Called Into the Wilderness
But as for you, ye thought (intended) evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive – Genesis 50:20.
The experiences in Joseph’s life taught him that God brings good from evil for those who trust Him.
Many look at ministers and sometimes desire to be like them, but what they don’t realize, is what the person had to go through in order to receive the anointing that’s upon their life to minister to others. Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob, the first son of Rachel and was his father’s favorite. God revealed Himself to Joseph in dreams, dreams that eventually made his brothers hate him along with the coat of many colors his father Jacob had given him. Their anger only increased when Joseph had dreams that suggested that they would one day be subservient to him.
When Jacob sent Joseph to check on his brothers as they cared for the herds, they plotted to kill him, only Reuben’s plea persuaded the others to spare Joseph’s life. They stripped him of his coat, threw him into a dry cistern, then sold him to passing traders that were Ishmaelites. The brothers covered up Joseph’s disappearance by dipping his coat in goat’s blood, and bringing it to his father, saying they had found the coat, and inquired, if he knew if it was Joseph’s coat.
Joseph was called and ordained by God, but it didn’t make him exempt from problems and heart aches. Joseph was in a wilderness. A wilderness is a dry place, a place where you can’t feel the presence of God no matter how much you have prayed, fasted and confessed. The wilderness is a place of silence, the Teacher is giving a test. It’s a place where you begin to ask yourself, “What have I done”, Is this the will of God in my life”? Because it’s a uncomfortable place, we get weary on the journey in the wilderness. When God allows us to go into a wilderness, it’s for our spiritual growth, for our faith to be strengthened and for us to really get to know and trust the God we serve.
Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites and they sold him in Egypt to Potiphar. God gave Joseph favor with Potiphar. Potiphar made Joseph overseer of his house and all that he had. After being there for a while, Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph. Daily she was after him, but he wouldn’t give in to her because of his love for God, and his faithfulness to his master. One day when Joseph went to do his work, the men were out. Potiphar’s wife tried again to seduce him, this time by pulling him so close to her, he had to run. When he ran, he left his garment in her hands. She took his garment and called for the men of the house and accused Joseph of trying to rape her. When sin comes to influence us, we must resist it, even if it means we have to run from it.
When the news got to Potiphar’s he was angry and he placed Joseph in prison. Joseph could have blamed God, he could have stop having faith in God, he could have backslided, he could have questioned God why was he going through what he was going through and he was serving Him with all his heart, but he didn’t. Joseph took the opportunity of his confinement to witness to those in prison and because of this God gave him favor with the guards. When going through trials, tribulations or whatever the problem maybe, it’s not the time to stop ministering to the unbeliever, it’s not the time to stop praying, fasting, showing love towards others. It’s not the time to stop working for the Lord, but to intensify your work for Him and letting Satan know by your works, he can’t stop the plan of God for your life neither can he stop your faith towards God.
In prison there was a butler and baker that had a dream. Joseph interpreted the dream and the dream came to pass as he said it would. The butler was restored to his position with Pharaoh, and the baker head was taken. Joseph asked the butler to remember him when he return to his position, but the butler forgot him. How many times have you fasted, prayed and encouraged people and when you need them to pray or their encouragement they forget about you? Don’t get upset, don’t have unforgiveness; keep praying, God will send the help you need at the appointed time.
Pharaoh had a dream the wise men and magicians couldn’t interpret, then the butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about Joseph. Pharaoh called for Joseph to interpret the dream, and he honored God and not himself by saying (And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying. It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace – Genesis 41:16). God gave Joseph the interpretation of the dream, and Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt. Joseph faithfulness to God gave him a promotion from God, he passed the test and trials he was going through to get to his destiny to be in a position to protect and provide for his family in the time of famine.
Every spiritual promotion comes with a wilderness, if we survive the wilderness, the anointing and the promotion will come from God. We will be in a spiritual position to not only help our families, but lead others to the kingdom of God, feeding them the Word of God until Christ be formed in them. Every Christian will go through the wilderness, it’s a place no one desires to be, but if we want what God has for us, we must face the wilderness with faith in God and not what we see, hear or feel.
In the wilderness you will be tempted by Satan with fear, anxiety, anger, while in the wilderness you must fight spiritually to come into the exit of your wilderness. Allow the Word of God to be your shield, it will protect and guide you in the wilderness. It’s not over, God is just creating you more in the image of Him and His Son!