Finding our Identity in Christ

Part Four

Joseph’s Three Coats

The Coat of a Servant

 

 

  • Previously, we have been looking at the life of Joseph found in the book of Genesis and how God wonderfully used Him. At the beginning of the story Joseph lived quite a pampered life as his father’s favourite son, the son of his old age.
  • However, as time passed, Joseph suffered many disappointments, rejections, betrayals, and false accusations beginning with his own brothers rejecting him and selling him as a slave to some traveling Ishmaelites.
  • At the end of the story God exalted Joseph to the most powerful position in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. In the midst of a seven year famine Joseph’s brothers travelled to Egypt seeking food to save themselves and their families from starvation. When they arrived they were shocked to find Joseph, whom they presumed had died as a slave, ruling over Egypt as governor.
  • Perhaps even more shocking, Joseph was not vindictive or bitter. Joseph unconditionally forgave his brothers for the evil they had done to him, as he responded with love and compassion.

 

 

Genesis 50:19-21 NKJV

19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?

20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

 

  • Joseph harbored no ill will toward his brothers who envied and hated him so much that they sold him as a slave.
  • Joseph was able to look past their sins to see the goodness of God as He providentially directed the course of Joseph’s life.

 

 

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

 

  • Amazingly, Joseph not only completely forgave his brothers for the evil they had done to him, but he wanted to comfort and bless them, and provide for all their needs.

 

 

“Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”

 

  • The question that arises is this: “How did Joseph reach such a place of love and self-sacrifice?”
  • As we study the story of Joseph’s suffering, we see how Joseph responded to God in his trials and how God worked in his heart to mold him into a godly man. His character had so dramatically changed that God entrusted him to become the saviour of Israel. Joseph is a prophetic picture of the ultimate Saviour of Israel and of all mankind—Jesus Christ.  
  • The Bible exhorts believers to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 13:14a). The Greek word for “put on” means “to dress, clothe.”
  • To “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” means that our thoughts, words, and actions should reflect the reality of what has happened within our reborn spirit.
  • This refers to the sanctification process, where we are to live out what is already in us though our new birth.

 

 

Ephesians 4:21–24 (NKJV)

21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

22that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

23and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

24and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

 

  • We can see a very important principle in Ephesians 4:21-24.
  • If we want to be clothed with the new man, our new identity in Christ, we must first take off the old man, our former identity with its lusts and corruption.
  • We can’t put on new clothes until we’ve removed our old clothes. In a similar way we can’t live out our new life in Christ while continuing to think and live in ways that reflect our former life.
  • Many Christians become very frustrated because they are not able to walk victoriously in Christ. One of the reasons for their lack of victory is that they haven’t first removed the old man. They are trying to serve God while continuing to engage in ways of thinking and living that are contrary to Christ.
  • The Bible uses the analogy of clothing or outer garments to speak about our interaction with the world around us, how we perceive the world, and how we perceive ourselves.
  • In the story of Joseph, three different garments had to be removed before he could be clothed with the glorious garments God had prepared for him—faith, hope and love. (1 Corinthians 13:13).
  • Each of these three garments reflect a mindset or attitude he had to be freed from before he could be effectively used by God and fully enter into God’s purposes for his life.
  • Similarly, there are three “garments” believers need to be willing to have removed, which reflect our old ways of thinking. Once removed, we can fully experience the freedom Christ has for us so we can enter into the purposes and ministry He has for each one of us.
  • Joseph had to have three coats removed to be clothed in such a way as to fulfill God’s will for his life.
  • Each garment that is removed makes room for a new garment to be worn.

 

  • The first coat Joseph wore was the coat of a son. This coat represented his identity as his father’s favourite son. Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other children and he made him a special tunic of many colours.

 

  • Joseph’s coat represented who he was—Jacob’s favourite son. The coat represented his sense of belonging to the family of Israel. The coat represented his identity.
  • When Joseph’s brothers stripped him of his coat it was not a simple gesture of hostility, it was a statement that they rejected Joseph as their brother and wanted to strip away his identity as part of their family.
  • The first coat Joseph had removed was his coat of a son which represented his identity and that he belonged to a family.

 

  • Joseph did not remove his own coat nor did he want his coat removed from him. It was forcibly removed by his brothers who rejected him.

