Purpose House Church
From Stone to Throne: Joseph – The Five Tests from the Pit to the Palace (Session 2) - Pastor Jason McKinnies | December 10th, 2023
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    Sunday 9:30 AM
  • Purpose House Church
    124 Lou Ann Dr, Herrin, IL 62948, USA
    Sunday 9:30 AM

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Key verse: Psalm 105:16-19 NKJV
Joseph went through a very challenging time in his life until the Word of the Lord came to pass. Similarly, there will be a time when God’s Word comes to pass. But before that time, it says the Word of the Lord tested Joseph.

There are three types of words:
 The Written Word of God–the Bible.
 The Living Word of God–Jesus.
 The Rhema/prophetic Word of God–the Word that God quickens, a promise He makes real for you.
"Arrogance to Prime Minister Joseph's Astounding Advancement, Five Phases of Leadership, and Tests of Faith"
I. Catalyst for Change - The Test of Time: Past performance equals future results unless there is an encounter with Jesus Christ. In other words, there is a catalyst for the change that redirects us in the present to change our future.
Joseph's arrogance served as a catalyst for change in his life (Genesis 37). His dreams ignited resentment among his siblings which led them to sell him into slavery (Genesis 37:18-28). This pivotal event forced Joseph into unfamiliar territory where he had to adapt (Genesis 39:1-6), learn humility (Genesis 39:7-23), and develop resilience over time. The tests of time develops our patience. God’s tests do not only reveal something but refine something; they expose but also expel. God cannot develop patience in you if He does not let you wait for things.
Throughout history, we find numerous examples of individuals whose lives were transformed by pivotal moments – catalysts for change that redirected their paths and shaped their destinies. In the Bible, we encounter several such characters who had such encounters! These
encounters were the catalysts that brought about profound transformations.

Moses - The Burning Bush:
One significant catalyst for change can be found in Moses'; encounter with the burning bush (Exodus 3). At this moment, God revealed Himself to Moses and called him to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt. This divine encounter ignited a fire within Moses'; heart, propelling him
from a shepherd tending his flock to becoming one of history's greatest leaders.

Saul/Paul - The Road to Damascus:
Another remarkable catalyst for change is found in Saul's transformation into Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). As Saul zealously persecuted early Christians, he encountered Jesus Christ
Himself through a blinding light accompanied by a voice from heaven. This extraordinary event not only physically blinded Saul but also opened his spiritual eyes.

Peter - The Denial and Restoration:
Peter's catalyst for change came through his denial of Jesus during His trial (Matthew 26:69-75). Despite his earlier claims of unwavering loyalty, fear led Peter to deny any association with Jesus three times. This moment served as a wake-up call for Peter, revealing his weakness and prompting deep reflection on his commitment to Christ.

Esther - Queenhood & Courageous Action:
Esther experienced her own transformative moment when she was chosen as queen in the Persian Empire (Esther 2). As a Jewish woman, she faced the threat of annihilation when Haman plotted to exterminate her people. It was through the encouragement of her cousin Mordecai and her own bravery that Esther found the courage to approach King Xerxes and
advocate for her people's survival (Esther 4:13-16). This pivotal moment propelled Esther from an ordinary young woman to a courageous queen who saved her people.

Ruth - Loyalty & Redemption:
Ruth's catalyst for change came through her unwavering loyalty and commitment to Naomi, her mother-in-law (Ruth 1-4). After losing their husbands, Naomi urged Ruth to return home, but Ruth chose instead to stay with Naomi and embrace a new life in Bethlehem. Through divine
providence, Ruth encountered Boaz – a relative who became their kinsman-redeemer. This encounter not only brought personal redemption but also positioned Ruth as an ancestor of King David and ultimately Jesus Christ.

Mary Magdalene - Encounter with the Risen Christ:
Mary Magdalene experienced a transformative moment when she encountered the risen Christ at His tomb (John 20:11-18). Previously plagued by demons, Mary had been freed by Jesus' healing power. However, it was at this moment of encountering Him after His resurrection that Mary's life took on new meaning. Jesus entrusted Mary with delivering the news of His resurrection to His disciples – making her one of the first witnesses and messengers of this pivotal event.

