Serving God's Plan...Even If They Don't Realize It
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.” – Luke 2:1, 4-5
In what ways do you endeavor to serve God and His plans?
Christians all over the world desire to serve God and His plans. We do this in a variety of ways. We may pray, serve others, share the Gospel, or forgive instead of seeking revenge. You can probably fill in a few others.
Sometimes we can get the idea that if we don’t do something, then God’s plan will be thwarted as if God’s plans are contingent on whether we get off our couch to serve someone or find the courage to share the Gospel.
Are God’s plans so unreliable to rely on us…who tend to be unreliable?
Would God leave someone’s eternal destiny solely up to us? Is He up in heaven saying, “Well, I would have saved Sam, if only Tom had shared the Gospel with him. Oh well.”
Yes, God does include us in His plans, but, no, His plans aren’t unreliable.
God knows what we will do and what we won’t. God’s plans don’t “hope” on us, He knows. In fact, He knows even when we don’t. This means He can not only include His followers in His plans, but also those who live in rebellion against Him.
We see a great example of this in our passage for today. Caesar Augustus wasn’t some faithful leader who desired to serve God. Yet, he did serve God’s plan. It was God’s plan from long ago that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. Though he was unaware of that, Caesar Augustus facilitated it. It was his decree for a census to take place which caused Mary and Joseph to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem so that Jesus would be born there.
How amazing is that?!
How often do we serve God’s plans while being completely unaware?
The problem we have with trying to serve God’s plans of our own accord is that we don’t usually know what His plans are. So, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out God’s plans so we can do our part. Unfortunately, we aren’t very good at that.
There are times when God may give you a sense of His plans. The Holy Spirit may nudge you to do something or you may prayerfully receive an idea of what God intends. However, there are many other times when God simply doesn’t tell us and that’s okay.
Our job isn’t to devise God’s plans and carry them out. Our job is to love God and serve our neighbor. We don’t have to understand the full context of what God is doing, we can simply love Him and serve our neighbor and trust that God is working through it according to His good and perfect plan.
Seeing how Caesar Augustus served unaware in Your plan of salvation, I marvel to think of the ways You have included me in Your plans. Help me to love You and serve my neighbor and then rest in Your wisdom and trust that You will do amazing things through me, even if I never know what those things are.
In Christ’s Service,