You are a Joseph - Part 3


For the past few months we have been looking into the life of Joseph. Without a shadow of doubt, I know that Joseph’s life is impacting us in this twenty first century. In this month also let us continue to meditate on the life of Joseph.

 

In many of our Youth Camps, I am asked this question: ‘How can I be without sinning against God?’ For Joseph, that was not an issue at all. His question was: ‘How can I sin against God?’ This is the true standard of holiness. In these last days, God is raising up the standard of holiness in the church. Joseph thought: ‘Me - falling?! Never!!’ That was the fiery zeal that gripped Joseph.

 

Nehemiah had a similar zeal.

 

‘One man said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you.” But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” ’ (Neh 6:10, 11).

 

You are not a little mouse that groans and falters at the first temptation that comes your way! You are a lion cub that bares its teeth and growls at the temptation that tries to swallow it.

 

“For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it” (Rom 6:14; 8:12).

 

When you are passionately in love with the Lord, your heart will tremble at the thought of making Him sad by sinning. At the last supper, Jesus said, “One of you will betray me”. Immediately there was confusion at the table! Each one said, ‘Is it me Lord? Is it me?’ That confusion itself showed their half-hearted love for the Lord. The fear that troubled the hearts of the disciples was: ‘Will I betray the Lord someday? Will I be unfaithful to Him?’ The Bible says ‘Perfect love casts out all fear’. In the midst of this confusion, John who was leaning on the Lord Jesus did not ask Him like the others. Instead he said, ‘Lord, who is he?’ John was absolutely sure in his heart that he would not and could not betray Christ. God poured this boldness and confidence into each one of us. It is up to us to stir it up.

 

You might quote the verse, ‘If you think you are standing, be careful, lest you fall’ and wonder where it fits in. Trusting in your own ability is wrong. You have Christ in you. Faith believes that you won’t fall because He who is in you is greater than he that is in the world. This is the faith that overcomes the world.

 

Sometime ago God beautifully expounded this truth to me. Jesus, a handsome young man went to the well at Samaria. An adulterous woman who had five husbands tried chatting Him up. At that point, who changed whom? Did she change Him? Or did His anointing transform her life?! This powerful life changing anointing is in you. An unbelieving husband is made holy through a god-fearing wife. And unbelieving wife is made holy through a god-fearing husband. The power of God that is in you can pull a person out of the pit of sin onto the highway of holiness. Do not underestimate His power in you.

 

Endurance

 

Potiphar’s wife did not give up. She kept luring him everyday. But Joseph rejected her advances day after day. He did not even encourage her lustful conversation (Gen 39:10). This is another key to a holy life. Victory is not standing against sin for a couple of days and then falling into it. Victory is enduring against sin till the very end. Day after day, though she tried to sweet-talk him, he adamantly came against her. This is what Christ referred to when He said, ‘He who endures till the end will be saved’.

 

Be aggressive against sin. We should wrestle against sin to the point of shedding blood. Those who soft-peddle in this area will not be victorious.

 

Be Alert and Diligent

 

Joseph gives us another key to overcome sin. Those who diligently go about their work will not fall prey to lust. Note this! Though she tempted him everyday, he diligently did his daily duties. He did not ‘meditate’ on her words or daydream all day long.

 

‘One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.’ (Gen 39:11,12).

 

Joseph’s mind was on his work and he went into the house to do work. If he had given in to day dreaming, he would have fallen in sin that day.

 

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. If you think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, praise-worthy, then you will not fall into sin.

 

As long as David had his mind on fighting battles, praising God, extending his boundaries and ruling wisely, he led a victorious life. But when he forgot the battle field and stayed back in his palace, slept in the daytime, let his mind wander and his eyes stray, he saw Bathsheba and fell prey to lust!

 

To stay away from lust, the soul, body and mind should be busy. A lazy man will fall in the sin of lust. The mind that constantly praises God, sings and speaks in tongues will not falter. When you are lazing around, satan will search for opportunities to trap you. With the above examples contrast the outcome of laziness, and the victory of diligence.

 

Fill your mind with the word of God. Those who fall into sin first sin in their mind. Your body will follow the way of the mind. Just as you have a bath every morning, wash your mind with the word of God. When you find dirty, lustful thoughts troubling your mind, increase your prayer life, fasting times and Bible reading times.

 

In my younger days, when my mind was attacked by bad thoughts, I would take my Bible and run off to a secluded place to fast and pray. For days on end, I would read and meditate on the word of God. Then I would sense calmness and an unusual feeling of holiness envelop me. Use this key and open the door to freedom from sinful thoughts that plague you.

 

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