Our series on the Mystery of Growth is taking a new shape this week. So far, we have discussed the concept of growth in God and the tools needed to climb up the stairs of growth as we keep living in God here on earth. In this new episode, we shall be gleaning from the biblical testimony of men that experienced this mystery of growth so we can learn from their testament. Today, it is all about Joseph, the son of Jacob and Rachael. One of the most popular bible story shared amongst kids and the younger generation all around our churches due to its richness in lessons for the younger ones. In this episode, we shall be paying attention to the Journey of growth of Joseph right from his teenage years up till he saw the manifestations of all of God’s plans for his life. As always, get ready for the fire experience. Welcome to the Fire Place!
The early days of Joseph painted him to be the favourite child of Joseph due to two major reasons, he was the first son of Jacob’s most loved wife, Rachael. Secondly, his birth came forth when Jacob was already old. We all know how the old folks around us takes special interest and care in the new children all around. All of these didn’t paint Joseph well amongst his jealous-stricken brothers being in a polygamous family. In the midst of all these, the special plans of God for Joseph started finding expression in his dreams, showing him the beauty of the future God already predestined for him. This is where the first fruit of shallowness and lack of growth was spotted in the life of Joseph, he allowed the greatness of the dreams concerning his future to overwhelm him so much that he began to share it with his siblings and his father. Twice, Jacob his beloved father rebuked him, but he failed to listen! This is the summary of the early days of many believers who started out well in God. The bible is always quick to show us that God’s plan for us is very big and great. Nevertheless, it is only the fantasy part we are always quick to embrace, we always seem to forget that, there is an inevitable journey of growth that is required for us to land in our location of fulfillment of God’s plans for our lives!
There is an inevitable journey of growth that is required for us to land in our location of fulfillment of God’s plans for our lives!
As expected, the ignorance of Joseph cost him a lot! He would have to live separated from everyone he once knew for more than two decades of his life! See, the effects of lack of growth cannot be overemphasized amongst God’s people. When believers fails to grow up in God, they only become bench warmers and pew fillers in the church, counting years in church without anything tangible to show for it. However, we have a faithful and ever loving Father, who will never give up in ensuring that we land safely in our place of fulfillment. We must understand that, the dimension of God’s love that will be demonstrated unto us at this stage will not be the pleasurable one that we are used to. Just as Joseph had to learn the process of Growth as God allowed his brothers to sell him into slavery to the land of Egypt. We must understand that, through the different seasons and phases of our lives, God’s love is still being demonstrated unto His children without fail! He will never leave us, nor forsake us! At this stage, Joseph’s journey of paying the price for the glorious future God planned for him kicked started! At every point of our lives as believers, we must remember the cost implication of God’s plan for our lives!
We must understand that, through the different seasons and phases of our lives, God’s love is still being demonstrated unto His children without fail!
Life is in stages, men are in sizes so says a wise man! Joseph, the once favourite son of Jacob, was now a slave in the house of the Captain of the guard of Pharaoh. In God’s dealing with us, we must understand that God as a wise Father won’t mind allowing us pass through the furnace of afflictions and dark seasons if that is the only way to make us learn the lessons that will make us competent enough for His purposes for our lives! When the reality of this dawns on us, we will panic less and instead, draw near to God more in our down moments knowing that even at those moments, His arms are always opened widely to comfort us and strengthen us to live through those seasons of our lives. Joseph learnt a lot of lessons through the hard way as the years passed by in the house of Potiphar.
God as a wise Father won’t mind allowing us pass through the furnace of afflictions and dark seasons if that is the only way to make us learn the lessons that will make us competent enough for His purposes for our lives!
Also, as expected life brought Joseph face to face with temptations that will test his convictions about God and the realities of God he claimed to believe. Life has no regard for man’s status or rank. At different points in our lives, our faith and trust in God will be tested based on our level of growth! To move to a higher level of greatness in God, there lies a test waiting to weigh your convictions. Will you make God proud at that point just like Joseph did?
To move to a higher level of greatness in God, there lies a test waiting to weigh your convictions about God.
Joseph got it right at the point of standing upright for God! His actions proved that he was already learning more about God and also his results showed how much God was trusting him as he was already enjoying being the chief servant in the house of his master. Joseph understood that a sin committed is first an act that breaks God’s heart before any other thing else! Men can grow! The same Joseph that was arrogant about his dreams before his elder brothers was now the one begging his Master’s wife not to break his relationship with God through sin. When a man yields to God to be trained and nurtured through the ways of God, sincere growth is the sure outcome!
When a man yields to God to be trained and nurtured through the ways of God, sincere growth is the sure outcome!
Although, Joseph’s abstinence and refusal to yield to sin led him straight into Pharaoh’s dungeon, his process of growth entered another level! Here lies another mysterious lesson of life. Greatness in the sight of God can be completely different from this world’s definition of success. While heaven was applauding the stand of Joseph against sin, the world painted him as a traitor and useless fool! If you fail to understand that the ways of God and the ways of men runs directly opposite in pattern, you will live a life of sorrow, guilt and lose your joy after doing great things for God and His Kingdom!
Greatness in the sight of God can be completely different from this world’s definition of success.
John C. Maxwell got it right when he said “Leaders who show great skill when opportunities arise, shine only because they’ve paid the price of preparation”. This was the testimony of Joseph while in Prison. Light will always shine in darkness! If there is a place where light is needed, it is right inside the deepest darkness. No man can stop a man that is being backed up by God! Joseph consistently had this testimony all through his stay in Egypt that “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing” Genesis 39:21-22. The ways of God are mysterious! Isn’t it funny how God started training Joseph for leadership by making him oversee the house of Potiphar and later the whole prison of Pharaoh? In God’s dictionary, the way you do what you did is far more important than the actual action.
No man can stop a man that is being backed up by God!
God did not mind the circumstance surrounding Joseph, He kept using every opportunity around his life to train him for where He is taking him to! God never wastes tears and painful happenings in our lives! While Joseph was a prisoner, he was still thriving as the “Leader of the prisoners”. The same way God was training David to be King in the place of Saul right inside the Cave of Adullam. This is one lesson we must not ignore in the life of Joseph! He was trained and made to thrive in the midst of the lowest circumstances of life. The next time you enter a down moment, can you take a moment to decode the lessons God is silently passing to you right inside the dark night?
God never wastes tears and painful happenings in our lives!
Finally, since Joseph adjusted well through his seasons of growth in God, we should not be surprised about how great God decorated him and turned him to the second in command in authority in that same Egypt! It is an established pattern of God to show up to the rescue of His faithful children at the point when it seems they have been forgotten. At the point least expected, when the Chief butler was already restored to his position just as Joseph predicted and yet forgot about Joseph’s case; God showed up to prove to everyone that He is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him! The rest of Joseph’s story is what we can term the aftermath of the process of growth! When we allow God to walk us through the process of growth, He will surely lead us to our place of destiny fulfillment! Learn from Joseph and grow well in God. shalom!
When we allow God to walk us through the process of growth, He will surely lead us to our place of destiny fulfillment!
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