Monthly Archives: July 2012

30. God turns all things for our good

Last time we learned that people can change. Even if people had hurt you in the past, doesn't mean that they do not deserve a second chance. People grow and change constantly and if they are serious about their walk with God, then they will grow spiritually and become the person that God created them to be. And that person will most definitely be someone you would want to be friends with. Therefore take a leap of faith and trust that the other person has truly changed. Ask God to lead and guide you in the process.

Joseph finally saw that his brothers had truly changed. He was so overwhelmed by emotions. He asked that all his servants leave. And then he revealed himself to them as their brother:

"I am Joseph; does my father still live?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence." Genesis 45:3

His brothers were shocked. This was the last thing that they had expected. They couldn't believe their eyes. And now they were even more afraid of what he might do to them, due to how they had treated them. But Joseph quickly reassured them:

"And Joseph said to his brothers, 'Please come near to me.' So they came near. Then he said: 'I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt." Genesis 45:4-9

Joseph reached out to his brothers and reassured them that he was not angry with them. He saw the bigger picture and God's hand in it all. God orchestrated that he be in Egypt and in the right position at the right time. During the hard times in Joseph's life he didn't see it, but looking back now, he clearly saw how God worked for not only his good, but for the good of his family too.

We might be going through difficult things, we might have ups and we might have several downs. We might have things in our lives that we simply do not understand. When we are in the situations we might look horizontally and not see the reasoning behind it all. But one day when we look back at the bigger picture we see all the puzzle pieces coming together for us and we will be able to see that God has been working for our good all along. Even if we have gone astray and even if some of the heartache has been solely our fault, if we turn back to God and follow Him with all of our hearts, then He will turn things around for us and we will see His wonderful good hand in it all.

We should never lose hope. He is always there to lift us up. He wants us close to Him, He wants us on the Plan A He has planned for us. And yes, Plan A might have bumps and bruises along the way just as it had for Joseph, but it will ultimately work out for our good and be the best plan for our lives. We just need to trust Him and follow Him. He knows best and will never leave you nor forsake you.

May we all look back at our lives and see the unmistakable hand of God in it, just like Joseph. May we be able to testify alongside him, that what others meant for harm, God can turn into good. May we live the best life that He has planned for us, walking alongside Him, honoring Him all the way. Hallelujah!

Father thank you that You always have good plans for us, plans for good and to prosper us. You do not plan any evil to come on us, but You turn all evil plans for our good, just as You did for Joseph. We praise You for that. Take our lives and may it honor You in all that we do. We love You. Amen

29. Give people second chances (1)

Last time we learned that we should keep our word. If we say that we are going to do something, we do it, if we make an appointment, we keep it, if we say we are sorry, our actions must show that we are truly sorry. We need to be people of integrity. In our society integrity has taken the back seat and that is not how it is supposed to be. Many people do not keep their word and leave you hanging at the last minute. This is not right. People need to be able to trust us, and when they see God in us, they will learn to trust Him too.

Joseph set a final test for his brothers to make sure that they had truly changed. This time he not only returned their money again in their sacks, he also made sure that his silver cup is put into the sack of none other than Benjamin, the beloved son. He wanted to test his brothers and see what their reaction would be if the new beloved son is caught with the silver cup in his sack. As soon as the morning dawned his brothers set off and Joseph's plan was set into action:

"When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, "Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, "Why have you repaid evil for good? Is not this the one from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing." So he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words." Genesis 44:4-6

His brothers were shocked. They were totally convinced that they were innocent. They even made a vow:

"With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord's slaves." Genesis 44:9

Can you imagine their ultimate shock and horror when they found the cup in Benjamin's sack? They even tore their clothes and immediately turned back to Joseph. They fell down before Joseph and presented themselves as slaves to Joseph for the rest of their lives. But Joseph continued to test them and said that they can all go in peace, only Benjamin had to remain. But Judah refused and offered that he himself will stay, but begged Joseph to send Benjamin home, otherwise Jacob will die if he hears that Benjamin has been taken captive. Joseph didn't expect this reaction. He couldn't believe that his brothers would defend Benjamin like that. He finally saw that they were truly repentant for what they had done to him.

People can change, they truly can. We must give people second chances. They might have hurt you in the past, but people can change and a second chance might be just what they need. Peter turned his back on Jesus and forsook Him in His darkest hour and yet Peter repented and Jesus readily forgave him and used him mightily for His Kingdom. Mark left Paul on one of his missionary journeys and Paul was very angry at him for that. But at the end of Paul's life he asked Timothy to bring Mark to him as Mark was useful to him in ministry.

People make mistakes, but they can grow and change for the better. There are several testimonies of jail inmates who got saved and made a huge difference when they came out. Give people second chances. Give them the chance to redeem themselves. Unfortunately not all people change, but give people the benefit of the doubt. Ask God's Spirit to lead you and help you. See the best in people.

Of course I am not saying give people who physically or verbally abuse you chance upon chance. Only if they really and truly repented and accepted Jesus into their lives. Otherwise allow people to surprise you on the up side. You might just win a friend back.

Father, You are amazing and can change people for good. You are the only One with the ability to do just that. I pray for those who have hurt us in the past. Show them Your love and compassion and change them from the inside out and help us to allow Your grace to flow through us to them. Amen


28. Keep your word

Last time we saw how the steward of Joseph's house gave glory to God. He was obviously influenced by Joseph. Joseph was a true example for all of us. He gave glory to God in all situations and lived a life that drew people closer to God. We should follow his example and make a difference to those we come in contact with. We should allow His Spirit to move mightily through us, so that they can experience God through our actions.

Now Joseph invited all of his brothers to his home for lunch. They were afraid at first, but after the steward reassured them they settled in at Joseph's house and prepared their present for him. When Joseph arrived they presented him with their present and bowed before him. He asked about his father and was undoubtedly relieved at their answer:

"Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive." Genesis 43:28

Joseph then lifted his eyes and saw his own brother for the first time. Benjamin was his only full blood brother. He was so overcome with emotion that he had to leave:

"Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chambers and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself." Genesis 43:30, 31

It is understandable that Joseph was overcome with emotion. His dreams that he had when he was just seventeen years old were coming to pass, his brothers were in front of him, remorseful of what they had done to him, he just heard his father was still alive and now he sees his own brother for the first time. It is a lot to take in. However he decided that he was not going to reveal himself to his brothers as yet, he first wanted to give them a final test.

He seated them in order of their age at the dinner table and they marveled at it, but none of them clicked that it was Joseph presiding over them. He didn't eat with them, as Egyptians didn't eat with Hebrews. Yet, the brothers enjoyed themselves and ate until they were full; Benjamin even got five times the serving portion of the others.

Then it was time for the final test. Joseph commanded his steward:

"Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack. Also put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money." Genesis 44:1, 2

Joseph wanted to make 100% sure that his brothers did indeed changed. Were they truly remorseful, or would they abandon their youngest brother at the next chance that they got?

It is easy to say that you are sorry, but it is a different story to truly act as if you are sorry. Lip service is one thing, but true repentance is followed by actions. Do not just apologize to someone, knowing very well that at the next available chance you would do exactly the same thing again. No, truly repent and allow God to change your heart, for if your heart is changed the actions will follow. It does a lot of harm to the Kingdom of God if we say we are sorry, but we don't act that way. People look at our actions and how we handle things and that determines their view of God. Especially our children. They look up at us.

Mean what you say. If you say that you are going to do something, do it. In our world today people's word doesn't mean a lot anymore. If you say you are going to do something do it, if you make an appointment, keep it, if you make a promise, honor it. As the Bible say, Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Do not waver between the two. Let people see that you have integrity. People respect that. Keep your word and be honest. That way you will honor God as He is steadfast and never wavering.

Father, please help us to keep our word. Help us to honor You in every way. We want to lift You higher through our actions and help people to draw close to You. We love and honor You. Amen


27. Allow God to work through you

Last week we learned that we cannot plan the future to the core. We cannot make sure that everything will work out as we had planned. Yes, of course we can plan and do our responsibility, but then we need to let go and let God. He knows best and He will lead the way forward.

Jacob sent his sons, Benjamin included, to Egypt to go and buy food for them. Upon arrival Joseph greeted them and invited them to his house. They were beside themselves with worry and were afraid and immediately tried to rectify the situation:

"O sir, we indeed came down the first time to buy food; but it happened, when we came to the encampment, that we opened our sacks, and there, each man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it back in our hand. And we have brought down other money in our hands to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks." Genesis 43:20-22

They didn't know what was going on and immediately assumed it was because they didn't pay the first time. But Joseph's steward played along and ensured them that their money was received. And it is wonderful to see that the steward of Joseph's house gave glory to God:

"Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money." Genesis 43:23

How wonderful that the steward of Joseph gave glory to God. He must have learned about God from Joseph. He must have seen how Joseph conducted himself and he must have heard about how God interpreted Pharaoh's dreams and how it became a reality. Joseph certainly was an early evangelist in his time. He attributed all his success to God.

