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Home  ›  Spiritual/Religion  ›  Created And Formed For A Purpose
Created And Formed For A Purpose
by Ruky Obahor   (Author)
Read First Three Chapters

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

… Stepping Out

SOON AFTER THIS, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.”
“I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied.
“Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “THEN COME BACK AND BRING ME A REPORT.”
SO JACOB SENT HIM ON HIS WAY, and Joseph travelled to Shechem from their home in the valley of Hebron.
When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him WANDERING around the countryside. “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?” he asked.
“I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?”
“Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved on from here, but I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.”
So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there. When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, THEY RECOGNIZED HIM IN THE DISTANCE. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. “COME ON, LET’S KILL HIM AND THROW HIM INTO ONE OF THESE CISTERNS. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ THEN WE’LL SEE WHAT BECOMES OF HIS DREAMS!” (Genesis 37:12-20 NLT)

Shortly after I started writing this book (which by the way is my first book!) I came to a dead end with the dreaded “writer’s block”. I really couldn’t understand why until one night I couldn’t sleep. I had a lot on my mind, and as I tossed and turned around in my bed, thoughts of this book resurfaced. After reflecting for a while, I immediately understood what my problem was: I was trying to follow the principles of how to write a book—that is, I was trying to follow the rules. You know, I was trying to be very professional, follow the industry standards, and act like I knew what I was doing. I even had a little spreadsheet that helped me with my word count because I read somewhere what the minimum word count for a book like this should be. But, despite all this striving to do things just right, things were not working out well. So I started thinking to myself: Why don’t you just step back from all of that and just be myself and bring my personality and everything that makes me who I am along with me.
All of the sudden, things started to flow again, and since I still couldn’t sleep, I got up and started writing. And that is how I found myself rewriting the beginning of this Introduction, which illustrates how God had to use my experiences in life to rewrite my story.
After I wrote for a while, I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t. So I went online to listen to a random message by a famous lady preacher named Joyce Meyer, and to my amazement, God used her to confirm everything I had written just moments before. So I knew it had to be God who disturbed my sleep to tell me this one thing—that He did not intend to bypass my personality in order to use me. I was allowed to be myself, so here is the rewritten version of the Introduction, but please do not expect perfection because a baby must first learn how to crawl and then walk before she can run.

NOTE TO PONDER

Do you feel pressured not to be yourself? Do you know that you were created and formed just the way you are for a purpose? Of course you are not perfect, but I’m sure that God will work on the aspects of you that need reforming as you go along. So are you at least going to try and be yourself from now on?

STEPPING OUT… MY REWRITTEN INTRODUCTION

Okay, so WOW! Here it is! You are holding my very first book in your hands. Who would have ever thought that I would release a book?! But do you honestly know what this is? It’s me taking the first step in stepping out. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but like a man named Joseph, whom the narrative at the beginning of this chapter is about, we often get those prophecies and dreams telling us that God said we were created for a particular purpose. Oh, yes, I sure got one of those dreams. I was told by the bishop of my church and other men and women of God that I would write books that many people around the world would read. However like many people, the issue I faced was discerning when that would be. Would I hear a loud voice from Heaven saying “Lo, it is time”? Would I go by my instincts and take a chance and see where it took me? I watched a series of sermons by a popular American preacher named Bishop T. D. Jakes called Instincts to Increase. It was based on Jesus’ parable about three servants who were given talents. Though their master did not tell them what to do with the talents, two of them followed their instincts and increased what was given to them. So that, by the way, is what this whole thing is about—going with my instincts and taking a chance to pursue what God has placed inside of me.

NOTE TO PONDER

Can you think of any dreams or prophecies revealed to you as a child? What became of them?

