When we think of Joseph, we often think of the adversity he went through to achieve his ultimate destiny. He had a unique marketplace call upon his life that was earmarked by extraordinary adversity, which, in turn, was used to save a nation from starvation and usher him into his eighty-one-year assignment to be second in command in Egypt. He was betrayed by his brothers and wrongfully accused of raping Potiphar's wife, causing him to be thrown into prison—this brought a total disruption to his life. The Joseph calling is a unique calling that not every leader has; those who have it are known for the adversity they are required to go through in order to fulfill a special assignment from God for their lives.
This calling begins with a dream. At the time of Joseph's dream, he was an immature teen who more than got under the skin of his older brothers. He evidently had a big mouth that got him into trouble. Joseph was also a pet son of his father, Jacob, which further infuriated his brothers. His dream revealed that he would stand over his brothers one day and even his father would come before him and bow down.
Now Joseph dreamed a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, "Please listen to this dream which I have dreamed. We were binding sheaves in the field. All of a sudden my sheaf rose up and stood upright, and your sheaves stood around it and bowed down to my sheaf."
His brothers said to him, "Will you really reign over us, or will you really have dominion over us?" So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.
Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, "I have dreamed another dream. The sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing to me."
But when he told it to his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will I and your mother and your brothers really come to bow down ourselves to you to the ground?" So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
God often gives an individual a dream. However, after the dream, God begins a process that seems to go in the exact opposite direction of the dream. There is often a contradiction before there is the manifestation of the revelation. This is what happened in Joseph's life for the next 13 years.
God took Joseph through a time of personal transformation that involved extraordinary levels of pain and disappointment in order to bring him low before he could be brought high in the kingdom realm. That process involved being betrayed by his own family, sold as a slave and being wrongfully accused for a sexual crime he did not do. He completely lost his reputation but was faithful in using his God-given gifts to serve others while in prison.
The six stages of this process I discussed in my first article are designed to bring us to a place where God can fully trust us with all he wants to do in our lives. He knows he can trust us when we can glorify him in the process of the pain and suffering. If we fail to do this in our pit, then we will fail to glorify him in the elevation period. The truth is that if we walk away from God because of something bad that happens to us, we never really had a relationship with him in the first place.
God's goal is to make us servants, stewards and slaves. And so the adversity period in our lives is designed to remove our dependence upon titles and accomplishments for our self-esteem. God brings us to the place where all we want is Christ in us in order to create Christ in others. That is when we know the testing has accomplished its purpose.
God releases his blessing in proportion to the character you allow him to develop within you. He will totally ruin you and remake you at the same time. The result of this will be a new you, where you will be grateful to God for what he had done within you. Someday you will be able to say that you would actually go through the process again if it meant you would gain what you gained.
God turns the pit into a well of the Holy Spirit—he makes a deposit that will last a lifetime. The psalmist reminds us, "As they pass through the Valley of Baka (trouble), they make it a spring; the early rain also covers it with pools" (Psalm 84:6). This journey through the Valley of Baka is designed to help us become sons and daughters of the living God.
Os Hillman is president of Marketplace Leaders and author of eighteen books. This article is an excerpt from The Joseph Calling book by Os Hillman. To read the first chapter free and download a free 12-week Joseph Calling Bible study, visit thejosephcalling.com.
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