The people that work for us, the car attendant at shopping malls, the cashier at grocery stores, the waiter at a restaurant etc. look at us and how we treat people. They look at us and we have the opportunity to show them a loving God. God lives within us, we are His Temple and He wants us to show His love to a broken and lost world. Our children also look to us to learn about God. They look at our actions and what we say and how we treat other people. We can preach to them and quote Scriptures to them until we are blue in the face, but our actions will turn them towards God or away from Him. We need to live what we preach. I know it is not always easy and I know that we have off days too. But in general we need to allow His Spirit to flow through us and influence the people around us for His glory.

Joseph was an impeccable example, people started to honor God because of him, and today we have an advantage over him, because His Spirit lives within us. We need to spend time with Him and allow Him to move mightily in our lives. Our flesh is weak and we wouldn't be able to do much on our own, but if we give Him free reign in our lives, He can move through us and change the world to be a better place.

Father please move through us and work through us. We give You free reign. In our flesh we are weak and would not be able to do much, but with You by our side, we can truly influence people for Your Kingdom. Thank you that You are always with us. Amen

26. Give over to God

Last week we learned that we shouldn't put off what we can do today. We should act whenever we know that there is something that we should do. Whether it is forgiving someone, or reuniting with someone, or giving someone something, or doing something for the Lord. Whatever it is, we need to do it for the Lord and we shouldn't stagnate. If we stagnate we are not only hurting ourselves, but withholding someone from a blessing. It truly is not worth it. We need to act whenever we feel the leading from God.

Jacob could have been reunited with Joseph so much earlier, but he stagnated and didn't want his sons to take Benjamin to Egypt. But finally their food ran out and he didn't have any other choice. He had to send Benjamin with them:

"If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man - a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. Take double money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. Take your brother also and arise, go back to the man. And may God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved, I am bereaved!" Genesis 43:11-14

Jacob was a good man and sent of their dire food supplies with them, as well as double the money, to compensate and to hopefully ensure the safe travels of his sons. But truly the only One Who could bring his sons back safely was God. And he acknowledged that by asking that God give them mercy before Joseph. Only God can help him and only God can help us.

Sometimes we are inclined to do so much from our side to ensure that we are successful in what lies ahead. We plan things to the core, we ensure that things go our way; we buy things to make sure that we have a safe journey ahead etc. We want to take matters into our own hands and make sure that things work out the way we want them to work out. But the truth is only God can help us and only He can make things work out for our good. We cannot foresee the future and we cannot plan for every event. We need to stand back and trust in God, His foresight and His goodness.

Jacob could never in his wildest dreams have foreseen that the 'harsh Egyptian' was in actual fact his son, Joseph. No amount of presents that he sent along or money could have brought back his son. Only God ordained it all to work out for good. Nothing he could have done from his side could have ensured the safety of all his sons, Joseph included.

We also need to let go. We need to do what we can, but then we need to let go and trust in God. Especially when it comes to our children. We cannot pave a perfect road for them. We cannot ensure that everything will be smooth sailing. We cannot. We can only raise them to the best of our ability and teach them about God but then we need to let them go into this harsh world trusting that God's protection is over them. He knows what will be best for them. We do not. Letting go is not easy, but seeing them fly with God's grace over them is definitely a reward to look forward to.

Father thank you that You are always there, always looking out for us. We trust You that You know best. We give all our troubles and cares over to You. Carry us through it all, we love and honor You. Amen

25. Now is the time to act

Last week we learned that God will test us in the small things before exalting us to a higher authority. He wants to make sure that we handle ourselves with excellence in the mundane everyday things in life. For if we are not to be trusted in the small things, how can He entrust us with higher spiritual authority? We need to live a life of excellence in every area of our lives, so that we can be a showcase to the world of how a Christian should behave.

Joseph's brothers went home and found all their money returned in their sacks. This made them very afraid. They told Jacob all about their trip and about the leader who spoke harshly to them. They also told him that the leader wanted to see Benjamin. They had to return with him, otherwise he would not let Simeon go and he would not give them more food. However Jacob refused:

"My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead and he is left alone. If any calamity should befall him along the way in which you go, then you would bring my gray hair with sorrow to the grave." Genesis 42:38

Jacob couldn't bear to lose Benjamin, as Benjamin was all he had left of his beloved Rachel. So he flat out refused to let Benjamin go with them, even though Reuben and Judah vouched with their lives that they will bring him back to Jacob. However soon enough the food that they had brought from Egypt were finished and the famine was very severe. Jacob told them to go again and buy food, but his sons quickly reminded him that they will not be given food if they didn't have Benjamin with them.

If Jacob hadn't been this stubborn, they would have returned much earlier and they would have reunited with Joseph much earlier too. They would have had a much better time, had he relented sooner. Now, they were in dire need of food and facing starvation.

We often delay things that we know that we must do too. We know that there are certain things that we must do and yet we put it off and we put it off. Much to our own detriment in the long run. A couple of years ago a specific Gospel song was playing in my mind the whole time. I loved the song and I instantly knew that the Lord wanted me to choreograph a dance on that song to perform in church. As I thought about it I knew exactly what moves would work and how we should go about doing it. I knew that I should find some friends and perform it at church. Even though I knew all these things, I stagnated. I kept on putting it off, thinking that I was imagining it and that they would think I am weird if I just call the church and tell them that I wanted to perform this dance in church. So as I was still arguing within myself whether to do the dance or not, I was in church one day. And sure enough the preacher said that there will be a dance that morning. And it was on exactly the same song and version that I felt God wanted me to perform it on. I was stumped. I was so jealous, as I thought that I could have done a much better job at it (arrogant I know, fortunately God has done a lot of work on me since). But at that moment I could sense God's presence and He told me: "I wanted the dance performed by you, but you stagnated, so I had to find someone else." That floored me. I there and then vowed to never let that happen again. If I feel I need to do something for God, I do it immediately. I never want that feeling again of someone else doing what I knew I should have done.

And that goes for so many things. If God wants you to forgive someone, do it today. If He wants you to help someone financially, do it now, they need the miracle now. If He wants you to send someone a specific message, do it right away. Do not wait. If you feel the leading of His Spirit, follow Him and do what He has placed on your heart to do. It will not only benefit others, it will most certainly benefit you too. Jacob could have been reunited with Joseph months earlier and Simeon could have been spared months of imprisonment. Do not make the same mistake. Act now.

Father please speak clearly to us so that we can KNOW when to move as well as exactly what to do. We want to follow You and do what You place on our hearts to do without delay. May our actions then be a blessing to others and may we glorify You in the process. We love You. Amen

24. Can God trust you?

Last time we saw how Joseph met his brothers again. They were clearly remorseful and tormented by what they had done to Joseph. They have lived with the guilt for more than 20 years and it still plagued them. But they were truly sorry and God used what they did for good and later on He also used them as the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel, His beloved nation. God can use us as well, no matter what we have done in the past. We must simply turn to Him for forgiveness, make amends with those that we have hurt and continue with Him into our future, knowing that He is mightily with us.

As we saw last week, Joseph overheard his brothers when they were saying how sorry they were for what they had done to him. He was overcome with emotion and wept. It must have been very emotional for him. He must have hoped that they will be remorseful, but he never knew until that moment. Yet, still he wanted to test them and make sure that it was not only lip service, but that they had truly changed. He secretly returned their money into their sacks of grain, as he wanted to see how they handled that:

"Then Joseph gave a command to fill their sacks with grain, to restore every man's money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. Thus he did for them." Genesis 42:25

His brothers turned out to be honorable men. For instead of being joyful when they found that their money had been returned, they were dismayed:

"But as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey feed at the encampment, he saw his money; and there it was, in the mouth of his sack. So he said to his brothers, "My money has been restored, and there it is, in my sack!" Then their hearts failed them and they were afraid, saying to one another, "What is this that God has done to us?" Genesis 42:27, 28

They weren't glad that their money was returned, they were honorable and wanted to pay for it. Later on we will see that when they returned, they offered to Joseph this money as well as extra for the new food that they wanted to acquire. They wanted to pay their dues. They aced that test.

