walk in the word
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” —Luke 1:46
“My soul magnifies the Lord,” was the opening line in Mary’s worship song. It wasn’t a random thought. She was expressing what we all know to be true: there’s more to us than just who we are physically. There’s an immaterial, central part of us that will live forever—our soul. We respond in our souls at our deepest level. When Mary referred to her soul magnifying God, she was applying everything about herself, from the core of her being, to the magnificent task of exalting God for who He is.
We use the word “magnify” to explain making something appear larger—or as a way of observing what is very small. In Scripture, “magnify” is used to describe a change of view that allows us to see something we thought was one size, but turns out to be much larger. The ultimate use of the word “magnify” is when we talk about God. Mary was saying she suddenly realized how great God was in a new way.
Why is it important to magnify the Lord? Most people agree that when our problems seem large, God seems small. But the truth is the exact opposite—small God, big problems; big God, small problems. Recognizing God’s limitlessness is the truth behind magnifying the Lord. It’s not that we make Him bigger. Instead, we see Him for His proper size in relation to everything else. We stop to be awed by His infinite greatness and the smallness of everything else—including us.
Not only size, but perceived distance comes into play. Sometimes God seems far away. We don’t always have a sense of His nearness. However, when we magnify the Lord, we not only see His proper size and proportion, He also comes into proximity to us and what we’re dealing with in our lives. He is suddenly closer than we thought.
And most importantly, like a magnifying glass focusing the raw energy of the sun, when we magnify the Lord, His great power becomes much more evident to us and in us.
The Christmas season isn’t always the easiest time of year. You may be heavyhearted or facing significant burdens. In spite of the singing and merrymaking, you may feel alone, or overwhelmed with the pace of life. Take some time during these weeks before Christmas to magnify the Lord. Deliberately step out of the rush and bustle and express your awareness of His greatness, His nearness, and His power, all made evident through His Son.
When we focus on the awesome nature of God, everything else takes its proper place. And like Mary, as we magnify the Lord, our souls will rejoice in His glory.
What are some of the characteristics of God that most motivate you to want to magnify Him?
How has someone else given you a special glimpse into the nature of God by the way they magnify Him?
My soul magnifies You, Lord, for You have proven time and time again that Your presence puts everything else in a different light. I not only have all of Mary’s observations about Your power, Your faithfulness to Your people and to her, I also have my own account of Your faithfulness. May others watching catch a glimpse of Your greatness through the imperfect lens of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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