“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.”
– Luke 2:15,16
On the subject of the shepherds in the Christmas story, there’s something else that always captures my attention — their willingness to go. Undoubtedly, they were in awe after the angel appeared to them, but I love the fact that they didn’t waste any time in going to check out the situation for themselves. If you think about it, it wasn’t like they were unencumbered as they went — something had to be done with their flocks. Though we don’t know the answer, I’ve often wondered if they left the sheep in the fields to fend for themselves or if they took them along to Bethlehem. Either way, there was a cost involved. If they left the sheep behind, they risked losing their jobs because they were entrusted with the responsibility of guarding and protecting those animals. On the other hand, if they took them along, the progress of their journey would have been slowed and there might have been some serious logistical challenges! It certainly would have been easier for them to stay put, but the wonder they had already beheld compelled them to action, and they wanted to see more of God’s glory.
It’s always good to move when the Lord speaks to you, my friend. There’s a temptation when you’ve been given a call to sit back and develop a precise course of action. The problem in doing this, however, is that when you task yourself with figuring out all the details, you risk pulling back in fear and talking yourself right out of it. When you hear the Holy Spirit’s voice, take a step, even if it’s a small one, towards your destination and let Him work out the specifics. After all, His vast and infinite knowledge means He has a much better way of getting you to where you need to be than you do!
Jesus, I pray for a willingness to go, even without having it all figured out.
Have you ever talked yourself out of something when you heard God speak? What happened?