He Knows the Plans He Has For Us (Part 2)

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Proper and Improper Motives

In part 1 of this series we established the fact that God does indeed have a determined will and unique plan for each one of us.

It can be exhilarating to discover that plan, especially if we have spent years wandering aimlessly in the wilderness of simply existing. Sometimes this enthusiasm leads us to attempt making this mission or goal happen in our own ways, which is the topic of this part of "He Knows the Plans He Has for Us". Before we get started, there is some work to be done. Our motives must be purified.

Sometimes we begin our search for our dream in life in order to gain a sense of significance or success. We all need and want to feel that our life has purpose and meaning. And we all want to be known and seen as special, talented or gifted. but if this becomes our goal things can quickly unravel and we might find our sense of purpose shipwrecked and fragmented or we might even feel that we have missed the boat all together and determine there really was no purpose.

Sometimes we ask for these things from God and we don't receive them because our motives aren't pure.

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. ~ John 4:3

There is so much more to lust than sensuality. Lusts are internal cravings of any kind that drive us to satisfy ourselves in ways that really don't satisfy. In fact they leave us more hungry. We can lust for notoriety, fame, power, status, and the applause of man.

In his book "Celebrating Jesus in the biblical feasts" Dr. Richard Booker writes about the problem of our priorities:

"Many believers never enter God's rest because they seek things from Jesus rather than Jesus Himself. They seek blessings rather than the one who blesses. Jesus doesn't give us blessings; He Himself is our blessing. He is all that we could ever need, want, or hope, for in His person"

So it is with our attempts to be satisfied through our accomplishments. When we seek the dream, and what it can give us rather than Him. we are lost at sea.

We cannot seek a purpose as a way to convince ourselves or prove to others that our life has valid purpose and meaning. This is a common temptation when we have felt so little and useless for so long.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. ~ Matthew 6:33

Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. ~ Luke 17:33

We must die to our fleshly reasons to become somebody through a dream or purpose.

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. ~ Psalm 37:4

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Proper Focus is Everything

The above verses indicate that the focus that precedes our dreams is Him. When we delight ourselves in Him then He will give us the desires of our heart and He will make it happen. We so often wear ourselves out trying to make something happen, because, a lot of the time, our esteem is depending upon it.

The main ingredient an any goal or vision is to please Him.

the above verse is telling us that when we delight ourselves in Him it is our natural desire to want to please Him in return, and it is then that He can position us to receive His desire and plan for us as our motives are purified.

The Goal of our dream is to glorify God and not ourselves. If this is not at the core of all our plans and dreams things won't amount to much from an eternal perspective.

Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts (plans - machshavah) will be established. (italics mine - plans) ~ Proverbs 16:3

When we commit to Him. He will begin to establish our thoughts to the God given plans and purposes He ordained for us since before the world began. (II Timothy 1:9)

Our calling is "holy". Holy means to set apart for His plan alone. It is not to serve our own private agendas.

A great story that show cases this idea is that of Joseph. In our previous study we looked at the Hebrew word for plan Machshavah. The letter sheen indicated that in a God given dream there includes the idea of tearing down and putting back together. We will see how the purifying of our motives many times requires a tearing down and putting back together.

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A Look at the Life of Joseph

Genesis 37-47 tells the story of young Joseph who has a dream about sheaves of grain, and on another occasion, the sun the moon and stars bowing down to him . He tells his brothers about the dreams and all of them understood that Joseph was implying that they would one day bow down to him according to the dreams.

I have often wondered why Joseph chose to tell his brothers about these dreams. I can't imagine that he didn't know that they already disliked him being the favored son. I have never known older brothers to keep hidden their dislikes toward their younger favored siblings.

It probably was a pretty exciting dream and prospect to Joseph to be a ruler over his family. It possibly sounded important, noble, prestigious, and powerful. Who could keep that to themselves?

Shortly after this event Jacob sent Joseph on a mission to go check up on his brothers. Could it be considered that maybe Joseph might have felt like this was the beginning of God's plan for him coming to pass. He was about to rule over his brothers and checking up on them was just the beginning.

