Monday, February 7, 2011

THE JOSEPH COMPANY

Joseph had a vision that his life would be used mightily by God. But that vision seemed like a pipe dream after his jealous brothers sold him into slavery. The following years of Joseph’s life were filled with hardship and injustice. Then, when Joseph seemed to get back on his feet, he was falsely accused of attempted rape and sent to prison.

Yet, all this time, God was watching over Joseph’s life. And finally, after years of turmoil, Joseph ended up serving in Pharaoh’s house. Pharaoh eventually appointed Joseph ruler over all of Egypt.

Beloved, that’s how God works; he was preparing a man to save a remnant. Indeed, in every generation, the Lord raises up a Joseph Company. He takes these devoted servants through years of trouble and trials, to prove and strengthen their faith.

What does this mean? Scripture says it’s what Joseph endured: “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him” (Psalm 105:17–19).

The Lord also has a Joseph Company today. These are godly men and women he has touched and called. They don’t seek fame or fortune. All they want is to live and die fulfilling the calling God has placed on them. And the Lord promised their lives would count for his kingdom.

Joseph told his brothers, “God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:7–8).

Joseph could look back over his years of suffering and testify, “God sent me on this journey. He had a purpose in taking me through all these hardships. I see now that everything I’ve endured has led up to this moment. Brothers, the Lord has been preparing me to minister to you. He orchestrated all of these things, to bring you under his preserving grace as he did with me.”

What an incredible revelation for Joseph. Yet, what is the lesson here for God’s people today? It is this: Our Lord has preserved us in the past and he will preserve us in the days ahead. And, most important of all, he has an eternal purpose behind it all. He preserved you because he has a purpose for you. He has laid out a divine work ahead of you. And only a tried, tested, proven believer can accomplish it.

This is not a time for timid faith. It’s a time when every Christian who has endured great testings must step forward. Our Captain is calling us to stand up amidst a fearful society and engage in “power faith.” We’re to make the Joseph Declaration: “God sent me before you…to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Genesis 45:7).