Written by Pastor Marcio Sierra Jr.
Living a life of obedience to God is not easy. Especially when we have to make decisions that according to us could hurt us. Not everything that God asks us to do is comfortable, easy, pretty, or full of happiness. Many times, obedience to God will require sacrifice, being uncomfortable, work, humility, putting someone else’s feelings before our own, and in some instances, even pain. This does not mean that God is a cruel God. No, on the contrary, God is a God of love who always desires what’s best for our lives and is constantly opening doors of blessings, mercy, help, grace, etc. so that we can live abundant lives.
The problem is that many of us do not understand God’s plan and question His motives and methods; even when we know that God’s plans are for good and not for evil. Let’s remember that it was God who asked Abram to leave his land, family, and everything that for him was comfortable and to go to an unknown land. Moses had to lead a nation that was constantly complaining and rebelling against God and against Moses himself. Queen Esther had to risk her life in order to help the people of Israel who were about to be destroyed. The rich young ruler was asked to sell everything that he had and to give the money to the poor. The disciples of Jesus were asked to leave their jobs and what was familiar to them in order to follow a man who was going to bring about much controversy, persecution, and for many of them, even dead. Our Lord Jesus was asked to leave His divinity behind so that He could come to this earth to live the life of a man whose destiny was full of shame, persecution, and even death, death on a cross. Regardless, in each of these examples, God was always in control and His plan, even though difficult to understand, always brought about consequences of love, good, blessings, and glory.
How do we respond when God asks us to do something that we do not want to do, something difficult to understand, accept, and hard to accomplish? Many of us become filled with doubt, fears, anger, confusion, etc. and allow those feelings and emotions to control us and produce in us negative things that do not come from God but from the enemy.
Let me share something with you that can help you when you find yourself in a situation like the one I just mentioned. In Matthew 1:19-20 and 24 we read, “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit…24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife.”
We read in this story that Joseph was going through a difficult situation involving shame, pain, doubt, and I am sure, even feelings of betrayal. The situation was so tough that he even decided to leave Mary in secret and most likely would have to flee from his house and town in order to avoid the consequences of his decision. Before the angel appeared to him in a dream, the Bible says that Joseph was thinking about everything that was happening. Can you imagine the night that he was having? Most likely, he was not able to sleep, he was probably trying to look for a way out of the situation, maybe he was angry, confused, and filled with feelings that overwhelmed his thoughts. Many of us have found ourselves in similar situations where our thoughts surround us and don’t let us be at peace. But it was at that moment that the angel of God appeared to him in a dream and said, “do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”
As I prayed to God about these words, He revealed something beautiful to me, WE DON’T HAVE TO FEAR WHEN WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING THAT IS THE PLAN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. What God was telling him with these words was that He was in control. That he did not have to be afraid to say “yes” to the plan that is God’s. What God “conceives” is for good and you shouldn’t be afraid to follow it. The fact that this was the plan of God did not mean that the decision was now going to be easy. The facts continued the same. The situation did not change. The “problem” continued. But, it was the plan of God, and regardless of what is surrounding the situation, we don’t have to fear what we know is the plan of God.
The decision that Joseph took after hearing it was the plan of God is a great example of obedience even in the midst of difficulty. The rumors about Mary’s pregnancy were going to continue, the criticism was going to be a sure thing, the attacks and accusations that were going to come against them were going to be difficult to face. But, in spite of how difficult this situation was going to be for him, Joseph decided to be obedient to God’s plan since he knew that God had “conceived” it.
Are you going through a difficult time in which you know what God wants you to do but you are afraid? Let these words fill you with faith. If it is the will of God and “conceived” by the Holy Spirit, do not be afraid to take the step of faith. Even if the facts are difficult to accept, if it’s God’s, He is in control and the consequences will be for good. Don’t be afraid!
May God continue to bless you.