Joseph Hero of the Faith (7)

We’ve been looking at Joseph’s character over the last series of posts, which had so much to encourage and teach us about Godly character as disciples of Jesus, but today’s question is Why Egypt? Why was it necessary for the action to take place in Egypt.

Jacobs’ family lived in Canaan. They were shepherds with livestock who moved their flocks around in search of pasture. Their environment and pastures were suitable for that but not for large scale agriculture. The famine that was coming was going to be devastating on an unprecedented scale and preparation was key.

It was not uncommon to have famines in those times. We read in the bible that there had been several famines already. In Abraham & Isaac’s time they had been forced to travel to foreign lands to buy food. This famine was going to be different though. 7 years was a long period of famine. It was going to affect a large number of people.

Where was a fertile place that could produce enough food to sustain the people and surrounding nations over seven long years with planning and preparation. Egypt was the answer. It was a natural resource.

The river Nile regularly flooded and the delta region around the Nile with its mud flats was rich in minerals and natural fertiliser. It was an extremely fertile region and capable of producing great harvests. A land of abundance.

Joseph was found and placed in the place where the resources were. God put those resources in his hands to be a blessing to many.

Has God given you a vision or mission field but at the moment you just don’t see how it’s going to be possible because you don’t have the resources currently. If God has given you the vision then He will provide. He is Jehovah Jireh. The Lord who provides. God knows where the resources are and can make them available to you for His glory and His purposes. God will provide according to His riches in glory.

God can provide not only the resources to make the vision come to pass but can also direct your paths to the place that is ready to receive. Your mission field. The place of harvest. God can take you to a place which is fertile and ready to receive God’s Word. You might already be right in that fertile place. A place where the soil of men’s hearts, through the work of the Spirit of God, been turned from stone into flesh, softened and ready to receive the Good News of Jesus.

Prepared in prayer with tears of intercession for men’s souls. Brother Alan posted recently the passionate plea of John Knox “ Give me Scotland, or I die”. What passion in prayer for the lost. You can read that post here John Knox

The Nile valley was so fertile that any seed which was sown didn’t need to be ploughed into the ground. The ground was so softened by the regular floods it was ready to receive the seed and the seed could immediately take root and grow.

The fields by my home ploughed ready for the seed

The Lord will show us those people whose hearts are prepared ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus. They are out there desperate and thirsty for the gospel. Jesus told His followers that the harvest was great. There are people who are open and desperate to hear the Good News of Jesus.

Then He (Jesus) said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2

One of the greatest lies the enemy would have us believe is that people are not interested in what Christians have to say. They are interested. People are hungry for the Truth and are looking for it in all sorts of places. Be encouraged and bold that the Lord will direct your steps to share with those who are open and ready to receive.

If the ground is hard and not ready to receive then the seed is going to wither and die. Have you seen what happens when a heavy rain storm falls on hard ground. The water can’t penetrate the ground quickly enough and there is flash flooding. The ground was not prepared ready to receive the rain let alone the seed. It doesn’t penetrate the soil but runs off.

We don’t want run off.

We don’t want our words to run off like that water but we want them to penetrate and water the soil of men’s hearts. Ploughed soil is ready to receive. Ground that is broken up is ready to receive the rain. Little raindrops from heaven. Little words sent in due season.

If the soil is not ready to receive then it needs to be prepared. If those around you currently are hard hearted to the gospel message then we can intercede in prayer for them before God’s throne for the Holy Spirit to minister to their minds and hearts. For those hearts of stone to be turned to hearts of flesh. We can cry out for them to God. May our cries reach the ears of our Father in Heaven who sent His son to seek and save that which was lost.

If you are like me then I’m sure you have experienced rejection by people who were just not ready to receive you. It can be discouraging and cause us to hold back in future. I am learning that I need to recognise the conditions and discern when to sow and when to reap. To be led by the Holy Spirit and move on if the conditions are not ready yet.

Jesus told those that He sent out to minister that if there was no Peace in the house i.e the place was not ready to receive them – then their peace would return to them. If the disciples were not received then they were to shake the dust from their feet and move on.

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
Matthew 10:14

Even though those disciples must have encountered some of the rejection that Jesus warned them about, they still returned with joy to tell Jesus the things they had accomplished in His name.

We will do likewise. We will rejoice over those who receive Christ and come into the Kingdom of God.

Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

The seed sprouting in the fields

Letting go of the seed

I hope this an encouraging word for a fellow believer in this season – do not value the seed above the harvest. You have to let go of the seed in your hand to reap the harvest. The Lord may have already shown you what and where he wants you to sow but you may be hesitant to commit the seed. If you are obedient to sow as the Lord leads you then there will be a harvest in due time.

Have a blessed day.

2 Corinthians 9: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Photo by Onnye on Pexels.com

Time to break up the fallow ground

The Lord has been speaking recently to our fellowship about it being the time to break up our fallow ground.    

There has been a sense in my spirit that this is a time to take action, not to delay in our response but to act.   

This may be a word just for our fellowship but I am sharing it as it may be an inspiration or challenge to others.

Fallow ground is ground that has been left unplanted for a time so that it can regenerate.     

If we apply this principle to our Christian lives, we can recognise there are times when we need a period of regeneration/refreshing, but if we are not careful we can slide into apathy or fear can take hold and before we know it, we are not growing in Christ and Christlikeness or doing anything productive for God’s kingdom.   

It can be easier to do nothing at all and let things lie, particularly the difficult areas in our lives which we don’t want to tackle and have a “do not disturb” sign.     