As we all know things turned out quite contrary to the vision God had given him. Instead of ruling over them, his brothers throw him into a pit and he is sold as a slave. A slave is the antithesis of a master or lord which he thought himself to be.

for many years Joseph serves in jail and in the Egyptian palace being wrongfully accused of things he didn't do and imprisoned for them. The Bible doesn't tell us if Joseph ever wondered about the dream and how that would happen when things must have looked so contrary. How would he be a ruler over his family if he might not ever see them again? I think this is how we think sometimes when life seems so contrary to the plans, promises, and purposes of God.

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God eventually turns the ship around and Joseph becomes exactly what God had purposed him to be. Joseph may have initially embraced the dream as a way to feel good about himself or his life but God had a greater purpose in mind ~ the salvation of his brothers.

As Beth Moore said in her "Believing God" Bible Study, "He came full circle". We all have to come full circle. God might use that place of weakness or stumbling to serve a greater plan as Joseph discovered when he said in Genesis 45:7:

...God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

I believe the success of his story has to do with how in everything he suffered he learned to put his focus on the Lord and it was then that the deeper more prevailing purpose becomes realized.

It is in this moment that Joseph discovers the true purpose of His dream. Our purpose isn't about us. It's about God and the salvation of others.

God's plan and purpose in our lives will always be about the edification or salvation of others. That is His passion.

It's a grueling process for God to get us to that place sometimes as seen through the life of Joseph. But Joseph clung to God through it all. During a moment of temptation He chose to please God rather than Himself.

There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” ~ Genesis 39:9

Joseph now has his priorities straight. His goal in life is to please God even if it meant he would go to prison for something he didn't do and suffer a consequence that may have made the fulfillment of his dream unlikely if not impossible.

Joseph had to be broken down and put back together before his purpose and ministry could be spiritually effective.

The whole painful experience in Egypt stripped Joseph of any impure motives he had. When all was said and done Joseph ruled over his brothers as the dream depicted, but now he ruled in love, compassion, humility, and an understanding of the real purpose of that dream being that the 12 of them would be the beginning of a nation responsible for bringing the savior into the world.

Part 3 the conclusion

© 2011 Tamarajo

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Comments 44 comments

Dian'swords4u profile image

Dian'swords4u 5 years ago from North Carolina

I have found that sometimes when God answers our prayer it is not always what we ask for. There is a song that I sing that talks of this. It says that you pray a prayer and ask God for something and then when you don't hear right away you wonder if he heard what you said. It also says that God will always answer you, but it will something that is a better way or a greater yes. sometimes when we ask God for something it will take a long time to receive the answer. We just have to have faitha dn wait patiently. 2 very hard things to do, have patience and wait. Good hub


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Yes Diane that is so true I think many times God has to help us get ourselves out of the way so He can get to what we really want and in that process it can appear that all is lost. It is when we discover that He is what we want and need the most we are positioned to function in that purpose.

Thank you for your insightful commentary. I appreciate your visit.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Patience is the hardest lesson to learn for a lot of people.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Yes Dave it is. I think because we don't understand sometimes the behind the scenes work that is so necessary in the process of His plans coming to fulfillment in us.

Thank you for visiting and commenting


skye2day profile image

skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Sister Absolutely a beautiful and inspired hub of love. Your words flow by the Spirit in you. I can so relate to seeking for our own means and desires. Jesus is who we need to be seeking. Amen. Oh Thank You gracious Lord for your kindness and mercy and grace and patience.

I have been inspired and touched. You keep on sister you are to be here. I pray many are led to these pages of yours. We have work to do my friend. You are a precious gem in His sight and mine too. Thank you for all your dedication and hard work to share the truth. One day in Heaven I will see you. Oh what a day that will be. Hopeful, soon. Hugs Galore sister. I just love ya.

Love the tunes, He is not finished with me yet. It is our time when it is His time. Amen. Beautiful up awesome!!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Wow skye I am always so blessed by your encouraging and complimentary comments.

I am so glad to have inspired you that is part of my own peronal dream to inspire and encourage others to love His word and be motivated to live in His timeless truths and see more deeply into His wonderous ways.

Bless you precious Skye!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

TJ,

Nothing I can say. You said it best.

