Today we continue our series entitled, “Faith and Patience Volume IV — The Wonder Twins”. I am using Joseph as a good example of our need for patience. We are seeking to learn from the different phases of Joseph’s life. Each phase (paternal, pit, Potiphar, prison, and palace/Prime Minister) has significance to this series and to our lives.
Yesterday I introduced the concept of “Growing into your grace.” I will continue to flow in that same vein today. Let’s get into it.
(James 1:2-4 TPT)
2 My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!
3 For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things.
4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
(Gen 39:21-23 ERV)
21 The Lord was with Joseph and continued to show his kindness to him, so the commander of the prison guards began to like Joseph.
22 The commander of the guards put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners. Joseph was their leader, but he still did the same work they did.
23 The commander of the guards trusted Joseph with everything that was in the prison. This happened because the Lord was with Joseph. The Lord helped Joseph be successful in everything he did.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Believing God’s dream for your life and then launching out into it is not easy.
God calls us into our future. At first, when He does, it creates several emotions for most of us. Some get excited. Many get scared. It’s easy to get excited at first, but when you embrace the enormity of the call, a healthy amount of reverential fear sets in. You quickly realize that the call is bigger than you. It’s bigger than anything you had ever seen yourself doing. It is bigger than your dreams.
God is able to do more than you ever imagined. Ephesians 3:20 says: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask, think, or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” This is what we realize when the enormity fo the call finally sinks in.
God calls you into this amazing destiny and you are then left with all sorts of questions.
What do I do next?
For Joseph, he did not launch out, like his great grandfather Abraham. Joseph was kicked out. He was betrayed by his brothers and sold off as a slave. His brothers did not know it, but they were propelling him into his destiny.
No matter how it happens for you, once you get past the enormity of the call and you open your heart to God’s dream, you are going to have to launch out in faith. Just know that it will not happen overnight. This is why you need faith and patience. And this is why I am teaching this series.
2. What is happening TO you is actually happening FOR you!
We serve a God who is able to ensure that all things (seeming good or actually bad), ultimately turn out for our good.
Joseph had a dream. He had seen himself operating as some sort of leader or ruler. He saw himself ruling over his brothers and even his father. He did not have any specifics about the dream. He did not know that, in the dream, he was actually operating as the Prime Minister of Egypt. Because of the wisdom that God would give Joseph, and because of the favor of God on his life, Egypt would become the most powerful nation of its day, and Joseph would be the nation’s #2 man.
Joseph did not know this when he was thrust into Egypt. He did not know this when he would up working for one of Pharaoh’s direct reports. He did not know that while he was in Potiphar’s home, he was actually being prepared for his life’s assignment. All he knew was that God gave him a dream and he kept that dream alive in his heart.
When Joseph got to Potiphar’s house he faced what we all face when we are walking in new levels, stages, and seasons. Potiphar put Joseph in charge of everything in his home. What did Joseph know about running a home? What did Joseph know about operating in Egypt? But there he was, just a teenager, in a foreign land, entrusted by a foreign man, to run an entire domestic operation. In order for Joseph to do so fully, he would have to deal with the bitterness of betrayal.
In order for Joseph to make the most of the Potiphar phase of his life, he was going to have to get over the PIT phase. He was going to have to process what happened to him, and instead of getting bitter, Joseph had to decide to get BIGGER. He had to take the bad that was done to him and turn it around as an opportunity to learn and grow.
3. God gives you opportunities to learn LIFE LESSONS while you are waiting on Him to do what He said He would do.
During the PIT phase Joseph learned:
— How to deal with betrayal; especially the betrayal of those who are closest to you. This is important because in Potiphar’s house he was going to be required to lead people. You are not truly prepared to lead until you feel the sting of denial, disloyalty, deception, and disappointment, and you build up the resiliency to keep going!
— When people let you down and you develop the grit and determination to keep going anyway, it is a mark of maturity.
— Joseph was betrayed by those closest to him (his own family), and he got over it. He did not allow the pain of the PIT to keep him from GROWING in Potiphar’s house.
During the Potiphar phase Joseph learned:
— How to lead people, how to allocate resources, and how to function in Egypt. These were all foundational lessons for his life’s assignment. While he still kept the dream alive in his heart, he had to develop the patience required to make the most of the season he was in, knowing that GREATER was coming.
— Let’s talk about how unprepared Joseph was for the assignment. While at home Joseph was the 11th of 12 boys. He was not in charge of anything. But once his brothers betrayed him, their despicable act pushed him into his purpose. Sometimes we all need a little PUSH (or even a big PUSH!).
— In Potiphar’s house, Joseph was in charge of people and resources. Potiphar was the head of the Egyptian Secret Service. While Joseph was running his domestic operation, he learned how the Egyptian government allocated resources, he learned their customs/ways, and he learned how to lead teams. Once again, all of these were valuable lessons to learn on the path to his purpose.
I still have not talked about the Prison phase. I will do that tomorrow.
4. God’s grace is on our life, but we must GROW INTO IT!
While God’s favor will open doors for us that no man can close, when we walk through those doors we often feel inadequate and unprepared. Do you know why? It’s because we are! We are not ready. We may think we are ready, but we are truly not ready. It is not until time passes and we are able to look back that we are able to truly have the context to acknowledge how unprepared we were. This is why we need patience. Life is a marathon and not a sprint.
God will push you into rooms and spaces that will scare you to the bone. Your knees will buckle. Your heart will pound. All the water in your mouth will dissipate. You will feel like you don’t know what you are doing, BECAUSE YOU DON’T!
God pushes you into realms that you are unqualified for and He then works with you to GROW INTO THE SPACE! This is what growing into your grace is all about. You have to grow. You must be developed. You must be prepared. You have to be processed. And once you are, once you get comfortable in that realm, God will either LEAD you or PUSH you into the next realm. Once you get there, you will be terrified again. You won’t know what to do. You won’t know what to say. But God will give you the words. He will perform the work. You will grow into that grace. Once you do, God leads you or pushes you again, and the process is repeated, over and over again, until you become what you saw. Until the dream is manifested. And once it is, God will give you another dream, and another vision, and another assignment. And you will keep doing this until you can DIE. At that point, you don’t die because you are old. You don’t die because you are sick. You simply die because you are DONE! This is the life of faith. This is how we are called to live!
God will never allow you to be comfortable. God will never allow you to ‘rest on your laurels’. If you are still breathing, then God is still working and your future is still waiting!
God calls you into your future from your present and He causes you to GROW INTO YOUR GRACE for every time and season, for every level and stage. This is why you need faith AND patience. God won’t stop until you are done… until you get OUT OF YOUR everything God deposited IN YOU before the world began! So make a decision right now that you are going to GROW INTO YOUR GRACE and that you are going to ENJOY THE JOURNEY! Living this way you will be able to make the most of every day!
That’s enough for today
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I know You call me into my future from my present. The more I walk with You, the clearer my future is. The more clear I can see my future, the stronger the PULL into it is. I will never stop becoming the man You called me to be. I will never stop believing Your dream for my life. I will never lower my expectation for manifestation. I live every day with my heart open to receive and my soul determined to keep growing into the grace You have placed on my life! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!