“Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Joseph, son of David,’ the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.” – Matthew 1:19-21; 24-25 (NLT)
Think about the thoughts that must have been going through the mind of Joseph when he discovered that Mary, his fiancée was pregnant. This wonderfully God fearing girl that he had fallen in love with had made him think that he would be the only man in the world she would share her life with in the intimacies of life and marriage. He knew who the father wasn’t, and now had to decide what to do about it. Family, friends, and the community would all be watching with their own expectations. Add to this mix the expectations of God, who sent an angel to let Joseph know the truth of this situation and was faithful to let Joseph know what God wanted him to do.
Fortunately, few of our decisions are this complex and complicated. Yet, everyday we are called on to make choices that are influenced by our personal wants, the expectations of family, friends and culture, and the revealed will of God. Usually one of these becomes the most dominant, driving force that we are most interested in pleasing and our choices are most influenced by what those expectations are. Many simple choices that God wants us to make never even get considered because we are so in the habit of making choices based on what we want, or what others want for us.
Talk to the Lord about these things. Who are you primarily living to please? Is it your own self interests, a spouse, your kids, friends, or the people you work for? If you are willing, re-establish the Lordship of Christ in your heart today. He has never stopped being Lord, but when we fail to recognize Him as Lord of our lives other things begin to take priority in our decision making. Ask God to give you a passion to please Him above all.