In the opening scripture narrative we read about Joseph, popularly known as Joseph the dreamer. His father, Jacob, sent him to see about his brother’s welfare. What neither Joseph nor his father knew, however, was that those were the first steps he would take into his destiny.
“Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me a report.” So Jacob sent him on his way….
That was their own understanding of the errand, but boy were they in for a surprise. The narrative started by saying “Soon after this”, meaning that something had happened before. What had happened? Joseph had a dream in which God revealed the purpose for which he was created. Joseph then shared his dream with his brothers who became jealous of him, but neither he nor his father knew the magnitude of their Jealousy. For a while, Joseph thought things were okay and was probably just waiting there for his dream to happen until one day his father interrupted his life and set the ball rolling by sending Joseph on an errand. That initiative took Joseph out of his comfort zone and into the world of the unknown, for it entailed a journey characterised by betrayal, fear, pain, loneliness, temptation, and loads more.
“I’m ready to go”, he said, having no idea what he was really saying because at that moment Joseph stepped out into his purpose. “Bring me a report”, his father said as he sent him off on his way.
The point I’m trying to make about this young man’s story is that although God had revealed the purpose for which Joseph was created in a dream, He never told him when it was time to pursue that dream. Somehow as he went on his daddy’s errand, however, Joseph took the first steps into his purpose. The same thing happened to a man named David, who later became a great king. His father also sent him to take food to his brothers and through this seemingly simple act he somehow unknowingly stepped out into his purpose.

NOTE TO PONDER

Where are you right now? What major events or turning points have happened in your life recently? How do you know if the steps you are taking are leading you in the direction that God wants you to go?

