Walking in the Hall of Fame of Faith with Joseph

Dear Visionary Leader:
The word and concept of “vision” is also related to the word “provide” or “provision”.  One of the more commonly recognized biblical names of God is Jehovah Jireh, the Hebrew phrase for “The Lord will provide”, or “God is our Provider”.  The word provide means to “pre-see”.  It comes from the Latin prōvidēre to foresee,provide for, equivalent to prō 1+ vidēre to see; it means to “pre-see.”  God is able to pro-vide because He is able to pre-see!

The problem with flawed finite humanity is our inability to see beyond the now.  We are so limited in our vision.  We are myopic.  We are so near sighted and short sighted that we cannot see beyond the now.  And so, we are preoccupied and often so worried and anxious about the problems and challenges we see in the “right now” that our faith is often shaken and our trust in God is weakened.  However, God is our provider, who is has a pro-video, and He is able to pre-see.  So that while we are struggling and wrestling with the problem in the “right now” God is far down the road and he is seeing in the “not yet.”  By the time you get from the “right now” to the “not yet”, He has moved the problem from the “not yet” into the “no longer”, all because He has pre-vision and can pro-vide and He truly is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider!  Your life is not a snapshot, a moment frozen in time, it is a video, an ongoing revelation of God’s ordained will for your life… and the camera is still rolling!  You are not where you are going.  It isn’t over until God says it’s over.  You are where you are, but you are not where you are going. My God shall supply all your needs because He sees the need before you get there!  The camera is still rolling!
How do you see yourself?  The mind cannot distinguish between a mental image and an actual image in time. What the mind sees it believes.  If you for some reason, have gotten stuck in the past image of your life, begin today, reframing that image in your mind, by moving toward a video vision of from where you were to where you are today.  The way you see yourself is in comparison the way others will see you.  If you take yourself seriously, others around you will see you “seriously” in their eyes.

In Hebrews, Chapter 11: 22 the Word of God says, “by faith Joseph made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and he gave orders concerning his bones.”  And it was there that God smiled upon Joseph’s life because of the faith that he demonstrated before the Lord.  I believe that this story helps us fulfill what the Lord has called us to be, to do, and to go in this life.  The vision of Joseph’s youth came to pass through the corridor time, regardless of all the obstacles of the pit, prison and palace.

Message Continues In Visionary Coaching
We Need To Remember The Unbreakable Promises of God
As faith leaders, we need to remember the unbreakable promises of God.  Hundreds of years earlier the Lord had given promises to Abraham as it relates to his lineage being given throughout the earth.  He remembers how the Lord spoke to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob.  And the Lord spoke to Joseph, but centuries earlier, when God spoke to Abraham, he shared with him that he was going to have a son, and his son was going to become a nation, and that nation would eventually be relocated in a distant land, they would be forced into slavery, but then there would be an exodus, and the people would come back to the land of Canaan.  And God said to Abraham that this will take at least four hundred years.  The Lord was saying to Abraham, “Abraham, I’m making a promise to you, and the promise that I’m making to you is larger than you are and it’s longer than your life span.  By the time that this promise is fulfilled, you will be at peace with your fathers.”  The God-given vision was beyond the scope of his life on earth.
Abraham understood what God was up to, so he sought a bride for Isaac.  A bride was found, and the process began for the nation of Israel to be born and to broadened throughout the Earth.  We need to remember the unbreakable promises of God.  Because there were times when Joseph was discouraged and, no doubt, from time to time felt, possibly, defeated.  And yet, he did not let the dream die, he did not let the promises be removed from his life.  So, he understood what the promise was, he understood what the plan was.  So regardless of the pit, the prison, the palace, or Pharaoh, Joseph was going to be faithful to the assignment.  We need to remember the unbreakable promises of God.
You see, some people try to break them, and they end up being broken by them.  We can either be blessed by God’s promises, or broken by God’s promises, but we’ll never bend the promises of God.
Wise is the visionary leader who gets in sync with where God is going and asks God with integrity to bless and to prosper his path.  Joseph was one of those who understood it in his generation.  Even though the promises of God were not given directly to us, we have inherited them.  As Joseph is getting ready to cross the finish line into glory, he pulls his family members together and he reminds them of God’s promise; he reminds them of where they are headed.  He understands that this needs to be placed in the hearts of his people.
What’s amazing about this story is that twenty-five percent of the Book of Genesis is devoted to this one person named Joseph and yet in the Hall of Fame of Faith, he only gets one verse.  And that verse is Hebrews 11 verse 22 where Joseph made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel and he gave orders concerning his bones.  I want to encourage you to remember the unbreakable promises of God because one day the glory of the Lord will cover the Earth like the water covers the sea.  There is not one dry spot on the bottom of the ocean and one day there will not be a dry spot where the glory of the Lord has not kissed the Earth.
The Bible tells us in Revelation chapter seven that every tongue, tribe, and nation will stand one day at the Throne of God.  Now that is going to happen whether we get involved or not.  The Lord will pass us by if we don’t get in sync with where He’s going.  There are more promises than there are problems, and the Holy Trinity never meets in an emergency session.  God is not worried about providing for you or for me.  Most of the times we don’t have a money problem, we have a vision problem.  Oftentimes people say, “I wish I had enough money.”  But the question is, do you have enough vision?  Because out of the vision comes the provision.

