Have you gone through a wilderness or are you experiencing one now? What lessons is God teaching you through them?
Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional:
“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” — Deuteronomy 8:2
Though Joseph was destined by God for greatness, he was not born ready for that greatness; he was spoiled by his father and was very naïve.
Joseph's mentality was demonstrated by these key facts:
He brought a bad report to his father about his brothers
He was his father’s favourite and therefore was spoiled
He continued to reveal his dream about his father and brothers in which he would rule over them
“This is the history of Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also, he made him a tunic of many colors.” — Genesis 37:2-3
"Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” — Genesis 37:5-10
Because of this lack of readiness and maturity to walk in his divine calling, the Lord had to prepare and mature Joseph for his destiny. He had to go through what I call, the wilderness experience. The wilderness experience is a combination of trials, tests, and temptations allowed by God to perfect us and enable us to fulfill His will for our lives. Most of us believe we are ready the minute we receive the vision, especially if it is clear in our minds.
However, the next several years will most likely be full of lessons to prepare us for our ultimate destiny. Since God works through human vessels and natural circumstances, in Joseph’s case He used his jealous and envious brothers to send him through a process of trials and tests that would prepare him for his calling. Through this wilderness, Joseph experienced major trials and tests along with several temptations. Remember, your own wilderness is designed to perfect you, not to destroy you, to humble you, not to kill you, and to strengthen your relationship with God and not steal it. Allow the Holy Spirit to accomplish these things in you.
My prayer for you today is that the Lord would walk with you through your own wilderness and continue to teach you things through the wildernesses you’ve experienced from the past.
Reflection: What fruits have you seen through your wilderness experience?
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