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When life is not going the way you think it should be going, God could be working to a plan...
Anyhow, I’m getting sidetracked, (but am I really?). It seems to me that Joseph would have been better off seeking God in preference to shooting his mouth off to family, but God knew he would anyhow. Perhaps that was the only way God could get His plan to work.
The point I want to make is that, despite our weaknesses and frailties, immaturity and foolishness, God can turn things around, so if you have had a legitimate vision or dream from God in some manner, have enough common sense to sit on it and wait to see what comes next. Sometimes the things we are going through and the things that we really dislike and want to escape from, are the very things God wants to use to get the blessing to us; to get His plan to work.
Sometimes the dramas we face, are in a sense, self-inflicted. Job’s were. We focus on his problems, but they only lasted for 49 days. God never “allowed” the devil to inflict those things on him as we have been wrongly taught, but have to concede a legal truth as in a court of law in a court case and His hands were tied. Job finished up with twice what he lost!
Do you see what I am getting at? God could ask us to do a certain thing and we refuse to do it. He may ask us to stop doing a certain thing, but we continue in it. He could want us to go to a particular place, but we will not go there...or He may tell us not to go there, but we go anyhow and then, when the bottom falls out of everything, we start crying and complaining.
Is it remotely possible that God really wanted Joseph to simply move to Egypt voluntarily?
I really do not know, but he had to get there one way or another and probably had no intention of going anyhow. If so, then God may have had to “force the issue”. Never think that He will not take radical steps. He does. It is not all grace, grace, grace you know. We are still dealing with an unchanging God whose word never alters. Neither does His demands for holiness, righteousness, holiness, honesty, intregity and purity etc.
Jesus plainly told us that if we are not prepared to pay any price, including leaving your own home and family (if that is clearly what He wants), we are not worthy of being His true disciples. He did not say that He came only to bring peace. He said that He would also bring a sword.
Marjorie and I have experienced the traumas of having our own family turn against us, so we know what Jesus said is very real, but we also know that He is faithful and brings peace to the soul.
The issue is, “who” and “what” comes first? This is radical perhaps, but it is true and it is often seen in the bible.
One key word that is very unpopular is Obedience. 1 Samuel 15:22 is a classic example. I did a quick search on obedience and got more than 200 references, but what has this to do with Joseph?
Although The Law had not yet been given, is may be possible that Joseph had “broken” this commandment-
There is a spiritual principle at stake. Sure that (written) Law was not yet given, but in his immaturity and rashness, had he inadvertently broken it by talking too much? Let us see the full account of his dreams.
What happened and what did he do wrong?
God had a plan and was trying to tell Joseph about it, but Joseph let the cat out of the bag and it’s hard to get the cat back in afterward. Let us bring this into our own lives now and see how it applies to us. When God has a plan and wants you to get involved, He can tell you in different ways such as-
Check it out. Get confirmation to affirm that it is indeed God speaking.
Our problem is impatience, forgetting that the best wine is kept until last and that we are here as in Esther’s case, “for such a time as this”.
The Lord once shared with me His thoughts on “witnessing”, “serving” and “working for Him, saying that He would prefer people to Be witnesses rather than “witnessing”.
God’s plan included Joseph, but the boy got into all kinds of problems and they all started off when he could not shut up and tried to make things happen. You know the story. His brothers wanted to kill him, but we forget that the literal act is no different to the attitude of the heart.
The outcome was that Joseph was sent to Egypt, but God knew what was going on and the lad had to get there somehow. We need to exercise wisdom, discretion and patience in the dealings of God in our lives.
I believe in healing. I’ve seen enough in 50 years to know that the healing ministry of Jesus is real and that He wants us to heal the sick too, but I never discount the sovereignty of God.
Just before my last visit to India, a lump came up on the back of my left wrist close to the thumb joint. It was huge and I went to the doctor who told me it was a sebaceous cyst and he operated. I watched him pull stuff like cheese out, leaving a hole a little larger than the size of a pea. To avoid possible problems he placed a wick in it and bandaged it. That was late Tuesday. I was departing on Friday and told him the reason, testifying about the Lord. He told me I was not going anywhere, but to come back on Thursday to check. He gave me some kind of bandages with strict instruction about hygiene, reluctantly saying I could travel.
One day, I saw an ad from a skincare surgery and called the number. The doctor answered and when I told him I had a sore that would not go away, he told me to immediately come in and I watched him cut out a Basal Cell Carcinoma (skin cancer) from my arm. As soon as I hung up on that call, the Lord spoke very clearly, “I’m glad you did that.” I asked Him why He did not heal me and He told me that He wanted me to meet that doctor and talk to him.
The point I am trying to make is that we can be “correct doctrinally” and act “super-spiritual” but miss out on what God wants to do, forgetting His sovereign rule and dominion. We really need to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice.
God wanted Joseph in Egypt to be appointed as the most powerful man in the known world, second only to the king, but it seems that the only way to get him there was through all kinds of problems.
He told his brethren, “I’m Joseph, your brother”—the title of this message.
The lesson we can learn about this is that sometimes life just sucks! Let’s be honest about it.
These are a few things that come to mind, but there may be more you could think of.
God is in the business of preparing people around the world for what is coming.
God is raising up men and women who will have a John the Baptist or a Joseph ministry. Let’s stick with Joseph.
He was raised by God to help his brethren, despite all the opposition and hardships he had to endure to get there. He was lied on, hit on by a conniving woman, enslaved, thrown in a pit, treated unfairly, forgotten and all this time, kept his dignity and righteous stand before God. Was it easy? No! Could you or I have done it? I wonder.
If you are going through dramas and problems in your own life, be it illness and you need money to pay for treatment, a job where there are no jobs, food when food is scarce, opposition of all kinds including violence, or plain old fashioned jealousy and envy leveled at you by others...including Christians, do not panic, become fearful and worry. God could be doing to you and for you what He did for Joseph.