“So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”” (Matthew 2:21–23, NASB95)
Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. The beauty of following the Living God is that He is, well, He is alive! We don’t follow ancient teachings from a dead person. Our God lives and, even better, He communicates.
What’s even more exciting is that He knows how we feel and why we feel the way we do. He understands our emotional state because He is with us and He is in us. Unlike the followers of other faiths, we have the confidence to know that our belief is so much more than just teachings and rules. It is a dynamic relationship with a person who infinitely cares about us.
As a result, because we have chosen to surrender our lives to Jesus as our King and Lord, we have special preference in this life. We have access (See Romans 5:2) by faith to God and His grace by which we are able to stand firm, no matter what happens to us or around us.
So Joseph, this amazing man of God, fresh off the heels of a God-imposed exile to Egypt for his son, Jesus’ safety, finds as he returns to Judah that there is still danger. In fear, and what we have to believe would have been an evening of prayer, God speaks to his concerns and turns him and the family northward, to the hills of Nazareth.
Wherever God leads us, He gives us enough information to get us to the next intersection. It is at those crossroads that God allows us to consider and then request His intervention. This is where we freely pour out our fears, concerns, worries.
And, as Joseph would tell us, God steps up and steps into our moment turning our feet and our hearts. He leads us through the danger, solves our problem, and accomplishes His plan. What an amazing God we follow. Isn’t it great to be His disciple?
Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city. He welcomes your comments below.