Dwight Fletcher | God can use your difference for great things
Jamaica's national motto, Out of Many, One People, highlights the variety of people on this little rock. We are all created different and uniquely by God and He likes it that way.
God likes variety, having made all types of shapes, sizes, colours and personalities. Tourists are sometimes shocked to meet Caucasian, blond-haired people speaking fluent patois!
The Lord has plans for us and if we embrace the journey.He will do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine. Take Joseph, for example. His life demonstrates four facts that you will find true as you travel the path God has for you.
In Genesis 37, seventeen-year-old Joseph is the favoured son of Jacob; at 17, a lot was yet to happen in his life. He had been chosen by God to initiate a radical plan to save millions of starving people, as prime minister of a foreign land he had never even visited. God was going to use him big time!
If you can remember the truths we are about to explore, then no matter how depressing the circumstances or how diligent the critics, you can hold on to the fact that God has something planned just for you.
MY DIFFERENCE MAKES ME SPECIAL
Joseph was different - he stood out from his brothers in his commitment, his character and in his clothing. As a result, his brothers hated him! Being different is socially unacceptable. The world tells us that to get along, you must go along.
But the Bible says: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world..." (Romans 12:1 NIV). Be different, because you are different in three important ways:
1. You are unique. There is nobody else in the world like you. "You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13 GNT. God wants you to know how special you are and how much you matter to Him. You do not have to conform to the crowd.
2. You are wonderfully complex. The family you were born in, the mixture of the different genes and the circumstance of your upbringing make you complex. "Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about." (Psalm 139:14 TLB)
3. You are shaped for a purpose! Your difference is what God wants you to offer to the world. There are those who are like whatever crowd they get around. But Daniel in the bible served three pagan kings and each of them was radically changed because he chose to be different.
God has designed who you should be and what you will accomplish. We need to get near to God and his people so that it will happen. After all, He made you, He loves you and He died to save you.
GOD HAS A DIFFERENT PLAN FOR ME
God had a different plan for Joseph than for all his brothers. Genesis 37:5 (NIV) says, "Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more." This dream was prophetic - God showed Joseph that he would be a ruler and his family and the whole world would one day be subject to him.
There is something that God wants you to do that no one else can do, but there will be those around who will try to stifle your dreams. Joseph's brothers responded, "Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams." Genesis 37:20 NIV.
Alexander Graham Bell's father-in-law called the telephone "a toy no one will play with". Yet today, almost everyone plays with and does so much more on their phones! Regardless of what the critics say, never let anyone kill your dreams.
Some of the difficulties that you go through are because there is greatness in you. Always remember that God has a plan for you and knowing this will sustain you in hard times.
Next week, we will continue to look at two more ways that our difference can be used by God.