A God-given Dream

December 3, 2021

Matthew 1:20 NIV

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit."

Today's Reading: Matthew 1:18-21

Devo Author: Seth Primm

Date: December 3, 2021

Imagine Joseph’s confusion. “What? Pregnant?! How can this be? I know her. She’s good and faithful. This doesn’t make sense.” They were pledged to marry. She turns up pregnant. And, he had nothing to do with it. Imagine the sense of bewilderment and betrayal. But, Joseph was also a good and faithful man, so he began to wrestle with how to remain faithful to the law and, at the same time, keep Mary from disgrace. Having determined to dismiss her quietly, he drifted off to sleep.

Having considered the job offer, I determined in my heart to dismiss it quietly. I had it good where I was. Things were going well, and God was clearly blessing the ministry. I had found my sweet spot. When the invitation to move into a new role came, I knew I didn’t want it! I tucked the offer into bed, and went on about my dream job.

Then, God showed up. Doesn’t He just do this kind of thing? I was happily daydreaming my way through a typical day when I received a text from a good friend who knew what I was considering. “Hey bro- praying Ps. 37:4 for you.” 

Immediately I thought, “I guess it’d probably be good to know what that verse says…” (Come on; just because I’m a worship pastor, doesn’t mean I have all the Psalms memorized!)

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Oh, good. I already know the desire of my heart. “No, thank you! Movin’ on with my day…”

Then, I heard the Holy Spirit inaudibly whisper to my spirit, “I will give you the desires.”

“Yeah, I know. That’s what the verse says. Got it.”

“No, no, no… I will give you desires. I’ll place new, God-given desires in you as you take delight in Me.”

“Oh. Well, that’s different!”

And then He did it. In the days following, He gave me just enough vision of what He might want to do through my saying yes to the new role to reshape my heart’s desire.

When I eventually did say yes, I did so with a deep sense of peace and joyful anticipation. It has not been an easy road, but it has been good. And my trust and delight in God have grown along the way.

When the angel appeared to Joseph that night in his dreams, the angel gave Joseph just enough vision of what God was doing to change his mind and reassure his heart. Joseph trusted God in an unimaginably difficult circumstance, and God worked through him and his young wife to usher in the Answer to the world’s most unimaginably difficult circumstance:

“…and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21b NIV ).