Does God’s Will Change Our Plans?-December 11, 2013
Last week we were talking in our study about how many people spend their time going about life as usual. Many are not aware that God is here and that at any time He could make Himself visible in a powerful way. There are many who will be caught unaware of what God is doing in their times and some even in their very lives. Some will see the presence of God as an interruption to their lives, an inconvenience. What about us do we see the presence of God as an inconvenience? The question may not seem like much, but often times God’s plans are not the same as our own and so we live with the question what to do when God changes our plans because they are not His?
This is much the same way that Mary and then later Joseph must have felt. The young couple was engaged to be married and then God alters their plans with the plans of His own. First an angel of the Lord tells Mary that she would be the mother of the Messiah. Although this news sounds like a blessing there would be so many people who would think that she is crazy, which could include her fiancée. She is a willing participant in the will of God in spite of the changes to her plans. His will took precedence over her plans. Would we be willing to do the same thing? Do we want to keep waiting hoping that God will eventually come around to our plans? Remember He can wait this out longer than we can.
Joseph when finding out his fiancée was pregnant was confused. How could she do this to Joseph, he loves her? He had to know if he still took Mary as his wife, others would consider him a fool and would be a lifetime of ridicule. Mary had never lied to Joseph before but it is unbelievable because it is impossible, isn’t it? It is already going to be bad enough for her maybe he can break off the engagement quietly and not make this situation any worse. How much worse could it really get for them? When Joseph had just about made up his mind, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and confirmed that the child Mary carried was in fact conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
It is the father that names the child in this time and culture. The angel tells Joseph that Mary will have the child but Joseph will be the one who will give him the name that will identify God’s purposes for him in this world. The baby’s name will be Jesus because He will be their Savior. It was God’s plan from the beginning but as Isaiah testifies a virgin will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel meaning “God with us.” So many times like Joseph and Mary we go about our lives, getting married, making plans, going about business as usual, but we don’t think that God’s will may change our plans.
Mary and Joseph were faithful to God’s will and not their own plans. Even though the road ahead may be more difficult, they saw themselves as blessed and God also blessed the world through them. If we would only be willing to listen, look for, and be faithful to the will of God, then God will bless us and bless the world through us. Though we will not find ourselves in the same position as Mary and Joseph does not mean that our willingness to submit to His will instead of our plans we can be a blessed people and bless others too.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel said and married Mary, not having any physical union with her until she gave birth. He then has the great honor of telling the world what God’s big plans were for this child and giving him the name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins. God spoke to an ordinary man and women going about life as usual until God steps in and changes their plans with His will. Their willingness to submit to His will made their lives certain more difficult, but also more blessed and through that blessing God blessed the world. Mary and Joseph said yes. Will we say yes too?