 

  • Joseph had to be willing to give up his right to be accepted; otherwise he would have spent the rest of his life fixated on the rejection and betrayal he experienced at the hands of his brothers.
  • Joseph had to give up his right to be accepted and find his true identity in his relationship with God. Instead of becoming bitter he grew closer to God. He looked to God as his source of identity and acceptance.
  • We need to give up our right to be accepted and not feel so entitled that we demand that people accept us. Unless we give up our right to be accepted, we will respond actively with hostility and bitterness, or respond passively by isolating ourselves from everyone around us.
  • As followers of Jesus, we need to find our true identity and worth in Christ.
  • As the story progresses we will see that a second coat was removed from Joseph and how he dealt with it in a healthy way. God used these painful circumstances to continue to build godly character within Joseph.

 

 

Genesis 39:1 NKJV

1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there.

  • Joseph’s brother’s hatred of Joseph was so intense that they betrayed him by stripping him of his coat of a son, and sold him as a slave to a band of traveling Ishmaelites.
  • The Ishmaelites took Joseph to Egypt and sold him as a slave to a high ranking Egyptian official named Potiphar.
  • After Joseph was stripped of his coat of a son and sold into slavery he was given another coat—the coat of a servant.

 

  • One can only imagine the emotional trauma that Joseph experienced. Instead of living as the favourite son in a prosperous family, he was stolen away to a foreign country where he was hopelessly and helplessly enslaved.
  • Waking up every morning as a slave in Egypt would be like a terrible nightmare, except it was no nightmare.  This was now his life. He was a slave who had lost his family and his identity. He was no longer known as Jacob’s son, but simply as one of Potiphar’s slaves.
  • Instead of being embraced by his loving father and enjoying the luxuries provided to him as a favourite son, he would have abruptly awakened each morning to whatever menial tasks were required of him as a slave in Potiphar’s household.
  • Instead of having servants, Joseph had become a servant.
  • In the natural, Joseph’s future appeared bleak with no hope or expectation beyond living the rest of his life as Potiphar’s slave.

 

 

Genesis 39:2 NKJV

2 The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

 

  • Verse two provides us with some insights into what was happening within Joseph’s heart by observing how he interacted with those around him—he was successful. His inner peace allowed him to make godly and wise decisions.
  • God’s favour was upon Joseph and God was blessing all of Joseph’s labours. He was promoted to being a household slave in contrast to common slaves who performed menial tasks and backbreaking work in the fields. “he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”
  • Joseph prospered in his service to Potiphar, indicating that Joseph had overcome the trauma and bitterness of his brothers’ betrayal and his own unjust enslavement.
  • Joseph was not only able to accept that his coat of a son had been stripped from him by his brothers, but he was able to accept the new coat placed on him by Potiphar—the coat of a servant.
  • Joseph chose to accept wearing the coat of a servant and faithfully served Potiphar.
  • For Joseph to faithfully serve Potiphar he had to accept his situation. Otherwise his service would have been carried out begrudgingly and half-heartedly.
  • Joseph had to protect his heart from becoming bitter, frustrated, or entangled in all the injustices he had experienced.

 

 

Romans 12:21 NKJV

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

  • How did Joseph protect his heart and overcome evil with good? He chose to faithfully and earnestly serve Potiphar.
  • Joseph’s service to Potiphar was not simply lip service. It truly reflected a heart that sought to honour, bless, and prosper his master.
  • Apostle Paul proposed a similar attitude to Joseph’s in Ephesians 6:5-8.

 

 

“Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.”

 

 

  • Apostle Paul was not advocating for slavery or making a statement regarding the fairness of slavery. His word of exhortation to believers who worked as slaves was to use their servitude as an opportunity to develop godly and Christ-like character. Paul recommended serving with a faithful and thankful heart, knowing that God would be the One who would reward them.  
  • Paul wanted the believers to become fruitful by developing the heart of a servant whether they were a slave or free.
  • Joseph had to trust that it was not misfortune or his brothers’ evil intentions that brought him to Egypt. He needed to recognize that God was actively involved in his life. “Moreover He called for a famine in the land; He destroyed all the provision of bread. He sent a man before them—Joseph—who was sold as a slave.” (Psalm 105:16-17).
  • From Joseph’s perspective his current circumstances as a slave made no sense at all, yet he chose to trust God and believe that God had a purpose in all the injustice he was experiencing.
  • Jesus did not promise His followers that they would be protected from injustice, persecution, or tribulation. Instead, He instructed them to be courageous. Just as He overcame the world so we, though Him, will also be able to overcome the world.

