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.’”
I picture Joseph in the moment he found out his future wife, Mary, was pregnant. He knew the child wasn’t his. His mind must have fired off all kinds of assumptions and dreadful possible scenarios that could have caused this situation.
And Joseph’s response? He made plans to divorce Mary in secret.
The very next thing written in verse 20 states that after Joseph considered the divorce an angel visited him in a dream. Joseph went to sleep with the weight of his decision pressing on him, and God sent an angel to direct him and protect God’s plan.
God had a plan for Joseph. His assignment was to bring forth the child and name him “Jesus” (Matthew 1:21).
And the enemy’s tactic to mess that plan up could have been many things. Shame. Anger. Confusion.
But the angel of the Lord saw what was really keeping Joseph from staying in alignment with his assignment from God: fear.
Make no mistake, the enemy wanted Joseph to be afraid.
The enemy wants you to be afraid today too.
Not the healthy kind of fear that keeps us safe. No, the horrible kind of fear that whispers worst-case scenarios, absent of hope and haunted by hurt.
With death on his breath fear says, “Entertain my entanglements. Linger in my lies. And drink deeply from my darkness.”
While we’re distracted with fear, the enemy pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of the Lord’s great plans.
On the surface it may not seem like your assignment is like Joseph’s at all. But it’s actually incredibly similar. You are to bring forth and proclaim the name of Jesus.
Is there a person with whom you’ve been afraid to share your testimony? Is there a relationship causing you confusion and anxiety? Is there a problem you’re facing where there seems to be no solution?
Proclaiming the name of Jesus brings power, protection and a perspective that crushes fear. It is the name above every other.
Joseph went to bed afraid. In his dream he hears the name Jesus for the first time. And wakes up empowered to be obedient to God’s plan.
There is power in the name of Jesus.
Calling on the name of Jesus shouldn’t be our last resort. It should be our first response. He is Immanuel, God with us.
At Proverbs 31 Ministries, we think it’s so important to give the first moments of our day to God. And our app, First 5, is designed to help you do just that! You can set your morning alarm in the app and when you turn it off, the first thing you’ll read is a 5-minute teaching just like this one from the Bible.
We started studying the book of Matthew this week and would love to have you with us. Click here to find out more or download ‘First 5’ in your app store.
I have been enjoying the First 5 app. More than once God has spoken to me through the devotion, scriptures, and/or the comments of other readers. Thank you!
Oh how this spoke to me!
My husband and I own a small business that has been struggling for years. Essentially I have been working another job to support “this mess”. I am struggling to affirm, praise, and trust that we can “dig out of the mess” financially. It has been difficult to not just want to run away from it all! But I know the Lord has better for the both of us!
This message was the Lord speaking to me directly! Do not fear! Do not get entangled in the “what ifs”!
Love you Lysa!
Fear definitely grows when you feed it. And you are absolutely right, just whispering Jesus’ name has tremendous power. It’s one of the reasons it’s so bad to use it in vain, because He is literally present when you call on Him. “Jesus” is my favorite prayer. I’ve been whispering it a lot this week as things threaten to overwhelm me!
Thank you! I needed this today! My life is in a state of flux right now, and being reminded of the power of Jesus has lifted me up.
Lysa, the most powerful statement from your post was, “You are to bring forth and proclaim the name of Jesus.” I can’t tell you how that leapt out at my questioning heart today. That one sentence brought my life’s purpose back into focus.
Amen Lysa! What a wonderful proclamation of truth. You hit the nail on the head on this post!!
Thank you so much for the article. It has blessed me so much! I was in the verge of abandoning my assignment because of fear and assumptions. But God directed me to this article and enlightened me. Thank you and God bless you!
Thank you for sharing this truth. I recently explored my past hurts and discovered that many of them cause me to currently live in fear of the unknown, fear of “worst-case scenarios,” and fear of failure. Over the years I have worked hard to replace these fears with the knowledge that Jesus loves me just as I am, and He did not die for me so that I would shake in fear or worry about “what-ifs.” When I take the dreadful, sinking feelings of fear and worry to bed with me, merely whispering my Savior’s name washes me in the warmth of His love, His peace. I like to think that Joseph felt that same peace when he woke up.
Thank you again.
This is my favorite line here today: “Joseph went to bed afraid. In his dream he hears the name Jesus for the first time. And wakes up empowered to be obedient to God’s plan.” How neat of God to whisper and give dreams of truth and courage to move us forward where we need it in our callings.
Have a great week,
Thanks Lysa for your encouragement. I love the point you made about the name of Jesus being our first response not our last resort. How quickly we forget! Thanks for reminding me.
I love the truth of how Joseph really did awake to a whole new vision, perspective, after he heard about Jesus. I have grown up singing, “There’s power, power, wonder working power in the blood of the Lamb,” and also have witnessed this power countless times in my life….but when I read the Word (or in this case read what YOU read in the Word haha..) and it comes together, it inspires me to keep reading and digging for more of those treasures!! And it never gets old….He keeps revealing more! His Word really is alive and proves true! Jesus really is revealed in the whole Word, I marvel at God’s wisdom and goodness. Thank you Lysa for taking time to share the nuggets of Truth that God reveals to you, it is so appreciated!!!