Monday, December 6, 2010

Catherine Brown: Your Time of Testing will Surely Pass and You'll be Positioned Where He has Preordained

Catherine Brown

This word by Catherine Brown is great on its own, but if you missed Part 1, "Joseph - An Apostolic Watchman" and want to read more, you can read it here.

Joseph in Prison – Waiting Without Breaking

"But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did."—Genesis 39:20b-23

We may well ask ourselves what prison life would have been like for Joseph and his fellow inmates. Perhaps we might consider that the conditions would most likely have been harsh, with little food and water, difficult living conditions and continual physical, emotional, mental and spiritual suffering for most of the prisoners. Yet, the Bible tells us that Joseph was still a man on whom God's favour and kindness was evident, and he was made responsible for everything that happened in the prison. Let's consider for a moment, what that might have involved:

• Food preparation (if one was fortunate enough to eat)
• Cleaning up
• Emptying the latrines
• Tending the wounds of prisoners
• Caring for sick prisoners
• Dealing with infestations of rats, lice, other insects and rodents
• Watching over vulnerable prisoners
• Maintaining order/maintaining peace
• Keeping corruption at bay and encouraging righteousness
• Dealing with death
• Ministering to the brokenhearted and the lonely

The Priority of People

As we consider the potential list of duties that being in charge of the prison might have included, it is easy to see that God taught Joseph the priority of people before programmes. It is my deep conviction that Joseph learned how to be a father in his time in prison. In the place of God-permitted confinement and in-built destiny delay, Joseph embraced the priceless truth and depths of the Father's compassion, humility, wisdom and love, persevering in his sonship regardless of his circumstances.

Learning how to function as a father was an important part of Joseph's "training for reigning" before he was released into the fullness of the apostolic mantle as God's ambassador in Egypt – God chose a prison cell as the perfect crucible for His love to be formed in His servant Joseph.

Furthermore, Joseph learned the heart of a servant in prison. It was crucial in the preparation of one who would one day be entrusted with so much power and influence to be developed as a servant-leader. God chose to confine Joseph in a prison to teach him this lesson and granted him the privilege of showing tender compassion to the other prisoners who were placed in his charge.

While we consider Joseph's character development at this stage in his faith walk as an apostolic watchman for his nation, it is also helpful to remind ourselves of some of the other characteristics and attributes of a godly watchman/woman.

Character and Attributes of a Watchman

• Intimate with God in holy covenant relationship: "I am my beloved's and (He) is mine" (Song of Solomon 6:3); "He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love" (Song of Solomon 2:4); "Place me like a seal over your heart..." (Song of Solomon 8:6).
• Worshipful
• Prayerful
• Loving God with a whole heart (Mark 12:30-31, 33-34)
• Giving out of one's riches or ones poverty, e.g. the widow's offering (Mark 12:43-44)
• Aspiring to be Christ-like in active discipleship
• Exhibiting fruits of the Spirit, e.g. love, joy, peace, patience...
• Exercising faith in the gifts of the Spirit, e.g. wisdom, discernment, prophecy... (Daniel was given insight and understanding to comprehend his visions in Daniel 9:22)
• Compassionate and mercy-filled
• Spirit-filled
• Familiar with Scripture
• Alert/watchful
• Aligned with God's purposes
• Accountable, humble, submitted and part of a local Body
• Radically obedient to God: "But Micaiah said, 'As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me'" (1 Kings 22:14).
• Responsible/wise steward
• Comprehending of one's assigned sphere of influence
• Understanding of one's call
• Active in faith in response to one's call

Every watchman will experience character refining as they journey towards their faith goals. May you each know the kindness and favour of God as you walk with Him towards fulfillment of your destiny, and may our dear Lord grant you dreams, visions and visitations that you might be encouraged, especially if you feel like Joseph in prison!

Your time of testing will surely pass, and the Lord, by His grace, will position you in the places where He has pre-ordained, so that every sphere of society will be filled with His glory.


Yours because we are His,

Catherine Brown
Founder/Director, Gatekeepers Global Ministries (GGM) &
Co-Founder, Scottish Apostolic Networking Enterprise


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