 

 

John 16:33 NKJV

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 

  • Joseph had to choose to resist frustration and confusion from embroiling his mind. He had to stop meditating on the injustice he had experienced and to focus on his faith in God and remember the two prophetic dreams that God had given him years earlier.
  • Joseph never let his dream die.
  • As believers, we may not always have specific dreams from God, but we do have His Word filled with His promises that we can stand on.

 

 

Matthew 24:12 NKJV

12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

 

  • In the end times lawlessness and injustice will increase. Those believers who do not know how to deal with injustice and being wronged and misunderstood in a godly way will find their love for God and others will grow cold.
  • Christians who fail to deal with being slandered and treated unjustly in a Christ-like way will grow hostile, angry, and frustrated. They may think their reaction is “righteous indignation,” but in reality is it just their flesh rising up in response to their pride and sense of entitlement.
  • The injustices we experience afford us an opportunity for a wonderful work to be done in our hearts, just as happened with Joseph. It is our choice to become bitter or better. Forgiveness is a healing balm that makes the bitter better.
  • We need to turn our attention away from the injustices we have experienced and turn to Jesus with a heart filled with praise, thanksgiving, and worship.

 

 

Matthew 24:13

13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

 

  • If we persevere through the entire process and continue to have our gaze fixed upon Jesus, the Father will do a wonderful work of salvation within us, setting us free from the power of sin and selfishness that so easily captivates us.
  • This process of refinement will prepare and position us to share in the end time work of the greatest evangelistic movement in the history of mankind as the unstoppable message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be proclaimed in every corner of the earth.

 

 

Matthew 24:14

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

 

  • As we continue to study how Joseph overcame the injustice and wrongs he experienced, we will learn important truths that will help us overcome when we are misunderstood or treated unjustly.
  • In the natural, a person would be obsessed with convincing Potiphar and even his fellow servants that he was not a slave, that he was a freeman who had been unjustly abducted. However, this would have led to further frustration for Joseph and conflict with those around him.
  • The reality was that Potiphar neither cared about Joseph’s story or past injustices. Potiphar would not likely have believed Joseph even if Joseph had shared his story.
  • For Joseph to come to a place of rest and peace in his mind he had to give up his right to be understood and look to God as the One who truly understood and knew the truth.

 

 

Genesis 39:3 NKJV

3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand.

 

  • Joseph’s faith in God became a witness to Potiphar when Potiphar recognized that Joseph brought into his house a blessing from the Lord. “his master saw that the LORD was with him.” Potiphar recognized that his prosperity was not simply the result of Joseph’s faithfulness and wisdom. He recognized that there was a supernatural element to his increasing prosperity.

 

 

Genesis 39:4-5

4 So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority.

5 So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field.

 

  • God’s favour and blessing on Joseph spilled over into everything he did and all whom he served. “the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field.”
  • Joseph became Potiphar’s favourite servant — “So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him.”
  • Although Joseph was a slave in Potiphar’s house he was given authority and a degree of freedom to conduct the affairs of the estate as Joseph deemed appropriate. “Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority.”

 

 

Genesis 39:6

6 Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

 

  • Joseph’s godly responses as he carried out his daily duties reflected his godly character. Potiphar fully trusted Joseph and entrusted every detail of his affairs to him. “Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate.”
  • Even though life for Joseph would have been relatively comfortable he remained a slave in Potiphar’s house.
  • One of Joseph’s blessings would be the source of the next great test in his life. — “Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.”

 

 

Genesis 39:7–10 (NKJV)

7And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”

8But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand.

9There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

10So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.

 

  • When things were starting to look up for Joseph, Potiphar’s wife lustfully began to gaze upon Joseph. — “And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph.”
  • She sought to seduce Joseph—“she said, “Lie with me.””
  • This temptation contained elements of both lust and pride as his master’s wife longed for him.
  • However, this temptation reveals the depth of the godly character Joseph possessed, along with his genuine loyalty to Potiphar, and his faithfulness and obedience to God.

 

 

“Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand.”

 

“How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

 

  • Joseph’s loyalty to Potiphar was nothing less than remarkable. Even though he had been unjustly sold into slavery by his brothers he wholehearted served as a slave and did not allow bitterness, resentment, or betrayal to taint his heart and his relationship with God or those around him.
  • If there was the least bit of bitterness or resentment toward Potiphar it would have surfaced in his encounter with Potiphar’s wife. What better way to secretly shame and mock Potiphar than to sleep with his wife?
  • Every day Joseph was bombarded by Potiphar’s wife trying to seduce him. However, Joseph stood firm, strong, and unwavering in his commitment to God and his loyalty to his master.

