Not many of us here today would say that our life has ended up being at this point exactly where we had in mind.
Your life may be on the right trajectory. It may be moving in the right direction. But I have found that no ones life hits 100% of what they had hoped for.
It is a reality of life. Things happen. We find ourselves lost in confusion. We find ourselves questioning “Why?”.
It is to those of us here today that know what it is to find yourself in a confusing place, possibly asking the question “why?” that I want to preach to today.
Can I be open about something with out making anyone nervous. I am going to take you into the deep thoughts and hidden heart place.
When I became a believer, I repented (turned away) from sin, was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and God filled me with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I never imagined that I would be called to preach. I wanted a life change but not necessarily a life purpose. But I felt the call and it was not something I could escape.
When I was called into ministry, I never imagined myself living in Suwanee GA or starting a church here. When I pictured what a future in ministry looked like, I pictured doing ministry in the church my father pastored at the time. It was a large part of my life and mostly what I had known.
Because I had this imagined version of what a life in ministry looked like. I never could see this place, the here, the right now.
On the road to here there have been some very intense moments of confusion. There have been moments of questioning.
When I left working in aircraft manufacturing, leaving behind a well payed position. When I was two weeks without a paycheck, bills due, a wife and baby son on the journey with me. I was confused. I thought it would just happen instantaneously. I had some questions. Did I do the right thing? Was I supposed to take a step in this direction? I felt it so strongly for the last six months… Did I miss it. Why did you not stop me God if this was the wrong thing?
We had been in Suwanee for a year trying to start the church. I knew this is where God sent me. But when we still had no members or even people who seemed interested in Branches Church. I was confused. God did I miss it? Did you send me here? Did I make a mistake? I had plenty of places to go and preach every week. Am I coming here to see the success of the ministry I had been given fade? Are you done using me?
I even said “God if I missed it I will stop”. Knowing I would have to swallow every bit of pride or ego that had not been knocked out of me.
There are people in this room who are answers to my prayers during that confusion. I prayed send us the people you sent us here for or confirm that I missed your will.
What should you do when you are confused?
What should you do when you are confused?
I believe the answer is easier than we imagine it to be. I also believe that a biblical character, Joseph examples the only action we should take when we are faced with confusion and questions.
Put yourself in the place of Joseph if you can. He is a carpenter. He is the answer man for many people. When they need some carpentry work, something built, something fixed they reach out to Joseph. He is a business man. He has a plan for his business. He has a plan for his life. He has a woman, Mary he is to soon take as his wife.
But God interrupts all of those plans.
Joseph at the time that he learns of Mary’s expecting a child does not know this is a God thing.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
His plans are now messed up. He is the guy who fixes problems. But here is a problem he cannot fix.
Imagine the confusion and questions that had to come for Joseph. This was scandalous. Having a child outside of marriage. A girl high school age who became pregnant was and is still something discussed in hushed tones. Things are said like “their life is forever changed”, “if she had plans to go to college, well”, “what are they going to do”, “he better find a way to have an income fast. He has a child to provide for.” This was a scandal.
Ever wonder why neither Jospeh or Mary’s parents were around for the birth of Jesus?
Scripture does not say where they were or if they were alive. But I have wondered were they ashamed and chose to not be present. Joseph’s parents would have been required to be in Bethlehem for the census too.
So Joseph has a decision to make.
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
Joseph did the only thing he could.
He was obedient.
He did not let confusion get in the way.
He did not let questions get in the way.
He was obedient before God.
He did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Joseph the carpenter, a business man. There is no room for them in the inn.
He is unable to provide a decent place to stay the night. Now he is pacing and waiting, this baby is going to be born.
What do you think was going through his mind during this intense moment?
Really now? Why God? My future wife is going to have this baby in the animal shelter? Etc.
He didn’t have control of the situation. Had to have questions, had to be confused. Joseph did the only thing he could. He was obedient.
A man’s steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way?
We will not always understand where God is leading us.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.
Too many people read this and think the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and the good man is going to delight in his way.
That is not what the scripture says.
It says “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He (the Lord) delights in his way.
When God delights in our journey does not always mean comfort, ease, and clear skies for us.
When we are confused, and questioning… we must have already determined how we will handle it. Obedience
In every situation or circumstance that life brings our way there is a choice to be made. The choice is not “should I obey?”. The choice is “Who will I obey?”.
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
Obey my own will, feelings, emotions, heart? Trust God and obey his will?
Call for music - Altar service
So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
Everyone of us are going to face times when we are confused. We feel lost. We have questions.
What should we do?
Be obedient to God.
Keep praying, keep fasting, stay in His Word, keep being faithful to church, keep worshipping, keep trusting.
It will all work itself out.
Altar call - As we stand and the musician begins to play. I believe there is someone here today that has been facing confusion, questioning where you are. I believe God wants to bring peace to your troubled heart to trust and obey Him.
Branches Church join around the front, let the Spirit minister to us for a moment.
Have you obeyed God’s word? Repent from sin, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, ask God to baptize you with the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues.