Just Do the Next Thing

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there.

He went with Mary, his fiancé, who was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

Luke 2: 1-7 MSG
Listen to today’s message

God’s plan isn’t always going to look like a well thought out, perfectly orchestrated journey.  At least not from our point of view.

As we respond in faith and begin taking the steps as He directs them, it may seem messy, hard or even wrong.  Looking back, we can see how it WAS perfectly orchestrated and very well thought out.

But we never walk in faith with 20/20 hindsight vision.  The key is to not question His plan and just do it! Even when it doesn’t make sense. 

In addition, we are asked to do it with the right attitude.  God asks us to obey from the inside out.  Obedience with a grumbling heart is not pure, submitted obedience. 

Mary (and Joseph) obeyed without complaining.  As far as we can tell from scripture, Mary never complained or grumbled when she was faced with the following conditions of her journey:

  • Travel to Bethlehem in her final month of pregnancy. 
  • No hotel reservation held for her
  • Giving birth in a stable where she also slept and recovered after the labor (this means a bed of hay)
  • No family around.  No mid-wife. Just her and Joseph.

Despite the dreadful conditions of Christ’s birth, God’s will was carried out perfectly and God was perfectly glorified.  Not as we would have planned it but as He had planned it.  PERFECTLY. 

In addition, Mary followed God’s leading without question – with a faith that trusted the next step would be revealed at the right time.

  • Mary was told to travel to Bethlehem in her late pregnancy condition. 
    • She didn’t ask “and then what”… she just did it.
  • Mary was told she would have to stay in a barn. 
    • She didn’t ask “and then what”… she just did it.
  • Mary had only a manger to lay her child, the Son of God, into. 
    • She didn’t ask “and then what”… she just did it.

For His Glory

What is God is calling you to do?

  • Is your first response to question it or just do it?
  • Are you waiting for God to show you how every step will unfold before taking the first step?
  • Are you looking for perfectly laid out plans that make sense and have obvious ‘God glorifying’ results?
  • Are you ready to surrender and faithfully do the next obvious thing, without questioning the ‘plan’? 

And those who know Your name [who have experienced Your precious mercy] will put their confident trust in You, For You, O Lord , have not abandoned those who seek You.

Psalm 9:10 AMP

Just do the next thing and see how God’s plan for you will bring Him more glory than you could ever imagine. 

Prayer Starter:

Lord God, as I consider how Your will was played out in the birth of Christ, I am humbled. 

How many times Lord, have I formulated great plans to bring You glory by doing this or that for You? 

How many times have I miss stepped because I questioned the reasonability of the obvious next step and adjusted it to something that made much more sense in my mind? 

Forgive me Lord for the times I have brought my worldly expectations to Your Godly plan.  Thank You Lord for never shutting the door and always giving me another opportunity to walk the path that brings me straight to You. 

Forgive me Lord when I have grumbled and complained along the way.  Thank You Lord, for those hard walks down Your path that have drawn me closer and closer to You. 

Lord, show me the next thing.  Give me eyes to see the next step.  Give me a heart that responds with obedience. 

Lord, I want to just do the next thing for You and watch the Glory of Your will play out in my life.  I do not ask for 20/20 hindsight vision Lord.  There is more joy and peace in trusting you blindly than in seeing the beginning from the end. 

Thank You Lord for the sacrifice of Your Son that allows me to walk in that peace and joy with You.  Amen.