The visions that God gives us are usually far beyond our current capacity; hence we have to grow into them. But too many times, we stifle our growth process or abort the vision altogether because we are too rigid in our thinking. The danger in this is that the divine drama will play out as scheduled but we may excuse ourselves from the role that has been assigned to us. Writing this reminds me of Apostle Peter’s experience in Acts 10:9-17 where Peter insisted on following Jewish ceremonial law when God was showing him a vision about taking the gospel outside the Jewish nation. Could Peter have missed something right there and then? I may not be able to categorically answer that. However, one thing I know is that a new assignment often requires a new approach. You can’t fulfil a dream at the same frequency that you were when you received it. You need to develop capacity. And you cannot develop capacity if you’re not flexible. Pastor Sam Adeyemi addresses this and related issues with Joseph and his brothers as our case study (Genesis 37:5-8, 9-11). Enjoy!
Joseph’s brothers –Pastor Sam Adeyemi
We shared last week that emotional separation is inevitable if we are to fulfill God’s vision for our lives. Today, we’re continuing our discussion on the power of vision and we’ll be talking about Joseph’s brothers. We have defined vision as the ability to see people, places and things not the way they are but the way they could be. And we said that vision begins with you — seeing yourself the way you could be. Vision never leaves you the same. It changes you and makes you a magnet. You begin to attract people and opportunities you did not see before. Seeing yourself the way you could be is one level of vision. Another level is seeing others the way they could be. When you begin to see others they way they could be, that makes you a leader and brings you to significance. There is a difference between success and significance.
This year, God has told us to think big and have new dreams. I believe that’s because heaven is opening up a new season. When heaven has a new season and God throws out new visions and new dreams, it is those who have developed capacity that take those things. We cannot receive new wine with old wineskin (Luke 5:38). The old wineskin is inflexible. It does not have the flexibility and capacity to take the new wine. Unfortunately, some people’s minds cannot stretch and a lot of them are in church. We build structures around what God has shown us that it becomes so stiff that even the Holy Spirit cannot use it. So he steps out of it and finds people with fresh minds. That has happened to the church through the ages.
At the wedding in Cana of Galilee, Jesus’ mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you to do, do it.” She knew that Jesus could save them from embarrassment but she also knew that what He would tell them would stretch their minds. So she prepared them ahead. What God will show you will stretch your mind. It is likely to be outside your current frame of reference. Whatever he tells you to do, do it. Get ready to get ideas you never got before, to do things you never did before, to receive things you ne ver received before.What God will show you will stretch your mind. Be flexible. HT @Sam_Adeyemi Click To Tweet
A vision changes you and provokes responses and reactions from those around you. It changes your status. Joseph was the eleventh son; he saw a vision and was bold enough to declare it. A vision has the tendency to threaten the people around you because it changes the structure of your relationship to them. Joseph’s brothers hated him more. Even his father rebuked him. But the father later processed it and made a switch. His brothers could not get beyond the envy. And that’s natural — someone else’s success has a tendency to make you look like a failure. The feeling is natural but it is not good. The love that the Holy Spirit pours in our hearts helps to resolve those feelings. Love does not envy. Envy is a product of lack of vision.
Joseph’s brothers should have realised that Joseph only caught a piece of the action; there was a whole lot more that included them. They also had powerful destinies but because they couldn’t see theirs, their brother’s destiny drove them to envy to the point of planning murder. But you can’t kill God’s dream. It is when you have not seen that there’s something good coming for you that somebody else’s vision becomes a threat to you.
The dominion equation
In Genesis 1:26, God did not give man dominion over another man; he gave all of us dominion. Nobody has ultimate dominion. In your area of specialty you exercise dominion over the rest of us. The way it works is mutual submission. If you’re a medical doctor for instance, you have dominion in that area. When I come to your hospital, it doesn’t matter if I am the president of the nation, I must follow your instructions. And when you need something that has to do with my specialty, you take instructions from me. Whenever we need to do anything, the rest of us line up behind whoever is in charge of the specialty. I call it the law of mutual submission. Mutual submission is the key to collective dominion. It is mutual submission because everyone has something to offer. I know there is a sense in which you’re like everybody else but there is also a sense in which you’re unique. There is a contribution that only you can make. Everybody has something to offer.No one has absolute dominion. Mutual submission is the key to collective dominion. -@Sam_Adeyemi Click To Tweet
Just like Joseph and his brothers, we’re all stars and one’s shining does not hinder the other. Joseph and his brothers were destined to be the progenitors of the twelve tribes of Israel. They appear all through the Bible up to Revelation. They had gates in heaven named after each of them (Revelation 21:12). If they saw that they would not have bothered about killing Joseph. As much as you have your dream and I have my dream, they overlap somewhere. Envy is a waste of time. It’s a waste of resources and waste of imagination. You only subscribe to envy when you have not caught God’s vision for your life. It is when you don’t know what God has planned for you that you have low self esteem.
How to capture God’s vision for your life
1. Pray: You won’t find prayer boring if Jeremiah 33:3 is working for you. The problem is that for many people, prayer is a monologue, an opportunity to be a spiritual talkative. What God wants is a Father-son relationship (John 5:19). When praying talk to God like a son would talk to his father and engage your imagination. The problem with many of us is that when we pray we leave our minds behind. The gap between the spiritual and the physical is bridged by the mind (Habbakkuk 2:1-2). Use your imagination to bring the future into the present. Since it is God that gave you the dream, it will come to pass. So you could as well experience the feeling now. The things that are seen are temporary. The things that are unseen are eternal. Use your imagination to bring those things that are unseen into the present. Spend time in prayer. Let the Holy Spirit paint pictures on the canvas of your imagination.
2. Meditate: Spend time thinking. Great works are products of deep thoughts (Psalm 39:3). Think to the point where your mind gets to the frequency of the Holy Spirit. God’s thoughts are different from man’s thoughts. You need to stay long enough on thoughts and projects until the fire burns. For me, I do my meditations very early in the morning. Understand yourself and know when you get your best ideas. Plan around that and stick to it.
3. Hang around people who hear from God: Stay around inspired people, people who hear from God. I don’t joke with listening to messages and CDs. Inspiration is the key to revelation. In 1Samuel 9, Saul and his servant had been searching for donkeys for days. When they got to Samuel, not only were the donkeys found but Saul also ended up becoming king. This year, your effort will not be wasted!
4. Give: People do not realise that there is a law of exchange. When you give, you need to know what God gives you in return. Many people do not receive their harvest because they don’t realise how God works. They don’t spend money in heaven. What God gives you comes is ideas and raw spiritual power (1Kings 3:4-5).
Whatever stands as an obstacle to clear thinking, clarity of purpose, God removes it today. Your mind is renewed. Receive capacity for flexibility. The power of every past experience that has become a limitation is broken, in Jesus’ name.