Matthew 1:18-24 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement[a] quietly.
20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,[b] for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel,[c] which means ‘God is with us.’”
24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.
When Joseph “considered” what to do about the embarrassing situation with Mary, I assume he didn’t ask God: “Do I marry her? Or do I call the whole thing off?” Hence the reason the Lord used another method to relay His will to Joseph..… disturbing his sleep! God answered the question that was never posed: Yes, Joseph…you should marry her. After hearing the message from an angel, Joseph changed his mind about Mary. Despite the possibility of being falsely judged for fathering a child out of wedlock or marrying a woman who appeared to have been unfaithful to her betrothed, Joseph chose to obey God. His actions proved that he was more concerned with pleasing God than pleasing others.
I still find myself struggling with this. Often times I don’t inquire for an answer from God before responding. When someone asks me to do this or that or tells me I should or need to do this or that, my natural reaction is to say “yes!” because I don’t want them to feel rejected. The result of my knee jerk, put my foot in mouth, lack of self control decisions usually leaves me feeling angry, over committed and overwhelmed. Almost immediately I experience “buyers remorse” and then try to find a way to manipulate the circumstances to be able to give an excuse and then say “no.” As a result of my disobedience and cover up, not only do I suffer, but so do the people whom I was trying not to hurt or offend.
Recently, God spoke to me (again) through a few wise women who reminded me that although I am supposed to love my neighbor- and serve them, my FIRST & greatest “yes” is to God. When I ask Him what to do (or not to do), He will give me the peace to say “no” without guilt and the tools necessary to say “yes” without feeling like my world is spinning out of control.
There is no decision too mundane or miniscule to ask Him about. He wants to be my constant companion- and helper for EVERYTHING in life!
God, how do you want me to respond to this request?
Lord, should Doug and I go on a week vacation next month?
Father, do I need to show grace to my child in this situation?
God, should I join this small group?
Lord, should I teach a home-school co-op class this semester?
Father, do I need to volunteer to serve on this team?
As God continues to bring revelation to the areas of my heart that are not yet fully surrendered to Him, I pray that I will have the faith and courage to do as Joseph did- despite what others may say. May my “yes” be His “yes” and my “no” be His “no.”