“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.” (Genesis 50:20)
The Joseph Novella in the Old Testament may be one of my favorite episodes depicting the often subtle Sovereignty of our LORD in times of life that we would call difficult and troublesome, or even worse.
Joseph, Jacob’s favored son, rose up in power from years of suffering, though he did nothing to deserve the things which came upon him.
He was condemned to die by his jealous and hateful brothers; being left in a pit. In their greed, they repented of that plan for a better one with benefits; he was sold to a caravan on journey to Egypt. In Egypt, he was again sold to Potiphar, a captain of Pharaoh’s guard, who soon placed Joseph as overseer of all he had.
Potiphar’s wife later falsely accused Joseph of taking advantage of her, and he was placed in prison. Yet, God gave him favor with the keeper of the prison, who gave him some responsibility over other prisoners. Much later, because of the gift God had given Joseph to interpret dreams, he found himself in the palace interpreting Pharaoh’s confusing dreams. Pharaoh was deeply impressed and made Joseph over all in Egypt except Pharaoh himself.
All of this was held and used of God to fulfill His plans and purposes in saving and growing Israel to numbers beyond their imagination. God uses difficulty, and even suffering, to accomplish earthly needs and His Kingdom agenda. This was also a picture of the incarnation and suffering of our Christ Who later rose to glory.
And, beloved believer, because of His indwelling, the Church shall also endure suffering with trust and inner joy overflowing in expressions of righteousness so that the world may see Him!
Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, these are troubling times in America and the world. There is much fear and confusion among the peoples of the world, and for the citizens living right now in America, much of what we face is new, and therefore, these fears can be overwhelming. However, for the children of God throughout this world, we are to be noticeably different—No Fear! “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
But, how will we move ahead? How can we best be used of God?
For the Church, it has to start right here, in His way:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
In the deepest form of humility, which most of us have never allowed ourselves to experience, we must pray; we must seek His face. To look upon the face of God will be terrifying, revealing, with as awareness of judgment on our sinfulness. This will drive from humility to humiliation before a holy God. This will of necessity, move us to confessing/turning/brokenness/repenting of all unrighteousness.
Repentance is a word we Christians throw around too much today, with too little understanding of how it may appear. We know the word too well, but not the true experience . . . the action of repentance leading unto cleansing; renewal. LORD, show us how to repent! Revive Your Church!
Another need for the revived Church may be to engage in spiritual warfare on behalf of our nation, America. When the Church is clean before the LORD, she is in her greatest power for Kingdom service to mankind.
Allow me to share one great need for this country which is firmly rooted in our history: Racism.
Racism is not new; however, I believe there has been a spirit of racism over America since its birth. “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5)
It may take a deep seated, brokenness of heart in repentance across the land to break the back of this evil spirit. A statement of repentance in convention will not do it. It must be a massive wave of conviction from the Power on High.
LORD, may we see the King in all His splendor and glory, dropping us to our knees in brokenness; raising us to finally be “more than conquerors” in Him Who saved us! Dear God, break the spirit of racism which was alive the moment the first illegal aliens, our settling forefathers, began to displace the true American native citizens, and right up to this very moment.
Come On, Church, let’s get right with God, get out of the pit, then let’s hinder the evil one across this land! Pray On!