Genesis 41:38 (NIV)
So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”
Joseph is an impressive character in the Bible. In his early years, he comes off as arrogant, receiving dreams from God where he is set up as lord over his brothers—dreams he felt compelled to share with them. That went well. He also had a stunning coat he wore that reminded everyone he was a favored son of his father. That colorful piece of fashion only seemed to add insult to injury for his scheming siblings. We know what happened next.
The plots, the pits, the problems, and the prisons that dotted the way to Joseph becoming the head vizier (like a prime minister) of Pharaoh’s household were all used by God for a grand purpose. Joseph was being humbled, and was simultaneously learning how to listen to God.
All through his difficulties, something was happening in Joseph’s heart that was making him more attuned to the Spirit’s whispers. He was gaining an inner ability to distinguish God’s voice, God’s thoughts, from his own. He was also practicing hearing God’s voice and sharing what he heard, by interpreting dreams in prison before he ever got to Pharaoh.
When the moment of truth comes for Joseph in Genesis 41:1-40, he is brought before Pharaoh to interpret his dream. The Spirit leads him to a correct and startling interpretation, but he first prefaces that interpretation with a powerful statement of humility. “Joseph answered Pharaoh, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer’” (v. 16).
This makes me think of the story of a woman I know who was visiting a favorite restaurant. She saw another woman she recognized as a regular, and sensed the Holy Spirit prompting her to go pray for her. So she took a deep breath, and bravely walked over, not knowing what she would say.
The timing was just right—the other woman was so grateful and amazed that someone could have known she was in need. They prayed together right then and there about some very challenging situations, and God answered the specific prayers they prayed in a profound way. A divinely orchestrated friendship began because someone discerned the Spirit’s voice speaking within.
Today, you and I as followers of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, will have many opportunities to stop, listen, and speak what we sense the Father is wanting to someone near us. If we will stay close to Jesus and nurture a listening relationship with him through worship, his Word, and through moments of taking risks acting on what we hear, we too will be used by God to say the right words at the right time.
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. If there are ways you want to use me as one of your listening disciples, ready to convey your love, then here I am—use me. Come, Holy Spirit, give me faith to step out, to take a risk today to partner with you in something special and miraculous.
Could you imagine yourself listening more frequently, more attentively, in your heart, for something the Holy Spirit may want to give you for someone else? Are you willing to take a faith risk with Jesus today?
For the Awakening,