“Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced. While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant.” Matthew 1:19-20 The Message
I have read the story of Joseph and Mary in Matthew 1 many times and have preached parts of it on different occasions. But, as I was reading in The Message translation a few days ago, the words from the angel “Spirit-conceived” jumped off of the pages at me.
In Matthew 1, we see Joseph and Mary in one of the most difficult situations of their lives. Mary is literally a virgin, but also pregnant. Her and Joseph are pledged to marry. Which means, when people started to notice that Mary was showing, they were going to assume that her and Joseph couldn’t keep their hands off of each other and made a baby before the proper time or that Mary had been unfaithful to Joseph. Either way, this wasn’t going to look good. Joseph was faced with a difficult choice. Because he was a righteous man, he did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace, so, he decided to divorce her quietly. However, God had a different plan, a Spirit-conceived plan, and he sent an angel to inform Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was in fact Spirit-conceived.
Where am I going with this? As followers of Christ there will be moment after moment and season after season where God has a Spirit-conceived idea/plan for our lives. I just wonder how often we decide to “quietly” (Matthew 1:19) avoid his plan due to fear, doubt, or insecurity. In Mary and Joseph’s situation they had to face what others were going to think of them. Instead of caving into their fears, they trusted it was Spirit-conceived and followed the Lords plan.
God has a big plan and big purpose for our lives. He wants to work in and through our lives to accomplish mighty things. The problem is a lot of times his plans and purposes may not seem logical from our perspective and definitely not from the worlds perspective. But, if it’s Spirit-conceived, don’t avoid it! Trust, Follow, and Obey!
If Joseph and Mary had not obeyed, the story would look and read completely different. But, no matter how crazy the circumstances appeared, they trusted and obeyed! What was the result? Their faith left a legacy and Jesus Christ was born! The world was forever changed!
If the circumstances or calling on your life is Spirit-conceived, don’t avoid it. Embrace it! God uses people of unquestioning character and obedience.