“The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man…” (Gen.39:2)
“…and the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.” (Gen. 39:3)
I would guess that with the title of today’s blog and these first two verses there would be some dear Jesus’ believers that have red flags going up in their hearts and minds, “she said those unacceptable words, ‘God’s favor’ “, “O no! She must be a ‘one of those’ !”
If the title of today’s blog was one that included the words “suffering”, “trial”, “hardship”, “darkness” or “sin” with appropriate scriptures for the reader, than most would probably think nothing.
My heart began to pound this morning as I read through Genesis 39! These thoughts emerge as I reflect upon the Bride of Christ as a whole and our tendency to take extremes in our belief systems. It is as though we look for the furthest boundary line of far out thinking and gravitate to it like magnets; I think we are all guilty of this in some areas of our lives. Perhaps it’s a form of laziness, revealing our lack of mental discipline to both learn and remember the truth of God’s word as a whole and not just in pieces!
It takes work to discipline the mind to study, hold to its teaching in any and every circumstance. We want to be spoon fed, we want to hold to what others have fed to us and not what we have discovered as a result of sitting at the feet of Jesus in dependence upon the Divine teacher, (the Holy Spirit) to reveal the hidden secrets of God to our own hearts and minds.
Listen to 2 Timothy 3:6 (in reference to godlessness in the last days), “For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, ALWAYS LEARNING and NEVER ABLE to ARRIVE at a KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.”
We all love to learn in some form or another, but of what use is learning ABOUT the Word of God if you never arrive at accepting the knowledge given?
Do we know why we believe what we believe? Do we take our cues from world culture and even more dangerously, “church culture”? If one church preaches a prosperity gospel we get all up in arms and reject, or run, from the part of it that IS TRUE because we see the extreme behavior from its teaching. The result? We end up rejecting all of it without understanding the full truth as it is preached in the Word of God. And if we hear of another church appealing repeatedly to our sin and brokenness and need for healing, wholeness and freedom (and we are currently in such a season), then we gravitate to this obsessive teaching without an understanding of the whole of God’s word, our life then remains in repetitive cycles of brokenness.
We have churches criticizing churches for what is taught or not taught while we sit like lazy, pew potatoes who hold the Word of God in our hands but do not do what it says.
The Word of God is accessible, we can read it in freedom and yet we STILL refuse to read faithfully and diligently for ourselves!!!
Do not misunderstand me, God has called men and women to teach the Word, and we need this gifting in the body of Christ, but this great gift was never intended to replace what God desires from us…. our own eating at the banquet table.
Joseph was a man with a heart for His Maker; God knew this and saw this. God’s blessings were not random upon this man. We all know that Joseph was about to walk through YEARS of great trial, but the Word tells us that : “… the Lord was with Joseph and showed him STEADFAST love and favor in the sight of the keeper of the PRISON.” (Gen. 39;21) Even in Joseph’s trial God’s mighty hand was upon him. There were both extremes happening in Joseph’s life at the same time. Joseph remained steadfast himself because his heart and mind lived from a place of trust in his Maker.
If you haven’t caught my point today it is simply this: God IS a God who delights in showing and showering favor upon us, He IS a blessing God! And from His hand there is also great suffering allowed and given. Don’t be a believer that bounces back and forth between these two life extremes; a believer who lives from one teacher to another without ever really studying and knowing the Word of God for oneself; And not only reading pieces of scripture that apply to your extreme situations, but the whole of scripture, as it applies to you in EVERY day and in EVERY way.
Determine today to stop being a boomerang believer, storm tossed by right and left thinking and teaching. Determine to study to ” Do YOUR BEST to present YOURSELF to God as one approved, a WORKER who has no need to be ashamed, RIGHTLY HANDLING THE WORD OF TRUTH.” (2 Tim. 2;15)
My heart bleeds for the Bride of Christ, that she would rise up and no longer be found sleeping. That she would KNOW the POWER that lies in her hand given her by Jesus Christ Himself, the Word of God!
The Bride of Christ is the church…. that would be YOU AND ME, each one of us studying to KNOW the Word of God on our own, then gathering together to study together……O MAN!!!!!! CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT GOD WOULD DO THROUGH THE CHURCH TODAY IF WE ALL REALLY LIVED LIKE THIS? My heart beats wildly with all the impossibilities that would become possibilities!
I wonder what everyone is waiting for?