13Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt. Matthew 2:13-14 ESV
Obeying God can be a matter of life and death. Joseph did not know that King Herod was about to kill every child, two years old or younger, in Bethlehem. He didn’t need to know. He just needed to know that God wanted him to leave immediately for Egypt. Then he needed to do it.
Oftentimes we are so guilty of treating God like He is simply another person with an opinion and a voice. We insist on receiving more information before we are willing to do what God has told us to do. We are prone to continue down the road called “My Way” until He convinces us otherwise, or at least until it makes sense to us.
Waiting for another word from God may not come. If we are “fishers of men” then one word should be enough. In fact, consider what would have happened if Joseph had delayed his obedience. The outcome would have been disastrous.
My four-year-old daughter was running to cross a neighborhood street and never saw the truck coming. Another parked car blocked her view. I screamed for her to stop. She immediately put on the brakes…fortunately. She could have been killed. But, in this case, she immediately responded to my scream to stop. Any delay would have been tragic.
This same principle applies to our success in “fishing for men.” There will be times when God brings a person into your life for a moment. To ignore His prompting to speak will result in a missed opportunity.
We’re quick to think that some one else will speak to them if we don’t. This kind of thinking is presumptuous and arrogant. God is constantly at work in the lives of people. You have no idea what God has been doing to lead that person to you. You have no idea how ready the person is to finally listen and respond to the Good News about a relationship with God.
It’s so important that we immediately respond to the Holy Spirit when He speaks. Whenever He speaks it is a matter of life and death. Be careful not to discard what may be another person’s last opportunity to respond to the Gospel.