Inspiration trumps intention

“Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19)

His intentions were sound and unassailable:

  • Joseph was kind and he had no intention of disgracing Mary.
  • Joseph was righteous and he had no intention of being associated with godless behavior.
  • Joseph was reasonable and his plan made sense: his fiancee was pregnant, he wasn’t the father, and his intention was to put the situation behind him.

His intentions had everything we could ever hope for when faced with a difficult situation. He was gracious, godly, and wise.

His plan had everything except God’s approval. God had a different design, one that went beyond Joseph’s personal godliness and limited perspective.

Following Jesus means living by faith. This doesn’t discount reason and being intentional. Reason is important, but is is nothing but a candle compared to the sun that is faith.

A quiet spirit holds more value than an encyclopedic mind. Humility will hear God speak when knowledge shuts him out. Knowledge puffs up… (1 Corinthians 8:1)

So: think things through. Plot the best course. Anticipate the hurdles and weigh the possible outcomes. But once this easy work is done, take time to hear God speak. Because:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)

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