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by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of May 18, 2014
"The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served..." -Genesis 39:2
One day, as I cleaned out a writing desk, I came across some lovely stationery from a few hotels I had stayed at while working as a flight attendant years ago. One in particular stood out: The New York Palace.
I sat for a moment and reflected…I recalled the lovely light blue French furniture with silver and gold trim that looked and felt more like palace furniture than any other place I had stayed. I thought of the juxtaposition of a servant staying at a palace.
That was me…a servant. That was Jesus. And that was Joseph.
Joseph stayed at a palace.
God blesses people in the most extraordinary ways, caring for our safety, ordering our steps along our journeys of destiny, giving us glimpses of our future, helping us to hold onto hope.
And Joseph waited and served privately before becoming a public servant. He was made in charge of all of Egypt (Gen. 41:43-44). He was a person of authority. He was personally appointed, and he ruled. Suddenly, after taking orders, he was giving them (Gen. 41:40).
God has greater things ahead for His beloved. He cultivates our hearts along the way. Are you willing to submit your whole heart to God so He can get you to your palace by His grace? Are you in position for His promotion?
Do you see opposition as God’s opportunity for you? When others forget about you—even after you help them—do you remind yourself of God’s sovereignty in your situation? Do you wait expectantly, knowing that God has His best at heart for you? Do you consistently operate in the gifts God gave you along the way?
Joseph’s journey to the palace was one of God’s grace and Joseph’s obedience to God’s precepts.
Genesis 39:21 tells us: "But The Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him His faithful love. And The Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden."
God’s grace is such that, even when mankind isn’t kind to us, He is faithful to restore us. Even when we do the right thing, and we get slammed, God will lift us. Even when we have no family nearby to support us, God is with us. Even when we tire of the prison, God will comfort us and purpose us. And when we are disappointed, God will remind us to depend upon Him alone. When life feels unfair, God will still lead us to shine.
Will you choose God’s ways? Will you keep your integrity? Will you choose faith over fear, even in the face of ungodly authority? Will you respect authority as you serve?
I believe that God’s hand was upon Joseph even before his birth and that since Joseph was close to his father, Jacob, serving authority with respect was normal for Joseph from a young age. So when God opened the door for Joseph to serve Pharaoh, Joseph was in his zone. He was ready, and he stepped forward in God’s wisdom, void of bitterness in his heart.
Joseph was familiar with authority. God could trust him with authority, and He blessed Joseph’s heart of wholeness, even beyond Pharaoh’s promotion for him.
At the palace, God…
The palace was a grace place of transformation. Are you ready to serve God by His grace, no matter what?
This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, "Enduring Grace." All rights reserved.