Saturday, October 08, 2005

Are we there yet?

Ecclesiastes 11:5
5 As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed [a] in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

If you have decided to partner with God, you must understand and believe that you are a work of God, sometimes just knowing this, is the only thing that keeps you going. At the present time you may not understand what HE is doing, but do not let this lack of understanding stop you from following HIS gentle promptings to ‘press on’ OR ‘wait’ – sometimes both.

Do not fight this seemingly fruitless dependence on your maker; rather humbly accept that HE is in control and that you do not know (vs.5). Jeremiah says that we are like clay in the hands of the potter, clay does not participate ‘actively’ in the work of the potter, it only makes itself readily available to the potter.

In today’s world, we can plot the track of hurricanes, put man in space, peer down on the world via maps and satellites and feel we own the place.

But humility is accepting that with God, sometimes you do not know the ‘what’, the ‘when’ or the ‘how’, but yet you keep stumbling forward, trusting deeply, waiting patiently - knowing that your maker will make you.

Prayer: Lord, sometimes I feel confused and I do not know what is next, help me to continue to trust in you and not stray away from your path, In Jesus name, Amen.

Ecclesiastes 11
1 Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.
2 Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
3 If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie.
4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed [a] in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
6 Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

MADE (JOSEPH) - Family Feud

I ended an earlier blog -CERTAIN PEOPLE- that God is able to make all things work together for our good [Romans 8:28]. While we may feel that we are stumbling through life, we must know that God is still very much in control. Today, we will see the reason behind the animosity that Joseph’s brothers had against him and how it might even appear that God had set him up for ‘sale’.

From the verses in Genesis below we find that:
  • Leah had 6 sons and a daughter before Rachel had her first son – Joseph [30:vs. 20-25];

  • Joseph was an answer to prayer [30:22]

  • Joseph was born into a family of intense in-fighting and conflict and his birth ‘vindicated’ his mother [30:1,23,24]

  • After the birth of Joseph, Jacob prospered exceedingly [30:25 – 32, 43]

  • The only other son [Benjamin] of Rachel was the cause of their mother’s death [35:18]

What am I proposing here? A divinely planned family feud!! The delay in child birth was all God’s plan of making sure Joseph was sent out to go to Egypt; with the mother of Joseph and Benjamin dead, Jacob would have been very protective; Also the birth of Joseph set off a time that transitioned Jacob from a wage earner to the big leagues –the bible described him as being ‘exceedingly prosperous’; Joseph must have stolen the spotlight at every time Jacob was asked how he came about his wealth. I can almost hear him “It was right after Joseph was born …” This only made an already bad situation worse, which resulted in the events that took place in Genesis 37 [18Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him.], talk about bad blood!!

Was he setup for a sale? Absolutely!! In an earlier blog - CERTAIN PEOPLE - we learned that ‘going forward’ God is able to make all things in our past work together for our good, today we realize that ‘looking back’ he may have planned it all to begin with!!

Dear God, I realize that you are almighty and that you have a purpose for my life, give me the strength to focus on You and your will for me no matter what comes my way. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Genesis 30:1
1 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!"

Genesis 30: 20-43
20 Then Leah said, "God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons." So she named him Zebulun. 21 Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah. 22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, "God has taken away my disgrace." 24 She named him Joseph, and said, "May the LORD add to me another son." Jacob's Flocks Increase 25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland. 26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I've done for you."
27 But Laban said to him, "If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that [9] the LORD has blessed me because of you." 28 He added, "Name your wages, and I will pay them." 29 Jacob said to him, "You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. 30 The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?" 31 "What shall I give you?" he asked. "Don't give me anything," Jacob replied. "But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: 32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. …. 43 In this way the man [Jacob] grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.

Genesis 35:16- 19
16 Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. 17 And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, "Don't be afraid, for you have another son." 18 As she breathed her last-for she was dying-she named her son Ben-Oni. [8] But his father named him Benjamin. [9] 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).

Monday, October 03, 2005

MADE(JOSEPH) - Certain People

MADE (JOSEPH) - Certain People

15Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, "What are you seeking?"

Of the many characters in the story of Joseph’s rise to glory, there is a character that is easily forgotten, perhaps because he doesn’t even have a name. The bible simply calls him a ‘certain man’. The ‘certain man’ Joseph met in vs.15 played a vital role in his life. Without him, Joseph would have simply gone back home to his father and missed his appointment with destiny.

In the short run of the valleys of the pit and the prison Joseph would probably have wished he had never met him, but in the long run and from the high position as 2nd most important man in Egypt, it all falls into place. It could not have happened without the ‘certain man’.

We all need certain men [or women] to steer us in the ‘right’ direction. While there are people we are grateful to have met, there are others we wish we had never come across. However we must be assured that God’s purpose for us and HIS commitment to us is able to surmount any obstacle we face, knowing that He is able to make all things work together for our good. [Romans 8:28]

Genesis 37:12-18
Joseph Sold by His Brothers 12 Then his brothers went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them." So he said to him, "Here I am." 14Then he said to him, "Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me." So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem. 15Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, "What are you seeking?" 16So he said, "I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks." 17And the man said, "They have departed from here, for I heard them say, "Let us go to Dothan."' So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. 18Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him.

MADE - The Introduction...

Psalm 100:3
Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has MADE us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

MADE is not about being self-made, as in self-made millionaire. Being MADE is a partnership between you and God. This partnership is always initiated by God whether you know it or not. He has a purpose for you and plans to Make you into something. He does not stop there and leave you to your own plans, but he takes you through the process of Making you. Finally you end up MADE. Your part in the partnership requires you to Discover, Develop and Deliver on this revealed purpose for your life.

When he promises to Make, you Discover; as he takes you through the process of Making you, your responsibility is to Develop; finally you end up MADE and your responsibility here is to Deliver. The partnership is not a one-time thing but a continuous rolling life long partnership. If you have known God long enough, you discover that you (man) are the pinnacle of his creation and that he has an insatiable desire to have a relationship with you. This MADE partnership covers every part of you life –your career, education, choice of friends, your children, your sleep time, everything; often at the same time! But he never unilaterally takes it (you) over; remember it is a partnership.

Every major character (Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, Paul) in the bible passed through this 3-step circle. You will find that there are lots of obstacles and potholes in the path of this circle of partnership as it rolls through the course of your life. These characters and their stories provide us insight on how to overcome these common potholes and obstacles.

As you read the posts to this blog (MADE) you will find that these insights from the bible are still very applicable today in the 21st century.

MADE – the song
God will make you
He’ll make you as gentle as a dove
As brave as lions in the wild
He’ll make you soar like eagles mounting into the sky

God is making you
Into what he wants
He knows the way to go
So hold on tight you’re a diamond in the rough (X2)

Now that God has made you
Now its time to know
that there’s a reason why
like Joseph for his brothers
it’s for someone’s sake that he’s made you what/who you are (X2)