Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Life of Joseph-A Life On Purpose


Life is but a journey, a marvelous adventure specifically designed for each and every person. You, I, each one of us has been created by God’s own hand with a specific purpose in mind.

Every person has the potential to be great. However, being great in the eyes of man is not the same as being great in the eyes of God. God counts us as great when we reach the pinnacle of His will for our life.

For what would it profit a man if he were to gain the whole world and lose his own soul – or what would a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)

Greatness, like success, can only be measured by God and is solely dependent on us reaching our God given goals.

It is reported that Billy Graham was once asked if he would consider running for President of the United States. He firmly replied, “God has called me to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ – I would not stoop to become President of the United States.” In no way was he casting dispersions on the person, the position or the office nor was he making light of the call to be President. Billy was merely pointing out what was obvious to him and yet so foreign to many others … Billy Graham’s conviction was that for any person to do something other than what they had been created and called to do was to stoop beneath the bar of acceptability with God. You see:

What God has given each person to do is their highest calling.

Life should be a script which only God can write – a journey whose guide can only be found in the Holy Spirit. Only God can measure success and only God can choose a destiny. As God said to Jeremiah …

Before I formed you in the belly I knew you and before you came out of the womb I had already consecrated you and I ordained you to be a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Every person is designed by God for purpose and life offers us opportunities according to that purpose. Many times people experience failure for no other reason than they refuse to embrace God’s path for their life. We cannot refuse to do God’s will or refuse to do it God’s way and expect His blessings on our adventure. It is possible to achieve some measure of success in the eyes of man even without God’s help or approval – however … man’s measure of success will certainly last no longer than this life, if that long, and eternity is too long to be lived as a failure.

One of the enduring qualities Joseph teaches us is that he recognized the fact that life is often an unpredictable journey. Joseph simply wanted to please God at every turn.

Joseph was on a journey – not just any journey – but Joseph was on a God ordained journey, a God protected journey, a God predicted journey, a God blessed journey, a journey for God … and as long as Joseph kept trusting and pleasing God, God stood responsible for the outcome.

Allow me to catch us up on the life of Joseph from Genesis 41 through 44.

Genesis 45
1  Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, "Make everyone go out from me!" So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
2  And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it.
3  Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph; does my father still live?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.
4  And Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come near to me." So they came near. Then he said: "I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.
5  "But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
6  "For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.
7  "And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8  "So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Life is a journey … most often an unpredictable journey – but a journey on purpose.

Joseph was not afraid of where his journey might lead him
Joseph was not angry over how his journey had ill affected him
Joseph was not continually complaining about his journey’s hardships
Joseph was not bitter about his journey’s personal costs
Joseph was not defined by the limitations of his journey

In the end Joseph realized something we have been repeating for years:
The Journey Is Your Friend

It is the journey which prepares us to operate at destiny’s capacity. To struggle against the journey or to sit down and not participate would be to believe God cannot rescue us from our troubled places. God will not forget your purpose – regardless of where you presently are in life … God has our purpose in mind and is constantly guiding us towards our greatest day.

Even today - you are here on purpose

God does not cause your hardships - but given the chance, He will work through them and continue to guide you toward His perfect will for your life. God will not be defeated by what someone else does to you or does not do for you … and even though the devil may determine to harm you, God will overcome evil with good and turn your mourning into dancing. (Psalms 30:11)

The light afflictions we face are but for a moment … (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Eye has not seen, ear has not heard … (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Joseph understood these things firsthand. What can we learn from this account of his life today?

Here are four more lessons from the Life of Joseph that teach us how to successfully live a purpose-filled life. Whatever we face in life we need to remember:

1.   If God is not concerned about it – we don’t need to be either.
a.   Not everything that bothers us bothers God
b.   God may have plans of which we know absolutely nothing
2.   If God is concerned about it – we really don’t need to be.
a.   God is big enough to take care of things Himself
b.   Vengeance is Mine says the Lord (Romans 12:19)
3.   If God tells us to do something – do it.
a.   But if He does not … keep quiet – let Him handle it
b.   God is not going to tell us to sit around and be mad at somebody or to wish them harm or plot their failure
c.   We can’t go around trying to do what only God should do
d.   No one else but Jesus can be our Savior
                                         i.    Don’t go begging
                                        ii.    There is a difference between blessing and begging
                                      iii.    Begging is manipulation; Blessing is manifestation
                                      iv.    Our deliverance should depend on a manifestation
e.   We cannot save anyone else either
                                         i.    We should not allow ourselves to be manipulated
                                        ii.    Nor should we be drawn off God’s path for our life to begin a journey which does not belong to us
                                      iii.    Run your race, finish your course, keep the faith (Hebrews 12:1 & 2 Timothy 4:7)

Genesis 45: 24  Then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the way.”

4.   Do not quarrel on the way
a.   Blaming others while vindicating ourselves serves no purpose
b.   Just get along with others – preserve unity – don’t argue – avoid strife and be family … don’t always have to be faultless