“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. . .” Matthew 1:24
“And (Joseph) rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt. . .” Matthew 2:14
“And (Joseph) rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.” Matthew 2:21
“And (Joseph) went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.” Matthew 2:23
It’s a good thing the Lord did not choose me to be the earthly father of His Son. The reasons why are too many to count, but when I consider the first 2 chapters of Matthew what gets me is Joseph’s immediate obedience.
Every time we read the Lord speaking to Joseph via angels, he obeys what is commanded. . . immediately.
If I were in Joseph’s shoes, I would have tried to manipulate the “vision” or the “message.” I would have tried to translate what was spoken to fit my own thoughts and means. I would have spent a lot more time trying to figure out “what was really being said.”
Know what I mean?
Certainly, there are times when we do need to evaluate what we believe God may or may not be doing. But there are clear directives all throughout Scripture that need no interpretation. We don’t have to wonder what we should or shouldn’t do. We, like Joseph, are to obey immediately.
When it comes to clear instructions and commands from Scripture – delayed obedience is disobedience (this is a phrase I “borrowed” from my pastor while at Auburn, Al Jackson).
Here’s the thing: Joseph obeyed immediately. The result? He got to experience the presence and direct work of God – around him and right in front of his own eyes! Joseph’s obedience allowed him to experience God in a intimate and supernatural way. What we so often miss when we disobey (or “delay” obedience) is the presence and work of God in and through our lives.
God doesn’t lead us to things or command us to do things in order to make our lives miserable. No, no. The opposite is true. He commands us and directs us like He does in order to bless our lives and help us live the way we were created to live: in intimate and joyful relationship with Him.
So, in what specific and clear ways do you need to obey today? Don’t delay. Intimacy with God awaits.