I have been doing a series on Godly Leadership, and in the previous post, Godly Leadership: Traits from Joseph, I looked at certain elements or traits that go into Godly leadership. I treated the first point Visionary: Seeing into the Future and in this post, I want us to look at other points
2. Preparation: Making Hay While The Sun Shines
Every vision and dream of a potential leader will be thoroughly subjected to a series of preparatory and test processes. This is to develop and make the vision authentic. There are various preparatory stages I believe are needed for a potential leader. It is a fact that anybody God uses goes through a series of preparatory stages to make them well qualified for an assignment. I wrote extensively about preparation in my book Biblical Truths: Knowing What God Has Prepared For You. See few excerpts:
A period of preparation always precedes the lives God uses and blesses. Joseph was prepared for leadership in prison. Moses had his training in the palace of Pharaoh and in the wilderness tendering sheep. David was prepared for leadership by shepherding sheep…God truly never works with unprepared and unbroken vessels. He prepares and breaks every one He uses to empty them of self. Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil so that He will have the opportunity to experience what all human beings experience— temptations of the devil and wilderness experiences (period of dryness in one’s life). “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15).
Let’s consider some of the common preparatory process that we might go through in pursuit of our visions and dreams.
I believe nobody will argue the place of education in life. Scriptures emphatically states the importance of education. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God...” (2 Timothy 2:15). By education, I am speaking about both formal and informal education. It is very important that we prepare ourselves thoroughly to be ready for the day the responsibility of leadership will show up, because it is definitely going to show up.
I believe when Joseph was taken to Egypt, He was exposed to both formal and informal education. Note that Egypt was the highest civilization of Joseph’s times and to be a chief servant in Potiphar’s palace meant he will have had the benefit of exposure to both formal and informal education.
- Challenges/Wilderness Experiences
Having a vision and a dream doesn't automatically launch us into success. Life comes with its own challenges meant to prepare us for God‘s assignment for us. Remember immediately Joseph dreamed and figured out his life assignment, his brothers hated and sold him into slavery. That is a good picture of challenges that will rise against your vision.single vision we have will be subjected to challenges to authenticate and refine the vision. Overcoming those challenges then positions us for greatness.
3. Godliness: Character counts.
· Genesis 39:7
And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
This is the incident that makes Joseph a role model for every young person to look up to. In our quest to live God’s assignment for our lives, we will be presented with many avenues to compromise and take short cuts.
But in the Kingdom of God, there are no short cuts and in life in general, compromises always backfire. Don't compromise, don't take a short cut. Allow God to fully complete his work in your life. Even if your right choices will lead you into trouble, make a choice that we will obey God. If Joseph had taken the easy route out with Potiphar’s wife, he would have destroyed the many lives that were depending on his life.
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance (Genesis 45:7).
4. Humility: The Way To The Top
A very dangerous character trait that follows visionaries and dreamers is pride. The tendency for visionaries to flaunt their gifts around is very high. Pride was a common trait that followed Joseph until his experiences humbled him. Let’s not even talk about his continuous talk about his dreams. Let’s fast forward to his encounter with Potiphar’s wife.
But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (Genesis 39:8-9)
A good scene: We all love this discourse, but there are traces of pride and boastful talking tuck away in Joseph’s words. Why can’t Joseph just say: “how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God” Was it necessary to say all those things: “…my master hath committed all that he hath to my hand; there is none greater in this house than I…” Two tests here: one passed, one failed—Humility. So from Potiphar’s house, Joseph had to continue his training in Prison.