Dreams that Shape the City / Day 23

BIBLE READING

Genesis 39: 1-10

Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favour in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’

But he refused. ‘With me in charge,’ he told her, ‘my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even to be with her.

REFLECTION

In pursuing God’s dream for our lives, the daily decisions we make are vitally important.  Obviously some decisions are more significant than others, but our choices are rarely neutral – they move our lives in a particular direction.   They carry momentum into our future, often setting the seasons of our lives and they will also impact those around us.  Our decisions can define, develop or derail our dreams.  Therefore a wise principle is to develop advance decision making. 

On Sunday evening Alan shared the following 5 advance decisions we can make to help ensure our lives move forward in the right direction:

(i) Make the decision to honour: don’t allow how others treat you to determine how you relate to them.  Joseph chose to honour Potiphar in both his words and actions.

(ii) Make the decision to have honest conversations: don’t avoid the tough talks as they can prevent a lot of pain and problems further down the line.

(iii) Make the decision to pursue relational health: the people you surround yourself with will advance your dream or hold you back.  Deal with past relational issues as fully as possible.

(iv) Make the decision not to settle: as we pursue our dream, we will come against obstacles or difficulties and the temptation will be to simply give up and settle for the familiar.  Transformation requires transition which can be costly as we are pulled apart from everything which isn’t aligned with the dream.

(v) Make the decision not to listen to the critics: as soon as you announce your dream you will awaken your critics.  Every vision brings collision with those who have an alternative dream for your life. 

Our moments of decision determine our destiny.  If Joseph had slept with Potiphar’s wife, the story would have ended very differently.  It may have seemed like an insignificant choice at the time and it actually landed him unjustly in prison.  In the same way, most of our decisions won’t be applauded when we make them.  However, they set our lives on a certain course and it’s often only as we look back that we, and others, will see the significance of the choices we made along the way.

A few questions to consider:

Are there decisions you are currently making that are leading you in a direction other than that which you know is God’s best for you? 

Have you surrendered your dreams and settled for a ‘comfortable’ life because of opposition or obstacles along the way?

Are there some wrong decisions you have made that you need to put right today?

We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9.30 am, 11.30 am and 7.00 pm.