Whether it be through divine encounters like Moses' burning bush or dramatic revelations like Saul's road to Damascus or moments that require courage like Esther's advocacy or loyalty like Ruth's commitment or even encounters with the risen Christ like Peter and Mary Magdalene – these pivotal events serve as turning points that propel individuals towards transformation.
II. Humbling Experience - The Test of Faith:
As a slave in Potiphar's house (Genesis 39) and later as a prisoner due to false accusations (Genesis 39:11-20), Joseph experienced profound humbling moments. These trials tested his faith as he remained faithful even when circumstances seemed bleak.
Abraham: Abraham's faith was tested when God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering. Despite it being a difficult request, Abraham displayed humility by obeying God without question and trusting in His plan (Genesis 22:1-18).
Joseph: Joseph experienced many hardships throughout his life, including being sold into slavery by his own brothers and being wrongly imprisoned. Despite these trials, Joseph remained faithful to God and humbly trusted in His sovereignty. Eventually, he rose to become a powerful leader in Egypt and played a crucial role in saving his family during a time of famine (Genesis 37-50).
Job: Job endured immense suffering and loss, yet he maintained his faithfulness to God. In the midst of his trials, Job humbly acknowledged that everything he had come from God and declared, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave, and
the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21).
Moses: Moses faced numerous challenges as he led the Israelites out of Egypt towards the Promised Land. Despite facing opposition from Pharaoh and dealing with complaints from his own people at times, Moses consistently sought guidance from God with humility.
Paul: The apostle Paul faced various hardships for spreading the Gospel message but remained steadfast in his faith despite persecution or personal struggles. He recognized that it was only through Christ's strength that he could endure difficulties (2 Corinthians 12:9) and referred to
himself as "the least of all the apostles" due to his past persecution of Christians (1 Corinthians 15:9).
Real faith cannot be destroyed; it can only be purified. Never be afraid of a test of faith.

What do you do if your faith is being tested?

When you don’t feel God’s presence, feed on His promises. Feeding is a choice, feeling is not. You can’t control what you feel but you can control what you feed. Feed yourself with God’s Word. When you can’t see Jesus, hear Him through His Word.
While it may be tempting to question or doubt when faced with adversity, it is important to remember that God uses these tests for a purpose. Through them, He shapes us into vessels capable of carrying His love and grace into the world. The testing of our faith also allows us to experience firsthand God's faithfulness and provision as He guides us through challenging seasons. As we persevere with humility before the Lord, leaning on His strength rather than relying solely on ourselves, we can emerge from these trials with a deeper understanding of who God is and a stronger foundation for our relationship with Him.

The Bible says the Lord was with Joseph twice in his life – when he was sold as a slave and when he was thrown into prison unjustly. Usually, in those seasons, we need an extra reminder that God’s presence is not contingent on the presence or absence of your problems. God’s presence
does not hinge on your mood or feelings. God develops our faith by withdrawing His manifest presence where we feel Him for a season so that our faith has a chance to grow. You cannot get the fulfilment of God’s promise in your life until God develops your faith. God cannot develop your faith until your feelings fail.
III. Character Development - The Test of Purity:
Through trials faced as a slave and prisoner,

Joseph underwent character development – shaping him further on the road towards leadership. He was tested in terms of purity and integrity when faced with temptation by Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39:7-20). Joseph's unwavering commitment to righteousness demonstrated his strength of character.
Sexual and personal purity is a test too!
Joseph had to be tried by the test of purity. He fled temptation; he did not flirt with temptation. Joseph went to prison after the temptation before he went to the palace. Purity is the way through prison to the palace. Purity is choosing a prison of restriction before you enjoy the benefits of a relationship.

