“. . . an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’ So he got up, took the child and His mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod” (Matthew 2:13-15a).
When is the last time you felt a prompting from God where He simple said, “Do it. . . Go. . . Step out. . . Commit. . .”?
Illness can bring us closer to God and we may be more likely to hear His words to our soul. And yet, when I hear words that require action on my part –or they demand I trust Him to allow me to fulfill a commitment–I assume it isn’t God, but that is must be my own desires.
Volunteer. . . Go to the conference. . . Plan that time with friend. . .
Whatever it is, if it requires more than my body may be able to give, I can easily assume it is not of God.
I come up with what I consider reasonable rebuttals.
But, God, what if I can’t do it? Will I disappoint people if I cancel? I need more preparation.
Joseph could have easily explained to God all the reasons why traveling with a youngster–on camel-back, across foreign lands, leaving in the middle of the night–all while running for his life–wasn’t a good plan. He had a choice to have it out with God, present a better plan, give a list of reasonable excuses why God needed to give him to time prepare and get used to the idea.
But he didn’t.
Joseph got up in the middle of the night, grabbed his son and his wife, and left–for years (estimates vary from 2 to 8 years).
Take note how Mary trusted her husband and believed he heard God’s voice. I don’t doubt that Mary was quickly throwing Jesus’ blankets, handmade wooden toys, and a few snacks into a sack–when she could have been arguing with Joseph about how God would never ask them to do such a hard task.
Ironic, isn’t it? Because just when God presents a situation into our lives when we desperately need Him, our sinful human side is more likely to argue with Him about His plan. We prefer an easier plan–one where we don’t have to depend on Him, because our circumstances will take care of themselves.
Prayer: O Lord, help give me discernment so that I hear Your voice when You speak! Sometimes it is my desire to step outside of my comfort zone and it is not Your will, but Satan’s temptations. Other times, You just say “Go!” and I am to trust to explicitly. Give me wisdom to hear Your voice and follow Your commands so that I can know the blessings that come with complete surrender to You. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is struggling right now with the logistics of life and seeing those she loves suffer–and not be able to fix it. This devotionals is one of the ways God spoke to her last week.You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.
Do you find yourself telling God, “This is not a good idea, Lord! Do you know what you are asking?” Can you recall a circumstance when you followed God’s prompting and were blessed–or when you did not follow His prompting and regretted a missed opportunity?
This song is “My Soul Says Yes” with Dietrick Haddon. So frequently our head may say yes, but our soul, deep down, still clings to that which is secure, rather than fully letting God take us where He desires us to be I hope this song blesses you. This is one of the songs that speaks to me when my worries say no, but my soul says yes. It is just 2 minutes so take time to listen. I am so glad my soul said yes when God placed it on my heart to reach out to those with chronic illness. You have blessed me more than I can ever say. . . – Lisa