 

 

“So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.”

 

Genesis 39:11-12

11But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside,

12that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.

 

  • The day came that she cornered Joseph when he was alone in the house doing his required work.
  • She tried to seduce him and again he resisted. This time her advances were so aggressive that she grabbed his clothing and the only thing he could do was run as fast as he could.

 

 

“she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.”

 

  • When Potiphar’s wife grabbed his garments he didn’t just say, “Please don’t touch me,” nor did he say, “I need to go now.” He turned and ran as fast as he could from the temptation. If Joseph had not removed himself from her presence, he might have become an adulterer. — “fled and ran outside.”

 

 

1 Corinthians 6:18 NKJV

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

 

  • The Bible does not say simply, “turn away from sexual immorality” or “resist sexual immorality,” but “run as fast as you can from temptation and don’t stop to look back.” Run as if you were being chased by a roaring lion who is seeking to devour you.

 

 

Genesis 39:13-15

13And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside,

14that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice.

15And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.”

 

  • This final attempt by Potiphar’s wife to seduce Joseph elicited such a strong negative reaction from him that she felt slighted and humiliated. Her response was to destroy Joseph’s reputation and life.
  • If Joseph had given into her seductive advances his reputation would have been protected by the deceptive web that Potiphar’s wife would have woven.
  • However, Joseph won the victory by being willing to be misunderstood and having his reputation slandered and maligned. He stood for the truth no matter what the cost. He entrusted his reputation to God.
  • “If you’re guilty you don’t have a defense and if you’re innocent you don’t need a defense.” (Neil Anderson).
  • If Joseph had been concerned about what people thought of him he would have given into the temptation and been protected from exposure by Potiphar’s wife. Instead, he stood for the truth in the face of slander and false accusations.
  • Potiphar’s wife called all the household servants as witnesses against Joseph by slanderously accusing Joseph of trying to rape her.

 

 

“that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice.”

 

  • Potiphar’s wife took the garments she had torn from Joseph as he fled from her adulterous advances and used them as evidence that he had tried to rape her.

 

 

“And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.”

 

Genesis 39:16-18

16So she kept his garment with her until his master came home.

17Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me;

18so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.”

 

  • As Joseph fled from her adulterous advances, Potiphar’s wife kept the garments she had torn from Joseph to use as incriminating evidence against him.

 

 

“So she kept his garment with her until his master came home.”

 

  • Potiphar’s wife was not only lustful and unfaithful, but vindictive. With the same persistence that she had sought to commit adultery with Joseph, she now sought to destroy him. She held tightly to Joseph’s garments waiting for the moment when her husband would come home.
  • Potiphar’s wife was a master liar and knew how to make the most of the situation. She slandered Joseph and manipulated her husband to become incensed with rage toward Joseph. “Then she spoke to him with words like these…”
  • In her carefully crafted deceit to get her husband to react in the most violent and impulsive way, she deflected blame from herself and placed the blame squarely on her husband for what she alleged had taken place.

 

 

“The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me;””

 

  • The incriminating evidence that Potiphar’s wife used against Joseph were the garments she had torn from Joseph as he fled from her adulterous advances. Joseph had been stripped of his coat because he was faithful and now it was being used against him.

 

 

“so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.”

 

  • Potiphar’s wife defiantly held out Joseph’s garments as proof of the alleged attack. These garments were only in her possession because Joseph had refused her advances. She tore from him the garments he wore daily as a servant as he faithfully and wholeheartedly served his master for all those years.
  • How painful it must have been for Joseph to see how Potiphar’s wife had taken his garment, the very garment that proved his faithfulness and his many years of faithful service to Potiphar, and used it to indict him.
  • It is very possible that Potiphar’s wife was pressing her husband to judge Joseph guilty of a capital crime deserving death.

 

 

Genesis 39:19

19So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused.

 

  • Potiphar’s wife’s strategy was highly effective and produced the desire effect—her husband flew into a complete rage.
  • Joseph was not given any opportunity to explain or defend himself. In Potiphar’s mind Joseph’s garment was proof enough.
  • In a moment of time, Joseph went from being Potiphar’s most trustworthy and favourite servant to being despised, hated, and maligned. His reputation lay in tatters.
  • He was judged by Potiphar as the most despicable of all men—one who abused his master’s trust and goodwill and who deceived and betrayed him in the most shameful and ungodly way.

 

 

Genesis 39:20

20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison.

 

  • Without a trial or even an opportunity to defend himself he was unjustly thrown into prison by the very man to whom he been unwaveringly loyal and whom he had faithfully served.
  • Joseph experienced the very depth of betrayal. He was slandered and misunderstood and unjustly condemned to a life sentence in an Egyptian prison—notably in the king’s prison.
  • As quickly as Joseph had been stripped of his coat of a son by his brothers, he had been stripped of his coat of a servant, and was now dressed in the coat of a prisoner.
  • This second act of betrayal at the hands of Potiphar would have been just as devastating as the first act of betrayal at the hands of his brothers.
  • From Joseph’s point of view this betrayal made even less sense than his brothers’ betrayal. His situation had drastically deteriorated! The more he sought to be faithful to God and his master, the worse his situation became.
  • Joseph could not possibly make sense of the situation he found himself in, so he had only one choice—to hold on to the Word God had given him through his dreams and walk in an even deeper level of faith and trust in God.

 

 

2 Corinthians 5:6-7 NKJV

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.

7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

 

  • Even though things were looking bleaker from the natural perspective, in reality God was positioning Joseph to fulfill His will. When Potiphar threw Joseph into prison, he was released from being a slave.
  • It was never God’s ultimate will that Joseph remain in Potiphar’s home as a chief slave because the Lord was preparing him for something much greater, higher, and glorious—to become the ruler of Egypt and the saviour of Israel.
  • Joseph had to overcome being stripped of his second coat—the coat of a servant.
  • The first coat that had been violently removed from Joseph was the coat of a son. He had to learn to give up his right to be accepted and find his acceptance and identity in God.
  • Joseph’s second coat was removed as violently from him as his first coat. Potiphar’s wife stripped him of his coat of a servant by tearing it from him as he fled from her. Later she used his garment as proof of his crime.
  • Potiphar also stripped Joseph of his coat as a servant by unjustly condemning him and throwing him into prison.
  • This injustice could have caused Joseph to spend the rest of his life wallowing in self-pity over the disappointments of being slandered, totally misunderstood, and unjustly condemned.
  • Joseph could have become obsessed in thinking about what he could have done differently or rehashed in his mind how he should have responded to Potiphar and his wife when they grievously wronged him.
  • Joseph had to believe that his faithful service to God would be rewarded, although for the time being men judged him as an evildoer.

 

  • If we do not give up our right to be understood it will result in our intellect becoming obsessed with the thoughts of how we have been misunderstood and wronged.

 

  • We see many examples of people who live in the past and rehash the wrongs done to them. They become jaded and see everything through the lens of being unjustly treated whenever things do not go their way or how they think things should go.
  • The first coat dealt with Joseph giving over his emotional need for acceptance for God to fulfill.

 

  • The second coat dealt with giving up his right to be understood as Joseph submitted his intellect to God.
  • How do we surrender our intellect over to God and give up our right to be understood?
  • We surrender our intellect over to God by reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word. We forgive the person who treated us unfairly.

 

 

Psalm 119:148 NKJV

148 My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.

 

  • Christians who have not given up their right to be understood stay awake at night thinking about how they have been wronged and misunderstood instead of meditating upon God’s Word.

 

 

Romans 12:2 NKJV

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

  • We surrender our intellects over to God by training ourselves to meditate on God’s Word and allow God’s Word to renew our minds so the Holy Spirit transforms our souls.

 

 

1 Peter 3:15 NKJV

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

 

  • Giving up our right to be understood does not mean we don’t explain our situation or point of view when asked, it just means we only speak to those who want to hear.
  • When we demand that others understand us we become pre-occupied with why we are right and they are wrong. The truth is we’re not always right, and others are not always wrong.
  • Not only will we become obsessed by thoughts of how we have been misunderstood but it will harden our hearts toward correction when we truly need it. We will begin to think we are always right and others don’t really understand us.

 

 

Proverbs 12:15 (NKJV)

15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.

 

 

  • If you think you are always right then maybe you are a fool!
  • “Unwanted advice in the ear of the hearer sounds like criticism.”
  • From this expression we can learn two things:
  • First, don’t give advice to someone who doesn’t want to hear it.
  • Second, be willing to hear correction and ask for those around you to speak correction into your life. Be accountable. — “But he who heeds counsel is wise.”

 

 

Genesis 39

21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing.

 

  • How do we know that Joseph was able to give up his right to be understood by man and turn his attention to God and trust Him? Even in the prison Joseph received God’s blessings, favour, and mercy.

 

 

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