The fallow ground becomes hard through lack of ploughing and weeds sprout up.   What was once fallow ground is now more like waste ground.   It’s become a veritable wilderness.

Fallow ground is also ground that has not been planted before but has the potential for producing a crop.   

These may be new areas that God is calling us to prepare for planting.

Ground that previously would have been unproductive may now have the capacity to produce.   

The land needs breaking up though so that it is ready for sowing. 

Stones and weeds need to be removed – in the spiritual sense this is a necessary time of preparation through prayer and believing and praying God’s word to break up the ground ready to receive the spiritual seed.

The words of Hosea 10:12 says “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you”.

Sowing righteousness and godliness into our own lives and the lives of those around us is completely contrary to current culture.   

May God show us by the power of His Holy Spirit what ground is lying fallow and requires breaking up ready for sowing.   

If the soil of our own hearts is hard or has become hardened, then I pray the Holy Spirit will soften our hearts and reveal the reason for the hardness.  

Unbelief & disappointment will cause our hearts to grow hard and weeds of bitterness & unforgiveness will choke any seed. 

May we have ears to hear God and obey His calling and that the word of God will be like a plough turning over the soil of our hearts.

If our gifts and talents in God are not being used or we have let ministries drift, then let this be the season to ask God for new opportunities to serve Him and to breathe new life into hopes, dreams and visions.   

Now is not the time to hold back but to get active for God’s kingdom.

The bible teaches us that there is a time for everything.    If we plant good seed in good soil as God shows us then we will receive a harvest.   

I pray that we will produce a good harvest so that when we stand before Jesus to give an account we will hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant”.

2 Corinthians 9:10 “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness”. Amen 🙏 blessings to you this day.

tractor beside grass field
Photo by Nicolas Veithen on Pexels.com

 

Prepare, (Re-)Position, Let Go

As we have been praying recently there has been a great sense of God speaking again about His Fire and Oil being poured out on believers in an incredible way.  

A mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit to come suddenly and deluge us just as the rain came in the day of Elijah following years of drought.  

The fire first and then rain with a river of His Presence, Power & Glory.   

This will see many people being brought into the Kingdom as the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached with power.

I sense in my spirit that the Lord is saying Prepare and Position yourself ready to give and receive.    

The Lord gave me this word “Hitch up your garments and take up your position ready”.      

I believe preparation and positioning are keys for this season.   

In each of our lives we can prepare and position ourselves ready to give and receive and birth as the Lord shows each one of us by His Holy Spirit.    

Each of us has different gifts, callings and ministries and resources to use in the body of Christ and for the work of the gospel.     

If we have put these down or let them get a bit rusty then perhaps now is the time to pick them up again and start practicing and get ready.

I pray God will show each and every one of us what we need to do to prepare. 

I sense that for some people God is saying that you have to let go of the old in order to receive the new.  

If you are holding on to something from the past then perhaps it is time to let it go in order that you can receive the new thing God wants to do.

I am reminded of people of faith in the bible who prepared;

Joseph prepared provisions for a severe famine;

Esther prepared a whole year for a night with the King;

the Jews prepared themselves with weapons to defend themselves against Haman’s plot to destroy them;

the widow in the time of Elisha prepared jars ready to receive the miraculous provision of oil which only stopped when all the jars were used;

At the wedding feast the jars were filled with water ready for Jesus’ miracle.   

Jesus gives us the example of the virgins who were prepared for the bride groom’s return with sufficient oil in their lamps.  

In times of difficulty God will use his people to be His voice and to help those who are in need.

In Isaiah 54 v 2 the word is “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes”.    

This was a word on preparation.  

The barren woman in this verse did not need room in her tent as she had no children but God was promising that the desolate would have children and to get ready to receive them.    

You may feel barren at the moment and your ministry may look barren  but believe in faith that God is going to bring in a harvest and birth something new. 

There are green shoots breaking through.      

Let us make room to receive the harvest and put in place the necessary support systems so that the stakes are well and truly strengthened.     

Let us mend the nets ready to receive the fish.

Some of us may need to re-position ourselves in this season.   

Are we in the right place to receive or prepare for what God wants to do through us?  

If you are in doubt then ask God to show you.   It may take boldness and a step of faith to move out of a place of comfort – out of the comfort zone and into the new place or ministry that God has for you.   

Where does God want to position you for His glory to work through you.     It might be time to move out.

The instruction to “Hitch up my garments” reminded me of Elijah.     

In the time of drought Elijah first heard the rain in the Spirit.  

Before the rain even came he said to the King to go up and eat and drink “for there is the sound of an abundance of rain”.    

Elijah sent his servant to keep looking for the cloud and eventually on the 7th time of looking there was a small cloud.    

Elijah saw the sign and knew that the rain he had heard in the Spirit was on its way.    

He prepared himself by hitching up his garments in order that he was prepared to run ahead of the rain and presumably the dangerous floods due to the dry and hard ground.   

Elijah managed to outrun the chariot of the King over a great distance of about 25 miles.   

The people of God will do great and mighty things in these times.  

Elijah did something which was not possible in the natural.  He outran a chariot and over such a distance – God enabled it miraculously.

As the people of God, I believe this is a season to prepare ourselves and position ourselves ready to give and receive.  

God use us for His glory.  

Lord show us how to prepare and how to position ourselves so that we are ready for you. 

Ready to go, Ready to run.

Amen blessings in Jesus