The Purpose Test

How can we know what God’s purpose is for our lives? And how do we fulfill that purpose? Joseph is 39 years old when he sees his brothers again. Egypt has had seven good years of plenty and now the famine is on them. Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt to buy grain and Joseph recognizes them.

Genesis 45:3 – Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. (Verse 4) And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” And they came near. And he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. (Verse 5) “But now, do not, therefore, lie grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.

(Verse 6) “For these two years the famine has been in the land and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. (Verse 7) “And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity (remnant) for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. (Verse 8) “So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

In order to find your purpose, we first have to:

Believe that we have a purpose!

Everything God has created has a purpose. So don’t think that God doesn’t have a specific purpose for you, because He does: Ecclesiastes 3:1 – To everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:

The best way for us to discover our purpose is to look at God and the way He made us. God made each of us unique. For instance: When we look at an object, we usually know what its purpose is. For example, a plunger, a pencil, a phone and on and on. You can look at each of these objects and see that the designer had a specific purpose in mind when they made it. The Great Designer had a specific purpose in mind for us when He designed us. So we need to figure out what we look like in the Spirit, not in the natural. After we believe that we have a purpose then we need to:

Understand that God is in control!

For us to understand our purpose, we are going to go through some difficulties and setbacks. People will say things and do things that are wrong to us, but God still has a purpose for our lives and God is in control of all that. Joseph told his brothers not to be grieved or angry, for God sent him to preserve life. Joseph’s brothers were not the ones that sent him to Egypt, God was.

Some people get held up on what has been done to them by others and stay there on that bitterness instead of moving ahead. Joseph didn’t do that. He knew God had set it all up for him to reach a much bigger purpose that involved many more people. Joseph knew that God was in control of it all! No one can de-rail us from our destiny but us. All of us have been offended and abused at one time or another in our lives. However, we cannot let what others have done stop us from what God wants to do. We have to get over it!

Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. So even when things go wrong, He is working everything out for our good.

Isaiah 55:10 – “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, (Verse 11) so is My word that goes out of MY mouth; it will not return to Me void, but it will accomplish what I please (desire), and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

God’s word has the power to produce the purpose for which He sent it! And the good news is, He has spoken over us! These ten-character tests, if not passed, can de-rail what our purpose was and is. Pride and not having integrity is the biggest de-railer. How about not being humble? I’m not talking about false humility either, where one pretends to be humble in front of others. God knows the heart. We don’t take these tests just one time, we can take them again until we get it right. Don’t sabotage your destiny by not being honest with yourselves when it comes to any of these character tests.

Discover Your Gift and Your Direction

Everyone needs to find out what their gift is. There is a list of what we call the “motivational gifts. These are gifts that come naturally for us.

Romans 12:4 – For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, (Verse 5) so we being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Verse 6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; (Verse 7) or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching: (Verse 8) he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberty; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Motivator – This person desires to motivate people to serve God. A person with the gift of prophecy is a motivator.

Servant – Desires to meet the needs of people on practical bases. This is the duty of ministering to people to serve.

Teacher – Desires to study and present truths to people. This is a person that reads a lot and loves to study the word of God and tell others.

Encourager – Desires to admonish and encourage people. It doesn’t matter what happens, these people will say something encouraging to others.

Giver – Desires to meet the needs of people on financial bases. These people love to help people financially and also give wisdom and counsel to help the person.

Administrator – Desires to lead people through an organization.

Sympathizer – Desires to identify and empathize with people. We always want the encouragers and the people with mercy around us when we go through difficulty.

These gifts will become very plain if we have ever served with a group in church or anywhere else. As soon as a situation or a task is brought up, the gifts will show up. Gifts have to do with serving and helping people.

Joseph’s gift was leadership. His gift worked everywhere he went in his life. He didn’t wait until he got in a place of authority to lead, he did it at whatever level he was in  – prison or palace. He didn’t wait until he was in the position and then minister to those in need, he did it no matter the situation.

People have to learn to be faithful in the position they are in right now. Just start using the gift or gifts God has given you and step out in faith. Joseph didn’t know the specifics of his purpose, he just kept being faithful to God and step by step he was brought into his full destiny and purpose.

