Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You Need the Right Stuff!!!

In studying of Joseph, I have learned so many things.  When faced with hard times, trial, or a disaster in one’s life I discovered that one must have character to make it through to the other side unscathed.  I am so impressed by this guy.  I mean come on... he was sold into slavery by his brothers and then thrown into jail falsely by his boss.  I wanted to figure out what it was about him that helped him not let his situation define and destroy him.  In reading, I discovered 10 characteristics one must grow in to face hard times with grace and honor.   Joseph is such a shining example of all of these characteristics.   

As a slave and a prisoner….
1.       He had a relationship with God. (39:2, 39:21)
2.       He was a hard worker and made the most of his situation. (39:3, 39:22)
3.       He was trustworthy. (39:6, 39:23)
4.       He had integrity. (39:8)
5.       He had self-control. (39:10)
6.       He remained pure. (39:12)
7.       He understood who he was and who God was. (40:8, 41:16)
8.       He was honest. (40:9-19)
9.       He was helpful. (41:33-36)
10.    He persevered. (41:46)

I want all of these characteristics to become a part of me.  When I allow God to develop all of these things, I know God will help me in hard times and circumstances.  Trials and bad things are going to happen, that is life….a fallen world.  But God helps us by not leaving us as we are.  All we need to do is ask God to help us be like Joseph. 

James 1:2-4
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dreams, Dreams, Dreams...UGH!

There is this song I like by Harry Nilsson….“Dreams are nothing more than wishes. And a wish's just a dream, wish to come true”.  Now he is singing a song about puppy’s and friends.  But lately, I think I have been a little scared to dream.  Sadly, I kind of let myself run from it. Probably because, like the words in the song, I am afraid that they will become wishes… never to come true. 

I know that this is not where God want’s me.  I know that God has every detail of my life unwrapping like a beautiful gift placed lovingly under a twinkle lit tree. But I am afraid what is in it.  Am I going to like it?  Is it going to be hard? Is it going to be filled with more pain?  Is it going to be filled with good things?  Will I find joy in it?  I know the answer is yes to all those questions.  I just don’t like yes to the gloomy ones.

I want to dream about the good things God has for me.  I want to know the path we are going to take next after we are done with this season of our lives. But there are so many questions…so little answers from Him right now.  Dreaming seems a little untouchable if that makes any sense. 

As I have been thinking about Joseph and his dream, I got to wondering.  I began to wonder if Joseph ever gave up on the dream.  I mean at just 17 he was given a dream that his brothers would bow down to him.  I wonder what he thought that meant.  I mean there wasn’t a laid out plan for how that would happen.  They were just doing it. (Gen. 37:1-17)

Did he give up on the dream when he sat at the bottom of the pit?

Did he give up on the dream as he watched his brothers sell him into slavery?

Did he give up on the dream as he served in Potiphar’s home?

Did he give up on the dream when he was unjustly thrown in jail?

Did he give up on the dream as he sat in that jail room waiting…waiting on God?

Well, I am sure that there were days Joseph was wondering what God was doing.  Maybe, he lost sight of the dream.  Maybe, he questioned the dream himself.  I mean it was what got him in this mess in the first place.  I bet there were days he was full of regret that he ever mentioned the dreams at all to his brothers.  He was human…just like me. 

I cannot escape Joseph’s character though throughout the story.  No matter what terrible place he found himself, his integrity always stayed intact.  That tells me something about this guy.  It tells me that he didn’t live his life in pursuit of the dream.  He lived his life in pursuit of the One who gave the dream. 

Huh…even as I write these simple words, God is showing me something so powerful.  It isn’t about the dream.  It isn’t about figuring out what the plan is for my life.  It is about pursuing the Dream Maker.  If Joseph never had those dreams…would God still have saved his family the same way?  I don’t know…probably.  Because it never was about the dreams, it was about the heart of a man who had to trust that dream to God at the bottom of a pit, in a home as a slave, and as a prisoner behind bars.

God gave me a dream as a young girl, a calling, to be in full time ministry.  He didn’t give me all the directions.  He didn’t lay out all the plans.  Because it isn’t really about the dream now is it?!  I really think it is about my heart.  My heart needs to be willing to go where ever God is asking me to go.  My heart needs to feel what God wants me to feel.  My heart must trust the Dream Maker no matter where the dream may lead.  Because in the end it really is not about me anyway.  It was not about Joseph either as we find in this verse…

God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. ~Gen.45:7

It is about what Christ wants to do in and through me.
So, my prayer is God here is my heart let Your dreams flow through me as you wish, because….

You are Truth
You are Life
You are the Savior of our souls!

I will….