For several years, I have been writing a daily devotional called “What is God up to?” Like Joseph and David, let me say that God has sent me on a daily assignment to take food to my Christian brothers and sisters. But, unlike David who took physical food, in my case, it’s a daily word from God, which happens to be spiritual food for the soul. This was not something on my original agenda for my life. I had just separated from my ex-husband. When he left me, I was so broken and had no one to turn to, so I turned to the Bible to find answers. I wanted to find out “what God was up to” because I was genuinely confused. I had questions: “But I got married in church? But I tried to do it right this time (well, kind of)? What went wrong?”
I had a lot of questions to ask, and to my surprise God started to speak to me, and before I knew it I started compiling short messages ... and then, little by little, I started posting these messages on Facebook. Then I opened a group for it and someone asked to receive the messages by email so I started the email version of the devotional. Following that, I launched a website and people began sending in their prayer requests. So I started devoting one afternoon a week at lunch time to pray for them. But it didn’t stop there. One day, based on the message I had posted that day (I think it was a topic on God’s restoration), someone from another country contacted me for counselling. So I had to set up a counselling line to aid our communication.
Soon after that, another lady from a different country contacted me for counselling, and that was how I found myself counselling young women. At that point I realised, however, that I wasn’t adequately equipped because I was dealing with some really deep issues, and so I enrolled in a counsellor training course. Having said that, I found that to varying degrees, all of the cases I was dealing with resonated with my own experience—the betrayal, the cheating, the emotional and physical violence, all of it. So somehow I was already equipped with life lessons to handle some of these cases. I just needed a framework to build on.
Before this, I had also enrolled in a Master’s degree in Applied Theology program because I felt I needed to develop my skills. I did not want to delve too deeply into formal theology, but again I needed a framework for understanding theology to build what I was doing upon. My intention was to understand a few things—that was all. But, I ended up with more than I bargained for. I later found out that it was God ordering my steps.
God also started leading me to start a ministry called “Meeting by the Well” based on the story of the Samaritan woman who had had five ex-husbands and was with a live-in lover when Jesus went out of His way to rescue her from making another mistake. I clearly did not know what I was doing at the time apart from the fact that the ministry was to be based on my story and the model of reaching out to a lost soul that Jesus exemplified in the Bible. It has been mind blowing, however, especially as I found out that though I was the one ministering to people, Jesus was also using my ministry to minister to me. I had been deceiving myself in thinking that I was totally healed and restored, but I needed a second, third, fourth, and so many touches , and that’s exactly what has been happening.
And then there’s this book. Writing it has also been part of the healing and restoration process, but I must confess that I’m still not really sure what God is up to? Enough of just sitting there waiting to find out, however! I’m bold enough to take a chance. So here you go again—my very first book. Please excuse me while I take a few minutes to pinch myself back into reality.
Okay, so I’m back and, yes, it’s still real. It’s not a dream. I’m sure this must have been how Joseph felt years later, after he had unknowingly stepped out, when, as he had rightly seen in his dream, his brothers eventually came to bow down before him because, despite how they tried to stop him, his dream still came to pass. There was a famine in their homeland, the place from which they had sold Joseph, and unfortunately for them, they had to come down to Egypt where Joseph ended up and,
“Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground.”
Nobody knows what went through Joseph’s mind at that moment, but I can only imagine that he had a flashback to that moment when he told his brothers about his first dream, that moment when he said:
“We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”
Amazing! If Joseph were to interrupt you right now as you read this book, I’m sure he would tell you that that is why God continues to remind His children that the words that come out of His mouth would “not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work [He] sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment [He] gave them”. I am also sure, however, that Joseph would tell you that the journey to the destination is always a bumpy one and that God deliberately leaves out a whole load of details because it would scare the life out of you. In fact, you would almost think at times that God is your enemy and that He is setting you up for a fall ... but, no, Satan is the enemy. He is the one responsible for all the bad things that happen in life. Nonetheless, God may allow him because He wants you to learn some vital life lessons along the way as you embark on your journey, lessons that prepare you for the task ahead, lessons that no amount of education can teach you.
Some time ago, I was asked to be one of the speakers at an event titled “Stepping out in your Purpose”. The day before the event, as I was preparing my speech, I received a letter from the university where I did my Bachelor’s degree. I had graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Business Information Technology (BIT), and many years after graduation they had managed to track me down to my new address. They wanted me to join the university’s Alumni Association because somehow they had found out that I wasn’t a member. To sell it to me, they said it was free and that I would benefit from many other free services they had to offer including access to their job centre and career services. I’m sure you know what a job or career centre does. If not, it is a place you go to when you want to start a new career. They talk you through how to prepare your CV, how to go about setting up a new business, or how to go back to further your education. It is indeed a very useful resource to help with career development. After reading the letter, however, I laughed because the irony of it was that the speech I was preparing was centred on career centres found in the Bible. I find it very funny how God confirms a word He has placed in your heart. It is indeed very funny because most times we expect to hear a loud, audible voice telling us what to do. God tends to orchestrate events just to give us confirmation, and if we are not able to catch on, we might just be waiting a very long time for that voice we are expecting to hear.
Anyway, there was a time when I would have rushed to join that Alumni Association because I was always eager to take advantage of anything that would help me enhance my career. But this time was different. I thought about it for a little while until at last all I could say was: “Thanks for the offer, but no thanks because you see I’ve already been to one”. Joseph the dreamer specialises in helping people like me who are trying to step out into what God has designed for them prepare their much needed CV. He has got loads of advice and tips, and I happened to have spent some time with him having a heart-to-heart chat about how to step out into what I believe God has created me to do.
The first thing we did was talk about Joseph’s life experience and how it was translated into a working CV to be presented to any recruiter on demand. I must warn you, however, that this is not just any ordinary CV. A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a Latin expression that can be loosely translated to mean “the course of my life”. A CV thus provides an overview of a person’s experience and other qualifications. So what was the course of Joseph’s life? It was full of turmoil. It took a turn in a direction that he didn’t see coming, but everything he went through was needed to equip him for the task ahead. His experience also reveals the role people have to play in directing you towards your destination. This is very important. People were strategically positioned at various stages in Joseph’s journey to make sure he stayed on track. So often even those people we tend to look at and tag as enemies turn out to be the very ones we can’t help thanking when we see how God used them to bring about His purpose for our life. This is very strange but very true.

