The life and times of the historical man simply known as Joseph is many things to many people. For some, Joseph represents triumph over adversity. And for others, it was all about fate. Here was a ruddy 16-year old boy sold into slavery by his half brothers in a fit of jealousy. And the slavery was Plan B. Plan A was murder. He somehow wound up in Egypt on appointment with destiny. He would get some relief from the truculence of fate through placement in the household of Captain Potiphar.
Turned out Mrs. Potiphar was a racist who had her own designs on Joseph. She made a rape allegation against Joseph, creating a yawn corroborated with the hastily dispensed tunic of Joseph. And so Joseph ended up in prison without trial, on trumped up charges.
It was his third escape from death. He had survived his brother’s plot, had survived the desert march into Egypt… And now somehow miraculously survived elimination by Mrs. Potiphar. A slave’s head was very dispensable in those days. In not losing his head over Mrs. Potiphar Joseph stood in danger of losing his head. We all know how it ends. Joseph by choreographed happenstance ended up second in command to Pharaoh.
The story of Joseph’s rise makes no sense. There is no logic to it. The promotion was hyperbolic. A Joseph-like ascendance always defies logic because grace is massively at play. It is the handiwork of a merciful God. Illogical favour is God’s signature flourish at play. The biggest piece of equipment in the interesting life of Joseph was a particular recurrent phrase. We find this phrase repeated over and over again in his epic biography. That phrase gives us direction on how to pray. It introduces us to the key element in Joseph’s incredible rise and success.
Like Joseph, we also desire to succeed, to be promoted, to become men and women of worth… To be highly regarded, to move in the vicinity of earthly power, to consort with nobility. Like Joseph we wish to succeed. Desire for success is a very legitimate desire. Not unlike Joseph, we sometimes can’t see how our dreams will ever come to pass. How do we get to the top without the right connections, we ask? How do we get to the top without knowing people, we further ask? Who will make introductions for us when we can’t even afford to join the country club, we ask? In other words, there’s a huge valley between our circumstances and our dreams; there’s a huge gulf. We can’t imagine how any suspension bridge to span our present and our future can ever be built.
And there are powerful centrifugal forces that seem to propel us away from our dreams. Joseph experienced this force, David did, Moses did, even Daniel. All these people were physically transported away from the context of their dreams. But we soon learn that the force of adversity was actually reconfigured to take them to their very dream, not from it.
There is a God up there who reconfigures adversity to work in our favour and take us to our dream. Sometimes the route to our dream is the opposite direction. In that case life is plotting an alternative route. “I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along unfamiliar path.” Isaiah 42:16. Even when it all seems hopeless, hope in God. God specializes in hopeless situations. Our hopelessness is how we encounter the mightiness of God. It’s how we come to know the meaning of God Almighty.
Joseph had a dream to become a man of reckoning, a man the earth will bow to, a man his brethren will respect. At a stage all the circumstances of his life pointed to the impossibility of the attainment of his massive dream. Yet Joseph became. His dream was fulfilled. What was the secret? In Genesis 39, we find an interesting piece of information on Joseph’s success: “The Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did…” Genesis 39:2, We find the same phrase in Genesis 39:3: “Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph…” And we find the phrase again in Genesis 39:21: “But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison…” And we yet find the phrase yet again in Genesis 39:23; “The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.”
God was with Joseph not to sympathise with his situations but to make him a successful man. God wasn’t with Joseph to assuage his feelings or have a pity party. He was with him to bring his dreams to pass. And he surpassed Joseph’s expectations. In fact at some point Joseph had forgotten about his dreams. (Genesis 42:9).
There is a God who promised to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20. “He is able to carry out his purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think… infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.” Ephesians 3:20 AMP.
From Ephesians 3:20, we can see it’s okay to dream, to aspire, to desire, to hope, to imagine. Dare to dream. If God is with you, you will succeed. He will cause the works of your hand to prosper. God makes dreams come to reality. Your dreams are attainable. All you need is God. And you ought to pray, “God be with me; cause all I do to succeed, in the name of Jesus, Amen.”
If you will like to give your life to Jesus please pray this prayer: Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus Christ died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Please forgive me. I accept him today as my Lord and my Saviour. And I receive your grace that will cause me to succeed. Amen!
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org