Sermon: PastoBryon July 21, 2019
There was a missionary living in Europe who lived a very meager existence. She depended on a small salary provided by an American Missions organization to pay her living expenses and purchase her food. One month as she made her way down to pickup her check from a small post office she was a bit dishearten to find that her check hadn’t arrived. She soon became ill and not having any money couldn’t see a doctor furthermore, she was forced to live off milk and oatmeal. Every day she prayed that God would make a way for her check to arrive. Once her check arrived over thirty days later she went to see the doctor. She explained her situation and what her diet consisted of and shared how she was so glad her check finally arrived. After examining her, he explained that her diet of oatmeal had saved her life since she had eaten something that would have killed her. He explained that oatmeal was the one thing they always prescribe to counteract the poison she had eaten.
God is at work in our lives even when we can’t see Him. Psalm 121:8 says, “The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever”.
As Christians we can find ourselves waiting on the promises of God. It might be waiting on a blessing, an answered prayer, a wayward child or spouse, or even an opportunity to be involved in ministry.
Often while we wait it can feel like life is standing still, God must be off working on someone else’s life right now, I sure hope he gets to my life soon.
Some years back I found myself waiting on God to answer a prayer I had about full time ministry. I had started a prison after ministry and could see God’s hand working through this ministry to help not only those just out of prison but also those who suffered from addiction. I prayed constantly for this ministry to develop to the point it would provide a full time salary. I was very confident that this is where God wanted me to be and that eventually he’s answer my prayer.
I served God through that ministry for over five years and during that time God used it to reached hundreds of hurting people. However, It never produced an income. When God moved to answer my prayer and provide me a full time ministry position it happened in such a way that I didn’t even see it coming. And in a matter of a few days I was thrown into a ministry I hadn’t ever considered before. Through my waiting God had worked out some things in me and sharpened me for the ministry ahead.
Sometimes God’s promises can seem far off and even unobtainable. Our circumstances can take turns that make us question God and feel like we need to give him a hand. Today we’ll be examining the life of Joseph. We’ll learn from his life what we are to be doing while we wait and how to recognize when God is moving.
37 So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
Son’s of Jacob
- Joseph was one of 12 sons to his father Jacob who later became known as Israel.
- Each son represents one of the tribes of the Nation and this is the house of Israel.
In our scripture we read about Joseph’s rise to power. He is 30 years old and has been in an Egyptian prison for 2 years. Pharaoh had a dream that had been troubling him. He called for his magicians and wise men but no one could help him with interpreting his dream. Then one of his servants who had spent some time in prison remembered this Hebrew who was locked up with him had accurately interpreted dreams in prison. Joseph was brought before Pharaoh to interpret a dream, which he did and saved that nation from the upcoming famine.
Joseph’s Timeline – 20 years
- Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son and his other brothers were envious of him.
- Joseph has a dream at 17 that one day he would be a ruler and his family would bow down to him.
- Joseph’s 11 brothers were tending to Jacob’s flock. Jacob sent Joseph to see how they and the flock were doing.
- As Joseph approach his brothers they plotted to kill him but Benjamin talked them out of it and rather than kill him they put him in a pit.
- As they were eating Judah (Whom Judas Iscariot descended from) saw a caravan of Ishmaelites (Islam) on their way to Egypt. They sold Joseph to them for 20 pieces of silver (Betrayed him)
- Joseph sold to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.
- Potiphar saw Joseph was a Godly man of high character and put him over his household.
- Potipher’s wife tries seducing Joseph and is turned down so she sets him up to be thrown into prison.
- In Prison the head jailer sees Joseph as a Godly man of high character and gives him authority in prison.
- Joseph interprets two dreams and asks the men to not forget about him (which they did).
- Joseph interprets Pharaohs dream and is made second in power over all of Egypt.
- Joseph’s brothers bow before him. Genesis 42:5-7
What should you do while you wait?
- Be obedient
Joseph’s temptation is similar to the test of Adam & Eve. They had free use of everything in the garden, except the fruit of one tree. Joseph had access to everything of Potiphar’s, except his wife. As the serpent urged our first parents to sin, so Potiphar’s wife actively pursues Joseph. Joseph is able to resist the temptation to misappropriate Potiphar’s possessions for his own personal gain. How we handle day-to-day enticements may determine how we will face the major temptations of life.
- Serve where you are
In reality we shouldn’t be in a waiting mode. We may be hopeful for the next ministry or the next step but God isn’t wasting time by placing you in a holding pattern. He is utilizing the current time to prepare us, sharpen our senses, developing our skill set and preparing our heart.
When God moves
- The path will be clear
- Resources will be readily available
- It might not be what you expected
- You will have a heart for the move and you will be prepared
If today you feel like you’ve been waiting on the Lord for something remember God’s promise while you wait.
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.