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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.
(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.
(Ecc 3:1 ERV)
There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.
(Gen 42:1-8 ERV)
1 During the famine in Canaan, Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt. So he said to his sons, “Why are you sitting here doing nothing?
2 I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go there and buy grain for us so that we will live and not die!”
3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt to buy grain.
4 Jacob did not send Benjamin. (Benjamin was Joseph’s only full brother. Jacob was afraid that something bad might happen to Benjamin.
5 The famine was very bad in Canaan, so there were many people from Canaan who went to Egypt to buy grain. Among them were the sons of Israel.
6 Joseph was the governor of Egypt at the time. He was the one who checked the sale of grain to people who came to Egypt to buy it. Joseph’s brothers came to him and bowed before him.
7 Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he acted like he didn’t know them. He was rude when he spoke to them. He said, “Where do you come from?”
The brothers answered, “We have come from the land of Canaan to buy food.”
8 Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not know who he was.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Don’t live in the PAIN of your PAST.
Jacob had 12 boys by four women, but the woman that he truly loved was Rachel. Rachel gave birth to Joseph, which is why Jacob loved Joseph so much. Later, Rachel gave birth to Benjamin, the 12 and final son. Rachel died while giving birth to the boy. This crushed Jacob. Jacob was further crushed when 10 of his sons brought him Joseph’s coat of many colors, covered in blood, telling him that Joseph was dead.
It seems like Jacob never fully recovered from that. Over 20 years later, when it was time to send his sons to buy grain from Egypt (the only nation with food during the famine), Jacob sent 10 of his 11 boys. He kept Benjamin at home. Not because he wanted someone to stay home and help him around the house. Not because he needed Benjamin to watch over the sheep. Not because Benjamin was working on a major project. No, Jacob refused to send Benjamin because he was afraid something might happen to him. Jacob was the grandson of Abraham, the father of faith. Jacob was the father of what would later become the 12 tribes of Israel, but Jacob was afraid. He was living with the PAIN of his past and he had done so for over 20 years.
— Fear is an incapacitating force. Fear will keep you from doing what you need to do when you need to do it.
— Jacob was a man of faith, but Jacob also had to deal with fear.
— Fear is a perverted form of faith. Faith is an expression of confidence in God and in His Word. Fear is an expression of confidence in satan and in his word. Example: God says that He has given His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. The enemy says that life in your neighborhood is dangerous. Now, you have two “words” operating in your life. If you express confidence in the Word from God that is called faith and your faith will cancel out any fear. You will leave your house with a fearless confidence that God will protect you. If you express confidence in the word from satan, that is called fear and your fear will cancel out any faith. You will stay home, afraid of your environment, and you will never do what you need to do.
— Please don’t live in your past. And don’t nurse and rehearse painful situations over and over again your mind. If you do, you will relive the pain with every memory and it will be hard for you to move forward.
— Part of becoming the man/woman God called you to be is letting go of your past (good or bad). Once you LET GO, you are in a position to LAY HOLD of what God has for your next.
2. Are you different today than you were in your past?
Jacob held on to Benjamin and sent his remaining 10 sons to Egypt to purchase food. The 10 men traveled with people from all over the region who were coming to Egypt during the famine. By this point, Joseph’s God-given plan was in full swing. He was overseeing the selling of the grain. When Joseph’s brothers arrived, they treated him with honor, bowing down to him. Joseph immediately recognized them. He chose to have a little fun with them and did not reveal himself immediately. He spoke to them as strangers. Joseph asked, “Where do you come from?” The brothers answered, “We have come from the land of Canaan to buy food.” The Bible says, “Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not know who he was.”
Joseph was unrecognizable to them. Some psychologists could attribute this to mental blindness – a conditional where the mind blocks out the possibility of something, therefore visually blinding you to its presence, even when it’s right in front of you. Or a super-spiritual person might say that God blinded them from recognizing Joseph, but the text does not lend itself to that interpretation either. I simply believe that Joseph did not look the same way that he looked 20 years earlier. He would have been dressed in fine Egyptian clothing and would have been surrounded by the best that money could buy. His brothers left him as a slave and would have never expected him to be the man in charge of the most precious commodity in this critical time in their lives. What had Joseph done? He had prospered. He had progressed. He had moved forward. He was not the same person he was 20 years earlier and his progression made him different.
It’s been a long time since I visited my old “block” in Brooklyn. But over the years I used to go back from time to time. It’s sad, but whenever I went back I found the same people, on the same corner, doing the same thing (nothing), decades later. I easily recognize them, but often did not recognize me. Whenever I went back I had to identify myself to them because I somehow, to them, look different.
— Are you the same person you were 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago?
— I know you are the same person, in a physical sense, but are you the same person spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc.?
— Have you progressed or are you still in the same place?
— Joseph looked different. I don’t mean just in a physical way. The 20 years, and all he had been through, had changed him in a good way. He was not the same person he used to be.
— I run into people sometimes who knew me in my BC (Before Christ) days. We talk, we laugh, we reminisce, but we also acknowledge that I am not who I used to be.
— God is a God of progression and not regression. As you walk with God you should progress, you should evolve, you should develop into the man/woman God has called you to be.
*** I keep telling you that “Greater is coming.” Well, guess what? Greater is continually coming and as you embrace wave after wave of greater, you should be changing and growing in the process.
3. Are you progressing while you are waiting?
This series is about living in faith and adding patience to your faith, to the point where you are able to HOLD ON long enough to see what God said. I stopped at verse 8 today. In verse 9 Joseph remembers the dream. You see, he never let it go. He kept the dream alive in his heart. But he also did not just sit around waiting for the dream. He made progress while he was waiting.
— As a believer, if you commit to living by faith, you will go through seasons where you are believing God for this or standing in faith for that. During these seasons, the thing you are believing God for will be the MAJOR THING. But while you are waiting for the MAJOR THING, you still have to live your life. The MAJOR THING will not happen overnight. In the interim, God wants you to make the most of each day. He wants you to make progress TODAY, while you wait on your TOMORROW.
— While you wait on God for the MAJOR THING, walk through every door He opens for you and make the most of every opportunity. Your success is not going to happen overnight. The key to your MAJOR success is the small victories you experience every day. The discipline of your daily routine is what will prepare you for the manifestation of God’s promise. When that day comes, you will be ready, because you made the most of each day.
*** As I close, I will get personal. I am preaching to myself. I am waiting on something MAJOR in my life. Something I have been waiting on for years. But since God’s timing has not come, I know God does not want me to put my life on HOLD. I have to keep living, keep pressing, and making the most of every “TODAY”, so I am ready for when that “DAY” comes. Please do the same! Make progress while you wait!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, You are a God of progression and not regression or stagnation. I declare, by faith, that next year, at this time, I will not be at the same point I am today. I will be better. I will be bigger (in the Spirit). My faith will be stronger. Every year I progress spiritually. This spiritual progression promotes progress in every area of my life. Because I am progressing spiritually, I am also progressing mentally, emotionally, socially, financially. I am so blessed that people from my past may not initially recognize me, because Your blessing upon my life is so outwardly evident. I am continually being changed! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!