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. There are lessons to be learned in every season. Let’s get into today’s message.
(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 MSG)
But there, in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.
(Ecc 3:1 ERV)
There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Joseph still had some growing to do as a person.
When Joseph was living under his father’s roof he learned what it was like to enjoy the favor of God. But he did not know how to handle the favor. He flaunted it, instead of remaining humble in it, and his lack of humility caused bitterness and resentment at home. He was young and dumb. We all go through this phase.
When Joseph was living in Potiphar’s house he got his first exposure to leadership. He learned how to lead others. He learned how to allocate resources. He was responsible and accountable for all the operations of the home. He did not know it, but God was preparing him for his life’s assignment. The issue for Joseph was that, since his call was so big (to be the Prime Minister of Egypt), his time of preparation would be commensurate with the size of the assignment. Once Joseph became the Prime Minister of Egypt, he was going to be responsible for millions of people and he would be directly responsible for a national logistics management operation that would save the nation during 7 years of famine.
My point here is that Joseph learned a few lessons while living in Potiphar’s house. But he still had some growing to do before God would fully thrust him into his destiny.
We can learn a few things from this:
a) The size of our call is directly proportional to the amount of preparation we will be required to undergo/endure in order to walk in it.
b) We must be committed to life-long learning. This point is often made as it relates to a career or profession. But to be clear, our life’s assignment from God will require continual learning from us. We must learn lesson after lesson, after lesson. Our evolution will never stop. While we are living, we must be committed to lifelong learning. Understanding this will help us maintain our patience as we make the most of the season we are in, knowing that GREATER is coming.
c) There is a lesson in every time, season, level, and stage of our lives. So if you feel like you are not moving forward, if you feel like you are “spinning your wheels”, remind yourself that there is a lesson in the season you are in. Discover the lesson and learn what you need to learn, so you will be ready for God to SHIFT you to the next season.
2. Joseph still had some learning to do about Egypt.
As much as Joseph had learned about Egypt, there was still more he needed to learn before he was ready for his life’s assignment.
So there he was, in an Egyptian prison, and he was placed in charge. As much as Joseph had learned about Egypt from Potiphar, he did not know anything about running a prison. But this was not just any prison. This was a prison reserved for offenses against the throne. When Joseph was placed in charge of this particular prison, he learned things he was going to use later, while he was the Prime Minister of Egypt.
Here are some things Joseph learned while he was running this prison:
a) He learned how the Egyptian government worked.
b) He learned how to communicate with the government in order to put in requests and receive resources.
c) He learned how to format the requests and how the Egyptian government operated. In today’s terms, he was learning who to fill out of the forms and format the emails.
d) He learned how to lead on another level. This was much greater than just running Potiphar’s home. By running a federal penitentiary, Joseph was responsible for other men, for the entire logistics operation, and for communicating the status of the prison with the throne. All of these things were important in God’s overall plan for his life. All of these things were preparing Joseph for life’s assignment.
We can learn a few things from this as well:
a) There is a sovereign God at work in your life. He is moving pieces on the chessboard for you. Every level and stage of your life is part of God’s overall plan. You are not a mistake and God is not mistaken. God’s plans and purposes will prevail (Prov 19:21).
b) While God is moving pieces on the chessboard of your life, you may not like every move. You may not appreciate the significance of every situation, stage, or season you find yourself in. But if you keep living long enough, you will look back over your current situation and thank God for it. While you are enduring it, you may not like it. But after it is over, with the benefit of the context hindsight provides us, you will realize how what you are going through now actually prepared you for your future.
3. Joseph’s today was preparing him for his tomorrow.
In order to truly be patient in the season you are in when you know God has called you to GREATER, you must learn this lesson: “If it’s not the thing, it is the thing preparing you for the thing.”
a) While Joseph was in prison, it was not the “thing” he wanted. It was not the “thing” he saw in his dream. It was not the “thing” in his heart. But it was surely the thing that was preparing him for the thing.
b) Joseph was running the largest operation he had ever been responsible for in his life. But even then, God was preparing him for greater.
c) You may look around right now, today, in 2020, in the middle of COVID-19, and acknowledge that this is not “THAT”. This may not be what God revealed to you. Your life may not look like the dream God placed in your heart. But let me add one word to that statement. The word is, “YET!” God is still working. Greater is still coming. Maybe this is NOT the thing. But this is the THING getting you ready for THING God placed in your heart. Make the most of your today, so you will be ready for your tomorrow when God says, “Son/daughter, it is time!” Believe me, I am in the same boat. I live my life waiting for that moment. I live my life in expectation of the THING I have in my heart. And I know that it SHALL come to pass in the fullness of time.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I am committed to lifelong learning. I know there are lessons I must learn today that will prepare me for my tomorrow. My heart is open to every lesson. You have called me to something great. Therefore, I understand that the amount of preparation is directly proportional to the size of the call. So I am willing to endure whatever I must endure, to learn whatever I need to learn, and to grow as much as I need to grow, in order to DO what I am called to DO! Today may not be the THING You placed in my heart. But it is the THING that is getting me READY for the THING, so I will make the most of my today as I prepare for my tomorrow! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!