God always has greatness in store for us, but our definition of greatness is different from His. That is why we need a renewal of our minds, which is knowing Godís mind (WORD) concerning everything in life. God created us (man) with the ability to carry pictures, images, and gave us the gift of imagination. He uses this to give us a hope and a future (our destiny) i.e. what He has in mind for us, which iicludes greatness. The problem is not with the pictures, images or vision we carry in our minds, it is with our interpretation of them and trying to work them out ourselves independent of God. A glance at Josephís life concerning his dreams makes this clear.
Before we examine Josephís dreams to glean the principles, it will be pertinent to note some facts about Godís destiny for us.
1. We must note that God is Sovereign and has His ways of bringing to pass His destiny, plans and dreams for our lives. e.g. The cross was Godís plan for salvation. (I Cor. 1: 18, 27-29; Isa. 55: 8).
2. We should not expect all images, imaginations and dreams that go through our minds to be from God.
3. We need to test whether the images and dreams we carry are from God. We do this by submitting them to Godís Word and also to spiritual elders to judge them for us.
4. We should never interpret our dreams, visions or whatever desires God gives us in our own way. That is carnality. Carnality is a destiny-destroyer. (Rom. 8:8) The flesh can not please God.
Keeping this in mind, let us now examine the principles - for achieving destiny from the life of Joseph (Gen. 37 - 41).
The first principle is SERVICE
Gen. 37: 13-14 Joseph started with service. If you want to fulfil destiny, you will have to start as a SERVANT and plan to end as a SERVANT. This might shock your theology, but greatness/destiny is servant-hood under authority. (Mk. 10: 42-43). For example, Jesus came to serve us, died for us and he ever lives to make intercession for us (Read Rom. 8: 34; Heb. 7: 25). In other words, He is still serving us today by interceding for us. Really servant leadership is not about what we do but what we become: a servant at heart. Destiny has a lot to do with what we are becoming. What we do flows out of what we are. Godís focus is internal and with eternal purposes at heart, He helps us become who He made us to be.
What about King David? He started by watching over his fatherís few sheep then taking food to his brothers in I Sam. 17: 17, and was eventually made King, for the sake of Godís people Israel. Joseph also started by taking food to his brothers; he served in Potipharís house (Gen. 39:4), he served in prison (Gen. 39: 22-23); and continued with service in Pharaohís palace (Gen. 41:46). Let us never plan to outgrow serving. Jesus said the greatest will be the servant of all (Mk. 10:43).
The next principle to consider is DILIGENCE
Diligence means HARD WORK, intelligently directed. We see diligence as Ďleaving no stone unturnedí. It has to do with paying attention to details. It is a constant application of effort. Joseph applied himself to diligence and got promoted. (Prov. 22:29) We can never get into destiny by being lazy. Once again, we see David consciously leaving the fatherís few sheep with a care taker and Joseph went on to look for his brothers when they moved from where they were to be found. Those extra efforts show diligence and loyal dedication to the service of one in authority over them (their father in each case).
One of the things that militates against diligence is false expectation; most times we ask, ďWhy is God allowing this to happen to me?Ē He is not, but he is checking your response. James 1:2 says ďCount it all joy when you fall into trials and temptations...Ē Disappointment causes us not to be diligent and by allowing disappointment in our lives we postpone our destiny. I believe Godís anointing will come upon us if we rise up to hard-work, with a right heart. For example, Jesus was anointed for service, which is not a lazy manís work (Luke 4:18). He would work all day and pray all night.
The third principle is KNOWING YOUR BOUNDARIES
Everything from heaven has boundaries i.e. limits set by God. When Godly boundaries are broken, blessings turn unto curses. (Deut. 28; Rom. 12:3). When these boundaries are honoured, we can deepen the enjoyment that we derive from obedience. The garden of Eden and the instructions from God show us He designed us to function within certain boundaries. One tree was not to be eaten from. Other trees are for your enjoyment. The boundary was not honoured and curses were the result.
The temptation in life is to attempt to destroy your God-given boundaries because of lust, selfish ambition, greed or plain foolishness. Joseph had to pass this test when he was offered his masterís wife to lie with. His words reveal he understood his boundaries and that he may be jeopardising his destiny in God if he had failed. Joseph said he was not going to go beyond Godly boundaries and sin against God. (Read Gen. 39:7-9). He knew what was within his boundaries and what was beyond his boundaries.
Ignorance or presumption over God-given boundaries in our minds, emotions, actions and words, account for about 60% of our conflicts and confusion in our relationships. A lack of understanding of emotional boundaries contribute to the high rate of sexual immorality amongst believers. Getting recklessly close to people of the opposite sex can lead to a break down in emotional boundaries.
David was tempted to kill Saul but he refused as he recognised he was the Lordís anointed. We murder people today with our words. David knew his boundaries in this case and refused to take vengeance for himself. He knew that destroying the one God called was stepping beyond his boundaries. When boundaries are broken, the curse is activated.
May the Lord open our eyes to the principle of understanding boundaries.
Build these principles into your life and stay in constant touch with God through prayer, worship and obedience to His Word. You are on your way to fulfilling destiny. Keep growing.
The Lord Bless and keep you!
Rev. Kola Ewuosho
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