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  • Renée Coventry

The Art of Waiting, Prophetic Destinies, Pt. 20

It's been two years since Pharaoh's cupbearer was restored to his position. Joseph is still in prison, still serving, still hoping. Little does he know that God is speaking to Pharaoh. Think about that for a moment. Joseph is in bed, maybe wondering why God isn't saying anything, but God is – just not to him, yet for him. While Joseph is sleeping, God speaks to the most powerful man in Egypt, Pharaoh, about a coming catastrophe through a dream. He can't interpret it, and interestingly, neither could his magicians. At this moment, the cupbearer remembers Joseph, and in sharing his story, the cupbearer opens a door of opportunity (Gen. 41:1-13).

And there's a principle here that we can learn about our destinies. We may be sitting at home complaining, "I'm not hearing anything from God," however, it may be that you're not the one who needs to be hearing at this critical moment. It may be that God is speaking to another in such a way that will propel you into His plans and purposes for you. It may be that God is bringing you to someone's mind. Faith doesn't complain; it trusts. It waits. It perseveres because God is faithful – and that's what Joseph is doing. After all, he doesn't have anything else to do but serve God where he is. Do you?

When Pharaoh orders Joseph to attend him, Pharaoh has Joseph bathed, shaved, and clothed to look like an Egyptian. Little does Pharaoh realize that Joseph has spent years having his character refined by a living God for a purpose beyond either of their wildest dreams. We see this clearly when Pharaoh tells Joseph that there's a rumor he could interpret the dreams. Instead of saying, "Absolutely! Of course I can! No problem," we see Joseph honestly declaring that it is not within his power to do so, but God alone. From the beginning, Joseph proclaiming his reliance upon God.

There are two things I want to mention. First, God can use the ungodly to make way for you. Proverbs 21:1 states, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." Don't turn down opportunities made available to you based on a person's salvation. It may be that God is positioning you in the world for a much larger plan than you anticipated. Secondly, though Joseph was made to look like others in his environment, his heart was right before the Lord, and he gave God all the glory. When you look like everyone else in the world, the simple act of glorifying God will differentiate you. Don't walk in fear; run forward in faith! If the Lord opened the door, a man can't shut it!

Once Joseph has interpreted Pharaoh's dream, he doesn't strut around. Instead, he gives Pharaoh advice to find a wise ruler to deal with the coming crisis, precisely explaining what needs to be done. He doesn't put himself forward, but in dealing honestly, Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of the national task force, making Joseph answerable only to the throne. Pharaoh hands over his signet ring, his symbol of authority, and puts it on Joseph's hand! Years of waiting, and in one day, Joseph moves from the prison to the palace. He didn't try to escape his circumstances but waited on God, and Joseph experiences a "suddenly" moment in which his entire life changed. It can happen for you, too, if you will wait on God.

And therein lies the problem for most of us. Patience is not our virtue. We try to write our blueprints for success, escape routes from the prison, worry, and bite our nails while at the same time declaring our trust in God. Our flesh has not yet died, and we are so concerned with the here and now that we don't realize that the Lord has something bigger in mind that will be a blessing to more people than we could have dared hope to reach. God spent years preparing Joseph to lead during the seven years of plenty and another seven of famine. He spent just as many years (approximately thirteen) cultivating a spirit of excellence and humility so that when God reconciled Joseph to those who enslaved him, Joseph would respond with forgiveness. Remember Aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare? The cupbearer was released sooner to his former position as cupbearer. Joseph was released to a position of power!

Dear one, we have no idea what God's purposes are for us. It may be that we are called to be cupbearers that bring others into the spotlight. Perhaps you're a mother called to cultivate the character of your children, whom God will use in monumental ways. What would Charles Wesley have been without his mom, Susannah? Maybe you are preparing even now to enter the political arena and are discouraged because you've failed to be elected. Don't give up! God's plans are transgenerational! Every part is just as essential as another. The main thing is that we work in tandem with the Holy Spirit to see God's plans and purposes accomplished.

Take a step back, take a deep breath, and determine to wait. Wait in prison, if that's where you're at, but wait. God hasn't forgotten you. He is developing you and preparing the hearts of others to receive you. I know. Patience is a character trait that is hard to establish in your life. I confess I'm not known for it. My husband, Walter, has it in spades. However, if any of us are to walk into all that the Lord has for us, we must learn to wait on God. It's His dream, His plans, His purposes. We are just called to complete surrender.

Let's Pray:

Lord, patience is not my virtue. I feel as though I have been waiting for a long time. Today, I surrender my timetable to You. I release all, knowing that as I wait on You, Your purposes for my life will unfold to bring glory to You. I lay my life before You in complete surrender. Let Your dreams be made manifest in my life, I pray, all for You and the expansion of Your Kingdom. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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