"There is so much more to lust than sensuality. Lusts are internal cravings of anykind that drive us to satisfy ourselves in ways that really don't satisfy. In fact they leave us more hungry."

"Many believers never enter God's rest because they seek things from Jesus rather than Jesus Himself."

So it is with our attempts to be satisfied through our accomplishments. When we seek the dream and what it can give us rather than Him we are lost at sea.

And I love your use of the Scriptures.


VOICE CIW 5 years ago

Sister Tamarajo, you just get better and better. This hub is beautiful as usual. The story of Joseph is well-written, and truly explains how God works out His plan for His people. You are absolutely correct, it is not about us, or what we want, or even what we desire, it is about what God desires for us. Once again, Sister Tamarajo, I thank you for enriching my soul with your beautiful writing. God Bless You! I love you in the Lord.


ImChemist profile image

ImChemist 5 years ago

Beautiful hub , waiting the next part.


tinamarie9884 5 years ago

Excellent hub about Joseph, very well put together!!


ladyjojo profile image

ladyjojo 5 years ago

Yes my dear all his plans for us was predestinated before the foundation of the WORLD. God is great sometimes we don't always see why he have those plans but He knows and we need to let go and let God's annointing flow :)

and all our enemies will be scattered


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

You have chosen one of my favorite characters in the Bible, the story of Joseph. Yes, Joseph had to pass through all he went through to get to God's perfect will. It may not have happened as he probably imagined when he saw his family bowing down to him but it had to happen this way for him to become the great leader he became. When we stay in God's will, God will accomplish what He set out to do with us in the first place, but we must submit to the will of God first... and sometimes that is not the most comfortable place to be. Great hub sister and to the point.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello lifegate, I think there are so many things that can distract us from the real relationship that inevitably leads us to the real purpose of our lives. Sometimes I think we just get it backwards. We try to get the thing rather than Him.

His Word is my passion

Blessed for you to stop by and comment.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

VOICE CIW you are correct we forget so often that it is not about us and it is all about Him.

Thank you for reading and blessing me with your encouraging comments.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

imchemist, thank you for reading and commenting.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

tinamarie,

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your comment.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

lady jo jo. that was the most amazing to me when I saw that verse in 2 Peter about His plan being made before the foundation of the world.

It is great to know we can trust Him with that plan even when we don't understand what is going on.

Thank you for your visit and insightful comment.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello Faithful daughter. Josephs story does seem to be the typical flow of events in most of our walks of faith. We all start out with grand thoughts and ideas and then God begins the process of working out the kinks in ways we probably wouldn't choose.

But He knows the end from the beginning. He knew how Joseph's story would turn out and He knows how ours turn out to.

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your encouragement and additional insight.

Blessed by your visit


FriendofTruth profile image

FriendofTruth 5 years ago from Michigan

Great insight. We do have to be sure we are doing His will and not our own. It's humbling when you realize that often His plans are not centered around you, but that He has a greater and broader purpose which includes affecting the lives of others.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello FriendofTruth, humbling it is. I have found myself there more than once. I am so thankful for His goodness to work all things together for our own good and His glory and for me this is usually the process

Thank you for reading and your thoughtful comment.


christ4ever profile image

christ4ever 5 years ago from a life in sin saved by the Lord's grace - we are blessed with the ministry in Florida & Georgia

Well put... "because they seek things from Jesus rather than Jesus Himself. They seek blessings rather than the one who blesses." I'm so grateful He's not done with me (and many others) yet (like the Potter's clay). There's so much more we can all do for Him still. May His peace always prevail in your life... Rev.Ted


His daughter 5 years ago

Great Hub as always, Tamarajo! When you mentioned God has plans for us, it made me think of how all our days are written in His book....all before we even existed. Amazing!

Joseph is quite a study too. What amazes me about his life is that is all the account of everything he encountered he remained faithful and there is never any record of him complaining. I'm sure there were times he would have had to struggle but to me it is significant that nothing negative do we read. That had to be God's grace! God bless.


kislany profile image

kislany 5 years ago from Cyprus

Wonderful hub, I also read your first one and learned quite a lot from your series.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Thank you Rev Ted. Yes there is still much work to be done in each of us. This part 2 is reflective of where I am at in my own personal journey. The dream has been realized and there have been detours along the way some to the point of utter discouragement but continuing to press on to trust Him with the plan as He stated.

