After they were gone, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Get up! Take the child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to search for the child to destroy Him.” So he got up, took the child and His mother during the night, and escaped to Egypt. He stayed there until Herod’s death, so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled: Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Matthew 2:13–15, HCSB) 

So he got up, took the child and His mother during the night, and escaped to Egypt.To delay is to disobey … and would have been deadly had Joseph not responded immediately. How often do we hear the words of God and think about them, ignore them, consider them … do almost everything else except obey them?

Maybe it’s a part of our culture or how we were raised. Many of us have taken procrastination to an art form. We learn it as a child, that’s for sure. Consider the child that is being called by their parent. You see it all the time at the store or at family gatherings. They know they can get away with a little rebellion and so they shout, “NO!” and run the other way. 

Alas, such behavior is first considered cute in little ones. Later it gets annoying as they grow, but still its tolerated. And then, as adults it becomes a handicap. Crippled from the life they could have lived, blame asserts itself that “the system is rigged against them.” And, it is! Success comes more readily to those who act immediately. Promptness breeds prosperity, all things being equal. 

And so, one of the first lessons a servant leader of King Jesus should learn is that we serve at the pleasure of our Lord and Master, Jesus. When He speaks, it is a command to be completed immediately. That’s what a friend does, right. When a friend is in need, we respond immediately. We don’t let them sit by the road for a day or two! We come to their rescue. We respond quickly out of care and concern.

And, perhaps, that’s it. The core of immediacy in responding has more to do with our care and concern for God than anything else. We know God doesn’t ask without a reason, He doesn’t command without a purpose. So get up! Get going! Something important is happening!

Willing Worker Wednesdays are dedicated to explaining the core realities of servant leadership – the Biblical principles and methods used by God’s faithful people throughout time. They further reflect the lifestyle of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords as He walked on this earth announcing the Kingdom of God had arrived. These brief lessons are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his extensive ministry within the local church, in higher education, in church consulting and as a Biblical author and leader. He welcomes your comments below.