Archives For Preparation

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Image is © Copyright 2005-2010 by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and Multi-Language Publications.

A few months ago I wrote a post entitled “Preparing From Where You Are” and in it we spoke about the idea of seeing your season as a time of preparation. I briefly mentioned Joseph in there, but this week I spoke to a group specifically about his story and the items we can take from it. Sometimes it is easy to brush over this familiar story, but I believe there are four very important truths that we can pull from it. Today, I will share the first two and I will post the other two on Sunday.

The story starts in Genesis 37 where we see Joseph sold into slavery by his brothers following his proclamation of the dream he had. No one can disagree, this is not an ideal place to be. However, immediately we see the first truth come to life:

1. It does not matter where you find yourself, God will show you favor!

This is seen time and time again throughout Joseph’s life, God’s favor followed him in all seasons. Let’s fast forward to Genesis 39:

1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate.

Pay special attention to the verses 5 and 6. God provided so much favor, that even those that Joseph served were blessed. This is our next truth:

2. When you are favored, everyone around you will benefit!

When you walk in favor and God’s light, others around you will be drawn to that! His purpose of blessing you is so that you will be a blessing to others. That concept is even shown out in Psalm 67:7

God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall reverently fear Him.

Your blessing will be so much, that others will take notice and fear God because of it.

God desires to bless you today and show you favor! Don’t let the lie that you must not be favored due to a season you are in take hold – God will provide and show His favor in all areas if you surrender to Him.

There is a lot more on this topic, including the final two truths, so come back Sunday to finish the story!

Question: When has God shown you favor and others took notice?

2012-2013

2012 is now something of the past and 2013 is already in full gear.  There is something refreshing about a new beginning, a clean start and that is exactly what the New Year represents.  A time to re-chart the course.

For me, 2012 started with obstacles and challenges and finished with victory and breakthrough.  For my wife and me, I know our single most amazing breakthrough of the year is that we are finally expecting our first baby!  Our son will be arriving in a few short months and the journey that God brought us through to arrive at this point is nothing short of miraculous.  I know I wrote briefly in a previous post about our struggle, and I will write the full testimony shortly and post it here – but the years of trying, the struggles and the sadness are now behind us and God has truly shown Himself as our provider in 2012.

It really makes me think of a song I heard this past year called “Way Maker” by the Northwest Choralons.  I love the lyrics and the simplicity of it all.  God is our Way-maker. He is the path provider, the joy giver, the finance fulfiller-the all in all!

Is there a wall between where you stand and where you should be? He is the one who can make the way.

Despite the fact that I have seen God act as a Way Maker in my life in so many amazing ways, I still struggle with the concept that what I see with my eye is not reality. Just because your situation might look rough, the Bible clearly tells us:

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV)

Sight is a pretty dominant sense in our body…if we can see something, then it must be real, right? But that is simply not how God operates.  He operates through the unseen…through faith. Hebrews 11 tells us that:

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

There is no greater testimony then God showing himself and providing a way when you think there is none.  I know that what I saw at the start of 2012 was not pretty.  It didn’t look good.  I simply had to cling to my faith and cast aside what I saw in the natural and hold to what He promised me.  Let me challenge you in 2013, don’t let your vision dictate your reality. Let your faith dictate your reality!

Question: Do you have a good testimony of when God was your “Way Maker” despite a situation that did not look hopeful?

 

Stay on Trail

I recently saw this tweet by Dominic Russo: “The next generation of Christian leaders are largely invisible right now. They are being prepared in ‘caves’ and ‘dungeons’ like David and Joseph.”

There is so much good truth in that statement; And not just pertaining to our future Christian leaders.  I believe there is something even deeper to this statement. It seems to me that the large majority of “influencers” for the kingdom experienced some type of desert experience. Even Jesus himself spent 40 days in obscurity and solitude in the desert before His mission was activated. But even beyond that, there are countless others that had to develop their calling in what many would call less than ideal circumstances.

David was told he would be king…but then he spent many years hiding in caves. Joseph saw his future, but was then forced into slavery and even prison.

If you know your calling, then might I challenge you that a season of preparation is required.  And this season of preparation might not be how you envisioned it, but it is exactly how God desires it.

I have seen some come into our church feeling that they are called to one form of leadership or another and want instantly to be put in the spotlight, but then when asked to serve first where the need is…perhaps something simple like ushering, or helping with the children, they feel as though their calling is not being recognized and they subsequently leave.  But, isn’t the Word clear that if we are faithful with little, He will reward us with much?

Develop your strength where you are today, not where you think you should be tomorrow.

God has a clear path for us.  Even though we might not see the full plan from our current angle, when we stop to look back, it will all come into perspective.  Stay on the path that God placed you on.

Question: How do you keep your focus on developing your strength from where you are today?