“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20
Put yourself in Joseph’s shoes for a moment: You’re a young carpenter likely working lots of hours to make ends meet. Engaged to a lovely young girl and dreaming of the future. Wondering how many kids you’ll have, what your lives will be like together, how you’ll manage. You’re an average guy, just living a peaceful life. Then the atmosphere shifts and you find out that your betrothed is pregnant and you’re not the father. Your human mind would immediately believe she cheated! You settle in your heart that you aren’t getting married now, you process the grief of losing this love and try to figure out how to end this relationship with the least amount of shame possible. Your heart is broken and tattered. Then the atmosphere shifts again and an angel of the Lord comes to you. Your heart is racing, your brain is pounding and you are terrified at this encounter. The angel, clearly knowing you are terrified, tells you to not be afraid because your betrothed didn’t cheat, she’s pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Your mind struggles to process this information and fully grasp the landscape that is changing for the world. You have to believe this, no matter how far fetched it seems, because and angel of the Lord is telling you it’s true. Or do you?
I believe fully, based on what I know of God’s character, that Joseph had a choice. When presented with the astonishing information that Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit, I believe Joseph could have chalked the vision up to a bad dinner and continued on with his plan to divorce Mary quietly. How could God expect him to believe this story? It’s not like there were other examples of the Holy Spirit impregnating other virgins. Why would God chose him? It’s not like Joseph was someone well known like his ancestor David. Joseph was just a simple carpenter. In this moment, I see one of the greatest invitations to unchained faith that exists. Would Joseph believe that God could and would use him? Would Joseph say yes?
God is allowed to ask you to do things that go against everything you’ve ever believed about yourself and how the world works, because He’s God. Don’t for one minute think you are too insignificant, too average or too small to go noticed by God, you aren’t. God knows you. God sees you. And I’m willing to wager that at least half of the people I know are being invited into deeper faith, just like Joseph was, and they are struggling to say yes. Think of the implication if Joseph had said no. It’s devastating! Your saying no is also devastating. You have an opportunity to make an impact in the world and shift the atmosphere when you accept the Holy Spirit’s invitation to walk radically with Jesus. Don’t fear. Don’t miss it!
Here’s my prayer for you these few days before Jesus’ birthday: say yes. Say yes to whatever God is laying in front of you. Say yes to going against what society may deem as sane. Say yes to living radically for Jesus. Say yes to increased faith in God. When you know for certain you are hearing God, don’t fear the message, just say yes and live in unchained faith. God is fully able to work through you and He will absolutely not forsake you. Shift your gaze from this earth to eternity and then just start moving.
If you need a prayer partner, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.