by Pastor E.A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
“It’s part of life to have obstacles. It’s about overcoming obstacles; that’s the key to happiness.”
– Herbie Hancock
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
– Michael Jordan
Genesis 39:2-6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
2 But the Lord was with Joseph, and he [though a slave] was a successful and prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
3 And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to flourish and succeed in his hand.
4 So Joseph pleased [Potiphar] and found favor in his sight, and he served him. And [his master] made him supervisor over his house and he put all that he had in his charge.
5 From the time that he made him supervisor in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the Lord’s blessing was on all that he had in the house and in the field.
Forward Thinkers, the bible says The Lord was with Joseph; Joseph prospered, The Lord gave him success, and Joseph found favor with The Lord and man.
Forward Thinkers, if I was conducting a pep rally or if I was a motivational speaker trying to pump you up, I’d stay right there and focus on the Lord being with Joseph, prospering him, and giving him favor; but because I’m a Shepherd, a caring Pastor, a Leader in my community and my generation I have to tell you the whole story.
Forward Thinkers, Joseph had the FOG “Favor of God” but Joseph was also going through all kind of hell at the same time. Sometimes we have to recognize the FOG “Favor of God” in a difficult place.
Genesis 39:1Amplified Bible (AMP)
39 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain and chief executioner of the [royal] guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there.
Forward Thinkers, Joseph was a slave. Don’t read verse one too fast because, Potiphar didn’t hire Joseph, he bought him from the Ishmaelites on the open slave market.
Forward Thinkers, Joseph was not only a slave but he had been bought and sold and relocated more than once.
Forward Thinkers, Joseph was a victim of circumstances but the FOG favor of God was still with him. I know we would rather enjoy the FOG “Favor of God” in the sun but sometimes the FOG is heavier during a storm.
Forward Thinkers, the negative and difficult events of Joseph’s life could not erase the FOG off his life. I’m declaring today in the midst of some difficult times you can still recognize the FOG in your life, even when things are going bad God is still good.
Forward Thinkers, this week I have to minister to three families in the Greens Point community dealing with the loss of love ones who were murdered on Friday night. Terrell Payne, DeMarquise Edwards, and Kaira Jackson were all in their early 20’s when their lives were taken and I had to convince their families that God is still in control.
Let’s look at the early stages of Joseph’s life:
Genesis 37:5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 Now Joseph had a dream and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him still more.
Forward Thinkers, Joseph had a dream to be somebody special, somebody God was going to greatly bless, and somebody that would be in charge, somebody with great influence and power. Forward Thinkers, his brothers hated him because of his dream to be somebody.
Forward Thinkers, this is not the first time in the bible we see brothers hating on brothers because of God’s favor. Remember Cain killed Abel because Cain could not handle the FOG in Abel’s life.
Forward Thinkers, today in America, right here in our communities brothers and sisters are being killed by brothers and sisters. It’s time for the church to put aside the gospel of prosperity and all the other gospel being preached and start declaring the “Gospel of Jesus” where all lives matter. Forward Thinkers, when people know their value with God it becomes more difficult to harm someone else because you also understand how valuable their life is.
Forward Thinkers, Joseph’s brother didn’t see themselves being special, therefore; it was easy for them to harm their brother. We have failed this generation by misguiding them into believing their value in life is based on what they have. Forward Thinkers, this mind set has created a generation willing to kill to acquire things.
FOG “Favor of God Warning”
Forward Thinkers comes with built in haters.
Genesis 37:18-19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
18 And when they saw him far off, even before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him.
19 And they said one to another, See, here comes this dreamer and master of dreams.
Forward Thinkers Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him. Forward Thinkers are you still standing in the FOG in spite of others plotting against you?
Genesis 37:28 Amplified Bible (AMP)
28 Then as the Midianite [and Ishmaelite] merchants were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the well. And they sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph [captive] into Egypt.
Forward Thinkers his brothers sold him to the highest bidder.
Forward Thinkers in life we expect to be let down or mishandled by outsiders but when it comes from the inside it hurts more but it can’t remove the FOG favor of God from our lives.
Genesis 37:36 New International Version (NIV)
36 Meanwhile, the Midianites[a] sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
Forward Thinkers, I’ve discovered God does some of His best work in the meanwhile. While I’m dealing with something bigger than me, God is setting up my next chapter in life in the meanwhile. Miracles and breakthroughs are being preformed behind the curtains in the meanwhile.
Forward Thinkers, Joseph’s brothers sold him to the Midianites who then sold him to Potiphar but none of that stopped the favor of God from being with Joseph.
Forward Thinkers, I know it’s hard sometimes, but today I need you to recognize the FOG “favor of God” through it all.
Forward Thinkers, whatever you’re going through right now remember this is not how the story ends.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, 16711 Ella Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77090. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or the church website www.ghic.net