Sometimes God will also test us. He will never allow things to come on us that we will not be able to handle. God wants us to live a life of excellence. He wants us to stand out from others, so that we can do the honorable thing. When we live a life of excellence, God will start to entrust us with more and more in HIs Kingdom. He wants to see if we can do the small things well, and then He will progress to entrust us with the bigger things. God has started to do that to me and I must say it hasn't been easy. The small things can be very difficult to do, especially if you are in a hurry. For example when you have tried on clothes in the shop, go back and place it where it belongs. When your hands are full in the shops and you accidently let products fall from the rack, do you pick it up? Do you go and replace the trolley after you have placed the groceries in your car? Do you make sure that the public toilet is nice and clean after you have used it? Are you honest with your taxes and what you earn? Do you make way for other cars to come into your lane? Do you truly listen to your children or your spouse? Do you go on holiday even if the government has closed the borders? And so I can go on and on. God cannot use us for bigger things if we cannot get the small things right. He wants to see that we are living a life of excellence in all areas  of our lives. He wants to entrust us with so much. We need to walk the walk, and not just be a Christian in our speech. He wants us to influence the world, but first He needs to make sure that He can trust us with the small things in life. At the end of the day, they show our character and what we are truly made of.

Father we want to honor You in everything. We want to lift up Your Name and bring glory to You. We want to live a life of excellence, help us with it and give us the strength to follow through. We want to be used by You. Amen

23. God has a bright future for you

God exalted Joseph to second in command in all of Egypt. Joseph didn't have the credentials, the education or the experience for that position, but yet God ordained it to be so. And because Joseph was willing and keen to do his best and to listen to God, everything worked out great. Joseph was successful in all that he did and his plan of collecting enough food for everybody to use during the time of famine worked out quite well. We therefore learn that when God places us in certain situations we shouldn't be worried; He will look out for us and help us through it. He will give us the wisdom to handle the situations and to excel in His plan for our lives.

Joseph did so well in offering food to the Egyptians, people from other countries heard about the food as well. It spread as far as Canaan to Joseph's family. His father, Jacob heard about the grain in Egypt:

"And he said, "Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we might live and not die." Genesis 42:2

So Joseph's ten brothers set off to Egypt to collect grain. Little did they know that they would encounter their brother Joseph. He immediately recognized them even though they didn't recognize him. He spoke to them and learned that he had a brother that he didn't even know of, Benjamin. He wanted to meet him and in the same breath test his brothers to see if they have changed. He took one of them, Simeon and placed him in jail. The rest he sent back to go and fetch Benjamin, as well as to take food back to their families. Just before they went, they said the following:

"We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us." And Reuben answered them, saying, "Did I not speak to you, saying, "Do not sin against the boy": and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us." Genesis 42:21, 22

They felt terribly guilty for what they had done to Joseph. They sold him when he was seventeen years old and he was probably now between 38 and 40 years old. So for more than twenty years they carried this guilt around with them. Nothing in this situation suggested that this happened to them because of what they did to Joseph and yet that is the first conclusion that they jumped to. What they did to Joseph must have tormented them for years and years. It was terrible what they did and yet God used it for good. God used it to save His people from famine through Joseph.

They were truly sorry for what they had done, they were remorseful. And at the end God used them to become the twelve tribes of Israel, His beloved nation.

We might also have done terrible things in the past. We might also be remorseful about things we have said and done to other people. Do not carry this guilt around with you for one single day more. Lay it down at the feet of Jesus. Ask Him for forgiveness, He gives freely to all. Then go and make amends with the person that you have harmed. If it is not possible to do that, do that in the Spirit and be set free. Then move on with your life and be free from all guilt and condemnation. Jesus came to set us free. He wants to use us in mighty ways, we must just be pliable and willing to repent and move where He wants us to move. Our future is bright, no matter what we have done in the past. God can work with that and bring beauty from ashes.

Father, we are so sorry for things that we have done in the past. We were spiritually immature and didn't realize what we were doing. We are so sorry about it. Thank you for forgiving us, we praise You and look forward to our future with You. Amen

22. Ask wisdom from God

Last time we saw how God lifted Joseph up from the lowest of low in prison to the second highest position in all of Egypt, the most civilized country of the ancient world. He lifted him up within minutes. But it took thirteen years of preparation for Joseph before this moment arrived. He could have become despondent and could have forsaken God during that time, but he didn't. He continued following God and doing the best he could, doing good to others in the process. God honored that and lifted him high at precisely the right moment. And we learned that this could be true of us as well, we should never lose heart, but we should continue with our responsibilities as well as doing good to others and fellowshipping with God on a daily basis. Our turn will come, when God will use us in the best possible way, honoring His Name and His Kingdom.

