A Joseph Anointing

A Joseph Anointing
“The Burden of Forerunners”
For some reason, God has chosen to bring about His purposes in history through the lives of unusual characters.  God used a childless couple to bring forth “laughter” (Isaac) and to be the forebears of multitudes (Gen 12:1-12).  Isaac lavished his favor on his eldest twin son, Esau.  God chose instead the “usurper” Jacob to bear His favor.  Jacob/Israel had twelve sons to be the forebears of God’s chosen people — the twelve tribes of Israel.  But it was the life of one of those twelve sons (who is not numbered as one of the twelve tribes) God chose to be the forerunner of His deliverance for His people.
Joseph was a dreamer who had the ability to anger his brothers beyond reason.  He appeared to be his father’s favorite which raised resentment in his brothers.  When Joseph began to share his dreams with his brothers and father, everyone was shocked at the audacity of the obvious meaning of the dream.  Joseph would rule over his older brothers and even over his father and mother.  Who could tolerate such insolence?
In a twist of plot that rivals a modern soap opera, Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers.  In further cruelty, his father was provided fabricated evidence of his death.  Joseph was a slave in Egypt with no one to search for him.  He was exiled without hope of redemption or salvation.
Yet it was in exile that Joseph was blessed with reason and skill and rose to a place of prominence in Potiphar’s house.  Yet blessing was not to remain his.  He was falsely accused of immorality and once again imprisoned and forgotten.  Yet the dreamer, acquainted with betrayal and deceit, did not allow his misfortune to turn to bitterness.  He shared freely with fellow prisoners the insight of God by interpreting their dreams.  He asked no favors but to be remembered to Pharaoh.  Once again he was forgotten even though his words were true.
Later, when the Pharaoh was in agony over a dream that could not be interpreted by his advisors, the former prisoner remembered Joseph and mentioned him to Pharaoh.  In the fullness of time, Joseph was brought forward and not only redeemed from prison but was placed in the seat of highest honor.
If we leave the story here, we simply have a wonderful, dramatic story.  But this is just the beginning work of a forerunner.  God set in motion the journey that would lead Joseph to fulfill his calling.  Joseph, the forerunner, was pushed out of the comfort of his family fellowship to go away from all he knew or loved.  He sojourned in obscurity and false accusation.  But it was for the purposes of God that it happened.  Joseph was being prepared to provide for the very ones who betrayed him and sold him into slavery!
For many of us called to the front lines of God’s forerunner calling, we find many common traits of Joseph in our lives.  In our immaturity we often spoke of dreams and visions the Lord gave us that have offended our brothers in Christ.  We were ostracized and sometimes kicked out of the fellowship of our brothers.  Imprisoned in solitude in a strange land, we were falsely accused of motives and intentions of a selfish heart.  Once again rejected even by our new strange community, we were alone.  But God has a purpose for our imprisonment.  If we can rise out of our bitterness and truly forgive our brothers who rejected us, God has prepared a place for the forerunner.  We are entrusted with a great task.  We are to prepare a place of refuge for God’s people.
Like the brothers of Joseph who were trying to survive famine in their land, our true relationship will be hidden from them.  They will come seeking survival from the one place the food appears plentiful.  Joseph hid his true identity from his brothers.  In private he wept to be reunited.  Finally, overcome with the need for reconciliation, he fell on his brothers’ necks and confessed his true identity – “I am Joseph, your brother!”
The brothers’ reaction was not one of joy but of fear.  Now the brother they betrayed and had sold into slavery stood before them as the most powerful person on earth.  With one word Joseph could have banished them from his presence or even ordered their death.  But in Joseph, love had been perfected over the years of imprisonment.  Forgiveness had blossomed in solitude and separation.
Dear forerunners of this age … those who have been called by God to dream dreams that often cause discomfort to your brothers.  You have been anointed with Joseph’s anointing.  You have been exiled and driven out.  You have been betrayed and misunderstood.  All alone and imprisoned, God has prepared you for this day.  God has prepared you to be a place of refuge for the very ones who banished you.  Even when they come to you, it will not be in forgiveness or mercy but in fear.  Have you prepared your heart to forgive unconditionally and fully?  Will you, like Joseph, be ready to fall upon their necks and offer all you have for their survival?  It is the calling of the forerunner.  It is the fulfillment of the dream – God’s dream!

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