As we read the Christmas story last Sunday, we were directed towards a different perspective than Mary’s. It seems every time I hear or read the story about Joseph and Mary’s journey before the birth of Jesus, it is as if the attention is focused toward Mary and the ridicule she encountered and the harsh reality that it was improbable people would believe she was with child and yet, still a virgin. Joseph’s struggle however, has not been regularly brought to my attention and discussed until last Sunday. Though Joseph did not experience criticizing in the same way his beloved did, he had to feel the pressure of those around him. I imagine he had his family and friends inquiring questions and feeding thoughts concerning Mary and this child she suddenly was carrying. To him, it could have very easily seemed as if Mary cheated and he could have declared that he did not want her anymore. He could have walked away and called it quits and nobody would have blamed him. He would have listened to these other voices. These voices were drowning out Joseph’s ability to hear God’s voice and to see His plan for Joseph’s future.
18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly (Matthew 1:18-19 NIV).
Can you imagine being Joseph and trying to explain to those you loved and respected the situation? His explanation could have been like “Even though Mary was pregnant and this looks bad- I know this is of God and I have to take us away and fulfill God’s plan for our lives”.
20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ — which means, ‘God with us.’
24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus (Matthew 1:20-25 NIV).
That takes courage.
That had to of been terrifying, but because Joseph chose to listen to the one voice that mattered above all else- he lived out his purpose from God. Joseph had the responsibility of making a decision and though he valued the advice of his peers, he kept in perspective that God’s calling for us serves an eternal value. People can only go so far. 15 For God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good (1 Peter 2:15 NET bible)
How many times in your life have you been faced with the a choice to make, and while it seemed crazy or outlandish on the outside to choose one option- the other option seemed insane to you on the inside. We are up close and personal with this challenge every time we make a decision.
Even acquaintances have this incredible ability to make choosing a hassle. We over analyze and decipher if God is calling us here or there and if the rest of the population with be intimidated by steps we take, but in this quest you must remember to never take off your eternal eye glasses.
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2 NIV).
We should respect other’s views, but know their place. God’s voice is calming and peaceful. It is not contradicting. It will ask you to step out of that little room you have decide to live the rest of your life in and it will lead you to places your mind cannot fathom. The path you are walking with God may seem unconventional. People may not comprehend the difference you were mean’t to make and the drive that God has placed in your heart.
That is OKAY.
It’s not their calling- It’s YOURS!
You may doubt your abilities, resources, or even….. God, but God does not doubt you. God will not tell you to go without providing. Listen to God’s voice in your life then have the courage to believe in yourself and His will.
God believes in you.
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me ~ Philippians 4:13
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit ~ John 15:16
I am God’s workmanship ~ Ephesians 2:10
I have not been given the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
(Summaries from Victory Over the Darkness:
Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ)