Faith + Patience Part 62 – Keep Your Heart Open To Receive

by Rick

Note:  I am back from vacation.  I truly needed the break.  Thank you for your prayers.

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.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1 ERV)

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

(We will cover Gen 45:14-20 today)

Setting the stage:

After Joseph offered to be a blessing to his family, he finally got the opportunity to settle down and spend some quality time with them.  He went over to his little brother Benjamin, they hugged, and then both started crying.  The power of the reunion was overwhelming.  Joseph was still crying as he kissed each of his other brothers, and they all spent some time talking to each other.

By this time, the word got back to the king that Joseph’s brothers had come.  What happened next is critical to point out.  Joseph had promised his family land in Egypt.  He had already committed himself to be a blessing to them.  Joseph was very excited about a full family reunion.  The king, Pharaoh, was the only person with the power to disrupt his plans.  No one else in Egypt had power over Joseph.  The king could have overruled Joseph and denied his ability to fulfill the promise.  But thankfully, the Lord had given Joseph favor with the king, and he had certainly earned his position in Egypt.  Because of Joseph, and the favor of God on his life, Egypt was prospering while every other nation in the region was struggling.  They were enjoying prosperity in the middle of a famine.    

Considering all that Joseph had done for him and his nation, the king said, “Tell your brothers to load their donkeys and return to Canaan.  Have them bring their father and their families here.  I will give them the best land in Egypt, and they can eat and enjoy everything that grows on it.  Also, tell your brothers to take some wagons from Egypt for their wives and children to ride in.  And be sure to have them bring their father.  They can leave their possessions behind because they will be given the best of everything in Egypt.”

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  Favor can do more, in a minute, than labor can do in a lifetime.

In modern language, the king said this to Joseph’s brothers:

Take what you need to get home, get your father and your families, and come back.  I will send my best vehicles with you, so your trip to and fro is comfortable.  Also, when you get there, don’t worry about grabbing all your stuff.  You can come with nothing.  I will make sure we give you the best of everything when you arrive!”  

The brothers, and their father, could not have worked themselves into this type of blessing.  This far exceeded anything labor could provide.

My point is that you must keep your heart open to God’s favor.  Many Christians are so accustomed to working for everything they get, that they fail to recognize the favor of God when it is in operation.  Since they can’t see that it is God who is attempting to favor them, they don’t fully open their hearts to God’s best.

If I were to talk about struggle and pain, many Christians would say, “AMEN” quickly.  However, when I talk about the favor of God, many are quick to dismiss it, because they have never fully opened their hearts to it.  You must be OPEN to receive it.  You will never fully RECEIVE what you are not able to PERCEIVE.  Please keep your heart open to God’s favor.

2.  Being reminded of God’s goodness and His favor is a good thing.

You may be thinking, “Rick, you have taught on the favor of God before.  You have mentioned it several times during this series.  First with Joseph, and now with his family.”  You are right.  But there is a reason for it.  Most of us do not get the point from God until we hear it several times.  This is why I don’t mind sharing the same truths over and over with you.  This is how you expand your capacity to believe God.  

You can’t just hear something one time and get it in your spirit.  When Paul was writing to the church at Philippi, he was teaching them to develop their joy in the Lord.  He repeated this theme throughout his letter.  By the time he got to the third chapter, he said, “It doesn’t bother me to write the same things to you that I have written before.  In fact, it is for your own good.” (Phil 3:1).  

Paul said in Romans that “faith comes by hearing” (Rom 10:17), and this “hearing” is a direct reference to the Word of God.  Notice that he did not say faith comes by what you have heard.  For your faith to consistently be in operation, you must consistently hear and receive the Word of God.  This is why I share God’s Word daily.  You need a steady diet of the Word of God in order to become the man/woman God has called you to be.  

The more you hear and receive the Word of God in any area, the more your faith develops in that area.  I have the responsibility to preach it (or write it in this case), and your part is to receive it, believe it, and release your faith for it.

I reiterate the fact that God used Pharaoh to be a blessing to Joseph and his family because that should elevate your capacity to believe God in that area.  Pharaoh used his power, his ability, and his influence to help Joseph.  Likewise, you should believe God to move on the hearts of others, so that they can use their power, their ability, and their influence to bless you.  That’s called favor, and it is available to you.  Like Joseph’s family, God can cause you to prosper in the middle of a famine!  That’s a good Word for us today!

3.  Receiving God’s Word helps you to remain OPEN to His blessing.

— You should feed on the Word of God consistently.

— The Word you consistently receive will be the Word that you expand your capacity to believe.

— Once you are in a position to believe what God said and believe how it applies to you, you can then exercise your faith for it.  Faith is something you say, something you do, or a (financial) seed you sow, based on what you believe God said to you.

— Once you believe and you operate in faith, you must then develop patience.  God’s blessings will not come overnight.  You must remain in faith for the long haul; until you see (in your hands), what God revealed (in your heart).

— None of this will happen if you are not OPEN to it.  Nothing is impossible with God.  Many things are impossible with man.  But if your heart is OPEN to the seemingly impossible, then the impossible can become possible for you.  Jacob and his boys went from living in lack, in the middle of a famine, to moving to Goshen and enoying the best of everything.  They did not earn it.  The brothers surely did not deserve it.  But when that time came, and the favor of God was flowing, their hearts were OPEN to receive!  I pray your heart will be OPEN to receive when God is ready to bless you!

Declaration of Faith

Father, I believe the Word I have just received.  I know Your favor is available to me.  You don’t have to come down from heaven, shine a great light around me, and knock me to my knees to bless me.  You can use other human beings on the earth to use their power, their ability, their influence, and their money to help me.  I believe You will.  And when you do… when Your favor is flowing, my heart will be WIDE OPEN to receive it!  The impossible is possible for me because I believe God!  And my daily confession is: 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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