I asked the Lord for a word for this season ahead and He gave me a dream. In this dream, I saw the mighty hand of the Lord picking me and my husband up from our native country of Italy and placing us in the country of Canada. He said, "You were handpicked by Me, and I transplanted you. I have a specific purpose for you to accomplish so that you, and those around you, might thrive!"
1. "to lift and reset (a plant) in another soil or situation"
2. "to remove from one place or context and settle or introduce elsewhere: RELOCATE"
3. "to transfer (an organ or tissue) from one part or individual to another"
The Lord continued: "Just as a viable organ from a body that is dying has the power to revive another body that is about to die, so you have the power to bring life to a barren place, and to flourish in it. This new place in which I am transplanting you will be revived, and it will help you thrive because you will be in the ideal environment in the right season!"
I believe this place could be a different relationship, circle, church, job, ministry, region or country. It doesn't even have to be a physical place. It can be any environment in which you feel out of place at first.
Getting uprooted and plucked from everything familiar is extremely uncomfortable! Leaving a place which you have been in forever – a place where you once thrived and were comfortable – is painful, just as Joseph was plucked out, uprooted and transplanted into a place that was completely foreign to him. He was taken from his home – from everything and everyone he loved; from everything that was familiar to him – into an unfamiliar place...a place with different beliefs and different customs, a place completely foreign to young Joseph.
But in order for Joseph to fulfill his destiny and calling, he needed to be transplanted into that foreign land. He needed to be educated in their customs and learn their ways so that he could gain influence in that kingdom when the time was right. This meant that he was going to feel lonely, abandoned, forgotten, isolated and neglected. He must have wondered where God was, many times, but he kept believing in God's promises and the dreams he received as a young man.
The Training Ground of Trials
The purpose of our trials, most of the time, only becomes clear once we have been through them. That is what happened to Joseph.
"But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on Earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
"So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt." (Genesis 45:7-8 NIV)
Joseph realized that the Lord, who knows past, present and future, sent Joseph to Egypt to preserve His people from death and to prepare him for what was to come. Joseph was tried and tested so that he could handle the authority and influence that was going to be handed to him. Those trials served as training to take over the marketplace in the mountains of society. God wants us, His children, to be influencers in every one of the seven mountains. (Photo via Flickr)
"Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.'" (Genesis 41:39-40 NIV)
You see, as we develop character, He will also reveal to us what our gifts, talents and callings are. In that new and unfamiliar place, that is forcing us to stretch and to step out of our comfort zones, we will begin to thrive as we find our bearings. Joseph was put into positions where he had to adjust, and where he found favor as he followed the leading of the Lord.
"He called for a famine on the land of Canaan, cutting off its food supply. Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them – Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph's character. Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. Joseph was put in charge of all the king's household; he became ruler over all the king's possessions. He could instruct the king's aides as he pleased and teach the king's advisers." (Psalm 105:16-22 NLT)
Complete Metamorphosis: Don't Resist the Transition!
If Joseph resisted the transition instead of letting God work everything out, and if he kept dwelling on the past instead of letting go of the offenses, I believe he very well could have been killed or imprisoned until the day he died.
I believe the transition period between being plucked from the familiar place and being transplanted into a new place is extremely critical. That is where you develop character and strength, because it is in this place of vulnerability that the enemy comes with his schemes to try and thwart God's plan for our destinies.
Just like the environmental conditions required to keep an organ viable for transplant need to be absolutely perfect as it is being transported to its destination, the conditions in and around us are extremely critical to our ability to thrive in our new environment. We need to let go of anything and anyone that could contaminate our soul. We need to keep our emotions in check and keep the Word of God as a lamp unto our feet. We need to keep our environment 'sterile' from all negative influences.
If we resist our new assignment, there is a risk that the 'body' could reject us, just like a physical body might reject a new organ that is transplanted. When I say "the body," I don't mean the Church, because there's always going to be someone who rejects us. What I mean by the body is the calling – the assignment – on our lives. If we resist it, we might create a hostile environment for ourselves and make things harder to accomplish.
Each trial allows us to change and shed a layer of our being that has no place in us. Just as a caterpillar sheds its skin and grows a thicker one each time, we, too, become stronger and more mature in our character as we grow and mature in the Lord. Once the caterpillar is ready to go through the last, most critical stage of metamorphosis, it encloses itself in a chrysalis. In that dark, lonely and constricting space is where the REAL transformation happens! The caterpillar's body completely breaks down; it becomes liquid! The only thing left are these cells called the "imago" cells, which means "image" in Latin. These cells contain the blueprint of what the butterfly is going to look like: its color, shape, size, pattern on its wings, etc. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Next is what really blew my mind! According to www.discoverwildlife.com, the imago cells are already present in the caterpillar before it even hatches. They are already primed to turn the caterpillar into a butterfly, but "they are prevented from growing and developing by a constant surge of a juvenile hormone." As the larva feeds, grows and develops, the imago cells remain dormant. "The caterpillar behaves like a free-living, eating, growing but developmentally repressed embryo." When it reaches maturity, the imago cells start to develop unhindered until the new creation is ready to hatch from its prison!
If this doesn't blow your mind, I don't know what will! Do you see the metaphor and similarities between us and the caterpillar? We are all born with the potential to be transformed into the IMAGE of our Savior, but our spiritual immaturity, sins, undeveloped character, poor choices in circumstances and situations can hinder the Holy Spirit's work in our lives. The Lord allows us to go through experiences and trials so that we can let go of those things that are suppressing our true identity from emerging.
He allows whatever is necessary to develop our character and to spiritually mature us into our true identity as a new creation – dead to sin and alive in Christ! In that dark, lonely, constricted and painful place, we completely transform into who we are meant to be in Him, and only then are we free to accomplish our destiny! Only then are we ready to pollinate, multiply and make the world beautiful by manifesting and spreading His love and glory to the world!
The Lord tested Joseph's character until he was ready for the fulfillment of his dreams. He had to learn how to deal with betrayal, anger, resentment, injustice, pride and feelings of abandonment. He had to stay hopeful in the midst of despair and humble in the midst of false accusations. No school can prepare you for these experiences and emotions. The only way to learn is to experience these things and develop character.
This is what every Christian who wants to be fully used by the Lord will go through. These are all things Jesus went through as well; He was betrayed, accused, abused, abandoned, mistreated, and He bore it all with humility and love. In that place of complete abandonment, as we relinquish our will and dreams to Him, is where we will find who we truly are. When we are finally ready to be revealed to the world, when our chronos time intersects with the Lord's kairos time, that's when we will be the most fruitful and the glory of the Lord will be manifested through us!
So, if you find yourself in that place of transition or transplantation, don't fight it, and don't let your heart be hardened by those things around you that seem to not make any sense. Remember that you are there for a purpose greater than you imagine and that God has everything under control. Trust Him and lean into Him; not only you will begin to feel peace, but you will thrive!
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The Rising of the Esthers
Rosangela Atte¬†is a seer and a prophetic intercessor, who hears from God through dreams and visions. She is passionate about encouraging women to rise up and take their rightful place as daughters of the Most High God, as they experience His love and come into the fullness of their destiny and identity in Christ Jesus. Prompted by the Lord, Rosangela, her husband Daniel and two-year-old son moved from Italy to Vancouver, Canada in 1997. She now resides in Maple Ridge with her husband and four children, where they own and operate an Italian bakery and gourmet foods store.
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