Merry Christmas and may you have a happy and healthy new year!
I have been reading and meditating on the Christmas story as recorded in Matthew this week and was struck by how many times Joseph received guidance through dreams (Matt. 1:18-2:23).
An angel appears to him and tells him to take Mary as his wife, because “the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” He obeys and Jesus is born.
Again, in 2:13, Joseph is warned to “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt.” He obeys and Jesus is spared from Herod’s murderous plans.
In 2:19 an angel appears to Joseph in Egypt and this time tells him it is safe for him to return to Israel, “for those seeking the child’s life are dead.” He obeys and they return to the land and move to Nazareth, in fulfillment of Scripture, “He will be called a Nazarean.”
Joseph obeyed the guidance he received in dreams and Jesus was born, protected and raised in Nazareth, all according to the plans of the Father.
I am reminded again of the great dance of cooperation into which every one of us is invited.
Guidance is sent through the Holy Spirit and we are invited to obey. And as we do, the Lord’s will is accomplished on earth and his Kingdom is advanced.
The Father chooses to work through us to accomplish his will. Our obedience matters. This is truly a great mystery and an awesome responsibility.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus this week, I pray that each one of you will know Immanuel, God with us, and will experience the love, grace, and peace of Jesus overwhelming you in new ways.
May you hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you in dreams, visions, images and nudges in this new year, directing you. (See 6 ways that God speaks to us in prayer).
As you listen for those promptings, may you discover the joy of using discernment and wisdom to make sure it’s from the Lord. (See the questions we use to help us discern).
And I pray that each one of us would have the courage to step out in obedience to the guidance we receive, to accomplish the Father’s purposes.
On behalf of the staff and leadership team of PRMI, I want to thank each one of you for your prayers and support for the ministry and for us personally this past year.
We could not walk in obedience without your walking in obedience with us. Thank you!
May you have a blessed time celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. May you know the empowering work of the Holy Spirit in new ways in 2020. And may you know the love of the Father each day, surrounding you and inviting you deeper into a relationship with him through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.