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When God Interrupts My Plans

(4)

Sermon shared by Pat Damiani

July 2011
Summary: Joseph and Mary show us how we are to respond to God when He interrupts our plans.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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submitted to the will of the master. She was saying that she was willing to surrender to God’s plan for her life regardless of the danger, the inconvenience and the uncertainties. And, although we won’t have time to focus on the verses that follow in Luke’s account, we find that Mary’s actions were consistent with her words.

As we’ve already noted, Joseph was a man of few words. But his actions certainly demonstrated that he, too, immediately surrendered his will to the will of God.

He would never get to experience the joy of his wedding day. Instead of getting to father a child of his own, he would be relegated to being a step-father to the Son of God. He, too, would suffer the humiliation of being married to a woman who had become pregnant before their wedding day.

But in the midst of all that, Joseph chose to follow God even though that was not the easy path. And as he journeyed down that difficult road, he remained righteous. Even though Mary was now pregnant, he refused to take advantage of that in order to satisfy his own desires. So he waited until after Jesus was born to consummate their relationship.

Again, we see evidence of how Joseph and Mary’s example here impacts the life of Jesus. This is most evident as Jesus prays in the garden just before going to the cross:

And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Matthew 26:39 (ESV)

When God interrupts my plans, choosing to surrender my will to His is usually not easy. In fact God has never promised us an easy path if we follow Him. Jesus certainly never made it easy for people to truly follow Him while He was here on earth. When He called the disciples to follow Him, he demanded that they immediately give up their way of life, their occupations and even their families at times. He told them that if they wanted to follow Him, they must daily die to self.

But what God does promise is that if we surrender to His will, He will be with us all the way, no matter how difficult things might get. Listen to these promises of God:

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)

For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psalm 37:28 (ESV)

Jesus even promised that we would face tribulation in this world if we choose to surrender to His will. But in the end it will all be worth it:

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 (ESV)

3. Become what God has called me to be

God called Joseph and Mary to be the earthly parents of His very own Son. Can you imagine what a frightening task that
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