by Alan Kelso
Conceiving and Contending Against Temptation with Faith, Faithfulness and Fortitude to Walk in Favor
The life of Joseph provides a backdrop into what it is like to Conceive a Dream and Contend for it.
What a traumatic experience going from the heights of special favor from your father, special gifts being given to you and a special place in the plan of God being revealed to you to the horror of your own brothers lying to you, plotting against you, hurting you and rejecting you.
The pain must have been unimaginable! The confusion must have been totally bewildering! And the negative turn of events so disappointing and hurtful.
For Joseph there were many direct attacks against him that were targeting his dream and ultimately his destiny. The first and perhaps most insidious was rooted in jealousy and a lack of appreciation of what God was doing in him that originated in his own home. His own brothers betrayed him and sold him down the river.
Betrayal is a terrible attack because it always involves those whom we have trusted and presumed would do us good. What a test!
Would he lose his dream, give up in grief and despair because of the pain of betrayal? Would he stop using his gift? Would he stop following God? Would he just acclimate and assimilate with his environment and let go of his dream in bitterness and disappointment?
How easy it would it have been to do just that? How easy would it have been to say that this prophetic stuff doesn’t work and doesn’t come to pass because of his pain? How easy would it have been for him to toss away his dream of greatness and give way to a life of survival and mediocrity because of things that happened to him that weren’t even his fault.
We know that Joseph somehow got himself together enough to get over his great sense of rejection from his family and do the best with the hand that he had been dealt. He chose to continue following God even when the dream was obscured and seemed out of sight. In a foreign land with many foreign gods and ways. What would he do? Would he stay faithful to the dream or compromise, lower his expectations and live like the world around him. We all know that he worked hard in Potipher’s house. He wasn’t lazy and didn’t excuse himself because of the negativity that had been injected into his life.
His hard work was rewarded and he began to rise up through the ranks until he was again experiencing amazing favor. The temptation would’ve been to give up and lay low but that’s not what Joseph did. Then the big test came when Potipher’s wife enticed him and tried to seduce him and even blackmail him. How easy would it have been to say ‘What’s the use?’ or ‘No one else that I know is watching’ or ‘You can’t fight the system’; ‘How can I deny my natural desires, my flesh and how can I not give in to this temptation when my life, future, promotion and prosperity is all at stake?’
However, Joseph knew that he could not fulfill God’s dream for his life by following this plan and easy path.
Joseph’s reward for staying true seemed to be nothing more than a sentence of judgment to live out his life in the darkness and defeat of a rank dungeon. Surely, he would give up on the dream now, the enemy must of thought…surrounded by darkness and the condemned as the result of false accusation. What a predicament!
Now would he throw in the towel? Would he say forget the dream, it’s only brought me pain and sorrow!?
No, somehow he held onto the dream with hope when it seemed more distant from him than ever before. He must of thought, this is the end and if its not then how will I ever get my reputation back?
Here’s what I believe the mindset of Joseph was: He decided to continue to be faithful to the same principles that he had believed in and lived his life by despite the dark circumstances he found himself in. He maintained his hope even if he couldn’t see a way ahead. Because he knew the dream was from God and if God gave it to him somehow, someway, somewhere God would show up and show out.
I believe God has a dream for His Church, He has a dream for every nation in the earth and he has a dream for your life. As I said before, it wasn’t just the destiny of Joseph’s life that laid in the balance but it was the destiny of a nation and his own family that was at stake. The enemy was throwing everything he could against Joseph to kill his dream but God was using this long 13 year period of his life to prepare him and prove him so that he could ultimately produce through him the deliverance and transformation he desired to bring.
Because Joseph stayed true to his principles and his God, he saw his family restored to him, saw a nation preserved through great adversity and a new nation arise in the midst of the land of his original captivity that would ultimately be used by God to release God’s blessings in the earth. This is what God was after, a people prepared for His purposes.
This is the year of Favor….this is the year of the Clashing of the Swords….. As a child of God you are blessed. In fact the word of God declares in Ephesians that God declares in the Heavenlies that we are BLESSED. WE are highly favored.
Decree it today. Stand up and shout it out I AM BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED OF THE LORD AND WHAT HE HAS BEGUN IN ME HE WILL FULFILL IT. I’m for than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. God is for you and as such nothing, nothing can stand against you. Just don’t stop believing in the Dream that God gave you.