“God is with us.” Matthew 1:23
Perhaps in an attempt to prove to the world that my house is not a total catastrophe in the morning, on occasion I neatly pull my girls’ hair back and slap a big bow on their heads. Looks like we’re all put together, and no one has to know about the soggy cereal meltdown…
“I love your bow!”
And we all smile. Mission accomplished. IF only life could wear a big bow.
In the context of today’s verse, Joseph received instructions of who Jesus was going to be, and his role as His earthly father. He awoke from his dream in obedience.
“Why can’t God just tell me what to do in a dream?” I can’t help but thinking.
“If He would just speak to me directly like that …it would be so easy to know what I should be doing!” Like putting a big, God-handed bow on my day …my life.
We look around at each other in comparison and assume that everyone else’s situation is better and easier than ours, unless they are obviously homeless on the street. And even then, on really bad days, we are tempted to believe that even they are somehow better off than we are.
I don’t believe it was easy for Joseph to obey God. But he did. That’s a lesson that we can apply to our lives everyday, all day. How many inclinations do we have to do the right thing each day, that we pass up or pass by? How many grudges are we choosing to hold onto? Habits are we refusing to break? Times we fail to listen?
The hard part of obedience – that’s where a lot of Christians fall short of walking in their calling. We can see it …feel it …but then it gets hard. Then we have to work alongside people. And people are imperfect. And we are imperfect. And so …we give up.
Missing between the part when Joseph woke up from his dream and the recording of his obedience, is everything in between. Sometimes, we have to rely on divine understanding to conquer our biggest hurdles.
“God is with us.”
That’s what they would call Him, Scripture says. That’s what we call Him, now. He’s with us. So what is stopping us from being obedient? He came here to allow us the opportunity to walk in God’s purpose for our lives despite of our grudges, binges, and imperfections.
So, what is stopping us from waking up to obedience?
Father, Praise You for Jesus, and the opportunity His death allows our lives. Thank You for teaching us through this text today that You are with us, empowering us and convicting us …changing us. Forgive us for fighting You, and running disobediently towards our own solutions. Forgive us for quitting when the tasks You assign get hard, and people are hard to deal with. Bless us to see our own imperfection, and accept Your grace so that we may extend it to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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