Immediate obedience is what the Lord asks of us, but so often, it takes a bit of time to either wrap our heads around what exactly it is that He is asking, or to find the faith to step out and do that which we are being called to do.
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and His mother,” the angel said…”because Herod is going to search for the child to kill Him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, His mother. (Matthew 2:13-14, NLT)
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel…” So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and His mother. (Matthew 2:19-21, NLT)
Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for a region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth… (Matthew 2:22b-23a, NLT)
Joseph is acknowledged for his obedience to marry Mary, despite what was perceived. He listened to the angel of the Lord, and did what was right in the eyes of God. That being said, I’ve never given much thought to the steps of obedience that he carefully took after the birth of Jesus. I wonder if he had been so eternally changed by his initial visit by an angel, that he was on constant standby to hear the instructions of the Lord, as he was well aware of the significance of his role in raising the Son of God? Joseph was human and he had a free will. He did not have to obey what was asked of him, but he did – and he did so immediately. His decisions had an impact on all of history. God guided him, but Joseph chose to obey.
How often are we in such circumstances? Though we are not raising the Son of God, what if we are raising the next leader of a church, a city, an organization or a nation? What we do matters. Our obedience has the capacity to shape not only our lives, but the lives of those around us. We never really know the significance of our decisions, until long after they have been made. May we listen well for His voice, and choose to step out in obedience as soon as we hear what He is asking. Let the Lord be our strength, courage and light, as we move in the direction that He calls us to go.
When God speaks to us,
do we choose obey?
Does our heart move now,
or wait one more day?
What is the impact,
It’s not about us,
nor our convenience.
Our one decision,
could open the way;
for His light to shine,
on the darkest day.
matters a great deal;
for God uses us,
to show that He’s real.
Let hearts be open,
and ears set to hear;
may we choose obey,
without pause or fear.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us so many examples in Your word of those who boldly and without hesitation, obeyed that which You asked of them. Thank You too, that it is clear why it was necessary for obedience to be immediate. Thank You that You speak to our hearts, and we need simply to listen to know what we are to do and where we are to go. Forgive us for our hesitation and delay to those things that we know You are asking of us. Grow in us a faith that says “Yes and Amen” immediately, to whatever we hear You asking. Show us how to love others in a way that makes Your goodness and grace evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to Your leading and then take steps of obedience as soon as we know what we have heard. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10
This is a great post for me to read to end my week. My purpose has been for some time now to move when He says move and not ask why and try to figure out how I’m going to help Him other than be obedient to his instructions. Our assignments may start out little but when we faithfully fulfill them we are promoted to bigger ones. One day we will hear well done thou good and faithful servant. Blessings.