LEFT WONDERING WHICH DIRECTION TO TAKE

We make this interesting observation in Joseph’s story: As he made his way towards his destination, “a certain man found him, and behold, he had lost his way and was wandering in the open country. The man asked him, what are you trying to find?”
Here we find that Joseph got lost on his way and didn’t know which direction to take. Unfortunately, this happens to be the case for many people who are lost and wandering and not knowing which direction to take. My hope is that in reading this book you will discover some of the landmarks in your journey and, beyond that, also become as brave as I am in trying to walk down that direction and see where it leads.
‘What are you trying to find?’ the man asked Joseph, and though he said he was looking for his brothers, who knows, perhaps something deep down inside of him may have replied, ‘I’m trying to find my purpose; I’m tired of wandering through life aimlessly.’ I bet the man must have muttered, ‘Well, that’s the reason I’m here—to show you the way.” Isn’t it interesting that Joseph just happened to run into a man who just happened to have overheard his brother’s conversation and was able to direct him to where they were? Who was this man? Could it have been God directing Joseph’s steps? We are told that “the steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step]”. Most times, however, we really don’t understand why those steps are going in a particular direction and where they lead to.
Did God make sure that Joseph found his brothers knowing full well what they were about to do to him? Joseph’s brothers eventually threw him into a pit in an attempt to get rid of him, and I can only imagine what was going through Joseph’s mind as he lay down in that pit. He must have wished he had never bumped into that stranger because he would have returned home in peace and avoided all the pain. “But what about your dream, Joseph?”
Patrick, my ex-husband hurt me so badly that I cursed the day I ever laid eyes on him. Like Joseph, however, that incident was what pointed me in the direction of what I believe is my purpose. So now, like Joseph, I probably would say that if our paths had not crossed, I’m not sure what would have become of my dreams because there is definitely no way I would have been doing any of the things I am doing now, not to mention writing this book. God would not have it that way, though. Joseph was lost and wandering and needed direction, which was exactly what the stranger gave him.

DESTINY-KILLERS ALONG THE WAY
So Joseph continued his journey as the stranger directed him, but then his brothers spotted him coming towards them. “And when they saw him far off, even before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him”. Hmm… I have included a chapter in this book about the role people and other factors play in trying to stop us from moving forward and achieving what God has planned for us. I did this because you will be very ignorant if you do not know that you will face opposition. As in Joseph’s case, the enemy sees you coming from far off and will do anything—anything—to stop you from moving forward. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but having enemies trying to stop you, even when you’re still far off, is inevitable. When I say ‘far off’, I mean far off, as in ‘from when you were born’ far off! For some people, it’s even before they were born.
I happen to have survived four near-death experiences, the first I can recall occurred when I was three or four years old. I had just returned home from nursery school, and my elder sister and her friends decided they wanted to go and buy sweets from the shop. They told me not to come with them, but I did not listen to them. So, unbeknownst to them as they went on their way, I followed closely behind. We then came to a major road, which they crossed, and shortly after I did, too, without bothering to look both ways for oncoming vehicles, and so right in the middle of the road a motor bike ran me over. The bone in my right leg was broken, so I had to spend some time in the hospital. Because I was admitted to the same hospital where my mum worked as a midwife, however, I was given VIP treatment. I had a choice of whatever meals I desired, and the man who hit me came to see me every day bearing loads of goodies. In the evenings, the nurses would push me around the garden in a wheelchair so I could pick beautiful flowers for my bedside. I even met a young boyfriend there, so when the time came to go home, after three months, I cried because I did not want to leave. I was having so much fun. Reflecting on that occasion, I see that Satan had planned to get rid of me but God turned the situation around and today I am not only alive but walking with both legs. Apart from the three fun months I spent in the hospital, my life was not disrupted.
Why did I say Satan planned to get rid of me? I’m sure after reading my account of the ‘accident’ you are bound to say the accident was due to my silly, childish mistake. How can you cross the road without looking out for oncoming vehicles? As I said, however, that was just the first of four major accidents, and I didn’t really take any notice of their significance until one day a prophet of God told me something that made me think hard. It was around the time Patrick had just left me because I couldn’t bear children for him. I was broken and a real cry baby at the time, but the prophet asked me why I was always crying. It was as though God was showing him my feelings towards Him. I actually felt that God did not love me or care about my life, but then the prophet asked me a thought-provoking question. Speaking on behalf of God, he said, “Didn’t I [God] save you from death so many times?”
That really got me thinking. First of all, it was nice to know that God had not abandoned me because, honestly, that was how I felt at the time, and I bet you probably know that feeling all too well. On the contrary, He was watching over my life. But, just as God did for a man named Job, He did for me. Satan had planned to completely destroy Job, but God placed a limit on what he was allowed to do to him . In the same way, God had built a hedge of protection around my life. Second, I began to understand that it was not a joke. The enemy really had been trying to kill me and the million dollar question was … why?

NOTE TO PONDER

Reflecting on your life, have you faced major oppositions where you have had to struggle to stay alive? Think again! That could be a clue that there is a strong purpose on your life.