Stay faithful to God, operate in your gift right where you are now, and in God’s timing, you will step into your destiny that He has had all along for you!

The Pardon Test

If you’ll remember, Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave when he was a teenager. Could you forgive your own brothers for selling you as a slave?

Genesis 50:15 – When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” (Verse16) So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, (Verse 17) ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespasses of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” ‘Now, please forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” ‘ And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

(Verse 18) Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” (Verse 19) Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? (Verse 20) But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. (Verse 21) “Now, therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

The only way that Joseph could have spoken kindly to them was if he had already dealt with the issue of forgiveness in his heart. This is the first time the word “forgive” is in the Bible, Chapter 50 in the book of Genesis. It means to absolve or release from penalty. This Hebrew word is also translated to mean “to lift up”, “to bear.” That is exactly what Jesus did for us. He lifted “off” our sin, trespasses, transgressions, off of us, thereby placing it on Himself and releasing us from the penalty of death.

Here’s the thing: If we can’t learn to pardon or forgive people, we cannot fulfill the destiny God has for our life! I know this is hard to do because people can be horrible to us and others, but there are three keywords to remember:

Release

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they sent messengers to him saying that their father commanded Joseph to forgive them. Could this have been a lie from the brothers? Did their father really command Joseph to forgive them? We have no record of Jacob saying this on his deathbed. Can you not see those brothers saying, “Don’t ask for him to forgive us, tell him our father commanded it.” Then they said for the servants to tell him, “The servants of the God of your father.” They thought if they put God in there it would sound stronger!

Did you notice the brothers never repented of the evil they had done to Joseph? When they came to Joseph, they said, “We are your servants.” That’s not repentance! So, can we forgive someone who lies and manipulates and never asks for forgiveness? That’s the true pardon test! However, here is what Joseph answered them: “Am I in the place of God?” So if we don’t forgive, we put ourselves in the place of God.

Leviticus 19:18 – “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” 

Romans 12:19 – Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the LORD.

Here is why we are not to take vengeance: Because to bring vengeance means to bring justice to an unjust situation. And that is impossible for us to do. Why can we not bring justice to an unjust situation? Because we are not “just!” A big difference in being “just” and being “justified.” We’ve been made “justified” by the only One Just! If we live our lives with unforgiveness, we will always be trying to avenge ourselves. Vengeance will make a person try to prove something all the time.

However, if we release them, the wrong they did will be released. We know they were wrong and did wrong, but we don’t forgive people who are right or do what’s right. We forgive the ones that did wrong. God knows very well they did us wrong! If it’s still going through our minds, over and over, then we haven’t forgiven them in our hearts. God doesn’t go through our sins or wrongs through His mind over and over and neither should we.

Receive

Matthew 6:12 – “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtor.” That word “as” means “in the same way.” So here’s what we pray, “Lord, forgive me in the same way I forgive others.” If we keep bringing up the wrong someone has done to us, then we have not forgiven in the same way that God has forgiven us! God doesn’t keep reminding us of our sin, so why should we do that to others?

“Freely we have received, freely we give.” We have freely received forgiveness, therefore, we can freely give forgiveness. If a person feels in any way that they are earning forgiveness or paying for it, they will make others pay or earn their forgiveness.

When we as believers, have something go wrong or something bad happens to us, God is not getting us back! Please don’t look at everything bad that happens in your life as God getting you back, and now we are even. That’s not true, but you wouldn’t believe the times I’ve heard people actually say that. All our punishment and penalty for sin was placed on Jesus. God is never going to get even with His children.

Believe

Psalm 103:12 – As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 

Habakkuk 1:13 – You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.

Job 36:7 – “He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous.” So God can’t look on evil, wickedness, but He never withdraws His eyes off the righteous.

1 Peter 3:12 – For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers… So who is righteous?

2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Do you realize that something had to be done with our sin just so God could look at us? He did do something, He placed our sin on Jesus at the cross, rose Him from the grave so that we could become the righteousness of God in Jesus. We as believers are the righteousness of God in Him. so now His eyes are forever on us! Not only can He look at us but He can walk with us, talk with us, and have a deep loving relationship with us! And God did this for the whole world, they just need to believe and accept what Jesus did for them.

And because we, I, believe and understand that, I am able to forgive others. Bitterness towards another is like drinking poison over and over. “Freely we received forgiveness, freely we forgive!”

 

The Prosperity Test

There are ten character tests that we all have to pass to get from our dream to our destiny. We’ve studied seven and this study is the:

Prosperity Test

Every person takes the prosperity test before they step into their destiny. This simply means that God wants to prosper His children so that they can be a blessing to others. Every time we get paid, who are we going to honor first? If we can’t pass this test, more than likely, the rest of our life will not be in order.

Genesis 41:33 – “Now, therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. (This is Joseph speaking after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams.) (Verse 34) “Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. (Verse 35) “And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 

(Verse 36) “Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” Joseph’s plan was so good that he literally fed the multitude of people during that seven-year famine. Other nations came to Egypt to buy grain. During that time, Egypt’s land was extended because people traded their land for grain.

Let God be first, wait, and live below our means. Genesis 47:26 – And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have one-fifth, except for the land of the priests only, which did not become Pharaoh’s. The land was God’s. He is the one that gave it to the priests. That land represented the tithe to God from the Jewish people.

Here is one principle that a lot of Christians just don’t get: You will never be able to afford to tithe until you do it. We tithe first and there will be plenty left over. Surely you know that tithing removes the curse? And until we tithe, we are under a curse, but as soon as we tithe, the curse is lifted.

Malachi 3:8 – “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. (Tithing is a test of our character. It’s a matter of the heart. When people want to argue about tithing, it reveals their heart. Why would anyone want to argue about being blessed?) (Verse 9)You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. (Verse 10) Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. (Verse 11) And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of hosts;

We live in a fallen cursed world and God is saying, “I would like to redeem your finances out from under the curse.” So what is this principle of the first?

Exodus 13:1 – Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (Verse 2) “Sanctify to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, birth of man and animals; it is Mine.” God uses the same terminology when He talks about fruit and the tithe.

Malachi 3:12 – “that you shall set apart to the LORD all that open the womb, that is, every firstling that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the LORD’s. (Verse 13) “But every firstling of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. Any first “thing” given is never lost. Any first “thing” kept is always lost. The tithe is going out of our account whether we give it or the devourer takes it.

The Firstborn Must Be Sacrificed or Redeemed

If their animal was unclean, then they had to redeem it with the sacrifice of a clean animal. If the firstborn, like a lamb, was born clean, then they had to sacrifice it. If the firstborn was unclean they had to redeem it with the sacrifice of a clean.

Simple question: Were we born clean or unclean? We were all born in sin – unclean. Now, was Jesus born unclean or clean? The clean had to be sacrificed so the unclean could be redeemed! Jesus is God’s tithe. Tithing brings the blessing because we give it in faith. Faith releases the blessing. God gave Jesus in faith. God gave Jesus while we were still in our sin. God didn’t wait to see if we’d straighten up before He gave Jesus, He did it before! Christ died for us while we were yet sinners!

God gave and sacrificed His Firstborn as a sacrifice so that all the unclean would be made clean – Redeemed! When we give the first portion to God, the rest is redeemed.

The Firstfruits Must Be offered

Exodus 23:19 – “The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God.” Scripture doesn’t say “give” when talking about tithing. We can’t give what doesn’t belong to us. We can only “Bring” it. Over and above the tithe is an offering, but the whole tithe belongs to the house of the LORD.

So do you remember what happened when they conquered Jericho? God said all the silver and gold belong to Me. He said that because Jericho was the first city. (Joshua Chapter 7) Then Achan kept some of it and it was cursed! The firstborn and the firstfruits belong to God. Why did God accept Able’s offering but not Cain’s?

Genesis 4:3 – And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. (notice it doesn’t say that he brought the “firstfruits.”) (Verse 4) Able also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Able and his offering, (Verse 5) but He did not respect Cain and his offering.

The Tithe Must Be First

Leviticus 27:30 – “And all the tithe of the land, whether of seed of the land or of the first of the tree, is the LORD’S. It is holy to the LORD.”

