HOW WE SPEAK

 

Joseph had trouble when he told his dreams to his brothers.  Even today we can have a problem if we boast of what God has revealed to us.  I think I lose support when I go on and on (and on and on!) about my ministry ideas.  I think other saints turn against us if they become jealous or disbelieve the vision we hear from God.  King Hezikiah also set a problem in motion when he showed off the treasures of the temple to the Babylonians.  He revealed too many of his secrets and treasures to an enemy.

 

At that time Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah: for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.  And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.  Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.  And he said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.  And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD.  Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.  And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.  2 Kings 20:12-18

 

SECRET AGENT?

 

When Joseph learned to be the “strong silent type” he gained the advantage over his brothers.  He HAD the anointing from God, and didn’t have to brag about it.  We should be careful to say nothing about others in the ministry, for good or bad.  You do not know what thoughts live behind our faces, because God keeps it that way.  He alone can judge his servants.

 

Joseph had known of his father Jacob’s history of course.  He knew of the schemes that came before Jacob let God have his way.  He probably knew that God would not need his help to make the dream come true.  He had seen the futility Jacob found in creating his own solutions. 

 

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

 

Joseph was prepared to wait on the Lord.  We should be patient now spiritually, since we have power in Christ.  If we can be as Israel, instead of Jacob, we don’t need boasting or manipulation.   We can have the power of anointing from God in humility. 

 

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

 

Joseph’s brothers made bad decisions by speaking against their brother.  But he did not return that treatment.  He talked to them in private away from Pharaoh.  He did not seek revenge against them or the Egyptians who put him in prison, even when he had the power.

 

Because I can trust my Christian brothers, I can share my struggles when I have a wrong to pray about.  But I can only share about my own failures.  I am supposed to cover everybody else’s sins up, not to uncover them.  That requires a private chat with them alone.  I have previously pointed to what I call “The Matthew three-step”:

 

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, (1)go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  But if he will not hear thee, then (2) take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  And if he shall neglect to hear them, (3) tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.  Matthew 18:15-17

 

So our pastor (the church) should not allow anyone to come with tales until the conversation was done in private, then with a trusted witness first.  The accused is always present for each discussion.

 

If I am keeping a vision or dream to myself, a secret, I can go about with the confidence of the Lord about my hopes.  Perhaps we have only a glimpse of the vision, and not the full understanding.  Even Jesus came in humility.   By “revealing” more than we really know, we can look foolish. 

 

When I graduated from ministry training school at my old church, I was expecting a prophetic word from the elders.  We were passed over, and I was disappointed.  I have since learned that I was destined to lose our home, our life savings, and my wife.  I might not have wanted to know all of that in advance.  I feel that I am being used now in some of the things of my earlier visions.  But I might have run away if I had known how much fire was needed to purge me of my flaws. 

 

I have some hopes that would bring me great pleasure.  Some of them are at least partially revealed to me, but not in full.  If I tell what I see now, I will probably only repel people.  I have had the experience of sounding foolish a few times now.  Not everyone will keep our secrets!  I have more inner joy when I remembered to keep the vision inside for a season.  I can have this dream, this confidence, with no more than a smile to the outside world.  Or I can lose the smile when little devil spirits try to tear the dream apart before its’ time.

 

I do not know the time of my vision.  Jesus did not know the time of his return either…only the Father knows!    I do know that I found blessings in prison and youth ministries in the past.  But that success was built on the knowledge and opportunity I gathered from others.  We can not produce fruit without the help of the body of Christ.  We need to allow everyone to be close without being repulsive due to false pride in a partial vision.

 

Joseph did not reveal himself or his dreams to his brothers when they came to him in Egypt.  The time was not yet fully come.  They could only tell their father that the ruler of the land wanted to see their youngest brother Benjamin.  Israel could not yet see the plan of the Lord in this.

 

And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.

And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.  And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.  Genesis 42: 38

 

Joseph had a few trials on his path, but God did deliver his dream in his time.  Jacob would see his two lost sons again after all.  Even the book of Job has a happy ending!  We have to be ready to rejoice when we are down, just as much as when we are in the winning place. 

 

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 2:5-6

 

You are already seated in heavenly places by faith.  You ARE more than conquerors, EVEN NOW.

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