“There are no shortcuts to obedience of faith with God! Either your turn to Him for counsel and obey what He says, or you make your choice in what seems right to you!” ~ Henry Blackaby; Created to be God’s Friend
We have a very limited perspective of the world. If we are honest we would admit that much of what goes on in the world we know nothing about. This is not an ignorance of choice or laziness, but of reality. The body in which we live is confined to one place in time, we simply cannot know all of what is happening around us.
This reality makes it impossible for us to fully understand what is best for our lives and the lives of others. Often the decisions we make today will have lasting effects, good or bad, into the future.
Take for example Joseph. We read about this man of faith in the Old Testament. We know that while he was the favorite son of Jacob, tragedy was part of Joseph’s life. His mother died when he was young, he was sold into slavery by his brothers, and thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit. It was only years later that Joseph’s faithfulness paid off when he was rescued from prison and made second-in-command in Egypt.
When Joseph was a slave, he would have been a young man at the time, he was approached by his master’s wife with the invitation to sleep with her. Joseph was alone in Egypt, with no family or accountability partners. There was no guarantee that he would be able to marry, and this type of relationship was expected for slaves, as long as it was kept secret. There was sufficient reason why being involved in a sexual affair with Potiphar’s wife seemed to be in Joseph’s best interest.
What stood in Joseph’s way was his commitment to God. While it might have been in Joseph the slave’s best interest to sleep with the wife of Potiphar, it was not in Joseph the chosen one’s best interest. Now this is pure speculation since this is not what happened, but I believe that if Joseph would have given into the temptation offered by Potiphar’s wife that he would have remained a slave. He may have remained the favorite slave, but that would have been his lot in life.
While the immediate consequence of Joseph’s decision to reject the advances of Potiphar’s wife seemed to cause his life to be more difficult: from being the head slave in Potiphar’s house to prison, it was the route that led him to accomplish the task that God had for him. Joseph had no idea of what God had in store for him, but Joseph was committed to God and God’s law and this allowed Joseph to discover the purpose God had for his life.
We will never discover what God wants us to do if we never commit ourselves to following God: obeying His commands. Only when we begin to live a life of faith that is seen in following Jesus, will we find true meaning for our lives.
We cannot know all the possibilities for our lives. Our vision is limited by time and space. God, in His infinite wisdom, knows all the different possibilities for our lives, and He knows the best way for us to live. That is way it is essential for us to trust the way God has established for us to follow. The way of Jesus.
Questions to Consider:
- What is a decision you made years ago that is still effecting your life today?
- How can Joseph be an inspiration for our lives?
- How can we know the way God wants us to live?