On Form, we were learning about Kingdom and Covenant, and studied it by looking at stories from Genesis. This included the journey that God took Joseph on to prepare him for the position of leadership he was going to be raised up to. We saw how he went from the favoured, spoilt child who was the centre of attention, to a humble, imprisoned slave who would lean on God for everything and give him all the glory. I’ve heard it said before: ‘It’s not about you, it’s about God’, and I’ve received it as a telling off, that maybe I’ve been overly selfish, and taking the glory due to God, like a young Joseph. I’ve seen it as a challenge. In response to this challenge, I work to do more and more for God to try to keep the focus on him, and end up getting so busy that I can’t remember why I’m doing it anymore. Then I’m reminded that it’s all about God, and not about me, and so I try to do more and more for him again; it’s a vicious circle.
However, God has shown me that this fact: it’s all about him and not about me, is also an invitation. It’s his promise, and a joyful release for us. I don’t need to worry about achieving things in my own strength. We are made to have relationship with God. That involves spending time with God, chatting with him, living life with him, seeking him out in both our trials and our triumphs. We are made as human beings, not human doings. As it says in the second half of 1 Peter 4:11 ‘If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.’
Had young Joseph, who relied on his own brilliance, been given the position of Prime Minister of Egypt with the crisis of a famine overhead, he would probably have discovered his limitations, stressed, burned out, and not discovered what can be achieved when you let God lead. But after years of learning to fully lean on God, and trust in him and his strength, he found the benefit of relying only on God, and became the incredible ruler that God had made him to be.
I’d been acting as though The King would allow me, his humble servant, into his throne room to give me an order, which I would then take away to try to carry out, only returning to The King’s presence once I have carried out my task. What I was forgetting was that my loving Father sits me, his beloved child, onto his knee, tells me about his jobs for the day, and invites me to join him in what he’s doing. Out of love, and a desire to spend my day with him, I can joyfully accept the challenges he gives me, and carry them out with him in his strength. He never gives me more than I can cope with. When we give our day over to him, for him to be in charge of, he will take what we can offer and make it beautiful for his glory.