…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. – Luke 2:7 NIV
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After accepting the decision of the Lord to give him the responsibility of taking care of a pregnant woman and accepting the fatherhood of a child, though yet unborn, anyone would have thought that, that same God will deploy all facilities to ensure that life was smooth for all but the opposite seems to be the case and if anything, life seemed to be tougher than usual. Caesar Augustus did not find a better time to issue a decree that census should be carried out, the first for that matter, where everyone had to go back to their towns to register, than when Mary had become very heavily pregnant and nearing delivery. Of course, it was now to be expected, that all the comfortable places where a pregnant woman could safely deliver will be fully booked, which is why the realisation that there was no space to accommodate the delivery of the saviour of the world in regular places was not a surprise. They were left with no choice, just as the scripture for today’s devotion reveals, but to settle for a manger.
But again it is not about human choices but about divine choices. Everything just seemed to be going wrong for a project that God announced himself as the originator of. After all, Joseph never prayed to have a wife, more so a child. It was all the Almighty God’s idea in the first place. Why could He not ensure that at least His own original plan runs smoothly? That is the God that we all serve. It is not always about the activity of the devil but what He has allowed to happen for His own purposes and reasons. Of course, a prophecy was been fulfilled but why the choice of a manger in the first place? Only God Himself can answer that but the Christian today needs to note that God giving approval for that project after seeking his views does not exclude the possibility of life threatening challenges on the way. All you got was the assurance that if you put in the required effort and persevere, there is success waiting at the end.
Christians erroneously believe that anything God approves will come easily so sometimes they give up at the slightest obstacle with the belief that it is an indication that God is not in support. That can only be a lie from the pit of hell because the minute you got the Almighty God involved, you also aroused the interest of the devil in that case. Your reason for getting God involved should be for him to assure you of his support to handle the spiritual aspect of the challenge to success, as the human aspect will always be your responsibility. Your determination to continue against all odds believing that you have the promise of success will be required so you have to be resilient.
Indeed, God it was that initiated the whole concept of Mary getting pregnant, but the acceptance, willingness and determination of Joseph to see the whole project through successfully was very key to its success. Christians are not to consider whatever form of obstacle they meet on the path of success as the challenge but the real challenge is the willingness to confront and overcome the obstacle, with strong belief in the confirmed approval previously received from the Lord. Willingness, because God will never fail on His own part of the responsibility and in this case of Joseph, it was no different.
Whereas all that was revealed in the physical was the frustration of having to travel out of their comfort zone and the search for a comfortable place for delivery, the real activity was taking place in the spiritual as the Devil was well positioned in all those regular places and locations to kill the baby as soon as he arrives the world – Rev. 12:1-6. That would have manifested in all those suddenly inefficient and careless medical staff or sudden unexpected situations or events that will affect the safe delivery of the child. The only place God could guarantee safety of mother and child was in that town and in that manger as any other town or location could have truncated the joy. The path to divine success is not important neither is the quality of opposition you met as it should be expected. That you sought and got God’s approval should not give you the erroneous impression that you have eliminated the pranks of the devil, if anything consider it a direct invitation to the devil to be in attendance. Put up the right attitude to overcome all those challenges and beneath them all lie the success that the Almighty God has promised. May God grant you the required resilience for success in Jesus name. Amen.