When we set aside money for the month’s bills, the tithe is first, not the mortgage company. If we give God’s first, there will be enough to pay the rest. Now don’t be legalistic about it to the point where if you buy food first, you’re cursed. That’s dumb. It’s a matter of the heart when it comes to the tithe. Does God know you put Him first by your actions? Just don’t curse your finances.

Exodus 13:14 – “So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Verse 15) And it came to pass when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all firstborn of my sons I redeem.” ‘

Let us never forget that we too were once in bondage, before Christ redeemed us. We didn’t always have what we have now. When God blesses the tithe, He makes sure to rebuke the one that comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. If we will place Him first in everything in our lives, He will bless the rest. This is about so much more than just our finances.

 

 

The Power Test

Here is a quick review of the previous tests: The pride test is the test when a dream from God first comes: the pit test is when the enemy attacks with evidence, but it’s false; the palace test which is how well we steward things that belong to someone else; the purity test is the test of moral purity; the prison test which is when we do the right thing but bad things happen in spite of; the prophetic test which defines how God’s word molds us over the prophecy, over our lives; and this study is the power test.

The power test happens when we step into God’s destiny that He has for our lives. This happened when Joseph was thirty years old. Pharaoh had two dreams and Joseph interpreted those dreams and stepped into his destiny. We’ll start where Pharaoh has had the dreams already:

Genesis 41:8 – Now it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh. (Verse 9) Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: “I remember my faults this day.

(Verse 14) Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. 

(Verse 37) So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. (Verse 38) And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Verse 39) Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. (Verse 40) “You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”

(Verse 41) And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” (Verse 42) Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. (Verse 43) And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. (Verse 44) Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent, no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Promotion from God can come in one day. In one day Joseph stepped into his destiny. The pride test is how we respond to the dream and the power test is how we respond to the destiny. We will be tested by success. This is one test that many fail. Some let the power of success go to their heads and their whole personality will change with a promotion.

From where does power come?

Psalm 62:11 – God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.

John 19:10 – Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” (Verse 11) Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greatest sin.”

The power test is recognizing that God’s blessing and power are on our lives as we respond and do the right thing. It is understanding that the believer has worked very hard to have the success they have yet God’s blessed them. Without the blessing of God, they couldn’t do what they do. They walked in obedience, stewardship, principles of finance, principles of humility and servanthood.

Did you know that even the desire for power comes from God? However, Satan has twisted it and causes it to be a selfish and self-centered desire. But the original pure desire for power comes from God. When we understand that power is not for us and that it’s for the good of others, then we will use it in the right way.

God gave power to Joseph to feed multitudes. He gave him power so that God could bless the people in a time of famine. Joseph used his power correctly. It’s not wrong to desire to be great in the kingdom, but the attitude is to be of a servant to all.

To whom does power come?

James 4:10 – Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. God is the One that gives us the responsibility and power to accomplish what He has for us to do.

1 Peter 4:10 – Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

So power comes to the humble. Some will start out very humble in whatever position He places them in at first. But after they have done that one thing a while, a spirit of pride might slip in and they begin to think, “I’ve got this!” Usually, when that happens, their position begins to fall apart. Why? Because of pride. God gives grace, the ability, the authority, to accomplish what His purpose is. Pride is ugly! It’s also repulsive! (I could go off about some politicians about this spirit of pride, but I won’t because I’d be going down a rabbit hole. There are too many.)

Why does power come?

Why does God give His power or share His power with someone?

Acts 10:38 – “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with His Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. God gives power to help people!

God owns it all. He has all the resources in the world at His fingertips. Then we look at all the needs that need to be met. What’s in the middle? Us! God is looking for humble stewards that He can channel His resources and His power through. God works through humble people.

Deuteronomy 8:17 – “then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ (Verse 18) “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

So, why does God give power? So that He may establish His covenant! God wants to bless us so that we can bless others. This is exactly what Joseph did. He used the power that was given to him to feed the multitudes during a seven-year famine.

Just remember: “All Power Comes From God!”

