The Bible is full of stories of obedient and faithful men and women of God. I truly appreciate that we have these saints gone before us. We can learn from them what it is to live out our faith in the midst of challenging life events. Today I want to talk about Joseph, a central character in the Christmas story.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:
Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son,
And they will call him, Emmanuel.(Emmanuel means “God with us.”)
When Joseph woke up, he did just as an angel from God commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he didn’t have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. Joseph called him Jesus. (Matthew 1: 18-25, CEB)
Joseph didn’t object, he surrendered to the will of God.
Joseph didn’t doubt but he embraced the message of the angel in the dream.
Joseph didn’t hesitate, he acted according to the call he received.
Joseph did all this even though he had already decided to unbind the legal matters between him and Mary. Joseph surrendered his understanding, opinions, fears, wishes and wants to God. Joseph allowed God to work in and through him. This was not about Joseph, it was about God. Joseph allowed God to transform his heart, his decisions, and his life.
What about us?
Do we let God transform us according to his will?
Do we surrender to his service without complaining, objections?
Are we faithful and obedient enough for God to work through us?
Tough questions. But necessary for readiness for radical obedience.
Know that God prepares, equips and empowers each one of his servants. Sometimes it requires a vision, a dream or an angel. But very often God speaks through his Word or in prayer.
Readiness for radical obedience is just openness to God, sensitivity to hear him, and willingness to follow his guidance.
No matter where he is leading us.
No matter how crazy the plan sounds.
No matter how radical God’s call is.
We want to give your our hearts,
our minds, and our lives.
We want to serve you like Joseph.
Teach us how to obey without complaining.
Show us how to surrender without reservations.
Empower us to radical obedience.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Are you ready for radical obedience?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you keep your heart and mind open for God’s guidance!
Image “The Vision of Saint Joseph by James Tissot” courtesy of www.biblical-art.com.
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