(Gen 41:16 NIV) “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
This morning we continue our series, “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing with our mini-series entitled, “Grace Based Success (Prosperity)”. Yesterday I stated that Joseph’s language was “strong” in this text. This morning I feel led to further elaborate. When Joseph said God would give him the ability to interpret the dream and that Pharaoh would have the answer he desired, he was expressing his confidence in God. Do you know what that’s called? It’s called faith. Faith is an expression of your confidence in God and/or His Word. When Joseph accepted the dream God placed in his heart, without any sense-realm evidence to support what God was showing him, that was called belief. Joseph believed God. But when your belief moves from your heart to your lips or your legs, and you actually DO something based upon what you believe from God, then you shift from belief to faith. In this verse Joseph was operating by faith.
Joseph’s experiences had pushed him to expand his capacity to believe God and by chapter 41 of Genesis, Joseph was no longer a young dreamer, he was a man of faith. Two years earlier, when the cupbearer and the baker each had a dream and they asked Joseph if he could interpret the dreams, Joseph asked to hear the dreams first. He first wanted to know what he was working with. But as he was standing before the king, two years later, his confidence in God was so strong that he did not need to hear Pharaoh’s dream first. He said, by faith, that the dream would be interpreted and that God would give him the ability to do it, without even knowing what the dream was. Joseph did not care how big the challenge was because he was already convinced of how big His God was. Joseph stepped out past his ability and he entered the realm of faith. If God did not do it, it would not get done. Joseph’s total reliance was on God and His ability. Another way of saying this is that Joseph was operating in faith, while totally relying on the grace of God.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. It starts with believing. For years I have taught a message entitled, “Expanding Your Capacity to Believe God.” The point of the message is that our God is a God of no limits. Any limits you have on God are artificial limits you have placed there and those limits will hinder God from operating in your life. God is not limited, but we limit His operation in our lives when we fail to believe. Conversely, when we remove every limit, our limitless God is free to operate in our lives and our experience will be supernatural. Believing is also very important because it is the precursor to faith. Once you solidify your belief system you are poised to see every situation through the lens of faith, to speak the language of faith, and to live the life of faith. So let me close this point with a question: Are you a believer?
2. You are called to cross the line from belief to faith. Believing is good, but believing does not require action, faith does. Your belief must turn into your faith. Faith is something you DO, something you SAY or something you SOW. Kenneth Copeland once said, “To be in a place where you don’t need faith is one of the most dangerous places a Christian can be.” Joseph needed faith when he was standing before Pharaoh, in order to boldly say that God was going to interpret the dreams through him. Have you ever been there? Have you ever stepped out in faith? It’s a sad commentary if you have not. This is the way that God desires for us to live. We are called to walk by faith (2 Cor 5:7), live by faith (Rom 1:17), pray by faith (James 5:15), fight by faith (1 Tim 6:12) and overcome the world by faith (1 Jn 5:4). Is that what you are doing every day?
3. Faith causes you to live with a risk of looking foolish. To live by faith you must become comfortable with a certain level of discomfort. Why? Because the carnal mind is uneasy with things it cannot verify with its senses, and faith moves beyond the natural. Faith speaks its desired end, without any sense-realm evidence to back it up, and then acts like it’s already done. When you live this way, people who are not faith-walkers will look at you strange. The average Christian today would have told Joseph to slow down a little bit. They would have said things like, “Hold on Joseph, who are you to say what God is and isn’t going to do? What gives you the right to say that God will give Pharaoh anything? Maybe God will or maybe God won’t. You just never know.” That’s not faith, that’s unbelief speaking. Unfortunately, I a great deal of unbelief coming from the lips of Christians today.
4. God’s grace fuels your faith. Joseph had experienced the grace of God so many times, and in so many ways, that his full confidence was in God and His power. This confidence enabled Joseph to operate in fearless faith. Faith is all about confidence in God and what He will do. Fear is all about confidence in satan and what he will do. When you embrace the grace of God and you know that God wants to do something in, with and through you, not because you are so good, but because He is, you are then able to live by faith in an unmovable way, because your faith is rooted and grounded in God’s grace.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your grace and my requirement to live by faith. The more I study Your grace, more confidence I have in You. Studying Your grace has helped me expand my capacity to believe You. I no longer place artificial limits on my limitless God. You are a God of NO LIMITS, therefore my belief has NO LIMITS. When You tell me You want to do something in my life, I trust and believe You. I believe You want to do it because You love me, because of Your unearned grace, and I step out in faith to bring it to pass. I have faith in my lips — saying whatever You lead me to say. I have faith in my legs — going out to do what You are leading me to do. And my faith does not require sense-realm evidence. I don’t need to verify what You are leading me to do with my senses, because You are a Spirit and You deal with me Spirit-to-Spirit. You are Spiritual, not sensual, and Your Spirit in me helps me to live by faith — a faith that is rooted and grounded in Your amazing grace. YOUR GRACE, MY FAITH, this is how You expect me to live and I declare that I will! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.