Blessed by your comment and visit.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

His daughter..lovely observation that the Bible doesn't record His complaining only how He remained faithful in spite of what appeared to be discouraging circumstances.

I also like your addition of "our days being numbered in His book"

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your insightful comment.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

kislany, I am glad you stopped by to read and glad that you learned something useful from it.

Thank you for coming by and commenting.


Betty Johansen profile image

Betty Johansen 5 years ago

An important reminder - to seek the Giver, rather than the gift. I wonder why it's so hard for us to remember that the Giver is glorious, majestic, beautiful, awesome, tender, gracious - everything we could ever hope for. And the gifts we chase after so urgently are NOTHING in comparison. An excellent hub! Thanks for the reality check.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

so true Betty. It is in seeking the giver that we find the gift for sure.

Always love your additional insights in your comments.

Blessed by your visit.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 5 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

EXCELLENT! Hub Tamarajo! When Betty said: "An important reminder - to seek the Giver, rather than the gift. I couldn't of said it any better! Praise God! I voted-up on this Hub! God Bless you!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Thank you drpastorcarlotta Yes Betty summed it up great. Its so easy to work it backwards. gaining the whole world and chasing dreams rather than the giver of those dreams.

thank you for your vote and encouraging comment.

Bless you!


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila

This is truly an excellent hub Tamarajo. Everything is well-written, full of great thoughts, truly inspiring. I always admire Joseph for continuing to live to please the Lord amidst unfavorable circumstances. Truly a christian's ultimate purpose in life is to live for God's glory. In my earlier year I sought glory for myself only in the end I realize they are futile things. Apart from pursuing the Lord's glory everything is in vain and futile. Remain blessed always. Best regards.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

you summed it up well cristina "Apart from pursuing the Lord's glory everything is in vain and futile."

and Yes Joseph amazes me as well. His faithfulness is such a great example to us to always keep our eyes on Him no matter what.

Thank you for your visit and insightful comment.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

Tamarjo, Insightful & thought provoking! Very powerful words of wisdom: "Many believers never enter God's rest because they seek things from Jesus rather than Jesus Himself. They seek blessings rather than the one who blesses. Jesus doesn't give us blessings; He Himself is our blessing. He is all that we could ever need, want, or hope, for in His person." Amen! When you have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ you have everything that you will ever need!

Our motives should be to encourage others to draw closer to the Lord! The story of Joseph is an excellent example. He was terribly mistreated, conspired against and… yet during his trials he persevered! We are able to see that Joseph was able to withstand what happened to Him because He trusted the Lord! Faith in action is powerful!

When we live to please the Lord above all else whatever comes our way we will be able to handle... This does not mean that we will not be disappointed or unhappy from time to time. It does mean that our inner Peace will remain intact as we keep our focus on the Lord! Keeping in mind that God knows what is best for us and in His time He will work things out in a way that is best for you… I believe that the Lord’s plan for us is to seek Him above all else, grow closer to Him each day and encourage others to do the same. This is what allows the Fruit of His Spirit to manifest in our lives…

Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace and Blessings!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello Deborrah, agreed. you said it well:

"When we live to please the Lord above all else whatever comes our way we will be able to handle"

it was the tests that Joseph faced that refined his motive and position as it is with us. Through all the trials and tests he is simply sharpening us for the bigger and better picture that has Him at the center of it all. It is all for our good, the good of others, and His glory

Blessed by your thoughtful comment and visit.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA

Wow ~ I read part 1 and couldn't wait to get to part 2. I just love your study and the way you minister to everyone who reads. This part of it really confirms what the Lord was showing me this week:

"There is so much more to lust than sensuality. Lusts are internal cravings of anykind that drive us to satisfy ourselves in ways that really don't satisfy. In fact they leave us more hungry...Many believers never enter God's rest because they seek things from Jesus rather than Jesus Himself. They seek blessings rather than the one who blesses. Jesus doesn't give us blessings; He Himself is our blessing. He is all that we could ever need, want, or hope, for in His person."