Everybody who wants to walk in sexual purity has to understand there is a price to pay for purity and this price is the imprisonment of your desires. What is available to you and not sinful is what you have to put into prison.
Everybody wants to be in the palace but nobody likes prison. We want to still be able to do what we want. If you don’t choose the prison of purity, you will be forced into a prison of failed relationships. Joseph’s purity forced him into prison. You don’t pass the test of lust by flirting
with lust. You cannot flirt with sin and not fall. There is no other way to pass the test of purity than to choose the prison of restriction. The better your prison, the better your purity.
IV. Utilizing Gifts & Recognizing God’s Sovereignty - The Test of Forgiveness:

In utilizing his gift for interpreting dreams while imprisoned (Genesis 40), Joseph demonstrated the importance of utilizing our gifts for others's benefit. Moreover, as Joseph navigated challenging circumstances with grace and faithfulness, he recognized God’s sovereignty at work
despite the hardships endured. This recognition led him to extend forgiveness to his brothers when reunited years later during the famine (Genesis 45:1-15).
The reason the pain of rejection is the deepest is that it often comes from those closest to us. Both Joseph and Jesus experienced rejection from their own family members. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, who sold him into slavery (Genesis 37), while Jesus was rejected by His own people, including some of His disciples and even Peter denying Him (Matthew 26:69-75). Even in moments of deep hurt and rejection, forgiveness remains a powerful choice. Forgiveness is essential for fruitfulness in our lives. Holding onto unforgiveness hinders our ability to grow spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. In John 15:4-5, Jesus teaches about abiding in Him as the true vine for fruitful living. Forgiveness plays a crucial role in this process as it allows us to let go of past hurts and open ourselves up to God's transformative work.
Every person who sees the fulfillment of God's promises in their lives will have experienced hurt along the way. However, choosing forgiveness does not mean minimizing or overlooking what someone has done. It does not require waiting for an apology before extending forgiveness either. Instead, forgiving acknowledges that our future is bigger than our present pain or past hurts.

When we forgive others, we set ourselves free from being held captive by bitterness or resentment. It doesn't make us victims but victors as we release those who have hurt us from unforgiveness's grip. Just like Joseph refused to stay bitter and offended at his brothers' betrayal, forgiving allows God to turn unfortunate situations around for our good (Romans
Forgiveness enables healing from rejection and empowers us to move forward with grace and freedom towards a fruitful future. It doesn't deny or minimize pain but rather declares that God's plans are greater than any hurt we may experience along life's journey.

Forgiveness declares that while you may have had access to my past, you do not have access to my future. It states that the pain of my past will not make me forfeit my future.
V. Humility & Servant Leadership - The Test of Diligence:
When reunited with his brothers years later during the famine, Joseph chose forgiveness over bitterness or revenge – a testament to humility and servant leadership. This act demonstrated growth in humility and maturity, paving the way for restoration within his family.

The test of diligence challenges us to persevere and remain steadfast in our pursuits, even when faced with obstacles or setbacks. In Proverbs 10:4, it says, "Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth." This verse highlights the importance of diligence in our work
and endeavors. Diligence involves consistent effort, discipline, and a willingness to go the extra mile to achieve excellence. It is a test that requires us to stay focused on our goals and not be discouraged by temporary difficulties.
The story of the ant in Proverbs 6:6-8 serves as an example of diligence. It says, "Go to the ant...consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest." The ant's diligent nature teaches us about being proactive and taking responsibility for our tasks without needing constant supervision or external motivation. Diligence involves taking initiative, managing time
effectively, and consistently working towards achieving desired outcomes.

Diligence is also essential in our spiritual lives. Hebrews 11:6 states that God rewards those who diligently seek Him: "And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." This verse emphasizes the need for persistent pursuit of God through prayer, studying His Word, worshiping Him faithfully, and living out His commands diligently.

As we reflect on Joseph's journey from arrogance to prime minister, we are reminded of the transformative power of God's grace and the potential for growth within each one of us. Just as Joseph experienced humbling moments, character development, utilization of gifts, recognition
of God's sovereignty, embraced humility and servant leadership; so too can we embrace these five phases on our own journeys towards becoming effective leaders. Let us also remember that along this path there will be tests - tests that challenge our faith in times when it seems like time is against us; tests that tempt us to compromise our purity; tests that require
forgiveness even in difficult circumstances; tests that demand diligence in serving others.