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Dr. Clayton Ford - Between The Promise & The Palace

Pastor Clay referenced Genesis 37:2-8 and Genesis 41:39-43. The first is the account of Joseph, a robe given to the favorite son, Joseph’s dream about the future, sibling hatred and the resulting painful actions. The second speaks of Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream, the leader of the known world, that led to Joseph becoming 2nd in command in Egypt.

Pastor prayed for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will shake this church and region. As we prepare for a bright future for Faith Chapel, we ask the Father for favor, anointing, healing, and victory for Faith Chapel. The best ministry is ahead!

This year, Pastor Clay and his wife Cheryl attended a concert at our church. Though he has been a part of a national Holy Spirit ministry and in many church roles, they were looking for a place of fellowship. They returned the next Sunday. Clay attended the Wednesday night men’s Bible study, where elders and others were involved. Because of his background in church renewal, and training and equipping leaders, Faith Chapel elders and board called on him for his input in Faith Chapel ministry.

This is an important time in the history of our church. The elders and leaders have done well, even seeing growth in this time of transition. Pastor Clay will begin an intensive 2-month period of training and consultation. He said he is not here to tell you “This is the way”, but to facilitate as you examine ”What does Jesus say?”. We will meet as a church every Wednesday at 6:30pm in the Activity Center.

Who should come? Past, present, and future leaders!

People of all ages – young and old!

Everyone who cares about Faith Chapel!

God has a bright calling for Faith Chapel. It takes all of us, united together using our gifts. We will talk about who we are as a church, our calling and gifts, and our core values.

Today our focus is how God prepares us for fruitful service. In the Genesis verses we spoke of, we saw that Joseph was handsome, smart, and the favorite. He disclosed a dream that said his brothers would bow before him. His brothers were jealous and hated him. Yet, all that he envisioned happened between the promise and the palace.

Similarly, Abraham received a promise from God. He was told to leave his country and that all the families on earth would be blessed through him. God picked this one human to be famous and the Father of nations. Generations through David and Jesus, and to all of us as sons and daughters of Christ were blessed through Abraham. Gods promise was fulfilled. But between the promise and the palace a lot happens!

Look at Joseph – he was rejected, removed from his culture and everything he knew, sold as a slave, worked hard and faithfully for Potiphar, was falsely accused, and put in prison. From the age of 17-30, this was his life. Sometimes we think a calling by God will be easy. Joseph had to go through a process to grow into the man God could use.

Abraham was also given a promise, yet year after year his wife remained barren. God made him wait and wait, and in a fleshly attempt to fulfill God’s promise, Ishmael was born. That happens to us too. To fulfill what we see as God’s plan or promise, we often don’t wait and trust God for his timing. Suffering is a part of the package. Sometimes we are dealt blows. Churches, too. We may ask “why me?” or “where are you God?”. We have the opportunity to turn our back on God when we are bruised or rejected. Even Jesus asked, “Why have you forsaken me?”. As we go through times of pain or rejection, we may want to retaliate or react in the flesh. Self-pity never helps anybody. God allowed struggle and hardship to happen to Joseph and Abraham. The time and experiences are part of God’s training, so that when we come into what God has for us, we will know it is because of His power and not ours.

Pastor Clay told of a chalk drawing he saw done at a seminar. The speaker drew a beautiful scene, but then put 3 black ‘whacks’ of line across it. Like the original picture, life as a Christian in God’s grace can feel so wonderful, then ‘whack’ – trauma happens. Hopefully we go through those times of refinement, learn to be dependent on God and become His vehicle. Joseph not only saved Egypt, but his brothers, and ultimately Israel, because he was faithful during that time of trauma. God allowed him to go through pain and hardship, but he held on and persevered. God fulfilled His promise, as He did with Abraham.

In seasons of long waiting, don’t give up! Lots of followers give up, but there is reward in holding on. Going through the process will either make you better or make you bitter. Do not let anything get between you and God. As the song says: “Let it never be said I’ve been unfaithful to you, hold on to God, He’ll bring you through.”

In the chalk drawing illustration, the three ‘whacks’ across the scene are like those things in life that happen out of the blue and we don’t understand. The artist turned those ugly ‘whacks’ into beautiful trees that looked like they belonged in the picture. ‘Whacks’ in life may lead to something beautiful. Here at Faith Chapel, we are in a time of unification and preparation. God is faithful. Even when we don’t understand, if we hold on, God comes through.

A Navy helicopter hovered over icy seas and saw icebergs moving in opposite directions. How could that be possible? As they went closer, they saw that smaller icebergs were moved by wind and waves. The larger icebergs went deeper in the water and were moved by deep currents. This is our challenge as a church: we want to be moved by the deeper currents and solid foundation of a relationship with Christ, knowing His Word and persevering in faith. We don’t want to waste time being moved by the winds of trends. May Faith Chapel move with a deep abiding relationship with Jesus. Let’s be that kind of people.

When we persevere, we go from the promise to the palace!

Thank you, Pastor Clay for an inspirational word for Faith Chapel.

Remember to join us each Wednesday at 6:30 in the Activity Center.

Submitted by Debby Jarrell

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