Like many of us, Joseph's testimony begins when he was just a young boy. Joseph was the youngest son of Jacob, who had eleven sons total. Not only was Joseph the youngest, but he was also his father's favorite son. Jacob showed his favor towards Joseph by presenting him with gifts. The most famous of these is Joseph's amazing technicolor coat. This coat made Joseph unique amongst everyone else, as clothing in this day was mostly solid in color. Many people who know of Joseph's story mostly remember Joseph for this coat. It is my thought that it was not the coat at all that made Joseph special, yet it was his dreams and the source of them.
As a young lad, Joseph dreamed dreams in which he was a leader over his brothers. Joseph knew that these dreams were from God, but he did not know what God was speaking to him. Again, like many of us, Joseph shared his dream with his brothers. You see, Joseph's brothers already despised him because of the favor he had with their father, so this dream that Joseph had in which they were bowing down to him did not settle well with them at all. Joseph's own brothers being to plot and plan on how they would destroy him. They planned on killing him, but one brother objected. After stripping Joseph of his special garment, they tossed him into a deep pit. They decided to take the precious gift of the technicolor coat soaked in blood to their father. The clever sons convinced Jacob that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast. Jacob was heartbroken! Meanwhile, Joseph was sold into slavery for twenty measly pieces of silver.
Can you imagine God has shown you that you are going to be a ruler over many; God has shown you that your own family that hates you now is going to bow down to you; but somehow, you have become a slave? Your dream now seems impossible! The picture appears that what you know God has shown you will not come to pass. (At least that is how we think.) Joseph did not lose his faith in God. He was confident and solidified in what God had shown him in his dreams. It was this confidence and faith that made Joseph work as hard as he could as a slave. Joseph slaved day in and day out to please his master, Potiphar. With every day, Joseph remembered the dream that God had shown him years before.
Many events occurred between Joseph's dream and the fruition of it. Joseph was lied on and thrown into prison while a slave. It was in this difficult situation that God begin to make Joseph's sprout of a dream blossom into reality. Joseph told a man in prison what his dream meant, and after the man’s release it did come to pass. Soon, the word about Joseph's gift spread. Pharaoh called for Joseph to be fetched from prison, because he had a dream that troubled him and he was unable to make sense of it. God used Joseph, a slave, to warn Pharaoh about a famine that was going to hit the land for seven years. Pharaoh then used Joseph to store food for the famine. When Pharaoh saw that Joseph's interpretation of his dream was correct, he made Joseph his right hand man and ruler over the land of Egypt. It was in the famine when Joseph's brothers arrived in Egypt to ask for food. They stood before Joseph, oblivious of the fact that he was their own brother. Joseph tested them to see if their hearts had changed. When he discovered that it had, he revealed himself to them. They bowed in disbelief that this ruler of the land was indeed their brother whom they had sold and sent away many years ago.
Joseph’s life story is one of complexity. There were many twists and turns on Joseph's road to his destiny of becoming the ruler that God had shown him as a young lad. Many of us would have gotten lost in the twists and turns, thinking that God had forsaken us, or lied to us. We, unlike Joseph, forget that God has a path for each of us to travel that leads to the place where He wants us to be.
I love Joseph's testimony! I admire Joseph's tenacity and determination. I admire that fact that Joseph believed the intangible visions that God had shown him in his dreams, instead of the concrete situations that lay in his physical eyesight. Joseph understood his destiny, and accepted the path that he had to take in order to reach it. And, even in his trials, Joseph kept his focus on what he knew his end result would be.
I want to strive to be more like Joseph! I want to keep my focus on what I know the end result will be for this life God has blessed me with. When test and trials come before me, I want to not allow them to become so enormous that I allow them to overshadow my God and His plan for my life. I want to keep my thoughts focused on what God has shown me and what God says, rather than allow my thoughts to flow into negative status and distract me from what God is preparing me for.
When our thoughts become negative because of our situations, we begin to second guess what God has called us to do and we fall from the faith that keeps us working towards our purpose. Our thoughts go from:
With God, I can do all things....to.....I don't have the skills needed to do.....
I know what God wants me to do with my life...to...What in the world was God thinking when He created me?
I am blessed....to.... Why does it feel like everyone else is getting blessed but me?
God has given me the talent of____and I will use it for Him....to....I wish I could_____ like him/her?
What is your dream? Is it a dream like Joseph's? Is it a dream that God has shown you and placed the passion within you? Sometimes God's dreams can be intimidating, because we don't see ourselves the way He does. We often feel that we are ill equipped to accomplish what He has set out for us to do. And, when we experience rough trails on the road to our destiny, we take those rocky roads not as a sign that God is preparing us for what lies ahead, but as a personal attack that confirms our hidden thoughts that we are and never will be good enough for the high calling that God has on our life.
We must dare to dream like Joseph! It was not Joseph's dream that was even important, but it was Joseph's commitment and faith to becoming what God had declared him to be that is the essential component of his testimony. I want to be committed like Joseph, even when the road seems like it’s taking me somewhere that God hasn't shown me just yet!
Lord, I thank you this moment for showing your will for my life to me. I confess now that this journey is rough, and sometimes I find myself looking for you and I often forget that you are traveling right with me. I lose sight of the final destination and the process I must endure to reach it. Lord, please give me strength to wait on you. Give me strength to stay in your will, even when I feel like I am not getting where I should be fast enough. Lord, I thank you for giving me Joseph's testimony of dedication and determination. I realize that it is You that I should work to please and not other people. Lord, I thank you for your grace and mercy that you shower over me when I am disobedient to Your instructions and Your word. And, when I chose to take my own path and not the one You chose for me to travel, I thank you for getting me right back on track. Father, I love you, and I worship and praise Your name!