A couple weeks ago we honored
Martin Luther King for inspiring
the world with His dream.
Those of us who started
a daily Bible reading program
on Jan. 1—
a highly recommended idea where you could still jump in now—
have recently read the astounding story about how God took Joseph
from herding the family sheep at age 17
to being second in command of Egypt at age 30.
Talk about a dreamer! God guided Joseph through dreams—the ones He gave him, which Joseph didn’t very humbly share with family, and also through the gift of interpreting dreams for butlers, bakers and pharaohs.
Reuniting with his jealous brothers who started the astounding chain of events by selling him to an Arabian caravan, Joseph told them “it was not you who sent me here” (Gen. 45:8).
Intriguing to me is that Joseph had nothing to do with it either—except that as God took him from caravan to Potiphar’s slave to prison to Prime Minister, Joseph had no choice in it except to obey God and cooperate successfully until God moved him up the next improbable rung on the most unorthodox ladder of success.
This has always been my favorite story from the Old Testament, and many would choose it because
Don’t we want God to guide our lives
the way He did Joseph’s and lead us to meaningful service on His behalf!
No doubt you do, too! I know God has led my life, but it hasn’t seemed caravanned for me.
I am not a dreamer. I rarely remember dreams after sleeping. I don’t see the moon and stars bowing down toward some great feat I should accomplish.
My life has been a series of junctions where I have to ponder, discern and choose where God would like me to be and what He would like me to do to serve Him.
I’m doing that right now, at age 66—even as I ask God to write this through me and inspire me with it!
Each day I pray, “God, I’m your son. Jesus calls me friend. But like Paul said, I’m your willing slave. What would you like me to do today?”
Today we have a world of opportunities. So many options even for a Tim Tebow to run. The Internet opens up the world for service to God, and Jesus commissioned us to do our part to take His gospel into all the world (Matt. 24:14) and make disciples in all nations (Matt. 28:18-20).
Though Mary and I have chosen to retire in Canon City, Colorado, I tell God sincerely that I would go anywhere He would want if I clearly see His will. For now He seems content to take my words rather than my body. And as I recover from hip replacement surgery, which was on Martin Luther King Day, that’s probably a good idea!
On the 23rd of the month when I read the 23rd Psalm, I always share a chuckle with God that I wouldn’t mind if He “makes me lie down in green pastures” instead of me having to locate them.
But praise God, my life has overall been lush grass and quiet streams—more than this dumb sheep deserves. In answer to the proverbial question, if I had it to do over, I honestly would do it the same. I’ve trusted God to guide me. So I must be where He wants me.
Joseph told his shocked brothers:
“It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” (Gen. 45:8, New International Version)
And really that’s what He’s doing with us: calling us now to announce Jesus Christ’s soon-coming government on the earth and preparing us to serve in it with Him. God is Personnel Director for those of us desiring to do His Work. As He did with Joseph, God is in the process of transporting us to His royal court (1 Pet. 2:9). He knows what He wants us to do in His eternal kingdom and universal plans.
In comparison to our glorious vision and mission, second in command in Egypt is local government!
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Prov. 16:9).
While planning our course, we must “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).
Dream as big as we can! Plan! And walk humbly with God where He leads.