Joseph was now second in command in Egypt. As exciting as this was, this must have been a very daunting task. After all he didn't have the proper training for the task up ahead. He didn't go to a 'university' to study what to do in a situation like this. He didn't have the experience of running a country. He didn't know how Pharaoh's palace was run etc. etc. He was literally thrown into the deep end. But He had God. And that made all the difference. He did his best and God did the rest:

"So Joseph gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it is immeasurable." Genesis 41:48, 49

God gave Joseph wisdom and knowledge to gather the food for the seven years of famine. He helped him in all the details and Joseph blossomed. He became powerful in the eyes of the people and Pharaoh sent all the people to Joseph to deal with:

"So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do." Genesis 41:55

Joseph did such a good job, that Pharaoh trusted him totally. He had total confidence in him and that says a lot.

When God appoints you to do a certain job, He will equip you to be able to do the job as well. You might feel afraid and inadequate, but God will equip and lead you. He will not abandon you, but help you throughout the process. He will never place you in a certain position without being confident that you would be able to do it.

This reminds me of a saying - "Do it afraid." If God wants you to do something, do it even if you feel afraid. It might be that He wants you to forgive someone, or that He wants you to correct someone, or He wants you to be more assertive and stand up for yourself or maybe He wants you to expose wrong doing, or maybe He has led you to a new place or a new job and He wants you to reach out to others or to change systems etc. Whatever the case may be, He will lead and guide you. He will. Just ask wisdom from Him, He promises to give it to you:

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

Father thank you that we can ask wisdom from You. You led Joseph and he did a sterling job, please lead us too. Help us to know what is the best thing to do and give us the courage to do it. We want to honor You and be the best we can be. Amen

21. At the right time God will lift you up

Last week we learned that God's Spirit flowed so greatly through Joseph that even Pharaoh noticed it and commented on it. Joseph was so close to God that he immediately knew what Pharaoh's dreams meant and he also knew what to do about the dreams. He didn't hesitate or waver; he knew instantly what needed to be done because God was mightily with him. And the same could be true of us. When we live really close to God, we can also move more easily in His Spirit and know what God wants us to do and say to other people. Wouldn't that be wonderful? How amazing would that be to know what to say to other people and knowing that it is God speaking through you! It is possible; you just need to spend the time with God. Then breakthroughs will come.

Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dream and told him what to do about the revelation too. Pharaoh could see God moving through Joseph and without a moment's notice:

"Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne I will be greater than you." And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See I have set you over all the land of Egypt." Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph's hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, "Bow the knee!" So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." Genesis 41:39-44

I have read the life of Joseph many times before, but when I read these verses again I realized the impact of what just happened here. It is truly phenomenal and God inspired. Where have you ever heard of a foreigner in jail rising to second in command of the most civilized country in the world within minutes? How on earth is that possible? He is taken out of jail and given all the riches of Egypt, ruler over all except for Pharaoh. No one can even lift a hand or foot without Joseph's consent. That is unheard of, especially for a foreigner. In an instant his whole life changed. He rose from the lowest of low to the highest of high in a matter of minutes. Did he do something in the physical realm to deserve it? No, not really if you look at him through the eyes of the Egyptians. BUT GOD. It is so amazing to see how God's will always come to pass. Joseph did his part, and then God did the impossible. Joseph's part was to do the best he can in the circumstances, to do good to others and to stay close to God. And then God took over and exalted him within minutes, after Joseph's obedience of 13 years!

Today the same can be said of us. We need to do our part, namely to do the best you can where you are at, to do good to others and to stay close to God. It is as simple as that. Then God will step in for us at precisely the right moment and exalt us to where we need to be. The problem with us is that instead of casting our care on God, we keep the care, but we cast the responsibility unto Him. We moan and complain and we do not want to do our part. We become selfish and stagnate. We blame God for things happening in our lives and we don't believe that He will come through for us. And that is a recipe for disaster. We cannot throw away our responsibility. Joseph would never have been exalted if he had committed adultery with Potiphar's wife, or even if he didn't, if he didn't have a good attitude in jail and didn't help the chief butler with his dream he would never have been exalted either. Joseph did his best where he was and helped where he could and stayed close to God and he received his reward. And notice he didn't receive it after one year or even two years of being faithful, but after thirteen years of doing the best he could! Remember that when you get tired of waiting or tired of doing good. Keep on going, God sees what you are doing and will reward you when the time is right. He knows what is best for you and will always do that.

In the meantime, be patient, be kind, do good and keep your responsibility. God will bless you.

Father thank you that our lives are within Your hands. You are faithful and true and we love You for that. Thank you that we can rest assured that You know best. In all situations and in all things. Amen