When I first got married both my husband and I knew we wanted to be missionaries to college students. That is where we fit, where our passion was ignited and our gifts most effective. But my husband still had a semester of school so I had to work full time before we could start our great adventure. So I worked at a precious metals company where I would call their clients and try to sell a gold coin. It paid well and God used the company in my life in many ways but selling gold was just not my thing. For one, I HATE talking on the phone. I would have to make over 100 phone calls a day.
I remember one day talking to the Lord, asking Him, Lord, why in the world do you have me here? I feel like I am wasting my time. I just want to be doing ministry and making an impact for your kingdom. I don't feel like I'm making a difference at all. Immediately the Lord spoke to me, It's not about being successful for My kingdom, it's about being faithful to obey Me.
I had no way of knowing we would start raising support not long after that. This meant we would be making over 100 phone calls a week to set up appointments with people to share with them about the ministry. So though I had no idea, my time at the gold company was training me and growing my perseverance for what was to come. If I had skipped that season, I would have missed what the Lord was doing in my heart and character during that time.
The same thing happened in Joseph's life in Genesis 28-50. When Josephs brothers came to get grain from Egypt because of the drought, Joseph (who they didn't recognize as their brother) had an interpreter which let them talk openly with each other in front of him thinking he didn't understand them.
Did you ever realize Joseph was bilingual! When did he learn this other language? He spoke to the baker and the cup-bearer in prison so he knew the language then. And he spoke with Potiphar's wife when he lived there, so he knew the language at least toward the end of his time at Potiphar's house, so that must be where he learned. Perhaps that is why the Lord had Potiphar buy him rather than some other slave owner. If Joseph had been working the fields with other slaves perhaps they would have been from the same area as him and spoke the same language and therefore he wouldn't have learned the language Pharoah spoke. Or perhaps the other slaves would have had a different accent or dialect which would have kept him from being able to talk with Pharoah. God had a plan for Joseph's life way before any of this came to be, a plan that involved stages, each of significant value.
Since we have not always existed, we think in temporary terms. Even if we have long term goals, it's nothing compared to God's plan that spans through generations. That is why it is important to trust Him and be faithful to do what He calls us to do.
Genesis 5, a simple genealogy, gives us a glimpse of how God's ways and God's plans are much larger than we can even imagine. Check this out. Here's the genealogy from Adam to Noah and the meaning of each of the names.
Adam means Man
Seth means appointed
Mahalalel, the blessed God
Jared, shall come down
Methuselah, his death shall bring
Lamech, the despairing
and Noah means rest.
So put each of the names together and you get Man appointed mortal sorrow. The blessed God shall come down teaching/narrowing. His death shall bring the despairing rest.
Wow huh! God's plans are way higher than ours. His plan spans through generations! So when you can't see how in the world the thing in your life matters or can be used for the Lord, or when you're not sure why God has you where He has you take comfort that God's plan for your life is bigger than you can seriously even fathom.
So what is the secret to leaving a legacy? By the enablement of the Holy Spirit, be faithful with where God has you and be faithful to do what He is calling you to do even if it seems like a waste because obeying God is never a waste of time.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has four kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks 10-20 times a year. Laura is an award winning author of a 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, recently released Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest and youtube.
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