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Summary: God's looking for Average Joe's so he can do incredible things through them. God did the impossible through Joseph, but only after he went through the fire.

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A. God loves the AVERAGE JOES (PEOPLE)

1. It’s not that we SHOULDN’T STRIVE AT LIFE.

2. ON THE CONTRARY, the AVERAGE JOE should STRIVE more at LIFE.

B. Because GOD’S AVERAGE JOE is saying:

-“I RELATE TO EVERYBODY.”

-“I LOVE EVERYBODY.”

1. I don’t “I HAVE TO FIT IN THE CROWD - THING””

2. Or “I have a certain “STATUS” I have to MAINTAIN”

C. YOU’RE JUST GOD’S HUMBLE SERVANT AVERAGE JOE

1. God loves the HUMBLE so much that He wants to shower them with rewards.

Proverbs 22:4 (ESV)

The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.

2. Then God tells us if we’re not HUMBLE HE’LL HUMBLE US.

Luke 14:11 (NIV)

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled…

D. The AVERAGE JOE – Is the story of Joseph in GEN. 37

1. Joseph’s story is a story of humility through hardship.

(Encourage people to begin reading the story of Joseph.)

2. There are AMAZING THINGS that God can do when he gets you to the point of being HUMBLED THROUGH HARDSHIP and now willing to serve.

ILL: GROUND HOG DAY – Repeated the same day until he got it

ILL: STORY OF AVERAGE JOE-SEPH (Genesis 37)

-GOD gave him a dream that he was going to be at a high place of SUCCESS

-He shares the dream with his brothers.

-He gets COCKY because of the DREAM

3. If God gives you a DREAM, VISION, a PROMISE, the last thing you want to do is get COCKY with it.

ILL: Mother Mary Pondered the promise IN HER HEART.

A. God had to say, “Man this guy’s COCKY, have I picked the wrong JOE?

1. NO, GOD JUST SAID, he needs TO EAT some HUMBLE PIE

2. I’m going to put him through some TESTINGS before the NEXT LEVEL

B. God let his brothers sell him as a slave.

1. POTIPHAR, one of the Officials from EGYPT, bought JOSEPH.

2. Potiphar’s wife came on to Joseph.

3. The wife LIED, and JOSEPH was thrown into PRISON

4. He was there many years before God brought him out.

C. Then through different circumstances, God takes him out of the PRISON and into the PALACE.

1. He became the SECOND most POWERFUL PERSON in the WORLD

D. One YEAR ago we MOVED into GATEWAY’S NEW HOME.

1. GOD gave me a message ON THE #13.

2. #13 MEANS - GOD’S PROMISES

THAT FIRST SUNDAY HAPPENED TO BE OCT. 13TH 2013

E. IT’S no COINCIDENCE that JOSEPH’S story TOOK 13 YEARS for the TESTING TO ACCOMPLISH SUCCESS

1. Sometimes WE SEE DETOUR AFTER DETOUR in our lives.

2. And we think that it’s only GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE.

F. But FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE, nothing went wrong in Joseph’s life.

1. It was all PART OF THE JOURNEY GOD had JOSEPH ON.

G. There were times Joseph felt FORSAKEN and saw them as DETOURS.

1. But God saw them, as the JOURNEY JOSEPH needed to take.

ILL: The journey I have taken with Gateway is similar to Joseph’s.

When I FIRST STARTED, I had somewhat of a COCKY ATTITUDE.

I’m coming from a Big CITY, BIG CHURCH, this is how church should be RUN

-My attitude was, “THIS IS WHAT I’M GOING TO DO”

-Once GOD humbled me down to ashes, God SAID, “THIS IS WHAT I’M GOING TO DO; and I’ll allow you to be PART OF IT”

-FROM THE beginning to the time we started building – WAS 13 YEARS

CONCLUSION:

A. GOD SEES THE PLAN in what YOU SEE AS CHAOS.

1. Every detour, every direction we GO, IS REALLY A TEST to get us to the NEXT LEVEL in our lives.

2. WHY? Because God’s all about the HEART

2 Chronicles 32:31 NIV

“…God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart."

B. We look at the negative things in our lives as bad hurdles –

1. But God is trying to use the NEGATIVE THINGS to get us to AN AVERAGE JOE HEART.

C. I want you to SEE SOMETHING

1. There is a phobia – Fear of the #13

-People look at the number 13 as an unlucky #.

-No 13th floor in the hotel.

-Friday the 13th.

D. BUT GOD SAYS IT’S HIS PROMISE

1. God had the Israelites march around JERICHO 13 times

2. It took 13 years FOR JOSEPH STORY

E. There were times Joseph felt FORSAKEN and saw them as DETOURS.

1. But God saw them as the JOURNEY JOSEPH needed to take.

Genesis 39:2 (NIV)

The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.

F. During his JOURNEY he PROSPERED

1. HOW? Because he had the PROMISE with him

ILL: At the LAST SUPPER there were 13 men

WHO was NUMBER 13? JESUS – THE PROMISE

-THROUGH THE JOURNEY THE PROMISE WILL ALWAYS PROSPER YOU AND WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU

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