Faith + Patience Part 57 – Developing the Heart of God

by Rick

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Today we continue our series entitled, “Faith and Patience Volume IV — The Wonder Twins.”  I am using Joseph as an excellent example of our need for patience.  We are seeking to learn from the different phases of Joseph’s life.  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.

(Ecc 3:1 ERV)

There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.

We will cover Genesis 45:1-3 today.

Setting the stage.

Last week we saw how Judah openly proved that they were a repentant bunch.  The ten brothers no longer operated in hatred and jealousy.  They were displaying love and compassion.  After Judah passionately pleaded the case for Benjamin and even offered to take his place as the prisoner and slave, Joseph was convinced that the brothers had changed and he could not it any longer.  He had played the role of a distant ruler for long enough.  After they showed their brokenness, he was ready to expose his love and forgiveness to them.

Joseph maintained his character for one final statement.  He said, “Leave!  Clear out – everyone leave!”  And with that, Joseph was left all alone with his brothers, all 11 of them.  Joseph took this opportunity while they were all alone, to expose himself to his brothers.  When he did, his compassion and mercy got the best of him.  Joseph began to cry uncontrollably.  He cried so loud that the Egyptians couldn’t help but hear him.  

There he was.  After all these years, Joseph was reunited with his family.  The dream had come to pass.  And instead of getting revenge on the brothers who had done him wrong, Joseph’s heart was filled with love and overwhelming joy.  Through the tears, with an interpreter, he said, in their native language, “I am Joseph.   Is my father really still alive?”  His brothers couldn’t say a word.  They were literally speechless.  They couldn’t believe what they were hearing and seeing.

So what does this mean for you today?  Since we are all called and commanded to walk and live as Jesus did in the earth, I will point out a few parallels between Joseph and Jesus in this event.

1.  Patience.

Joseph wanted dearly to expose himself to his brothers, but he patiently waited until they proved they had changed.  In the case of Jesus, He will not wait until we are changed because we cannot truly change without Him, but He will wait until we repent.  Jesus loves us, and He wants to expose Himself to us, but His complete exposure does not come until we are ready to repent of our sin and accept Him as Lord.

God loves you, and He passionately wants to see you become the man/woman He has called you to be, but He will not force you.  He will patiently wait until you open your heart to Him, His love, and His plans for your life.  Stop making God exercise patience.  Open your heart to His love and His best today.

2.  Compassion.

In Jesus’ earthly ministry, we see several examples of compassion in operation.  Jesus was moved to action because of the situations of others.  He was compelled by His compassion.  He did not allow His good fortune to cause Him to overlook the misfortune of others.  Likewise, Joseph operated in Godly compassion.  He was living well.  He was the second in command of the only nation with food.  He looked at his brothers, who were being affected by the famine, and he operated in compassion towards them.  Joseph did not allow his plenty to cause him to overlook their lack.

As a believer, as true sign of maturity is compassion and empathy.  If you are in a position to BE a blessing to others, you are made aware of how bad their situation is, and you can simply go on living without it bothering you because it is not affecting you, then you have not developed the heart of God.  The heart of God bleeds for those who need His help. 

3.  Forgiveness.

These brothers had done Joseph wrong.  Joseph was in a position to repay the wrong back to his brothers.  He had the power to have them killed.  But instead of sentencing them for what they had done wrong, Joseph forgave his brothers and overlooked their sin.  He chose to bless them instead of punishing them.  This is how it is with Jesus.  He operates in divine forgiveness.  We come to Him as people who have done Him wrong.  We come to the foot of the cross as broken men and women who have sinned against Him time and time again.  We don’t deserve it, but He forgives us over and over.  70×7 in a day, He forgives us (Matthew 18:21).

As you develop in Christ and you mature in Him, He will lead you to be like Him in every area of your life.  Forgiveness is a major part of it.  I know people who claim to be like Jesus when it benefits them.  They say, “I can do all things through Christ” (Phil 4:13) or “As Jesus is, so am I, in this world!” (1 John 4:17), when they are going after something they want.  But when God leads them to forgive, they are quick to pull out the, “I am not Jesus” card!  Listen, you cannot have it both ways.  You cannot say you are LIKE JESUS when it benefits you, and then say you are NOT when the Holy Spirit is leading you to do something you selfishly don’t want to do.  Bottom line: as you grow, God will lead you to forgive!    

4.  Love.  

Joseph operated in love.  He had his brother’s best interest in mind.  He was not focused on their wrongs.  He was focused on their need.  Once they showed a changed heart, Joseph was willing to expose his love.  Likewise, Jesus loves you.  He loves you despite all you have done to Him.  He has your best interest in mind.  He is not focused on your wrongs.  He is focused on the plans He made for you before the world began!  Like the brothers in the text, once you show your repentance, you will experience the fullness of His love!

The message of love and forgiveness is something we truly need in the United States right now.  Let’s look at something God said through the Apostle Paul:

Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one body. And always be thankful.”  (??Colossians? ?3:13-15? ?ERV??)

5.  Our Goal is to Develop the heart of God.

As we walk with God, we attempt to learn how to walk and live by faith.  While we are doing this, we are also striving to develop in every area of our lives.  To do this we must learn to hear His voice and develop His heart.  The heart of God should be our goal!

— What we want and what God wants is for us to walk in the earth in sync with his heartbeat.

— The Bible says that God gives us pastors who function in harmony with the heart of God. These pastors are flowing in sync with the heartbeat of God so that we can hear from heaven.  As individuals, this applies as well.  

— The key is learning to live in the earth in sync with heaven.  When we do, we are living in harmony with the heart of God.  This should be our goal!

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for forgiving me for all the wrong I have done to You and against You.  I come to You with a repentant heart and a broken spirit.  I thank You for looking beyond my faults and seeing my need.  I thank You in advance for operating in compassion, mercy, grace, and love towards me.  You bless me despite my performance, not because of it.  Your capacity to love helps me expand my capacity to believe that all things are possible for me.  I know You love me.  This is why I boldly declare that GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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