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Friday, January 25, 2008

REMINDER: we are in the process of moving the blog to our church website ( As soon as the subscription plans are worked out, we'll make the final move. Until then, you can read the blog here or at the site. As always, thanks for taking the time to read.

Sometimes God must take you to the bottom before He can take you to the top. It is a spiritual principle that has been played out more times than I count. Consider Moses. Prince of Egypt. Royal lifestyle. Great education. God "promotes" him to the desert as a fugitive and then takes him to where He really wanted him in the first place--leading the children of Israel.

Another example is the guy I have been studying this week, Joseph. Last time, we talked about his rejection. First, he finds himself in a well, then a slave caravan and then an Egyptian prison. The way I see it, you can't get much lower than that. No family to visit you (remember, they were back in the homeland). No friends to cheer you up. Just you and the other cons struggling to make it through another day.

Now, here's a key question: what would be better than sitting in an Egyptian prison? (be careful how you answer). Many of us would say "anything" and that would be true. You give me freedom, a hot shower, some clean clothes and a minimum wage job and I'll be happy to be out of that place. The problem is, when we surrender to God, we have to be careful not to settle for second best. Which do you think is better? Flipping burgers down at Pharaoh's hamburger joint or second in command to the big honcho himself?

Joseph was low, rejected, down-and-out. No doubt about it. But when his rebound came (at the hands of God, not Joseph's doings), he rebounded well. Why? Because he didn't limit what God could do. He understood the principle that sometimes God has to take us to the bottom before He will lift us to the top.

Why does God do that? Lots of reasons but one of the biggest is this: God wants to remind us that we really need Him. Yes, we can "make it" through life without Him--but who wants to just make it. I want to live on the top, rebound from the crap life throws at me and achieve all that God has purposed for me. That doesn't mean that I won't be flipping burgers some times. It simply means that you and I should never settle for living life our way when God's plan for our rebound is always the best.

Whatever your prison is today, make a commitment to leave the rebound up to God.

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