 

 

The Prophetic Test

There are some prophetic words that God speaks that do not depend on man for them to come to pass. Whether we are ready or believe it, Jesus is coming back! That’s a prophetic word that is not conditional upon our response. Yet there are many, many words that are conditioned on our response. For instance: Many passages in Scripture say, “if”; then such and such will happen. “If My people will…”

We are still on the subject of Joseph. God gave Joseph a dream when he was 17. When he was 30, he stepped into that destiny. He began to fulfill that destiny when he was in his 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Now we are going to look at the prophetic word God spoke over his life. And then Joseph was tested before that “word” came to pass.

God sets a path for all of us, however, if we turn or walk away from that path, we will not arrive at what God has for us. We each go through tests of our character so that that character can support our destiny.

Psalm 105:17-19 – He sent a man before them – Joseph – who was sold as a slave. (Verse 18) They hurt his feet with fetters (prison), he was laid in irons. (Verse 19) Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him.

“Until the time that his word…” That word, “word” in Hebrew is the word “Debar” and means “something spoken.” The next part of the sentence says, “the word of the LORD…” That word, “word” is “Emrah,” which means the literal word of God.

So here is what this verse is actually saying: Until the time that God’s prophetic word came to pass, the literal word of God tested him. Wow!

This Hebrew word “Emrah” is in the Bible several places: Psalm 12:6 – The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver, tried in the furnace of earth, purified seven times. Psalm 18:30 – As for God, His way is perfect. The word of the LORD is proven. Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!

The Bible, God’s word tests us. The Bible tests our character. The Bible will determine whether what was spoken over us comes to pass. There is little difference in the prophetic word of God spoken over us and the literal word of God in Scripture.

This is the same Scripture in the New Living Translation: Psalm 105:19 – Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s character. God tests our faith with prophetic words. He tests our character with the Word. So what is the difference? What is my part in all of this?

We Submit Our Word to His Word

There is only one difference between the prophetic word of God and the literal word of God – the human element. I have heard so many times people say, “I have a word from God.” However, if their word doesn’t line up with the written word of God, they need to adjust their word. God will never contradict His own word!

1 Corinthians 13:9 – For we know in part and we prophesy in part. Since we don’t know in “full,” we don’t prophesy in full. Prophetic words are like a piece of a puzzle. As more and more comes, we begin to see the picture. Sometimes we just need to wait before we say anything.

Most of the time when I’ve heard someone say that they have a word from God, their own lives don’t line up with the literal word of God. And the biggest part of the time they never get into the word for themselves. They rely on what others have told them what the word of God says. If they don’t submit their words to the word of God, they will never reach the destiny that God has for them.

I Test My Word

1 Thessalonians 5:19 – Do not quench the Spirit. (Verse 20) Do not despise prophecies. (Verse 21) Test all things; hold fast what is good.

1 Corinthians 14:29 – Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others, judge.

When someone gives a prophecy, we are to judge and test it according to Scripture because it’s coming through a human. We judge prophecy because none of us is omnipotent. None of us is infallible. We test it by the written word of God.

Deuteronomy 13:1 – “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, (Verse 2) and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other god’s  – which you have not known -‘ and listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Even if someone gives us a word with a sign or wonder, but the word doesn’t line up with God’s word, don’t listen! God’s prophetic word that comes to us through a true prophet is confirmed by God’s Word. I would just advise; Be very careful saying, “Thus says the Lord God.” We’ve got too many that are trying to make a name for themselves, running around telling others that they are a true prophet from God. Test and judge by the word of God. It’s up to the ones that hear the prophetic word to test it and judge it. The one giving it can’t test it themselves. They’ve already decided it was from God. However, none of this testing works if you don’t know the word of God yourself. After your word has been tested:

I Hold On To My Word.

This is only after submitting your word and testing your word with the Scripture.

1 Timothy 1:18 – This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, (Verse 19) having faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, (They rejected the prophecies concerning their lives.) (Verse 20) of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

The Apostle Paul is talking to his spiritual son, telling him to hold fast to the prophecies spoken over him. He also told him he received those prophecies with faith and a good conscience. We receive faith by hearing the word, but we have a good conscience by doing the word. A person cannot receive the prophicies of God if they are not going to do the word of God.