WOW. Awesome! The only way a person going through the above 'cravings' or 'hunger' can be content is to be fully satisfied in Christ. Joseph had that contentment. Paul had that contentment, in that whatsoever state they were in, they were truly 'rich' ~ filled and secure. They loved God and knew they were loved.

My daughter and I were talking this evening and we just loved on each other. She said, "Mom, I could live happily in a cardboard box, as long as I have you". We hugged and we didn't want to let go. We realized that NOTHING in this world could satisfy that deep love we can only get in Christ and with each other.

AMEN to this beautiful message of God's plans, our purpose and His love.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Judahs daughter I agree only contentment found in Christ will satisfy and only then can our eternal purposes be realized.

Your story about your relationship with your daughter is a great example of that.

I appreciate your visit and your commentary. it adds much to the hub. Thank you for the affirmation of the message as well. I am glad you enjoyed it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I just love the story of Joseph. And I love this series of Hubs. You wrote:

"Sometimes we begin our search for our dream in life in order to gain a sense of significance or success. We all need and want to feel that our life has purpose and meaning. And we all want to be known and seen as special, talented or gifted."

Uh oh. I stand convicted.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi James, Nothing wrong with the desires or the needs as much as sometimes the sources we go to and sometimes the methods we use to get them.

I love the story of Joseph too in how he keeps his eyes on the prize. He is faithful to the purpose and vision despite his inability to see it at times.

Thank you for reading and commenting.


no body profile image

no body 5 years ago from Rochester, New York

Each person has their lusts. When God allows us to indulge our lusts we find they were not what we really wanted at all. I have written so many times, in comments and in articles that I do not allow myself to dream. I may even "get not because I ask not." I do not allow myself to dream because invariably it is not what I really want. I give my needs to God and when He give me my needs He so many time throws in my desires as well. I remember I needed a car and an old postal jeep was provided. As I'm driving along on the "wrong side" of the car (the steering wheel is on the passenger side) I realize that I had always wanted a Jeep and always thought it would be a hoot to drive on the opposite side of the car. I used to watch the postal workers drive with the doors slid open and said to myself wow that would be so cool. God remembered that and gave me those desires even though I never asked. When my first wife and I split up. I told God that I would seek no wife like Scripture said. He knew I needed a wife. When He gave me my wife, He remembered an old crush I had in grade school and how I thought she was so striking, her eyes and skin and braids in her hair. I had not thought of that little girl (kinda like Charlie Brown's crush in Peanuts) He not only gave me my need but gave me what He knew was my desire. This is how I am. I lack vision, I think. I do not look beyond what I have and try to utilize EVERYTHING God gives me and wait for the things supplied for my need. Andrew handed Jesus a few loaves and a few fish and got back 12 baskets full. That is how God is.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Nobody, great testimonies of how God fulfilled your need while you kept your eyes on Him. I think this is the essence of dream discovery. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."

Thanks for your additional insight and examples. Blessed to have you stop by and comment.


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 5 years ago from Philippines

When bad things happen, people always ask why. I like the story of Joseph because Joseph had his worst share of events yet he continued to trust God. Because of this, he was changed in the inside. With that purified motive, as you have said, God was able to use him in the greatest plan ever that God has in store for his life.

I pray that we would also have the same faith and trust through difficulties that we may come out of it more prepared for God to use us for His glory. Thanks for such an inspiring hub. God bless you.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Chin Chin, Why is sometimes a silly question when it comes to life events first of all because all chaos of any kind on this planet is a result of mans invitation through participation with evil at some place point in time. And like you said more importantly that there is one who is watchful over and orchestrates it all and our job is simply to love/obey and trust Him.

Blessed by your visit Chin chin and your insightful comment.


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

Hi Tamarajo.

Yes God has a plan for each of us.

I am glad He is a patient God. It took Him four years to mold me into His devoted servant but I am so very happy He did.

God bless you.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Agreed teacherjoe in our gratitude for His patience in molding and shaping us. I also like your conclusion of what He has formed you to be "His devoted servant" May that be the end result for all.

Blessed by your visit and comment.

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