The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) 19 Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced. 20 While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. 21 She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus – ‘God saves’ – because he will save his people from their sins.”

I imagine Joseph as a fairly typical bloke. He loves his woman and is excited about getting married and the future they will enjoy. Then, out of the blue, his world gets rocked. Some incredible ‘story’ about an angel, God and giving birth to a baby that’s not his.

Not sure how he did it but he responds with dignity, he responds respectfully. After all, he could have had Mary killed for such behaviour. Instead, he just wants to do what’s right, to do things in a correct and godly manner.

This was his defining moment. Get it wrong and the story changes. He could become bitter or he could become better. This moment demonstrates the fragility of God’s redemptive plan. Using humans with all of our emotions is the unstable element in the process, yet God knew Joseph was up to the task. There is no temptation that God cannot help you bear, overcome or make a way of escape from.

Perhaps you feel life is at one of those defining moments. The next step you take seems very significant to the future of your life and maybe those closest to you. What if I get it wrong? What if I make a mistake and head off in a different direction?

While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream.

From what I observe, the key to Joseph’s success was a willingness to hear what God was saying. No doubt his mind was racing through the options and I think that’s alright but he still made sure his ear was attentive to any leading from God, in whatever form it happened to come.

It might be a dream for you, it could be through reading the Word, it could the message on a Sunday, a prompting from the Holy Spirit in your time with God, it may even be through a trusted Christian friend.

The one thing I know is this: while you are trying to figure it, God will speak, so put yourself in a position to hear. Then like Joseph, don’t doubt it and respond according to what God has said.

This Christmas, in the busyness of it all, create some space for you & God and listen to what He wants to say to you about the next step in your life.

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