it" and speak it into existence have wrongly taught that by saying this verse we can make it be real in our lives. This is why there are Tee shirts using this scripture as a slogan and some actually say "Black, Blessed, and Highly Favored. This Bible verse has nothing to do with the color of anyone's skin.
Telling an entire congregation or television audience that they can manipulate scripture is not rightly dividing the word. It is misleading and has people thinking they can pick out any scripture and say it a few times and poof they have their heart's desires. The Christian walk is one day at a time with Jesus and in this life He told us we will have trials. Having said that, personal faith and a daily walk with Him can open doors in some situations where you indeed are blessed and highly favored. This is not the same as working two jobs and obtaining a new car then saying God blessed you and highly favored you. There have been many believers over the years who doctors thought would die, but the favor of God caused them to recover. There have been automobile accidents where everyone should have perished but the blessing of the Lord allowed all to escape in safety. His miracles are not something we can manipulate by quoting a favorite Bible verse. We can however allow His word to give us comfort and believe that He will answer our prayers.
Keep in mind that Mary gave birth to the Savior of the world and no woman past or present can top that. In our own personal lives as we trust Him daily we can and should expect to see His goodness while we are in the land of the living. (Psalms 27:13). Greeting everyone you meet with, "I'm blessed and highly favored" does not indicate that you are and it takes away from the true meaning of this scripture. Should there be a situation where you escaped danger or death and you know it was the hand of the Lord then you are supposed to give your testimony. When you see others around you being infected with or succumbing to illnesses including COVID and you remain healthy, yes you have been favored by the Lord. Keep in mind however that Matthew 5:45 indicates that the sun and rainfall on the just and the unjust.l There may be an unsaved person who never wore a mask and did not get COVID or was healed of a terminal disease, but they will not give God the glory.
Wordly trends and fads have crept into the church and this is why every time we turn around there is a new method. Many churches today put confessions on big screens or read them instead of praying but this is not Biblical. Faith is personal and just because you say something along with a large group of people does not make God move on it. Daniel and the three Hebrew boys were blessed and highly favored because they escaped lions and a roaring fire. God's supernatural power came upon them because of their personal faith in Him. I recall once my family attended a church where the youth were going to a water park. My son received an invitation but his sister did not. Every church that I knew of invited all the youth to go on picnics and other outings but in this congregation, my daughter was not invited because she did not attend as faithfully as my son and others. I told her that her personal walk with Jesus carried more weight than manmade church rules and that God would give her double. A year later she won a local scholarship contest and their leadership award. She was the first person to win both. She was also sent to West Virginia to a camp where she won two drama awards. The church rejected her but the Lord favored her. Personal faith is not a mantra or slogan you say whenever you see other believers. It is based on a relationship where when He chooses He can indeed bless you and show others that He has highly favored you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 04, 2020:
Cheryl, you are right. "Faith is personal and just because you say something along with a large group of people does not make God move on it." So let's just pray that each woman develops an individual intimacy with God, and learns to express her personal faith.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 02, 2020:
My tells church does not teach that we can use Mary's verse for ourselves. If you spend time reading the Bible i can't think you would use this verse for yourself. The Lord clearly tells us how we need to live to be saved. I think your article explains this clearly.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 02, 2020:
I do believe that each of our walks with God is personal. We are as individual as the snowflakes that fall from the sky. It is amazing to think that no two people's fingerprints are alike. Why should our minds be identical?