As the year draws to a close, Christians all over the world spend time either privately or corporately to pray; thanking God for a successful year and to lay a bucket list of requests at His feet for the new year and I am no exception.
I woke up this morning ready to compile my bucket list so that I could spell them all to God in prayer when I felt God’s spirit directing me to read the story of Joseph. Now, I have read the story of Joseph over and over again but I decided to obey God’s leading and do it anyhow and I can assure you I wasn’t disappointed. I will share with you what I learnt:
Joseph was a boy who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Through a series of incredible events, he went from being a slave to the ruler of Egypt, a superpower in his days. As I read on I discovered one of the key secrets to Joseph’s success: The presence of God
As we journey through Joseph’s life, the circumstances and seasons of his life changed but the one constant was the presence of God. Joseph was successful, blessed, gained the favor and trust of men, experienced God’s kindness, and was entrusted with great responsibility because God was with Him.
And the LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and made him prosper in all he did, Joseph found favour in his sight… Potiphar put him in charge of his household and entrusted him with everything he owned…the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s household on account of him. Genesis 39: 2-5 Berean Study Bible
The LORD was with him and extended kindness to him. He granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden, who put all those held in the prison under Joseph’s authority, so that he was responsible for all that was done there. The warden did not concern himself with anything under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him and gave him success in whatever he did. Genesis 39: 21-23 Berean Study Bible
Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, in whom the Spirit of God abides?”… You shall be in charge of my house, and all my people are to obey your commands. Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you. I hereby place you over all the land of Egypt…“I am Pharaoh, but without your permission, no one in all the land of Egypt shall lift his hand or foot.” Genesis 41: 38- 44 Berean Study Bible
If you are like me and your bucket list for 2019 is that you are asking God for success, for favour in certain endeavours of your life, for more responsibility (as in to be entrusted with more: spiritually, financially, in your job, with the fruit of the womb, etc.), or you are simply asking for God to smile on you and be kind to you, then look no further than the presence of God. What God was teaching me from Joseph’s story was that all my hopes and dreams are found in Him and when His presence accompanies me, all those things I am looking for will accompany me as well just as they accompanied Joseph. It was God’ s presence which brought the elevation from slave to ruler and it is the same abiding presence that will usher in those things that you are asking for.
My encouragement to you today is to dare to ask for the presence of God to go with you into 2019 and be a constant throughout the seasons of the new year. I dare you to pray like Moses:
“If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. For how then can it be known that Your people and I have found favour in Your sight, unless You go with us? How else will we be distinguished from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33: 16 Berean Study Bible
I can assure you that with the presence of God as your constant you will always come out on top like Joseph regardless of what 2019 throws at you. You will always win.