Monday, February 6, 2012



Another ambush

In football, you suit up, in running, you strip down. The average footballer player wears pounds of equipment. Runners wear ounces.

The great question which in all ages, has disturbed mankind and brought them the greatest part of those mischiefs which have ruined cities, depopulated countries, and disordered the peace of the world, has been, not whether there be power in the world…but who should have it.

Are you worried that you don’t have much of a network? Joseph didn’t either. But he had a Friend in High Places. And if you have surrendered your life to Christ, so do you. It’s all the network you’ll ever need.

John Colter was stripped of his clothes but not his courage, his weapons but not his will, his provisions but not his purpose and his comforts but not his composure. Joseph’s case was similar: he was stripped of his coat but not his character, his family but not his future, his position but not his purity and his accomplishments but not his attitude.

Joseph, like Jesus, was rejected by his bothers, loved by his father, victorious over temptation, taken into custody because of a false witness, suffered for doing right and promoted from the prison (of death) to rule the nation(s).

You don’t have to be God to finish strong. You just have to depend on God.

It’s hard to look up to a leader who keeps his ear to the ground – James Boren

 The stripping down process is in two parts: Things that God strips from us (things God will take away) and things that we strip from ourselves (things which we must put away).

Joseph put away the thought of trading his purity for his position and turning his betrayal into bitterness. Joseph was a unique man and that is why he was so greatly used. He had been tested. And he passed those tests with flying colors because of his willingness to put some things away. In responding to Potiphar’s wife, he said, “How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God?” that’s the difference between finishing strong and finishing so-so. Joseph was not willing to participate with her sexually because it was a great evil. Yet to her, it was great fun. The man who finishes so-so has kept back one or two areas of his life from the Lord. His theme song is “I Surrender Ninety-Five Percent.”  In his heart, he knows what he is doing is a great evil, but he’s not willing to give up his great fun. The man who finishes strong keeps back nothing from the Lord. He is brutal in dealing with sin in his own life because he does not want to dishonor God’s name and holiness. So when it comes to sin, or “great evil,” as Joseph called it, he doesn’t coddle it, he doesn’t favor it, and he doesn’t hold on to it. He gets rid of it. His theme song is “I Surrender All.” That’s it. That’s the secret – I surrender all.

It’s tragic how many Christian men don’t stop to count the cost before the opportunity presents itself. For sin will always cost you more than you wanted to pay. Sin will always cost you, but sometimes purity can cost you, too. But that’s a price that strong finishers are always willing to pay.

Before a man falls sexually, he first falls emotionally. Guys change jobs all the time. Some will change for promotion. Some will change for power. Few have the guts to change for purity. But those are the guys who make it all the way to Bighorn.

So what made Joseph great? Why does God devote more space in Genesis to his story than to any other individual’s? Because of Joseph’s attitude, how he responded to difficult circumstances. That was the most remarkable thing about him.

The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure (contemptuous treatment) without resentment. – Elbert Hubbard

Bitterness, like a burning match only burns the one who holds onto it. – Steve Farrar

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power – Abraham Lincoln

If you are focusing on some person or what he did to you, you will not finish strong. You’ll never make it. You are being conned and you are being set up. You can only finish strong if you fix your eyes on Jesus.

As you grapple with the hurt and humiliation and fight off the desire to become a hardened, bitter person, you are actually building spiritual muscle tone that it takes to finish strong.

Source: Finishing Strong by  Steve Farrar

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