You know it is amazing to me how God uses some of the most unlikely people to do His will. When I have been listening to my Bible or reading some scripture I sometimes laugh at how God has used folks in the days and years of the past. Some have never had a clue that He was using them and others sought out God’s will and way for their journey. Around the first of the year Pastor Brad had series called Choices. In the first sermon of this series he gave us a brief overview of the life of Joseph – the young man with the coat of many colors – not Jesus’ father Joseph – (You can listen to Pastor Brad’s entire sermon by clicking this link). Joseph was a shepherd of his father’s goats and sheep. I have heard this story since I was big enough to listen to someone tell it. It seemed it was always told in Vacation Bible School – which is the week long “Summer School” for Baptists.. lol I love the story of Joseph and it touches my heart and soul every time I hear the story on my Bible App on my phone (I prefer listening to reading – it has so much life and becomes so real to me). Joseph was the youngest of 12 sons and hated by his older brothers but most loved by his father Jacob (Israel) because he was the child of Jacob’s old age. It is an awesome story of how God’s plan was laid out many, many years before Joseph actually was able to help his family and it is amazing to watch it unfold (read the entire story here).
Pastor Brad drove home the point that “I’m not going to allow what has defeated me in my past to define me in my future.” Joseph of the Bible definitely did not let what defeated him in his past define his future. The story of Joseph in the Bible begins pretty dim and then it begins to unfold and we see God’s hand at work. Pretty amazing… We, as Christians, need to look to that same statement and own it! We cannot allow what has defeated us in our past to define our future! We absolutely have to claim victory over those things and allow God to work in our lives to right those mishaps along the way.
Another young man – another shepherd – that God used in a powerful way was David, son of Jesse. He was the youngest of 8 sons. He also was a shepherd and kept his father’s sheep! He spent his days in the fields caring for and defending them. You can read his entire story here by clicking this link. To me, he is one of the most interesting men in the Bible… but then I have so many that I can’t wait to talk to when I get to heaven! Just like Joseph… he had a huge defeat… yet he did not wallow in his defeat, he did not allow it to bring him down and be useless in the rest of his life. However, these two took their bad choices – or the bad choices of others, in Joseph’s case – and allowed God to work and create a wonderful outcome.
I was talking to a friend of mine today and this person had made some bad choices in the past. It has been a couple of years since the effects of their choices has happened. My friend is struggling with getting over or working through those bad choices and the consequences of them. Yes, there are always consequences of bad or good choices. However, as Christian people, we cannot allow the defeats of our past to define our future!
I think the key to this all is the condition of the heart. You must humble yourself before the Lord and repent – or ask forgiveness – from God Almighty. Recognizing your guilt and asking forgiveness. God will forgive a truly humble and repentant heart. That is what He does! He forgives because He loves! That is the only way I know of truly getting back to square one with God and ourselves. Those bad choices or defeats – whether they be of someone else’s doing or our own – possibly have hurt others along the way. This is hard to accept because I don’t think truly good people like hurting others for any reason. You have to be able to hand it over to God though and allow Him to work. He promises to help us in all things. We just have to give it to Him and not take it back.
Another way to look at all of this is this… never, never underestimate how important you or someone else is in God’s grand scheme of things! He still uses people in the most unlikely places and circumstances. You are NOT “just a Christian” lost in the flow of life! If you are reading this, you mean something to God and always have! You are a “CHILD OF THE KING”!!! The Creator of the entire … EVERYTHING!! He loves you so much He sent His Son to earth to walk among us. His Son Jesus was here to give us an example of how to live. I know… we could NEVER live like Jesus because we are not perfect like him! He asks us to try though. He can use you in your life circumstances right now. You may never rise to the status that Joseph or King David did… and probably never will… but NEVER short change how God can use you right where you are. Whether that be working in a job from home or in Corporate America, cleaning houses, answering phones or running a company! If you seek His will for your life and pray that He will help you find your way, He will answer you! Seek Him today!
The Song – Hope Is On The Way – Charles Billingsley
If you would like to see one of Charles Billingsley’s concerts you can click this link and see his testimony along with the songs… It is a powerful thing!