Joseph’s unexpected journey brought him to the far away land of Egypt.
Once Joseph arrived in Egypt he was bought by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer, captain of the Guard for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.
Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. Joseph, an Israelite, of the chosen people of God, was now a slave in a pagan country. He found himself in a far away land, away from everything and everyone he knew. He was stripped of his identity and sold into a life of service. The teen-age boy who proudly wore the robe his father gave him, the one who tattled on his brothers when he checked on them in the fields, the dreamer who had been given two amazing dreams which he passionately described to his family; this teen-age boy was now a slave with no rights of his own. His only purpose was to serve the one who bought him, to give his all for the sake of the one who owned him. To die to self and to live for his master.
Satan is a liar and he came after Joseph to steal his identity, and to destroy the dreams God had given him. The pit experience was meant to harbor anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness towards his brothers. The unexpected journey was meant for Joseph to wallow in self-pity, fear the unknown, and to doubt God. And now slavery in a far away land was sure to cause Joseph to forget who he was, to doubt God, and to give up on his dreams.
God was for Joseph! God had a destiny for Joseph to fulfill, and nothing the enemy brought against Joseph could stop the plan of God. God loves His people. He promises to never leave them or forsake them, no matter how far away they may be. Even in a far away land…
“The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potiphar noticed this and realized the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned. From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing – except what kind of food to eat!” Genesis 39:2-6
As with Joseph, you have an enemy that wants to steal, kill, and destroy you and your dreams.
Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. John 10:10a
The enemy will accesses the offense of others around you to plant seeds of anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness in your heart. He looks for opportunities to plant fear, lies, and doubt in your mind. His plan is to strip you of knowing who you are as God’s child and to cause you to doubt God and give up on the dreams He has given you.
But, that is why this story of Joseph is so encouraging, because you can see that God gives grace to serve no matter what position you may be in. As a child of God you have God’s favor and blessing that others can see and promotion will come. You can see the big picture of how God worked all the difficulties together for Joseph’s good and for the good of many.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28
Though he was a slave, the favor of God was on him. The favor and blessing of God brought promotion so that even in his far away land, with no identity and no hope of his dreams being fulfilled, Joseph thrived and succeeded in all he did.
Though he was overwhelmed with all the work and the responsibility of Potiphar’s entire household, he was being prepared and equipped for greater responsibility yet to come.
Each time Joseph denied himself and did the will of his master, he was being humbled for it is the humble that God will exalt in due time.
You may wonder how you ever arrived in your far away land, and what purpose it could ever hold. You may be facing challenges that are beyond your ability, beyond your understanding. You may be doing menial jobs that don’t seem to have any significance at all. You may need to deny yourself on behalf of the needs of those around you. You may need to let go of things that you love, things you love more than God. You may resent your far away land because it seems to be keeping you from realizing your God-given dreams.
The far away land has great purpose for the destiny God has for you. When God gives dreams and desires they are way beyond your own ability, your own figuring out. They can only be fulfilled in God’s ways and in His time. The time between receiving the dream and the fulfillment of the dream is often filled with opportunities to be humbled, purified, and prepared. This time between is necessary. It is just as important as the fulfillment of the dream.
It is how you face the difficulties in the far away land that will make the difference of seeing your dream fulfilled or abandoned.
No matter what far away place you may find yourself, take courage from this story of Joseph. Though the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy…Jesus said,
“My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10b
Oh Lord, Your word says that You have a rich and satisfying life for me. Right now I feel as though I’m in a far away land. The difficulties are way beyond what I can handle and it is so hard to take my eyes off myself and put them on You. The enemy has been stealing the truth of who I am in You and the dreams You have given me. I choose to look to You, to listen to Your truth, and to receive the grace You have for me even in this difficult place. Please give me wisdom and knowledge for the difficulties I face. Please give me grace to do the insignificant jobs that seem so meaningless. Lord, you know how hard it is for me to die to self, I ask Your Holy Spirit to empower me to do the impossible. And talking about the impossible, Lord You know the things I love, those things that distract me, those things that I can’t do without. Those things that interfere with my time with You. Even those people I have made an idol, because I go to them instead of to You. Lord, please forgive me for putting these things before You. I choose to lay them down so that I will lift You up. Lord, if Your grace was enough for Joseph in his far away land, then I trust that Your grace is enough for the things I am facing today. Thank You for Your favor and blessing upon me, and in this place the enemy meant for harm, I trust You are working everything together for good. Amen