If you don’t have a vision, it doesn’t take much money to fund that, but if you have a God-sized vision, you need a God-sized provision to fulfill that.  We need to remember the unbreakable promises of God.  And so, it’s important that you understand that when Joseph was in the land of Egypt, he wasn’t impressed with the pyramids, he wasn’t impressed by the wealth of the Pharaoh, he understood that God had him on a divine assignment.  He saw his role in God’s goal and he saw his part in God’s heart.  He was faithful to see it through all the way by placing the vision in the hearts of his children and grandchildren so that they could continue the assignment long after he was gone.  There are times when life, problems, stress and difficulties can discourage any of us, but we need to remember the unbreakable promises of God.

We Need To Realize The Unshakable Power Of God
Secondly, as faith leaders we need to realize the unshakeable power of God.  You see, companies begin and companies close, denominations start and they stop, empires are raised up and they come crashing down. Yet, the Kingdom of God has never experienced a recession, the Kingdom of God continues to grow every year.  Exponentially, the Church is growing faster today than it has ever grown before.  We are living in the greatest times of evangelism, church planting, global networking, and the possibility of fulfilling the Great Commission in this century.  We need to realize the unshakeable power of God.

I want you to see what Joseph chose to do.  Joseph pulled his family members together.  No doubt there were concerns all around him, as there are concerns all around you.  Joseph understood that life was about to change for him and life was about to change for those following behind him.  How did Joseph handle it?  When he pulled his family members together, did he fill them with worry and anxiety, dread and doubt?  No.  He reminded them of God’s plan; he reminded them of the mission.  He reminded them of where they were headed.  And, by the way, the next time the Devil reminds you of your past, just remind him of his destined future.  Joseph realized the unshakeable power of God.  He knew that God was going to see it through to the end.  In fact, Joseph demonstrated this years earlier when his father had passed away.

When Jacob’s father passed away, as you may recall, Joseph stopped what he was doing and took his dad back to the land of promise, a small village called Shechem.  Shechem means “a place of prosperity”.  He took his dad back to prosperity, buried him there, and came back and stayed on the assignment.  See, he realized where his home would be.  He understood where the people were going, and he went ahead and made a deposit of burying his dad in the land of promise.  And so, he pulled his family members together; he didn’t fill them full of worry and doubt and dread, he renewed them and encouraged them by letting them know that everything was going to be great and wonderful down the road.

Would there be labor instead of favor?  Would there be famine instead of feasting?  Yes.  Would there be hardship and headache and heartache?  Yes.  But God would see them through to the other side.  Frankly, it doesn’t matter who the Pharaoh is, it doesn’t matter how many chariots you may have; when God says he’s going to do something, you can count on it.  He’s going to do it.

No doubt there were concerns all around him.  No doubt there are concerns all around you.  No doubt there are financial and family concerns.  No doubt there are health and ministerial concerns.  No doubt there are many different obstacles that you may be facing at the time of this reading.  However, the Lord, who started you on the journey, wants to help you finish what you started.  He wants to give you enough money, enough momentum, enough people in your life to be able to achieve what you can do by working together.
No doubt there were concerns all around him and us, but not only was there concern, there was change.  Real, dramatic change coming.  There has been radical change that has impacted your life and mine.  This generation, specifically the last ten to fifteen years, has experienced more change than any other generation since the beginning of time.  In the last twenty to thirty years more dramatic informational technological change has happened on the planet that has catapulted the nations of the Earth forward in a way that no other previous generation has ever experienced.  Yet we’re not fearful of the change, we welcome it.

Joseph knew that change was coming for him.  He knew that he was passing away, his time on the Earth was going to be over.  He knew what he had to do, decisively and quickly, to make sure that his family members were ready to continue what he had been able to start.  So oftentimes people talk about their legacy, they talk about what they’re leaving behind.  Oftentimes I reflect on not just what I’m leaving behind, but what have I started while here on the Earth.  My prayer is that I start more ripples than I will ever be able to see completed in this short tenure in the world.

