WHAT’S THE POINT OF THIS?
Have you ever found yourself in a season of life that had you wondering ‘what’s the point of this?’ ‘How is this job/position/circumstance going to see the vision on my heart come to life?’
Perhaps it’s that hospitality or retail job that you have while you’re studying. Surely, it’s just a means to an end. Something to generate some cash flow. A blimp on the radar of your big-dream-picture.
Maybe you’re well into your career, but there’s a stirring within you for something more; to see that dream in your heart come to life. You question the relevance that your current job or position has on your journey.
Or you could find yourself in a season of singleness, but the dream on your heart is for a family. It has you questioning ‘why on earth am I still single?!’
I’m loathe to call these ‘in-between seasons’, or to refer to them as a ‘waiting room’ to something greater.
I really don’t like this kind of language because I truly believe that when you have given your life to God and choose to live for him, every season serves a purpose on your vision journey.
Every season, irrespective of its seeming relevance to your vision, is rich with purpose, lessons and opportunity for personal growth. These seasons shape us and serve as stepping stones [and in some instances, sling shots] to the manifestation of the dreams on your heart.
JOSEPH: THE STORY CONTINUES
My good friend Joseph gives us a perfect example of this in action!
In Genesis 39 Joseph’s story continues. After his brothers sold him into slavery Joseph is ‘purchased’ by Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials. Later in chapter 39 Joseph is wrongly accused and thrown in prison.
In this chapter we see Joseph serve time as both a slave and a prisoner.
In studying what God does in and through Joseph in these seasons, God has showed me four encouraging things about His blessings and the way He uses our ‘in-between’ seasons to position and prepare us.
1. GOD’S CAN BLESS US IN ALL SEASONS AND UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
When Joseph was a slave in Potiphar’s house the scripture says in Genesis 39:2-4 (MEV):
“The Lord was with Joseph so that he became a prosperous man. He was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
“His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper.
“Joseph found favour in his sight and served him. So he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put under his charge.”
Joseph was a prosperous slave.
Think about it.
It’s a bit of a contradiction by human standards. A little (or a lot) ironic!
But God does not operate within our standards or expectations. He’s far greater than that!
Through Joseph’s slavery season God shows us that our circumstances have no impact on His ability to bless us!
And this isn’t a once-off, random occurrence of God’s blessing. Look at what happens to Joseph when after he’s wrongly accused and thrown into prison later in Genesis 39:20-22 (MEV):
“Joseph’s master [Potiphar] took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in prison.
“But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
“The keeper of the prison committed all the prisoners that were in the prison to the charge of Joseph. So whatever they did there, he was the one responsible for it.”
Again, we see Joseph prospering in a prison-circumstance! God blesses him! Look at what it says in Genesis 39:23:
“The keeper of the prison did not concern himself with anything that was under Joseph’s charge because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it to prosper.”
So, irrespective of the season or circumstance that you find yourself in, God can still bless you.
2. GOD’S BLESSING IS SO GREAT THAT IT OVERFLOWS
My Mum and I often say that God is not a just-enough-God. He’s an abundant God.
This is true and also applies to the way he blesses us. He wants to bless us so much so that it spills over into the lives of those around us!
Look at what happened to Potiphar when God blessed Joseph while he was a slave in Potiphar’s house…
“From the time that he [Potiphar] had made him [Joseph] overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of Joseph. So the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field” (Genesis 39:5 MEV).
Similarly, with the keeper of the prison, Genesis 39:23 tells us that he didn’t have to worry about the prison as long as it was under Joseph’s care, because everything Joseph did, the Lord made it to prosper. What a blessing for the prison keeper, to not have to worry about its operation as long as it was under Joseph’s care! He could put his feet up, stress-free. Now that’s a blessing!
God’s favour and blessing on our lives spill over into the lives of the people and places in our sphere of influence!
3. THE ‘IN-BETWEEN’ SEASONS SERVE TO PREPARE US FOR THE VISION’S MANIFESTATION
In both of these circumstances, we see Joseph honour his masters [first Potiphar and then the prison keeper] with his best effort. And God blessed him and made him to prosper.
This work ethic served Joseph well. It positioned him to be recommended to Pharaoh (in Genesis 40), to prepare him for an even greater position of leadership, and to live a life that was an example of, and testament to, God’s blessings.
We never hear Joseph complaining, or questioning ‘what’s the point?’ in his slavery and prison circumstances. He doesn’t cry out to God asking: “What ever happened to those dreams you gave me all those years ago? How will that ever come to pass while I’m stuck here in prison?!”
No. Instead Joseph rolls up his sleeves, grits his teeth, and gets on with the job at hand.
Joseph knew these places weren’t the dream that God had placed on his heart. And yet he trusted God, honouring Him and his earthly masters with his best effort.
In the chapters that follow, we see that this work ethic actually served to position, and later catapult, Joseph into the manifestation of his dreams.
I wonder what would happen if you and I did the same. If, in our workplaces and areas of service, irrespective of whether it’s our dream, we too honoured God and our employers/leaders with our best effort. All the while, trusting that when God puts a dream on our heart, He’ll see it come to pass and can use every position and circumstance we are in to lead us there!
If joseph hadn’t worked in a way that was an example of God’s favour and blessing on his life, he could have flown under the radar, unrecognised by those that eventually led him to Pharaoh. He could have completely missed out on seeing the vision realised!!
There’s a lot to be said for honouring your current season with your best effort and attitude!
When we do this, it actually grows us, positions us and prepares us for the manifestation of the vision!
4. GOD WANTS TO BLESS US ALL THE WAY
Joseph’s vision journey also demonstrates that God’s blessings are not reserved for when the vision is realised; but rather His blessings are on us throughout the entire journey!
Genesis 39 gives me great hope. It encourages me on my journey to seeing the vision in my heart come to life, because it shows me that while God calls us to do wonderful things for His kingdom, his blessings are ALWAYS on us!
No matter our circumstances, God can bless us.
No wonder the level of ‘achievement’ of the dreams on our hearts, God can bless us.
Irrespective of the seeming relevance of our season, God uses it to prepare and position us for the manifestation of the vision, blessing us all the way!