There is something truly unique when you are able to do things fairly easy that others struggle with. It seems that no matter what the task is, you catch on quickly and do it. You read any type of instructions and you understand it, then you apply the instructions and make it happen. You are ask to take on a job description that you never trained for and you do what has to be done and add your own systematical way of doing the work efficiently. Why is it so easy for you and so hard for others? Why is it that you are picked for the position and not your co-workers? Why does it seem like nobody cares about doing things professionally but you? If this describes you then reassured the Grace and Favor of God is upon you.
Hi Faith-writers, I’m grateful to God for allowing me another opportunity to share His Word with you. We are going to take a closer look at the effects of the Grace and Favor of God upon the life of a FAITHFUL BELIEVER.
Stephen’s Message of Grace and Favor
Luke wrote about this man of God named Stephen in Acts chapter 6 and 7. Stephen was selected to be a Deacon but he was much more than a Deacon he had the gift of Preaching, Teaching, and was full of Faith and Power that Miracles, Signs and Wonders were taking place when he Ministered. So the religious leaders arrested him and brought him before the religious council. Stephen began to preach and teach about the Grace and Favor of God throughout the entire Old Testament pointing to various Biblical examples of men of God that experienced the Grace and Favor of God. And he continued his message eventually arriving at the Message of the Cross with Jesus Christ. The council was furious and they took him out to be stoned and Saul (Paul) was standing near watching this young man of God die for his Faith (Acts 6:8-15/ 7:1-60/ 8:1-4 NKJV).
One of the stories in the Old Testament that Stephen briefly mentioned was the story of Joseph (Jacob’s son). Luke wrote what Stephen preached about and this is what Stephen said;
And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. BUT GOD WAS WITH HIM, (V. 9)
And DELIVERED him out of all his troubles, and GAVE HIM FAVOR AND WISDOM in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house (Acts 7:9-10 NKJV).
Stephen high-lighted Joseph’s rise to his High Calling as the leader of Egypt because of 4 important factors;
1. God was with him.
2. God constantly DELIVERED him.
3. God gave him FAVOR.
4. God gave him WISDOM.
Just because God is with us doesn’t mean we are not going to experience trouble, challenges, and tests of our faith in God. The devil is out to make our lives difficult each and every step of the way when he realizes God’s Call on our lives. Stephen shared only 2 phases or stages of Joseph’s life of trouble and promotion. But Stephen clarified that God DELIVERED Joseph from ALL his troubles (Acts 7:10 NKJV).
You see, God’s Divine school on earth for learning practical Wisdom is unlike Bible College. It is rough and tough experiences that will challenge us greater than a test filled with difficult questions and A, B, C, D answers to choose from. It is living a life of Faith filled with adversity through every stage and phase of our lives to get to the High-Calling that God has for us. God had to take Joseph through unique experiences throughout the course of his life by placing him in different social circles.
The First Social Circle—The 1st Phase of Training
Joseph had to learn the family business of raising livestock with difficult co-workers and sloppy family members who did not care about doing their job effectively. God’s Grace and Favor was upon Joseph more than his 11 brothers only because Joseph was obedient in carrying out his fathers’ orders. Jacob trained all his sons to be great shepherds. 1 out of 12 applied the policies and procedures of being a faithful shepherd to a flock of livestock that didn’t belong to them. Joseph was the only son that sincerely did everything that Jacob his father told him. This is why Jacob loved him more than all his sons and made him a colorful coat (Genesis 37:1-4 NKJV).
When Joseph’s brothers seen how Jacob Favored Joseph above them they didn’t speak to him peacefully. They jeered him, they spoke negative about him, and they complained that he’s a daddy’s boy…a spoiled brat…a snitch…and all sorts of ugly things were said about this young teenager all because he did what was right. Joseph obeyed his father, Joseph listened to his boss, and Joseph did what he was paid to do. Are we doing the same thing? Are we obedient, faithful, and fully doing everything we were hired to do? We may look like the bosses pet, the goody-to-shoe, the he/or she swears that they are all that…but we must serve faithfully in order to be granted more Grace and Favor from God.
