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Posts Tagged ‘world view’

Joseph is a man who’s life bleeds character. Joseph’s story is one of abandonment, heartache, injustice, steadfastness, faith, and redemption.

You see, Joseph had a dream. Joseph was given a dream by God. He had no idea what it meant or how it would even come to fruition, but he had it. Joseph was also a punk kid who didn’t have very many hardships in the beginning of his life. He was the favorite child among his brothers. He was given much freedom and favor from his father. This made for some bitter brothers.

Joseph’s family had a different dream for him. It was not one of success or even joy.

Let me give you the big picture of Joseph’s life.

  • Assaulted by his brothers and abandoned for dead
  • Sold into slavery by those same family members
  • Framed for committing adultery with the wife of his boss, Potipher
  • Thrown into prison
  • Served as prison admin.
  • Forgotten by a man who could have freed him from his prison days.
  • Stayed in prison life for two full years after that hope
  • Went from prison administrator to right hand of pharaoh
  • Saved a nation from famine
  • Reconciled the broken relationships with the same family members who assaulted, abandoned, and sold him into slavery.

That is a ton of bumps in the road for Joseph. He knew deep grief and hurt. Joseph had times of believing in the false summit. Potipher was high up in the kings army, maybe that could be his way to the top? A cup bearer being reinstated to a job even closer to the king, could that be his way out?

God gave Joseph a dream. There was something just for him to do. Nothing about the road that got him to his dream was easy. Joseph never treated God like an easy-button God either. He never asked for an easier situation of circumstance. I am sure he might’ve had unrecorded words with God, but he never took control of his path. Joseph believed in the real summit. Joseph held strong to his dream. Not only did he hold strong to his dream, he held strong to the dream giver.

Everything Joseph did along his path cultivated his character. Everything he was in charge of equipped him for the greater dream.

John Maxwell described Joseph’s process as one “who paid the price of preparation.” He also stated that, “every time Joseph faced adversity, he used it to develop his character. Joseph was able to follow each setback with a comeback.

Joseph spent thirteen years cultivating his character before he was appointed right hand man to pharaoh. By that time his character showed that Joseph was not bitter about any of us unfortunate turns in the road and mistreatment’s. Joseph did not right his wrongs.

One important aspect about Joseph’s story for me is that when Joseph entered into his dream, he did not “arrive.” Joseph still depended on God. He still spent time cultivating his character. In the world’s eyes, Joseph obtained the top job. He made it. But it is in those moments where God will always point upward and say, “keep going, you’re not there yet.

Does your path resemble an unknown way that is cultivating your character?

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Ever had those times where you realized that where you are is not where you need to be? I have had a lot of these moments when taking on big mountains in Colorado.

Colorado has mountains called 14’ers, where the summit of the mountain sits 14,000 feet above sea level. Hiking 14’ers gets in my soul. It takes all day to hike to the summit of one of these mountains. The terrain is rigorous and unpredictable. The hike is hard with challenges at every turn. But the view is something I cannot even describe. I have never known another view to physically take my breath away and bring tears to my eyes. Summitting a 14’er never fails to stop me in heavenly awe.

These mountains also come with what is called “false summits.” False summits are just that, false. Being that high above sea level it is hard to gauge what is the “top.” There are plenty of high up places along the hike that can be disguised as the top, but they are far from it. There is nothing like reaching a false summit, cheering for the top, and another passing hiker points upward and says, “that’s actually the top.” Dangit!!

Life is filled with false summits. These are the places where we feel like we have “arrived.” False summits seduce us with victory and the exhale of finishing what we set out to do. False summits seem so great until God comes along, points upward and says, “that’s actually where we are going.”

Lately, I have been spending a lot time just reading scripture. I have read story after story of false summits. There are so many times where difference characters think that they have “arrived” to what God has led them to do, only to realize God was still pointing.

I have realized that in this world, we strive to obtain the top job. With a world view,  you can actually get there, but with God there is no top job. Even if we obtain the dream job or top position, God is still the real top we want to summit.

God has a plan promised for everyone. We are all wired to “do”something. God cares about cultivating our character to get more than what the job is. With God there is no “arriving.” We will always need to depend on him no matter what we are doing or where we are going. Our character is always being developed to be the person he wired us to be. God is always working on our faith and character more than our achievements and end result.

This week, I am going to talk about a couple of people who’s story illustrate the heart of cultivating character.

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I look at this commandment and see how often I place a period after “neighbor.” In my head I repeat and live by the commandment of, “love your neighbor.” I am realizing how much I miss the the whole of what God is asking of me to do. It sounds weird to think that God would command me to love myself. I can read and think logically about loving someone else, but loving myself..come on God, really?

As I marinate on this command, my heart sinks as I am becoming painfully aware of how poorly my own self perception is. The frame work through which I see myself is the lense through which I perceive and respond to others.

Throughout my life I have received many messages that conflict with the truth of how He sees me. Over the years I have given too much weight to those lies and messages in me. You could say that I now even serve those messages of fear in me as I continue to believe those words about myself. It is becoming more clear to me that these life long messages persecute my identity that He has given me. Our identity in Christ never changes. In him we are forever loved, worthy, enough, and his beloved. Our world, and it’s values, contradict those truths about me.

Our world is filled with every day messages that say I will never be enough. Every magazine and advertisement screams that I will never reach the bar of beauty. In the every day fight of competition, we are always set up to pass or fail. The truth of that mindset is always lacking the confidence of adequacey. In him we are already all those things.

It is only out of the truth of my identity in him will loving others begin. When I can get to the place of not thinking I have every thing to prove, or that I am not enough, then I can walk in the freedom to love others. I am talking really loving others with a deep king of love.

I am not in this place yet. I see it. I have some serious soul work to do in understanding the Father’s love for me. I am in the place where I see and know love’s worth for others, but some where in me, I still hold places that seem exempted from his love. As if his love did not apply to me. These are hard messags I am working through. It is hard. I am learning that his name is Everlasting and Love that never fails.

How are your heart’s lenses?

How are you doing at loving yourself?

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