Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.” I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress. With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
In the last area, I am addressing leveling up your external relationships. I will cover the following topics in this section:
1. The three people you need in your life (the roles you need filled)
2. Discerning when to let people go
3. The importance of choosing the right friends
4. Surrounding yourself with people of like-precious-faith
Setting the stage:
I have been teaching on the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people for a while. Today we will look at an example of what happens when you share things of faith with people who are don’t have your best interests. Sadly, sometimes these people are your own family.
(Genesis 37:1-8, and 18-20)
1 Jacob stayed and lived in the land of Canaan. This is the same land where his father had lived.
2 This is the story of Jacob’s family. Joseph was a young man, 17 years old. His job was to take care of the sheep and the goats. Joseph did this work with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah. (Bilhah and Zilpah were his father’s wives.) Joseph told his father about the bad things that his brothers did.
3 Joseph was born at a time when his father Israel was very old, so Israel loved him more than he loved his other sons. Jacob gave him a special coat, which was long and very beautiful.
4 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them, they hated their brother because of this. They refused to say nice things to him.
5 One time Joseph had a special dream. Later, he told his brothers about this dream, and after that his brothers hated him even more.
6 Joseph said, “I had a dream.
7 We were all working in the field, tying stacks of wheat together. Then my stack got up. It stood there while all of your stacks of wheat made a circle around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said, “Do you think this means that you will be a king and rule over us?” His brothers hated Joseph more now because of the dreams he had about them.
18 Joseph’s brothers saw him coming from far away. They decided to make a plan to kill him.
19 They said to each other, “Here comes Joseph the dreamer.
20 Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Never flaunt favor.
I have made this point before, but it worth repeating.
It’s one thing to receive a promise from God and to enjoy the benefits of His favor. But if you don’t learn to handle God’s favor correctly, instead of drawing people to God, it can instigate rejection and resentment in the hearts of others towards you and your God. Joseph was highly favored by God. The favor of God can be seen in every season of his life and every stage of his development. God favored Joseph.
When the favor of God is on you, people will go out of their way to use their POWER, ABILITY, INFLUENCE, and MONEY, to HELP YOU in ways you could never help yourself… and it has nothing to do with what you did. It has everything to do with FAVOR! FAVOR is not earned. It is given. It is an act of God’s grace. Therefore, favor should never be flaunted.
Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors as a symbol of his favor towards him. Joseph flaunted his coat and his favor before his older brothers, and they hated him for it. Hate is a strong word, but it applies in this case. Joseph’s ten older brothers literally hated him because of the favor of God on his life.
When God’s favor goes before you, you want to let people know that this is the Lord’s doing. In other words, when the spotlight is on you, you want to DEFLECT the glory back to God. If you do, God can be glorified, and people will know that it is not really about you but rather the God you serve. This will show people that you are humble, they will be able to relate to you, and you can wind up building strong relationships. However, if you do not deflect the glory, and you foolishly take credit for things you truly never earned, it will cause bitterness, resentment, and ultimately a spirit of rejection in the hearts of others. Why? Because they are working hard to earn things that are freely given to you.
If you want to walk in God’s best and maintain good relationships at the same time, you are going to have to learn to embrace God’s favor and handle it correctly. Make sure to always give God the glory and never take His credit! If you do, not only will you be able to maintain friends, but the favor of God on you will spill over into their lives, because they will wind up honoring what God is doing in your life.
2. You cannot share your dream with everyone.
While you are believing God to do what He said He would do in your life, I have already told you that this is a precious season. You are waiting on the manifestation of God’s promise, you are attempting to maintain your faith and resists every inkling to doubt, and you are trying to do all of this while fulfilling the normal duties of your daily life. This is not a time for you to bring additional pressure or opposition upon yourself. This is why you must be very careful with who you share your dreams. If you share them with the wrong people, you may have been looking for support and what you will get in return is rejection.
— In this series, I have told you only to share precious things with precious people! Even then, when you do so, make sure you are being led by the Holy Spirit.
— Some things you have to meditate on ALL BY YOURSELF! Because not everyone who is WITH YOU is FOR YOU!.
— If you share it, it has to be with DREAM MAKERS and not DREAM KILLERS!
— This is why you must surround yourself with people of like precious faith. You want people who will celebrate you and appreciate what God has called you to do instead of becoming jealous and tearing you down.
3. God dreamed about you, and you have to protect the dream.
I want you to pause for a moment and think about the fact that the God who sits on the circle of the earth takes time to think about YOU!
God had a dream for Joseph. Joseph did not come up with the dream. This is the DREAM that DEFINED Joseph’s LIFE and it was birthed in the heart of God! Guess what? What was true for Joseph is true for you! God has a DREAM for your life! God DREAMED ABOUT YOU before you were born!
Now that you are Born-Again, the Holy Spirit reveals TO YOU things God prepared FOR YOU but were concealed FROM YOU! Through the Holy Spirit, God PUTS HIS DREAM in your HEART and MIND! Once He does, it becomes “a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy.” (see Ecc 3:11 AMPC).
— Joseph was 17 when he received the dream. The dream did not come to pass until he was 39. It took 22 years. That’s a long time. You can make the argument that some of the delay was caused by sharing his dream with the wrong people.
— When God reveals His dream for you, to you, keep his dream before his eyes! Meditate and medicate on it day and night. But when you open your mouth to share it, make sure you are sharing it with people who are confident enough to support you.
— Some people are so insecure that they feel like supporting your dream means rejecting their own. As a result, as soon as you share your dream with them, it builds up bitterness and resentment in their hearts. Unfortunately, some of these people may be your own family members. So be careful and prayerful when it comes time to share your dream.
4. God can use the opposition.
God is so big of a God that He knows everything that will happen before it happens. So not only does He know how you will either embrace or reject His dream for your life, but He also knows the opposition you will face along the way if you embrace it. So He made provisions for that as well!
Reuben wanted to save Joseph. He said, “Let’s not kill him. We can put him into a well without hurting him.” Reuben wanted to bring Joseph back home. But God knew that his destiny was in Egypt. So God did not allow Reuben’s plan to save him to work. The plan of the others brothers was to sell Joseph as a slave. That is exaclty what happened, and God used that plan for His good!
— What is happening TO YOU is sometimes happening FOR YOU!
— Sometimes there are people who want to HELP GET YOU OUT of your SITUATION. But God WON’T ALLOW THEM TO. Because YOUR SITUATION is actually PROPELLING YOU INTO YOUR DESTINY!
— God will ALLOW PAIN to PROPEL YOU to where you WOULD NOT GO VOLUNTARILY!
— Joseph would have never fulfilled the DREAM at HOME!
In closing, the last point I will make today is that even if you do mess up… even if you wind up sharing your dream with the wrong people and you cause yourself a delay, just know two things:
1) You may be delayed, but you will not be denied unless you give up!
2) God has a way of taking what they meant for evil and turning it around for your good!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for Your favor. You are continually raising up people to use their power, their ability, their influence, and their money to help me in ways I cannot help myself. Your favor goes before me like a shield. I appreciate Your favor, but I don’t flaunt it. I remain humble in my prosperity. I know I am only walking out the dream You birthed in Your heart for me before the world began. The enemy may attack the dream. I may even be attacked by my own family members. But their poison cannot stop my purpose. I keep pressing. I keep believing. I hold the dream close. I only share it with people of like precious faith. I LEVEL UP my relationships in 2021! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!