46And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-56)
Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elisabeth was in the sixth month of a miraculous pregnancy too. No doubt, Mary went to see her because she hoped Elisabeth might understand that she was pregnant without having had sexual relations with any man, including Joseph. Mary was bound to be apprehensive. How could she expect anyone to believe she was pregnant without a sexual relationship? These verses reflect the absolute joy Mary felt when her cousin confirmed all that had happened before she told her anything.
Mary had already rejoiced in her spirit. She believed Gabriel and experienced the Holy Spirit overshadowing her and conceiving Jesus. Now she rejoiced with her soul too. This is very important. Sometimes people criticize believers for their outward display of emotion toward the Lord. They say, “They aren’t in the Spirit.” The truth is that rejoicing in the spirit and rejoicing in the soul are two different things. Our born-again spirits always have the fruit of joy in them, but our souls only rejoice at certain times. Rejoicing in our souls is our choice, and when you think about it, it’s actually hypocritical not to magnify the Lord with our souls when our born-again spirits are already rejoicing.
The whole concept of being under the control of the Holy Spirit when we dance, lift our hands, or speak in tongues has kept many people from doing these things. Actually, our spirits are always rejoicing and praising God, and we can praise Him with our souls and bodies whenever we choose to do so. Like Mary, we can choose to rejoice and magnify Him with our whole being.
Follow the lead of your spirit today, and rejoice with your soul too!