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Joseph's Story: Desire and Identity

“And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command.” Genesis 41:39-40


From the very beginning of the story, Joseph’s desire was to live into the God-given dreams he received in his youth. Yet, Joseph’s desire to follow God led him into greater trouble and he found himself imprisoned for a number of years. In fact, it took 13 years for God’s dream to become reality for his life. Sometimes, our dreams and purposes take time to develop. But a God-given desire can lead us to our purpose and to God’s promise for our lives.


Joseph’s desires guide his steps. First, he desired to obey God and refused the advances of Potiphar’s wife. This lands him in prison. However, his desire to leave prison leads him to interpret the dreams for Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer. This favor allows for Joseph to come to Pharaoh’s aid when Pharaoh cannot interpret his dreams. Finally, Joseph’s desire to allow God to use him to aid Pharaoh reveals Joseph’s wisdom and worthiness to help save Egypt and the wider world from a severe famine. It took 13 years but, through the whole ordeal, Joseph’s desire to be faithful prepared him for when his dreams came true. Pharaoh appoints Joseph to the highest position under Pharaoh and Joseph uses his power to save a kingdom, including his family (we’ll cover that next week)!


What are your desires? How are you pursuing these desires? When we begin to live out our God-given desires, God will lead us to our purpose for this season or for the rest of our lives. Joseph found his true identity by remaining faithful to God’s desires. May we also stay faithful to our desires and find abundant life and purpose by living them out for the glory of God!

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