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  • Writer's pictureJubilee Lipsey

Fearless Faithful ~

“Now the birth of Jesus took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’, which means God with us. When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

- Matthew 1:18-25

Salvation was born of the Spirit by the Word of God, not by human effort or will.

The men and women of Israel had dreamed for years about what form it would take, turning the ancient prophecies over in their minds until they had an image they were certain of, one that would repeat the past and fix obvious problems.

But God’s plan went above and beyond. It was infinite to the point of offense and intimate enough to be overlooked—a baby in a manger. It was unheard of but it had been spoken.

God was faithful to His Word. And He appointed Faithful ones to lead the way.

To embrace God’s purposes requires surrender to His ways—a resolve to trust Him while taking shaky steps into the unknown, before the whole path is illuminated. Some see trust as a passive thing, but it’s best displayed through active obedience.

God saw Joseph as a man who understood the justice of His Heart, which is often a far cry from the justice the world touts. God saw Mary as a gentle warrior, content to conquer by becoming a servant, as her Lord would. They were both people of true strength, something that the world still has yet to understand.

Much like the parents of Moses who were “not afraid of the king’s edict” (Hebrews 11:23), it’s not that Joseph and Mary’s fear went away when they obeyed God’s Word, but the fear of the Lord was greater than their shrinking hearts. They resolved to walk in obedience and trust Him for what only He could understand at the time.

God had so much to unfold to mankind; it was time for the mystery of the ages to be revealed. And those who were the first to see: Mary, Joseph, the shepherds…were also the first to fear. Pioneers of the faith must always trust God through fear.

But the Advent Himself was the reason the angel could tell them not to be afraid.

Immanuel, God with us had obliterated fear with His nearness.

Fear is like a resounding gone whose echoes take time to quiet down, even after being silenced. But there is no need for us to listen to it. We should hearken to God’s voice instead.

He never sends His people forth alone.

Those who obey through fear are the ones who trust God even beyond what they see and feel, believing He is doing something amazing. Believing He Is.

He revels in the faith that dares to go higher with Him. He delights to show us the way.

There is likely something in your life that you don’t understand, something that seems to represent a whole new level of faith that you’re not sure you’re ready for. But what’s born of the Spirit will always bear abundant fruit if we engage with the Author of our faith! Trust your brilliant Savior and walk in the steps He’s laid out, one by one. Don’t wait for fear to subside. Guard His counsel from voices that would seek to undermine it or shrink it to fit the world’s wisdom.

Obey His Word and follow His Voice into the glorious impossible and you will be part of changing the world!

Set in Silver Christmas

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