The plan of God
Let us look at the life of the man Joseph for a bit.
Joseph is a man who the scriptures seem to imply that he was in the center of the plan of God at every phase of his life. No error is recorded in the scriptures about him.
But note that he never made any decision about his direction in life by himself. Let's look at a few pivotal moments to highlight this.
He left his father's house because he was kidnapped and sold as a slave by his jealous siblings. It was even his father who had sent him to the remote area where his brothers grabbed him. Yet, in all, Ps 105:17 tells us that it was God who sent him to Egypt. Interesting route to get there, isn't it?
His landing in the house of Portiphar was also not his decision. He was bought at the slave market. Other men made that transactional decision, but it was part of God sending him to Egypt.
It was not his decision to leave the house of Portiphar for prison. He was taken there against his will, a result of Mrs. Portiphar's false witness against him.
Note how each "terrible" step was taking him towards his destiny.
In prison, he met the man who the Lord would use to change his life. This man was the one who was to later mention him as a problem solver in the ears of Pharaoh.
Leaving the prison was also not his decision. It was an instruction from Pharaoh.
The king sent and released him,
The ruler of peoples, and set him free.
He made him lord of his house
And ruler over all his possessions,
Psa 105:20, 21
So, we see a man who was carried by external forces at every step in the plan of God.
The first lesson I want us to note in this story is how rough the path of the plan of God can be. Joseph had it rough quite some.
They bruised his feet with fetters
and placed his neck in an iron collar.
Until the time came to fulfill his dreams,
the Lord tested Joseph’s character.
Psa 105:18, 19
So, having it rough is not necessarily a sign you are out of the plan of God. God's path can be rough. Difficult times are part of life. Paul had it rough as a messenger of Christ. In fact, he told Timothy to endure hardship, that endurance is necessary as a true soldier of Christ. The path of God's plan is not the easy and comfortable road. God often leads us through the wilderness. You can't judge if you are in the plan of God by how easy your life is. Many who are in disobedience are having life very smooth. So neither comfort nor hardship can tell if you are in the plan of God.
The plan of God may indeed have very rough phases. Just make sure you did not get into the rough patch through disobedience, like Jonah did. Jonah got into rough waters because of a critical decision of disobedience.
The Lord gave this message to Jonah... “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh... But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction...
Jon 1:1 — 3
That brings me to the next point to learn from Joseph.
We have seen that decisions at turning points were made for him, as he was being guided in the plan of God. But does that mean he had no responsibility or involvement in it all?
No; it doesn't imply that. His part to play was shown in his faith and faithfulness.
Note that at many of those junctions, he had a moral decision to make. You will see that his problems began because he could not stand the bad things his brothers were doing, and he reported to their father.
Next, we see how he didn't not focus on his grief and situation but served faithfully in the house of Portiphar even though a slave.
Again, we see how he refused to get into sexual immorality with his boss' wife despite her intense pressure. He stood his ground because of his fear of God.
How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her.
Gen 39:9, 10
We also see His faith in God manifested in how readily he forgave his brothers who had unsuccessfully plotted his death, and who sent him into much suffering. He saw the hand of God in everything.
But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
Gen 50:19, 20
In summary, rough and hard times may be a part of God's plan. But don't incite them through disobedience to the rules of heaven.
Your duty, if you wish to be in the plan of God at all times, is to maintain your faith in God and manifest this in constant faithfulness. Remember, your character is being tested. Avoid sin; that is a killer of destiny.
(The Pastor Bankie Channel)