God is looking for people on earth to partner with His heart.
God wants partners. He doesn’t want to just do things on His own. A common trend found throughout Scripture is how God is looking for partners to work with Him to fulfill His plans on the earth. God looked for a partner in Joseph when He wanted to bring His people to Egypt from the land of Canaan, where they were experiencing famine. (Genesis 37:1-11, 39-46) God looked for a partner in Moses when God wanted to deliver His people from slave labor in Egypt. God looked for a partner in Noah when He wanted to save a remnant of people who would remain righteous and serve Him when no one else did.
God looks for people on the earth to partner with His heart. He looks for people who are simply saying ‘yes’ to Him.
I was speaking with a friend today about two specific people who are well-known in Christian circles, and minister to many, many people in a beautiful way on a regular basis. In both of these cases, the well-known person believes that they were not God’s first choice to work in that specific ministry. At first, this might seem rude, but after the shock factor, it’s humbling. These people are seen and heard by thousands, have books in multiple languages and their media is accessible online across the world. That could definitely grow one’s ego; however, remembering they were not the Lord’s first choice can easily put them in their place.
It goes to show the reason they were chosen by God wasn’t because they were spectacular or qualified. God chose them, because they said ‘yes’.
It isn’t always as complicated as we make it. Sometimes God chooses us because we said ‘yes’. Sometimes He chooses us just because we’re willing.
God chose Joseph TO SHOW HIS GLORY because his situation was impossible.
Only God can do what He did in Joseph’s life. God took Joseph, the youngest of his brothers (with the exception of Benjamin), and placed him as a Governor over all the land in Egypt (Genesis 41:41) during a time when the land of Canaan (where he grew up and where his brothers lived) experienced famine.
Why was Joseph being in charge of land in Egypt such a long stretch?
1. Joseph lived the first 17 years of his life outside of Egypt.
2. In that culture and time period, the oldest son was typically given the greatest rights. Commonly, the oldest son would inherit double and become the head of the household, taking the role of his father. Joseph was the youngest of his brothers.
3. Joseph was trafficked by his brothers at age 17. He was stripped of his colored robe, which his father gave him due to special favor. His brothers threw him into a pit before selling him to Midianite traders for 20 shekels of silver. His father believed him to be dead.
4. Joseph was later put in prison for something he didn’t do. When he thought he had a way out, because he’d befriended one of his jail mates who was leaving jail, the jail mate forgot about him.
This impossible situation has to make me wonder. When God told Joseph, through two dreams, that his brothers and family would bow down before him, Joseph told his brothers and father about the dreams, quite gladly, I imagine! How fun and easy it must have been to dream of how the Lord would make this come true! What 17 year old boy doesn’t like attention from God and confirmation that he will be able to rule over all of his older brothers? That would definitely constitute for valid bragging rights (minus the whole humility command).
I have to think, though, how easy was it for Joseph to dream when he was in the pit? How fun was it for Joseph to dream when he was sold by his own brothers? How hopeful was it for Joseph to dream while in prison, forgotten by his not-a-good-jail-mate?
Maybe Joseph dreamed and was hope-filled and faithful, but let’s be real. He probably doubted. There were probably times of frustration. In all those situations, Joseph stayed faithful in the long run, but I have to think that somewhere along the way, it was hard and even painful to dream with God. It must have been.
It’s not always easy to dream. It’s not always encouraging to tell people the deep desires and dreams the Lord has placed in our hearts. Why? Not everybody believes them. Not everybody has hope to believe. Not everybody trusts God when He says, “with God all things are possible.” However, I do think it’s Biblical and right (hope-filled) to dream with God and to pursue the God-given desires He has placed within us.
That said, here’s to all my dreaming friends who want to be like Joseph – faithful throughout the seasons, trusting God in the present moment, fleeing from sin, living from a place of victory, remaining righteous through it all, trusting the Lord to bring forth the promises He spoke when we were “17”, and still hopeful and dreaming. I believe the more we dream, the more we see impossible things happen; because the more we dream, the more we believe it’s possible. The more we pray to the God of the impossible about the impossible, the more we know ‘impossible’ is just a word which precedes ‘miracle’. (Genesis 18:9-14, Matthew 19:16-30, Luke 1:37) Therefore, let us keep dreaming, friends. Let us keep dreaming. I encourage you to keep your head in the clouds, your feet on the ground, and your balance leaning on Jesus!
Jesus, let us be like you – filled with hope, not discouraged, and still dreaming. May we do greater things than even You did, whatever that means – we say ‘yes’! Amen!