Lord Jesus, what do You want to say to me about the way You love Yourself and the way You want me to love myself?
Today you read, “Then Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47).
Darling, you are Mary, and you have a choice. Every day. You can magnify Me and rejoice in Me, until all your own weaknesses seem like just one more reason to praise Me, or you can magnify yourself and your weaknesses and your every imperfection and flaw, and magnify the scariness of the people and situations around you, until you don’t see Me at all. I am giving you a magnifying glass, and the more you shine it on yourself, the more your imperfections will loom large. The more you shine it on others, the scarier they will become to you. But if you shine it on Me, you will have joy.
I’m giving you this metaphor, this picture, of Me giving you a magnifying glass. It represents your choice of what to magnify in any given moment. It is not a choice you make once. It is a choice you are ALWAYS making. Your freedom continues. The magnifying glass in your hand represents your freedom and authority to continue making that choice every moment of every day of your life. You can turn the glass on yourself and your weaknesses, on others and their opinions, or on Me and My character. Every moment of every day. What will loom large for you? Will I dwarf them or will they dwarf Me? Will you examine your every flaw or will you endlessly explore My praise?
Moses needed to turn his magnifying glass on Me, as Mary did. Once he did, Pharoah and the Israelites and the task at hand stopped looking so large. The Israelites later needed to turn the magnifying glass on Me instead of on the Canaanites, when they said, “We looked like grasshoppers in their sight and so we appeared to ourselves” (Numbers 13:33). They were worried about what they thought others thought of them, which you often have done too. Only Caleb and Joshua turned the magnifying glass back on Me, and so only they saw.
This is why humility and faith are connected. Unbelief looks at the seen. Faith looks at the unseen. Humility looks at Me, and pride looks at yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking of yourself well or poorly, pride is always shining the magnifying glass back on self, making your own good or bad behavior the most important part of the equation. So faith and humility both look at Me, and unbelief and pride both look at you.
And because Mary kept her magnifying glass on Me, she made the choice I want you to make: she found Me worth losing her reputation over. She went from a good girl everyone thought well of to a scandalous young woman that everybody talked about and some rejected, not by doing anything wrong, but simply by following Me. She found Me worth it.
You’ve succeeded at pleasing everyone until you found something worth more. Mary found something worth more than pleasing everybody. And she let go of pleasing others to take it. She found the treasure hidden in the field and sold all that she had, even her reputation, to buy that field. Your reputation is worth more than gold (Proverbs 22:1), but I and My kingdom are worth more than your reputation. Try it and you’ll see.