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What Names do you Give your Seasons?

 

Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house." The name of the second he called Ephraim, "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction".
Genesis 4 1: 51-52 ESV

After everything Joseph went through, Joseph and his wife had two sons. He named his two sons according to his spiritual journey of finding hope in hardship and releasing the past. He had emerged from many years of unceasing trials and tribulations. 

What names do you give your seasons - the things that have happened to you?

By the names Joseph gave his sons, it shows that he chose to THRIVE in the hard place, not just SURVIVEGod doesn't just want us to weather, life but have purpose.  Survival is not a purpose, but has been defines as “the continuation of life or existence”. That doesn’t sound too purposeful, does it?

Understand that there are seasons where you are just surviving, but it should not be the name you give to your life. Survival should never become your life philosophy!

What are some ways you can know you have adopted a Survival mentality?

You have stopped living.  All priorities have fallen to the side. Dreams, hopes, goals have been replaced as you hold on to life’s proverbial ledge. In this mode, self-preservation takes over. Like a sinking Titanic, everything else that was important goes out the window. 

Do you have a “Bunker” mentality? This is another sign of having a survival mindset. It is said that “as the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union escalated, fear of the bomb and anxiety over the possibility of a nuclear war drove many Americans to dig deep into the earth in an effort to survive what seemed at the time the inevitable nuclear attack from our enemies”. It’s possible to have a “Bunker mindset” without having a bunker. This happens in your mind when you resign yourself to hiding instead of progressing.

Another proof of survival philosophy is: You prefer comfort and ease to risk. A lazy person makes excuses for why they can’t do something.  Proverbs says, “A lazy person says, ‘There's a ferocious lion out on the road! There's a lion loose in the streets!’" (Proverbs 26:13).

A lazy person makes excuses for not thriving. Risk threatens survival, so it is avoided at all costs.

 

Another way you know you have adopted survival as your culture is: You are driven by the past, not the future. Joseph’s brothers where stuck in the past by the way they reacted to seeing him. They were guilt-ridden but what they did to Joseph in the past, but Joseph was motivated by God’s future. You see this in the way Joseph responded to his brothers. He said, “God sent me here to save lives”.

What’s wrong with just surviving?   The “Let’s just get by” mindset ensures that personal breakthrough never happens. It’s difficult fulfilling your dreams if you are hanging from a ledge . . . So we stop growing personally, our discipline is thrown off, and personal goal-setting is layed aside in favor of continued existence.

Satan can give us the illusion that we are barely hanging on by a thread, so we will spend all our energy grabbing the ledge instead of growing.

Moving beyond survival and into Purpose
If you look at how Joseph named his seasons, you can see two components emerge in the person who thrives:

Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house." The name of the second he called Ephraim, "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction".
Genesis 4 1: 51-52 ESV

 

Joseph released the past.  "God has made me forget all my hardship”.

Joseph’s brothers were stuck in the past. Just surviving, their present was determined by what was. God wants us to stop rehearsing history and begin creating history. Joseph didn't just forget about all his pain, but he created new history based on seeing God’s hand through it all.

 Joseph was fruitful in the hard place. “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction". The person who chooses to thrive always harvests something beautiful out of the most inhospitable places. Notice the one who helps you do this?  GOD.  God made Joseph forget. God made Joseph fruitful.

LOOK AT YOUR LIFE: DO YOU SEE HIS HAND IN THOSE HARD PLACES? Do you see your Manasseh’s and your Ephraim’s?