Then Paul tells him about two men that rejected the prophecies over their lives. Because of that, they suffered shipwreck. They were not submitted to the word. Apparently, rejecting the spoken word of God is blaspheme, because that’s what Paul called what they did.

Result: We receive His prophecy in faith, walk in His word in faith and a good conscience and test and judge what is spoken over us, according to Scripture!

 

 

 

The Prison Test

Genesis 39:13 – And so it was when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, (Verse 14) that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 

(Verse 15) “And it happened when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” (Verse 16) So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. (Verse 17) Then she spoke to him with words like these saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me;

(Verse 18) “So it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.” (Verse 19) So it was when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. (Verse 20) Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. and he was there in the prison. (Verse 21) But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

(Verse 22) And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. (Verse 23) The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s hand, whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.

Every character test has to do with “stewardship.” People will not fulfill their destiny that God has for them if they are not a good steward. The prison test, in particular, is the test of perseverance. God develops character in things that we go through in our lives as we persevere in those things. Look at this formula for character found in Romans, Chapter 5:

Romans 5:3 – And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; (Verse 5) and perseverance, character, and character, hope. (Verse 6) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

It says, “We glory in tribulation.” There are two Greek words for glory: One means to the “out shinning,” what you see. The word used for glory in this verse means “Rejoice!” So Paul wrote, “We rejoice in tribulation.” The root word of this means “we wish” or “pray” for tribulation because it’s going to cause us to rejoice. Why in the world would tribulation cause anyone to rejoice?

Tribulation Produces Perseverance

First of all, we don’t have to wish for or pray for tribulation, it will come! John 16:33 – “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

James 1:2 – My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (Verse 3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Trials produce patience, tribulation produces perseverance. Patience is waiting with contentment. Patience is waiting while we keep our hearts right, while we wait for something. Perseverance is fighting the battle while waiting with contentment. Perseverance involves a war, a battle, it involves something difficult. A trial is brief, tribulations are a long period. Perseverance is a long and difficult trial.

This doesn’t sound good to most of us, but the Bible says it’s the only way to produce character! For Joseph, perseverance was 13 years, a long trial. David was anointed king, but for 13 years he ran from Saul before he was actually king. Paul was at the church in Antioch for 13 years before he went on his first missionary journey. It’s very possible that our response to the circumstances determines how long the trials last.

Perseverance Produces Character

So if a person wants to have a good character, they are going to have to go through a long trial of tribulation. The worse thing a person can do for someone is to promote them before they are ready or deliver them out of a trial that God is taking them through to put character in their life!

Joseph was first the number two man in Potipher’s house. Then he goes to prison and is the number two man in prison. Was it Joseph’s ability or was it God’s favor that produced this? Did Joseph prolong his stay in prison?

While in prison, the chief baker to the king and the chief butler displeased the king and were thrown in prison where Joseph was. While there, the baker and the butler have a dream and Joseph interprets their dreams and says to the butler: Genesis 40:14 – “But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.” (Verse 23) Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph but forgot him.

Two years later the Pharaoh has a dream and the butler remembers that Joseph can interpret dreams. Who gave Pharaoh the dream? God did! Why didn’t God give Pharaoh the dream two days later, after the butler was released from prison instead of waiting about two years?

Could it be because Joseph “dropped a hint” for the butler to put in a good word for him to the Pharaoh? If God would have brought Joseph out of prison then, promoting him, Joseph might think that the way to “get ahead” is to find favor with someone other than God! God never rewards manipulation. It is by God’s grace that He doesn’t put us in our destiny before we are ready because then we would fall! He’s waiting on our character to be big enough to support the destiny.

Character Produces Hope

Character is not only how we act, but it’s also how we react. Joseph did the right thing when he fled from Potiphar’s wife, but suffered the wrong consequences. Satan has no new tricks.

What was the evidence Satan used to convince Jacob that Joseph was dead? Joseph’s coat. Then what was the evidence Satan used to support the lie that Joseph had tried to rape Potiphar’s wife? His coat! Can you think of something that Satan keeps tricking you with? Whatever it is, get rid of it! Whatever Satan has used to capture you in the past, he will use it again!

Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick. When Joseph interpreted the dreams of the baker and the butler, it shows that he didn’t have a sick heart because he was still concerned about others. Joseph never had a pity-party. He was ministering to others. Joseph kept his heart right before God. Hope is not that God will deliver us from our circumstances, hope is that God will help us walk through our circumstance! Our hope is in God, not in our circumstances changing. If our hope is in our circumstances changing, and the longer they last, the more our hearts will grow sick.

Hope Produces Appointments

Romans 5:5 – Now hope does not disappoint. Hope appoints! The tribulation will produce perseverance in our lives and that perseverance, if we respond correctly will produce character and that character will produce hope and hope will produce a divine appointment for us to step into our destiny!

Genesis 40:6 – Joseph came in to them (the butler and the baker) in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. (Verse 7) So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?” Because Joseph still had hope in God, it produced a divine appointment. A divine appointment is an appointment God has for us. Disappointment means we missed an appointment.

By Joseph keeping his heart right, it produced a divine appointment, and that divine appointment led him to step into his destiny.

So depending on how we respond to difficult circumstances will determine how long we stay in those circumstances and step into our destiny.

Even if people forget and don’t keep their word to you, Jesus will never forget and will always keep His word to you and deliver you!

 

 

The Purity Test

Genesis 39:7 – Now it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” (Verse 8) But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in this house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. (Verse 9) “There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

(Verse 10) So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. (Verse 11) But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was inside, (Verse 12) that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.

Flee or run from sexual immorality!

Impurity Affects Your Whole Family

If Joseph would have fallen to this sin, it would have affected his destiny and the destiny of an entire nation, not to mention his own family. One of the major lies from the enemy in this area of “lust” is that “As long as I don’t act on it, it’s fine.” When the Bible talks about sin, it’s talking about an inward motivation and an outward movement. Transgression is an outward movement. Transgress in the Hebrew, literally means to step over a boundary. Our English word would be “trespass.”

The Bible uses another word for sin called “iniquity.” Iniquity is an inward “bent” or inward motivation toward sin. Iniquity is lust, transgression would be adultery. Iniquity is inward motivation. If this is in a person’s heart, it will affect their family.

Impurity Will Affect Your Faith

Impurity not only affects your relationships with others, but it will also affect your walk with God. When God says to flee sexual immorality it’s because all sexual immorality opens the door to numerous sins. One of the sins would be a deception; one is manipulation; one is lying because one has to sneek around to commit sexual immorality. Sexual immorality is also being deceptive with God and God calls it “great wickedness.” When people sneak around to have sex, they are creating an appetite that God never intended for them to have. When God says to flee sexual immorality, He says it because He doesn’t want their life and their children’s lives destroyed.

Impurity Affects Your Future

There is no one but us that can stop what God has planned for our life. If we make the wrong choice, we can stop it. Joseph would have destroyed God’s plan if he had made the wrong choice. However, repentance and accountability may restore the destiny that God has for a life. So what is the answer?

Impurity Begins in the Eyes

Most think it begins in the heart, not so. It begins with the eyes. “His master’s wife cast longing eyes” on Joseph. She had lust in her heart because she kept looking at Joseph. She looked and then she luted! Jesus backs this up:

Matthew 5:28 – “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

This discredits the concept of “If I don’t transgress, it’s not sinning.” However, Jesus said, “Whoever looks, to lust, has already committed adultery.” Looks lead to lust and lust leads to adultery! Looking empowers lust and lust is never love! Potiphar’s wife didn’t love Joseph, because if she did, she wouldn’t have lied on him and let him sit in a prison for thirteen years.

Always remember this: Satan works in darkness and when a person has to sneak around in deception, that’s darkness! 

Psalm 101:3 – I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.

Proverbs 27:20 – Hell and Destruction are never full. So the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Matthew 6:22 – “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good your whole body will be full of light. (Verse 23) But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.”

Job 31:1 – “I have made a covenant with my eyes. Why then should I look upon a young woman?”

The purity test is one of the character tests that will determine whether or not we reach our destiny that God has for our life!