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Let Me Think About This, Lord

And Joseph arose from his sleep and did

as the angel of the Lord commanded him.

Matthew 1:24

Joseph is one of the leading actors in the story that has been told through the ages of the birth of our Messiah. His role was very important and he carried out his part of the story fabulously.

We know very little about him but he must have been an exemplary man to have been chosen by God to be the foster-father of God’s own Son. He went with Mary to Bethlehem and was with her when Jesus was born (Luke 2:4,16); he was with Mary when Jesus was presented in the Temple for the rite of circumcision (Luke 2:33); he conducted their flight to Egypt and the return to Nazareth (Matthew 2:13, 19-23); he took Jesus to Jerusalem at the age of twelve (Luke 2:43, 51), and he was the head of a family of at least seven children (Matthew 13:55, 56). He must have died before the crucifixion because Jesus committed the care of His mother to John (John 19:26-27).

But when we read about Joseph’s role in the story, there is one thing that gives us marvelous insight into this remarkable man: He was flawlessly obedient to God’s leading.

God spoke to Joseph four times and if he followed the leading of the Lord in every case, his entire life would be changed. First God tells Joseph that he is to go ahead with his marriage plans, which he did, but he did not have sex with Mary until after the baby was born. Does that give you an idea of this man’s character (Matthew 1:25)?

Then God told him to take his family to Egypt because Herod was going to try to kill the baby. Joseph didn’t question. No. God spoke to him in the middle of the night and he arose and took the Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt (Matthew 21:14). This was going to be a long and perilous journey. What if he had hesitated? What if he had thought this plan was too radical and decided not to go? Would the baby have been found and slain with the other children (Matthew 2:16)? But he did go and he did not return to his land until the Lord gave him the freedom to do so. In fact, Joseph had made his own plans about where to settle, but when God spoke to him again, he immediately changed his plans and did as God directed him (Matthew 2:22).

Joseph was obedient. No matter how much trouble it would be to follow the leading of the Lord; no matter that he had to uproot his family, find shelter, find a new job in a strange land. One thing was of utmost importance. God had told him what to do and he refused to refute anything that God told him.

How important was Joseph’s role in the greatest story ever written? If Joseph had delayed in carrying out any of God’s instructions, God’s original plan would have been aborted. Oh, God will certainly accomplish what He sets out to do, but Joseph would have forfeited his role. He would not have been a part of that plan. You see, delayed obedience is disobedience.

Has God instructed me to do something that seems absolutely ridiculous and I have been disobedient to His leading – too much time, too much work, too hard, too risky? Has He given me simple instructions and I have refused to do them because they did not suit me or would have changed my plans? Has He brought some friend to my mind who was hurting and needed a touch of love but “I have other things to do today, Lord.” Oh, to be like Joseph. Immediate obedience.

Lord, I want to be obedient. I really do. I know that I have failed to do some of the things that You have explicitly told me to do in Your Word and have at times dismissed words that Godly men and women have shared with me. I have not always done those things that I am confident You were impressing me to do. May I please start over today?

Thank Your for Your patience and Your unfathomable love.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.