So he got up, took the child and His mother, and entered the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee. Then he went and settled in a town called Nazareth to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets, that He will be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:21–23, HCSB) 

But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee. Obedience to God isn’t supposed to be at the price of our senses. “For we walk by faith, not by sight,” (2 Corinthians 5:7, HCSB) However, God expects us to be a part of the conversation. After all, we have a relationship with God. We talk together as a willing worker of Jesus.

When Joseph was returning to Israel at God’s command, despite the fact that Herod was dead, he wanted no entanglements with the former king’s son, Archelaus. Who knew if Herod’s son would act as deadly as the father did? Wisdom called for putting some distance between his family and the potential tyrant in Judah. 

And there you have it. Wisdom is the application of God’s words to one’s real life scenario at the moment. It is not in any way finding some scheme to disobey God. No, on the contrary, wisdom is the desire to make sure we fulfill both the letter and the intentof God’s words to the fullest. Joseph understood God was returning his family because it was safe.Archelaus ruling had the potential to be unsafeto his family – to all families. Thus, a move out of his jurisdiction fulfilled both the letter and the intent of God’s words. 

Servant leaders of Jesus seek to comply with the will and whim of Jesus. God’s leadership inus should show throughus by our wisdom. Being attentive to the command and the culture is imperative if we are to successfully navigate the evil that is in the world today. 

As you listen to God’s instructions, as you open your Bible daily, remember the still, small voice of God within through the Holy Spirit seeks to lead and guide us. Dialoguing about the words of God and their application is what great servant leadership is all about. 

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.