“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him…”
Author, Mark Batterson said, “I live my life with a holy anticipation. I genuinely believe that God could come out of nowhere – and change everything forever!”
How about you? Do you believe this? Do you you believe God can come out of nowhere and change your life forever? Do you live your life with holy anticipation, seeking to live an adventure of faith, following Jesus wherever He may lead?
I was recently reading the account of Jesus’ birth and early years in Matthew and was reminded of this truth. While often the manger scene, angels, and wise men dominate our thoughts surrounding Jesus’ birth, as I read the account on this occasion, I was struck by Joseph’s role in the story.
Joseph, a young carpenter, engaged to be wed to Mary no doubt had thoughts about what his life would entail. I’m sure working his trade, providing for his wife, and having a family – someday – were all a part of his plan, but then…God came out of nowhere.
As Joseph lay sleeping one night, just like he had hundreds of nights before, an angel of the Lord appeared to him. The angel explained that his fiancé, Mary, was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Mary was going to have a son and she was to name Him Jesus, and this Son would be the Savior of the world. Now how is that for a dream?! While Joseph could have brushed the encounter off as nothing more than a crazy vision, he recognized the voice of God and did as the angel instructed. He chose to join God in an adventure of faith by submitting to His will.
Two more times we read in the first few chapters of Matthew how Joseph received instructions from an angel in a dream, first to flee with his wife and child to Egypt to escape Herod’s massacre of all male children in and around Bethlehem. Second, when he was told to take his family and return to Israel – specifically to Nazareth – which he again did without hesitation.
While it’s easy to skip over these details in the story, consider what it must have taken on Joseph’s part to throw aside his plan for his life, and to immediately follow the instructions that were given to him by God. By saying yes to the adventure of faith, Joseph had to say no to everything he had ever planned for himself. The same may be true for us.
Like Joseph, if we want to live the adventure of faith, we must not only be open to the idea that God can come out of nowhere and change everything at anytime, but we must also be willing to say yes and follow.
If our lives seem less like an adventure with God and more like a hum-drum cycle of monotony, perhaps we have either failed to hear God’s voice – or to act on His leading.
Today, may we each learn from Joseph and tune into God’s leading and immediately follow His directives. While it is not likely that we will be given instructions by a heavenly angel in our dreams, we can position ourselves to hear God by reading His word, praying, and being sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s live each day with a holy anticipation, genuinely believing that God could come out of nowhere – and change everything forever – and chose to act as soon as He directs.
Here’s to living our greatest adventures yet!