Right in the middle of Joseph’s journey, his brothers saw him coming from far off and said, “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns…. Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!” That’s what it’s all about! Let's see what becomes of his dream. That was the reason they wanted to kill him—and the devil was the mastermind behind it. From then on, Joseph ran into major problems. Although we may call them ‘problems’—and after having the opportunity to spend some quality time with Joseph, I really don’t think he saw them as problems but instead saw his brothers as the vessels used to facilitate his purpose so that his experience was specialised training to equip him for that purpose—they helped him put together his CV that he was able to present to Pharaoh. I will talk more about this in Chapter 7 of this book.
I’m fairly well educated according to the world’s standard. At the time of writing this book I’m a senior Information Management and Technology (IM&T) manager, but in terms of my God-given purpose none of that really counts. When it comes to the things of God, I believe if you are lost and a wanderer like Joseph and myself, it’s the real-life situations you go through that point you in the right direction, and you may need to pay particular attention to those negative emotions such as pain, rejection, and the like because they drop some crumbs on the ground that you can follow as a trail that leads to your purpose. Now I know this may not be what you want to read about and if at this point you want to close this book and ask for a refund, please hear me out. The pain, the disappointments, and all the rejection I experienced launched me into what I believe is my purpose, and it all started by making bad decisions. Unfortunately, these bad decisions emerged from the strongholds that had built up in my mind over the years.
Yes, strongholds! I will try to explain what I mean. The enemy plays with your mind a lot to give you a false view of reality so that you are not able to see things the way God sees them. If you are familiar with the Bible, you know that it uses terms such as “strongholds”, “spiritual warfare”, “renewing your mind”. Many times we read these terms without fully grasping what they actually mean, so I hope this book enlightens your understanding as I walk through how, after God had created and physically formed me, the devil messed with my mind so that my life went down a dark route. Through the painful experiences I went through, however, God had to take the broken pieces of my life and spiritually form me to be a vessel fit for His use. Although this vessel is small, I believe this is only the beginning and hope that my writing this book will encourage people starting out like me or people who think they can’t do it. It is also targeted at people who have been broken or have lost their way and are wandering.
As I said at the beginning of this Introduction, this is my first attempt to see where the prophecies about writing books would lead me. Over the past few years, I have become acquainted with many Bible characters who have mentored me and helped me understand the various things I went through at different stages in my life. So you will hear me mention many characters—Joseph, Jeremiah, Hannah, Mary, the Samaritan woman, and loads more—so please don’t be surprised that this book jumps from character to character. That is because I am complex, which leads me to identify with multiple Bible characters. Hopefully it all comes together to make one big story of my life, but most importantly my intention is to help you identify with a Bible character who matches your situation either as you read this book or, better yet, as you get so excited that you decide to explore the Bible for yourself for answers to the questions that you may have. Whichever the case may be, happy reading…

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Product Details
ISBN978-1502956330
Author: Ruky Obahor
Publication date: 2014
Pages: 198
Product dimensions: 375 x 600
More About This eBook
Overview
Well… my experiences in life have taught me a few lessons… No one was put on this earth without a purpose and just like an ‘Instruction Manual’ is supplied by a manufacturer who is best placed to provide instruction on a product’s purpose and how best to use it, our Maker has our ‘Instruction Manual’. Unfortunately, we don’t like to go to Him and ask the all-important question; why was I created and formed this way and how do I best use me? If you are like me, the only time I would ever use an instruction manual is when a product is broken and I have done everything to fix it to no avail. By this time, I have wasted valuable time which I would have saved if only I had just read the manual in the first place. For a long time, I was a broken product who tried everything to fix my brokenness until I finally gave up control over to God who then took me back to the potter’s wheel. As He began to mold me again, He started unfolding His original plan and showing me how I can still use my experience to fulfill it.
Editorial Reviews
About Author
RUKY OBAHOR is a new writer who was provoked to ask God questions after experiencing a series of painful events including two failed marriages and the death of her brother. Somehow, questions like ‘Why the rejection?’ ‘Why the pain?’ resulted in her writing a daily devotional called ‘What is God up to?’ and a ministry called ‘Meeting by the well’. With four near death experiences, Ruky is a survivor hedged around by God so that she can tell her story and convince people that God truly turns things around for those called according to His purpose.
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