“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.”
“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Regardless of your career choice, interests or desires in life; you will inevitably fall into one of three categories. You will either blend in with the crowd, rise above the crowd or fall short of the crowd. We as humans, have somehow adopted the idea that only certain people can be successful. We assume those who have enjoyed the benefits of success were born with some abnormality of DNA that gives them greater intelligence, a stronger drive, and an uncanny ability to turn everything they touch into gold. We admire men and woman of great success and accredit their success to luck, or simply being born in the right family, or possibly knowing the right people. I will not sit here and pretend that these thoughts have never crossed my mind, we must understand this mindset is a lie! Although being born in the right circumstances has its advantages, and although getting the right connections are beneficial and although sometimes luck plays a role; we must never allow ourselves to believe that success is reserved for a select few! You can be anyone you want to be, you can achieve anything you want to achieve; there is no ceiling on your potential, if you want it go get it!
Our text reveals to us an insight into the story of Joseph, many times in our zeal to uncover the glorious story of his ascension from the prison room to the throne room, we mistakenly omit this portion of the story. Joseph was the favorite son, the Bible tells us. A few days ago, the Lord began to really open up my mind. I wasn’t praying, i wasn’t at church; I was simply driving down the road. Yes, God can speak to us, even when we’re not in “apostolic” mode. The Bible actually tells us to pray without ceasing, it doesn’t mean to stop living in exchange for prayer, rather it simply means to keep in touch. Make sure that you are readily available when I call for you. Anyhow, I found myself in one of those God moments, where it becomes undeniable that the Lord is speaking, not audibly, but speaking nonetheless.
I’ve found myself at times on a roller coaster, some weeks I feel as though I can accomplish anything I set my sights on; other weeks I feel as useless as a catcher in T-ball! I’ve always desires a genuine relationship with the Lord, even in some of my most rebellious years, deep inside of my gut was an unquenchable hunger for Him. Friend, never attempt to quiet that hunger with carnality, or relationships. that void was placed there by God Himself, and is to only be occupied by God Himself! But throughout my journey through life and ministry, I have found myself admiring the great men and woman of God. I read their books, I listen to their sermons, I watch them at conference, I hear their testimonies and I witness their success. Each time my soul is stirred for a moment, and I believe for just a second that I too can taste that! All too soon I suddenly find myself back in reality; the outrageous hours spent at work, which average between 55-60 hours a week, the craziness of 2 children age 4 and 2, the demand of our local church; the studying, sermon preparation, the hours spent on website development, with help from my sister, Facebook page maintenance, and whatever else I can find to improve. After the hustle of a full week, I’m just thankful to be where I am. It’s in this whirlwind of life that I find myself saying, If only….
Abraham was given a promise, God told him his seed would be numbered like the stars of the sky; and the sands of the earth. Wow! What an incredible word from God! But Abraham only has 1 son, Isaac. And Isaac, the promised son has only 1 son that the Lord accepts. It appears as if the promise may never come to pass, after all, how do you create a great nation and achieve that many offspring with simple replacement mode. Issac replaced Abraham, Jacob replaced Isaac; they had to be thinking when does the multiplication start? But then suddenly it happens, Jacob is blessed with 12 sons. Which become the pillars if Israel, and established the 12 tribes of Israel. These 12 sons were part of a generation that changed the landscape of Israel. They brought into existence a structure never before seen. I believe this generation has the opportunity to achieve that same level of success. I believe that this generation is about to step into an anointing that will completely reshape the structure of the church. We’ve been accustomed to operating in a reactionary mode. Where we simply react to events as they happen. But I can sense this generation stepping into an anointing that will transform us from reactive people to proactive people. Where we no longer wait for things to happen, but we actually step out in faith and make things happen!
This is where God stepped in and began to talk to me. You see I’m my own worst critic, as most of us are. I recognize someone more talented than me, I recognize those who are better preachers, and better orators. I can see when somebody is smarter and has better leadership qualities. And usually I accept those facts and begin to think less of myself. I have often found myself intimidated and almost fearful because I view my self as less talented, and by assumption less anointed. It’s a dangerous trap that will destroy your faith. With that being said, I usually try not to dwell on those areas of life as much, and focus my energy on our local church, my family and so on. As I was driving that day, the Lord actually began to remind me of that very idea. He told me there would always be a better preacher, there will always be a better leader, always be a better speaker and teacher. But he began to show me that Joseph wasn’t the most qualified son. Reuben was the first-born, he was better qualified according to the law. Judah was a better leader, and lead by example and by love. Joseph wasn’t all that! But there something about Joseph that stood out to daddy! And this is where God revolutionized my mentality; he said although there will be many with greater talents and abilities; they may out preach you, out teach you or out smart you, but never allow anyone to out pray you, out fast you, or out love you!
Suddenly it was as if God rolled a curtain back and began to reveal to me the purpose of this encounter. Questions began to flood my mind; will you be satisfied just being a part of the greatest movement on earth? Will you be satisfied being counted among the millions of Pentecostal preachers who have ever preached? Are you content with being on par with every other anointed man of God? Or do you desire that Mantle of Favor that Joseph so proudly wore? Joseph was a part of a generation that brought change and revival; but by Joseph’s hand (ministry) all the ends of the earth were blessed! Joseph never settled for ordinary, and his drive positioned him in a place to be successful! What the Lord showed me is that if we hunger for him, and pursue him above the call of duty (extended fasting, unrehearsed prayer etc..) he is willing to place on our ministries a Mantle of Favor! I don’t know about you but I don’t want to settle for average when a Mantle is available! And once that Mantle hits your shoulders you will be given a vision and a dream that appears unreachable! But do not fret the small things, you’ve got the favor of God!
“What you want to do, and what you can do, is limited only by what you can dream.” Mike Melville