God was with Joseph schooling him to be patient, to learn to put up with the negative criticism, so he can learn to humble himself despite the attacks and evil comments. God granted His Divine Favor upon Joseph to strengthen him to be the bigger person, the role model of what a mature man of God would do in the face of trials. God was with Joseph. God was training him. God was preparing him. God was allowing this trouble to come to him to spiritually groom him to be the future leader not just to the family business—but to the entire known world that would eventually come to Joseph in Egypt during the severe famine that would come upon the whole world 20 years later. Joseph didn’t know God’s plan for his life until he received a Dream about his future.
Grace and Favor will bring us Divine Revelation
Through the hardships, the back-biting, the complaining, the difficult co-workers and sloppy and lazy family members—God reaches out to Joseph and reveals His Divine plan for Joseph’s life. 2 Dreams confirmed and reaffirmed God’s Call on Joseph’s life of being a leader and his brothers bowing down to him (Genesis 37:7-11 NKJV). After the 2 Dreams and the unwise approach Joseph took to share them with his brothers who already hated him, it increased the tension in the work place and at home. The persecution increased in Joseph’s life. So much so, that his brothers plotted to kill him. They decided not to and they agreed that they should throw him in a pit and then they decided to sell him as a slave to the Ishmaelites (Genesis 37:12-36 NKJV).
Divine Revelation brings evil Retaliation
Joseph may have made a mistake of sharing his Dreams because once he opened his mouth the devil knew God’s plan for his life. So the devil used Joseph’s brother’s against him. But the devil played right into God’s Plan for Joseph’s life. God wanted Joseph to go to another training ground it was part of the Divine Plan. What happens when God gives you a Dream or a Vision and yet all hell breaks-loose on your life? Did you miss it? Should you have been silent and not tell anyone? You might be saying to yourself, is this Dream real? If God showed me that I will be the next CEO, the next Supervisor, Manager, the Boss, the Pastor, the Evangelist, the Teacher or Public Official why did I get demoted, passed-over, or fired from my present job. I didn’t do anything wrong…I didn’t mess up…I always did my best at work.
What may seem to you as a shattered Dream is only a prelude to the Dream being a reality. For Joseph it was envy, rejection and separation from his present job and family. For us it may be the same. I remember when I started writing on Faith-writers all hell broke-loose in my life. My bosses began to hate me because I was a true licensed professional, they whispered comments like, “who does he think he is… he swears he knows everything…he walks around with his chest out” (I really have a big chest because I’m muscular built, but I don’t purposely stick my chest out).
Anyway, my wife picked fights with me, bed bugs plagued my house and things started falling apart in the house. I thank God for the challenges because my bosses were fired, I have peace with my wife, I don’t have any more bed bugs and I repaired and renovated the rest of my apartment. It was a challenge and we will continue to experience difficulties when we are serving God. Be prepared for it and continue to grow thru every level and stage of your walk of Faith. God had to take Joseph to Egypt to the next training session.
The Second Social Circle—The 2nd Phase of Training
Joseph was resold to Potipher the Egyptian General of Pharoah’s army. Potipher was a rich man who lived on a big estate with many servants. Potipher assigned Joseph as another purchased slave, but when he noticed that God was with Joseph and everything in his house began to blossom and become fruitful Joseph was granted more Favor by Potipher and he made him the chief servant in his entire estate (Genesis 39:1-6 NKJV).
The Managerial skills Joseph develop while serving his father Jacob and operating the family business enabled Joseph to effectively Manage the Estate of Potipher. Joseph had to learn the customs of the Egyptians and their way of life but God was with Joseph and granted him the wisdom to reorganize things to work effectively in Potipher’s house. And God blessed Potipher’s entire household because of Joseph. This is truly amazing because we need to understand that we just don’t have a JOB we have been hired to be a blessing to that company we work for (Meditate on that!)
Taking a closer look at Joseph’s experience in Potipher’s house, I believe the reason that the servants of Potipher were ineffective was because of fear. Fear paralyzes people to think clearly and move with confidence. Joseph moved in faith knowing that this is what works to promote efficiency and growth. This is what works so that we can all get the job done. This is what needs to be done in order for the house to be in order. There is a system of doing things. There are protocols, policies, and procedures that have to be considered and every now and then revamped or updated to be implemented so that the household, the business, the livestock, and everything else can continue to work and be productive.
I’m a Licensed Construction Manager with the NYC Building Dept. There are 2 types of Construction Managers the guy that’s in the Ivory Tower (the Office Setting doing all the paper work), and the guy that’s in the field Managing all the trades to build whatever is in the Blue prints. I’m the guy in the field (the Lion’s Den we call it). The reason I survived through ever job-site with all these rough-neck construction workers is because the Grace and Favor of God.
The previous training I had over the years with various trades and how they work enabled me to learn how to organize the work so that the Electricians won’t get in the way of the Plumbers and the rough Carpenters won’t get in the way of the finish Carpenters and every other trade that’s on the site can work efficiently without it being stressful or chaotic. And we systematically work through every stage and phase of the Construction until completion. And the guys come back to me and thank me for making their job so easy and organized, and the Architects thank me for catching the errors and make something work that was not in their plans, this is God’s Grace and Favor at work in my life as it was with Joseph’s life.
Being Successful and Being Careful
Joseph’s obedience attracted God’s Grace and Favor, and Potipher saw that God was with Joseph and granted Joseph more Favor and more responsibility. The Grace and Favor of God will make a believer successful. And success is what attracted Potipher’s wife to Joseph, and the fact that he was handsome and well-built is what turned that lustful woman on (Genesis 39:4-7 NAS). When a woman sees a successful man manage things well and he’s also handsome lookout…she’s coming after you. She’s determined to have for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Hall & Oats sang a song about her and they called her the Man-eater. The Man-eater will stop at nothing until she takes a bite out of you! The Man-eater is a woman that hasn’t been taken good care of by her husband. The Man-eater easily gets tired of chicken and wants steak. What her husband couldn’t do she sees that Joseph can. Her husband couldn’t organize the house and keep track of anything but Joseph did it with no problem. Her husband screamed out orders and yelled at everybody—Joseph trained everybody because he had the experience. Her husband was good General, a man of battle, and a man who knows how to engage in war. Joseph was a people person, a bright business mind and Handsome. Every day she would try to get him. She plotted ways to catch him alone. She thought about him every moment and she had sexual fantasies in her mind of how they would be in the bedroom, the kitchen, the laundry room having a romantic encounter, while her husband was having a meeting with the Secretary of State. She was plotting her next move to get Joseph into bed.
It could be the other way around, you could be the hot looking secretary, intern, or paralegal and before you know it…your boss is there…your supervisor is there…your manager is there…he’s there staring at you, scoping you out, and sizing you up for the lustful encounter he hopes to have with you in the near future. He will purposely ask you to stay late at the office, the fast-food restaurant, the department store in hopes to take advantage of you. He was lustfully plotting to grope you when he gets the chance in hopes to have a sexual encounter with you. If you resist he may threaten to fire you and because you’re new and you don’t want to lose your job you might be tempted to let him get away with the sexual harassment. Watch out man and woman of God…be alert…don’t fall for it…it is only test designed to tempt you in the area of purity. God has someone for you…not just a one night lust affair but a unique soul-mate that will help you along your path to Success on earth in the Kingdom of God.
Potipher’s wife went from sexual fantasies to actually grabbing Joseph and inviting him to sleep with her. She grabbed his coat…she became bold and aggressive…she said sleep with me…do me baby! He jumped back and said how can I do this thing and sin against God. Joseph knew who he would hurt and violate not so much her husband but God. We must be aware of God being more offended than man. God is watching us every moment of every day. To make sure we do the right thing and become all that HE is training us to be.
Joseph ran when she forced him…we must run also. Don’t just stay there and allow them to sweet talk you into it because you will fall. A tender touch filled with smooth words will drive us into passion…passion will turn into desire and desire will cause us to have a lustful adulterous affair. She was ditched and disappointed so she immediately went to the other extreme and accused him of rape. How crazy is that? The same woman who wanted you in bed now wants you in prison! That’s the difference between Love and Lust. Lust doesn’t care about you…Lust just wants to use you…The devil wants to use us and throw us to the side. God wants to Love us and take us to Heaven.
When Potipher came home Joseph went to jail for attempted rape. But God was with him. Hallelujah! Joseph had to go to another training ground because God had a plan for Joseph’s life. This was the next stage and phase of training. (The Third Social Circle—The 3rd Phase of Training).
We will continue with part 2, of “Grace and Favor when God is with U”. May God bless you to see the application of this message and move you to be the man and woman of God that HE is training you to be in HIS kingdom on the earth. Remember you have the Grace and Favor to do it in Jesus’ name, amen.