The Joseph Journey
The story of Joseph, the teenage dreamer, in the book of Genesis is perhaps one of the most dramatic stories in all the Bible. It is full of intrigue and contains a plot that twists and turns its way to a beautiful ending. The Joseph Journey takes one from youthful zeal and dreams of greatness to despair, disappointment and betrayal. The Joseph Journey starts with a seventeen-year-old boy and ends with a man who sits as a ruler and prince over all the known world of his day. God used every trial and tribulation the enemy puts Joseph through as part of his preparation and positioning for him to rule and reign.
In Genesis chapter 39, we see Joseph falsely accused and cast into prison, all because Joseph was faithful to his master. He was helpless with no one to come to his aid. But God was there with Joseph.
"But Yahweh was with Joseph, and showed kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. The keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever they did there, he was responsible for it. The keeper of the prison didn't look after anything that was under his hand, because Yahweh was with him; and that which he did, Yahweh made it prosper" (Gen. 39:21-23, WEB).
Can you imagine what it would be like to be thrown into prison for something you never did? Consider what prison life would be like. The conditions would most likely have been harsh, with little food and water, as well as continual physical, emotional, mental and spiritual suffering for most of the prisoners. Yet God was with Joseph in his confinement. Heaven's favor and kindness were evident, for Joseph was given the responsibility over everything that happened in the prison. Here are some likely duties that Joseph would attend to:
- Food preparation (if one was fortunate enough to eat)
- Cleaning up
- Emptying and cleaning the latrines
- Tending the wounds of prisoners
- Caring for sick prisoners
- Dealing with infestations of rats, lice, other insects and rodents
- Watching over vulnerable prisoners
- Maintaining order and peace
- Keeping corruption at bay
- Dealing with death
- Ministering to the brokenhearted and the lonely
The Priority of People
God taught Joseph the priority of people before programs. He had to learn what it meant to be his brother's keeper. A heart of compassion began to form while Joseph was in confinement. In the place of God's built-in destiny delay, Joseph embraced the depths of the Father's compassion for others. The lessons he learned of humility, wisdom and love became the basis of his promotion. No doubt there were days that Joseph struggled with the plans of God for his life, just as we do but he remembered and persevered in his sonship regardless of his circumstances. God used the prison cell as the perfect crucible for His love to form in Joseph's heart.
Also, Joseph learned the heart of a servant in prison. It was crucial in his preparation, for he would one day be entrusted with so much power and influence. God chose to allow him to face confinement in a prison to teach him this lesson. He had the opportunity to show tender compassion to the other prisoners who were placed in his charge.
While in the dungeon, Joseph's anointing grew and grew. The iron of the shackles entered his soul and made him stronger. He was put in charge over all that was done in the prison house. Even in a prison, the most unlikely place, Joseph shined like a star. Even the prison warden recognized the extraordinary character of young Joseph. He was prospering again.
Psalm 119:71 (TPT) says, "The punishment you brought me through was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me your ways." Joseph was starting all over. This time, it was at the bottom of an Egyptian dungeon. The prison was a school for Joseph, a place to build character, although unseen by others and forgotten.
Like Joseph, your life, with its setbacks and limitations, is being uniquely prepared for God's purposes. It seems impossible that your problems will be the source of your promotion, but watch over the next few years how God's presence is with you. Favor will increase and promotion will come as God deals thoroughly with your heart. The higher your calling, the greater your preparation. Get ready, a breakthrough is coming!
"Don't be afraid... You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to save many people alive, as is happening today" (Gen. 50:19-20, WEB).
My heavenly Father, You are wise and You are good. Your plans for my life are the best. I yield my heart to You today for Your Spirit to continue to make me like Christ. I give You my limitations and my delays. Your ways are always higher than mine. Give me a heart to follow Your ways, no matter where it may lead me. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Brian and Candice Simmons have been described as true pioneers in ministry. As a spiritual father and mother, their teaching and spiritual gifts have opened doors in many nations to take the message of authentic awakening and revival to many. For the last 40 years, they have labored together to present Christ in His fullness wherever God sends them. Dr. Simmons is currently working as the lead translator of The Passion Translation.
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