There were no doubt concerns around him and change around him and before him, and no doubt there is change coming for you; there’s change coming for me.  But it’s important to understand the chronology that is behind us.  We have come a long way in a short period of time.
It’s important that we understand that Joseph understood the chronology behind him.  He knew that the day was coming when God was going to fulfill the promise of the exodus in the world.  The Prophet Habakkuk exhorts us to write the vision down, write it down plain and concise so that we might run with it.  The vision that God has put in your heart needs to be clear and concise so that you might run with it.  We need to understand that the history behind us is prologue, and our future is bright and brilliant before us.  We need to realize the unshakeable power of God.  It doesn’t really matter what the armies of the Earth may say or do, it doesn’t really matter what empires are raised up in the years ahead, God is going to keep His word, and God is going to use people who want to be used.  God is in the extra that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.  God is our extra.  It’s the extra things that He does for us every day.  It’s the extra people He sends along our path.  It’s the extra thoughts that He puts in our hearts.  It’s the extra faith that He puts in our life.  It’s the extra abilities He gives to us so that we can do the extraordinary, so that we can be about the Lord’s business and believe that it is possible to fulfill the Great Commission in our generation.
We Need To Rest In The Unmistakable Peace Of God
Third, as faith leaders, we need to rest in the unmistakable peace of God.  Sometimes we wonder, is the Lord going to come through, is the Lord going to be on time?  But the Lord is never late and he always comes through with His plan for His person.
When we think of Joseph as he crosses the finish line, he smiles at Death.  I’m sure you don’t have anything worse than Death stalking you; I know that I certainly don’t have anything worse than Death stalking me.  And as he crosses Death he smiles at it, and his family members lay him to rest.  One year goes by, five years go by, a hundred years go by, and one day Moses walks into Pharaoh’s court and he demands, “Let my people go.”  This is the day of divine exodus.  This is one of the big red-letter days on God’s calendar.  And it’s on this day Moses, the great general, leads nearly two million people out of Egypt.  This is the phenomenal exodus that God spoke to Abraham about centuries earlier.  This is the day that God said His people were going to be leaving the nation of Egypt.  As Moses gathers the people, they make their way out of Egypt.  They haven’t traveled very far when the Bible tells us in the Book of Exodus 17-19, that Moses gives the command to go and find the body of Joseph.  He gives a command concerning the bones of Joseph.  Don’t think for one skinny second that Moses and the people left Joseph behind.  I was taught in Sunday School that two people went into Canaan, but, as you’re going to see, that three people went into Canaan that originally began in Egypt.  Joseph came out of Egypt, and went in to Canaan.

It’s at this point in time that they go and get the box that contains the bones of Joseph.  I see them brining Joseph out of Egypt.  The Bible doesn’t tell us how this all happened, but as you will see in a few moments, it did take place.  They bring Joseph out of Egypt and, I believe, they brought him to the front of the line.  Of course the Bible doesn’t tell us where they positioned Joseph on this trip out of Egypt, but I have a hard time believing they brought him out and put him at the back of two million people.  For some reason, I believe they brought him to where Moses was and now they began to carry Joseph.  How long did they carry him?  They carried him the entire time of the wilderness wanderings; that’s forty years.  They carried him through the Red Sea, by Mount Sinai, and by Mount Nebo where God buried Moses. But Joseph didn’t stop there, he continued right on.

In fact, what’s so amazing is that every day, no doubt, in the land of the wilderness they buried Israelites; they buried an entire generation of Israelites.  And God raised up an entire generation that would go into the land of Canaan.  Every day somebody died.  But Joseph wasn’t buried in the land of wilderness wanderings, he was taken all the way to Canaan.  There was more faith in the bones of Joseph than there were in the feet of the Israelites.  Joseph went right through the Red Sea , by Gilgal and Jericho and he was there the day the sun stood still.  You may say, “How do you know that?”  The Bible tells us so.  The Word of God tells us in Joshua 24, the very last paragraph, beginning in verse 22, that it was there that they buried Joseph in Shekem.  Now Shekem is a familiar word; it was there that Joseph had buried Jacob more than a hundred years earlier when he was the Prime Minister of Egypt.  It was now at the end of the battles that they take the body of Joseph and they bury him next to dad Jacob in Shekem, a place of prosperity.
Think about this amazing story for a moment.  Here is Joseph that is sold into slavery, he is falsely accused and put into prison, he is then brought to the palace and made the second in command, he is buried in Egypt, they carry him through the wilderness wanderings, through the years in Canaan, through all the battles, and now they bury him next to dad Jacob more than a hundred years later.  What God begins, He finishes.  We need to remember the unbreakable promises of God, rest in the unshakeable power of God, and rest in the unmistakable peace of God.
When you think about it, there are many change agents that come and go in this world, but there are only a few that can say at the end of life’s journey that, “not only did I help to bring change, but I helped to bring Salvation.”

As we come to the end of this chapter there’s one perplexing question that I want to ask you, and it is this:  Why was it that Joseph was discontent to be left in Egypt?  Why didn’t he encourage his family to go on to the land of Canaan and one day they would all rendezvous in glory?  Why was it he was so emphatic to say that, “When God takes you out, you must take me with you?”  I believe the answer is simply this:  Joseph wanted to be involved in what God was doing whether he was dead or alive.  He had such a desire to be included in God’s plan in establishing the Kingdom on the Earth.  I believe that if we will cultivate that kind of passion as visionary leaders, your reservoir will never run dry, your fountainhead will never be dammed up, you will never burn out,  and neither will you rust out!

I challenge you to become a faith leader in this generation and mobilize your church, ministry or organization to be baptized into the God-sized vision that has been entrusted to you.

Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking