"ON EAGLES’ WINGS MINISTRIES"
Living your CAUSE & serving your PURPOSE” November 2015. Part 1
“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37. “Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.” John 7:30.
“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” John 13: 1. “In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will O God.” Hebrews 10: 6, 7.
Putting the life of Jesus Christ under the microscope beginning while he was still in a manger being visited by wise men; we are left to wonder what our daily life and mental fortitude would be like being allowed to know the end while standing at the beginning. Most of us at different times wished we could know our future in its entirety. But quickly we are drawn back to reality and are forced to wonderhow much of the future we could absorb in our tender years.
I remember many years ago in a worship service in Kingston, Jamaica, the Lord spoke to me in prophecy saying: “I have many things to show you: things that shall transpire in your walk with me, but you cannot bear them now. But as you grow in grace and in strength I will reveal more and more to you.” It does not take long for us to take inventory of our walk with God, and conclude that had we been told at the beginning, the things we would learn and suffer our fainting heart would fail.
Let us offer an overview of secular life in every society on our planet. As high school draws to a close, many schools interact with professionals who are trained in helping aspiring students decide on a career before applying to various colleges. Conflicts emerge in many homes because parents take the initiative in choosing a career for their children. Sometimes the process gets inflamed because the children want to exercise their mind and make their own choices. Today there are some families that embrace a military tradition, down through three or four generations. But let us be practical for a moment!
Among the three hundred million people living in the United States, how many of us do you think in our infancy knew what life would be like? How many knew exactly, not what they wish to be; but what they were born to be. We can look in the history books and determine that Elvis Presley was born to be a rock and roll star. We can read the exploits of General Douglas MacArthur, and General Dwight Eisenhower, and remark that they were born to be military heroes.
We can read about Doctor David Livingston, Doctor Walter Reid who discovered the vaccine to treat polio. But at what point did these men made the right choice to align themselves with their true purpose in life? I have heard stories of people who were born with certain gifts; who, even from their childhood displayed rear gifts. For the greater percentage of people, including those who became highly successful, their lives grew larger and larger, out of a series of hits and misses.
In general, even out of careful preponderance one cannot be certain of what one’s calling and vocation is. But when we look at the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, of Hank Aaron, of Major Alton Glenn Miller, and the Greek Masters, we simply conclude that these champions must have accomplished what they were born to do. And yet, at the beginning, I don’t suppose any of them thought that they were fulfilling their destiny. Many simply began to do what they enjoyed doing. Some were for fun: some were to help others; and many were to make money and provide well for their families.
But no matter what we were called to be, we were not told in our youthful years all the hurdles, setbacks, and pain we would encounter. The road to excellence and wealth is littered with the broken pieces of shattered dreams. There is always room at the top because so few managed to reach that high plateau of stellar accomplishments.
In a quick search of the Old Testament we discover many who lived in real time, what they were born to be and to do. Some parents were told what to expect of their children, as shown in the case of Samson. Notice how concise and explicit this account was. “And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearset not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing. For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” Judges 13: 2-5. To be provocative I like to throw in this thought:
“When God looked for a man and could not find one, he made one and called him Jesus.” In this case he needed a man, and he set about to bring that man to the forefront and outlined his birth, his upbringing, and the purpose that God had relegated to him. This was about B.C.1161. But let us look at another classic example of God pointing out man’s destiny, as we would say, “right up front.”
Some five hundred and thirty two years later, God needed another man, and at an early age he decided to meet with him and outline his diving purpose, in terms of what this man’s ministry would be. “Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; (that means an intimate knowledge like one friend to another because he was a real person before he was formed in the womb) and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4, 5.
Help me Jesus! Can you grasp the enormity of these Divine dynamics? Don’t you think that this is heavy duty materials that we are dealing with here? God did not say that he had him in his thoughts or tucked away in his predestinated will. NO Sir! God said that he knew Jeremiah before he was formed—and before he came forth out of the womb. Even then, he was sanctified and ordained a prophet to the nations. The child sought for a plausible excuse by putting his childlike image before the Lord, including the fact that he could not speak. But to condense the story, we go down to verse 18: “For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.”
In all my years of walking with Christ, one of the most welcome and encouraging statement that I have heard many times over is: “Thus saith the Lord unto you my son; behold I have seen thy tears, and I have heard thy cry unto me.” Thus saith the Lord means that he is the one speaking through lips of clay, and I can tell you that it gets my attention each and every time. Jeremiah was not left in doubt as to what his purpose and his cause were at that tender age. Moses spent forty years learning to become a prince in Egypt. He spent the next forty years in the desert as a fugitive from justice and a wanderer in a barren place.
Here, God turned him upside down, shook him to his very core and emptied every trace of Egypt out of his system. In Egypt, his life had one purpose and one cause. But in the desert he lost it all, and became a drifter as one without a reason to remain alive. At eighty years old God appeared to Moses and gave him a new purpose and cause that would serve for the rest of his life. Like the young child Jeremiah, this eighty year old man asked to be excused because he could not speak. “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore (before) nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” Exodus 4: 10. But let us look at this man during his glory days in Egypt. “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” Acts 7:22. So at the burning bush when Moses began to present excuses to God, was he actually lying? I don’t think he was lying: I think that during the forty years in the desert he actually lost the vocabulary and total vernacular of Egypt. From the encounter with God at the burning bush the record shows how he responded to his new purpose and cause that now included a mighty host of people.
There is one essential aspect of the story of Moses that we should not exclude or ignore. As we noted before, he went from being a mighty man in Egypt, to a fugitive from justice left to wander in the desert for forty years. But now at the burning bush, an ultimate promotion came from the Almighty. It is more than being “Knighted” by the Queen of England. In sending Moses back to Egypt, God conferred upon him a royal—and Divine rank that no man could successfully oppose. “And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” Exodus 7: 1. We have to assume that this ultimate purpose and cause in the life of Moses were written in God’s “things to do” book, from before the foundation of the world. But how much of this did Moses know, and at what stage of his life did he acquire such knowledge? Isn’t it safer to say that he went from one aspect of his life to another, making the best of what each day offered? rather than working from a deep knowledge of what his ultimate purpose was?
Let us look another real life story that never ceases to amaze me. In about the year B.C. 1913, God spoke to Abram saying: “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not their’s, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” Genesis 15: 13, 14. We will now fast-forward one hundred and eighty six years to the birth of a little boy, who would, unknown to him, bear the brunt of the prediction made a hundred—plus years before his birth.
What we are about to study is the purpose and cause in the life of Joseph. But from what we can glean from the scriptures, the young lad had no advanced knowledge of what his life was meant to be. He did not know in advance that certain events in his life were waymarks and stepping stones to the desired goal in God’s master plan for a people that would become a nation. God inserted a gift in the boy’s life that would aggravate the life of his brothers to a point of them hating him and sought to kill him.
Let us see how each building block began to be set in place in the young man’s life. “And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.” Genesis 37: 1,3-4. In today’s world of trained psychologists, we would quickly be told that Jacob was at fault in showing more love and affection to one son over the others. But when we put into perspective all the events in this boy’s life, we quickly see how a pre-ordained road was laid before him. First, they threw him in a pit for him to die there. They suddenly had second thoughts and sold him to a group of Ishmaelite traders who, in turn, sold him in Egypt.
“And Joseph (at the age of about 17 or 19) was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites which had brought him down thither. Now the story begins to become real and meaningful. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord (whom he did not know nor worshiped) was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. I really love the following! “And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house and in the field.” Genesis 39: 1-5. Can you wrap your arm around the enormity of divine truth and principle woven into this story?
Can you see and understand how a single person who’s blessed by God can make a difference without preaching a single sermon? Joseph did not embark upon a “soul winning strategy.” He did not bring together the house of his master to teach them about the God of Israel. But up to this point, did Joseph know that he was actually fulfilling the promise that God made to his great, great grandfather more than one hundred and eighty six before? Each step in his life, to him, was just a reality that he knew he had to live through.
Fulfilling prophecy did not enter his mind. Seemingly all of us accept each day at face value “comes what may!” We do not spend time sorting out, and wondering what part of our daily walk is fulfilling prophecies, or whether it is all about our predestinated cause and purpose. In condensing the story of Joseph some, we know that he was accused of forcing himself upon his master’s wife and ended up in the dungeon of the prison.
But even in prison his gift of dreams and the interpreting of dreams remained active. He correctly interpreted the dream of the baker and the butler. He said the baker would lose his head and it happened; and he said the butler would be reinstated and would again serve the Pharaoh. He promised Joseph that once he was reinstated he would mention him to the Pharaoh. But for two years he forgot Joseph until a crisis enveloped the land and Joseph was summoned to the palace.
Gradually, and step by step, from one crisis to another, Joseph continued to get promoted perhaps without knowing the exact cause and purpose in his life. However somewhere along the way he began to understand the cause and purpose in his life, which he related to his brothers at a later date. But let us revisit the lad at home where he had several dreams. Obviously, telling of his dreams only stirred the fire of hate in their hearts. “And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and. lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said unto him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams and his words.”
At this particular point in his life, the gift of dreams and the interpretation of dreams seems to be causing great conflict in his household. And yet, as we shall see, this gift would pave the way for Joseph to advance from the prison dungeon to the palace of the Pharaoh. But back home the process continued, which at the time, possibly meant very little to the young lad. “And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more, and, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.” Genesis 37: 5-11.
As we proceed, we shall see how these dreams actually played out in real time, and in real lives after Joseph made himself known to his brethren who came to Egypt to buy corn for their father who was yet at home. After being taken from prison, and after correctly interpreting the Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph excelled like a shooting star, all the way to the good side and favor of the Pharaoh. Let us recap the many incidents and stages that unfolded in the life of this young lad. He was thrown in a pit to die but was later sold like a captured slave by his brothers: and he was sold again in Egypt. He quickly advanced in the house of his Egyptian master, only to be falsely accused and sent to prison. We join him once more as he finally approached the peak of where God ultimately wanted him to be.
Let’s read on! “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 41: 41, 43, 44. Ladies and gentlemen! This is no small accomplishment for a Hebrew lad who was hated by his brothers and sold twice as a common slave. And yet, all of this was a process that unfolded on time as God’s plan in fulfilling his promise to Abram.
Did God draw up his blueprint with every minute detail filled in before he made his promise to Abram? Or did he make the promise first, and set about later to work out the details? To think on such basis is to think like ordinary men: and we can quickly admit that we do not know how the Divine Mind works. Perhaps in his years in Egypt, Joseph began to become aware of what his cause and purpose were. We do not know at what point he began to become aware of his vocation especially as it pertained to an entire nation. After making himself known to his brethren, he explained how they all got to that point.
“And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 45:4-8.
“And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. (Remember those dreams?) And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” Genesis 50: 18-21.
Here is to remind you that your free will support can now be made payable directly to my PayPal account by using my email address as my PayPal address. Also, all offerings by mail in the forms of checks or money orders must be made payable to: Royce Kennedy and not to the ministry to comply with the IRS regulations. Welcome to the new comers who recently contacted me and desired to be on my mailing list. Please feel free to share of your faith and vision that can bless the Body at large. Thanks and be blessed in all that you do! Continued next month!
In His Service—Royce