Today, I will be writing a follow-up to my blog Clean Heart.
This is the story of Joseph and how he kept his heart clean through his journey. Most of this has been taken from The Passion Translation and its footnotes. I am paraphrasing to give a summarized picture of this man’s life. There is more to his story than what I am telling, so I encourage you to read about Joseph in the Bible for yourself as well.
Genesis 37:3 says, “Now Israel’s [Jacob’s] love for Joseph surpassed that for his other sons because he was born to him in his old age. So, Israel had made him a richly ornamented robe.”
Jacob had Joseph when he was 91 years old. The TPT footnotes say the robe he gave Joseph would not be worn at work, but was considered a robe of special significance for a prince. Now, Joseph’s brothers already had contempt and jealousy issues for him, so once this robe thing happened, there was a conversation about how they would get rid of him. His brothers decided to throw him into a pit. There were some merchants in a caravan who came through their town, and Joseph’s brothers said, “let’s sell him and be on our way.” So, for 20 pieces of silver, Joseph was sold and sent to live in Egypt.
Joseph also had dreams that bothered his brothers and father. In his dreams, his family would bow down in front of him. The TPT footnotes say this: Joseph behaved with excellence because he saw himself as a “star.” The jealous brothers would have no faith in his dreams, but Jacob, having been broken by God, kept the matter in his heart. For even Jacob, his father, had received messages from God in dreams (generational gifting).
Joseph was purchase by the captain of the guard. Chapter 39:2 says, “Yahweh’s presence was with Joseph and he became successful while living in the house of his Egyptian master. Yahweh blessed the Egyptians affairs for Josephs sake.” Another TPT footnote states it like this: God’s presence and favor do more for us than our skill, intelligence, and cleverness could achieve. Joseph was known for his conviction. Chapter 39:6 says, “And with Joseph in charge, Potiphar had nothing to worry about, except deciding on what to eat!” Imagine that, y’all!
Now, Potiphar’s wife was wanting to have an affair with Joseph, but he ran from her. The TPT footnotes say there are times when running is a mark of a coward and there are times when running is the mark of courage. Joseph would rather run in embarrassment than linger, falling into the trap of sexual promiscuity. Self-control is a true sign of integrity. It is better to lose a good coat than a good conscience! Joseph was tested and still held onto his character. To save face, Potiphar’s wife lied and said Joseph came on to her. So, Joseph was thrown in prison for 13 years. But, he was given favor still and was over all the prisoners.
A couple of the king of Egypt’s officials were thrown in prison during Joseph’s stay, and within the first few years they had dreams. Joseph interpreted the dreams, and all he asked in return is that they remember him when they returned back to their position with the king. This didn’t happen for a while, until one day when Pharaoh had two dreams and asked for someone to interpret it. Joseph was summoned. Joseph starts by saying in chapter 41:16, “‘I cannot do it alone’, Joseph replied, ‘but God will help me to give Pharaoh the proper interpretation for Pharaoh’s welfare.’” Joseph understood the dream and explained that there would be seven good years and seven bad years. In verse 38, Pharaoh said, “Where can we find anyone else like this one, for he has the Spirit of God in him!” This is the first time that scripture mentions that someone has the Spirit of God in them. Joseph went from chains to royalty at 30 years of age, and was put into the position of Prime Minister. He also got his third robe, another mantle placed upon him for such a time as this. He went from prison to the highest office in the land in one day! BUT GOD! This testifies of Joseph’s God-given grace and wisdom.
There is so much more to this story, but what I am trying to expose is the hand this man was dealt. He could have looked at his life from a victim’s perspective. He never did. He understood his position as a son. He followed his Heavenly Father’s command. Yahweh’s presence was with him. This was his success. He knew it and he walk rightly because of it, no matter what came his way. He handled it with a level of integrity beyond his day. No matter what success he had, he always directed it to God. No matter the failures, he never denied or complained. He gave God the glory in all things. This is key to understanding how to hold on to a clean heart. When your pride finally dies, justice is not something you have to fight for because you believe He is the vindicator for you. This life is about being the messenger and representing the One who sent you, the One who gave you life, and His name is Jesus.
It goes on to say this in the TPT footnote at the end of chapter 41: Because Joseph had passed each previous test and grew in character, he was ready when the Lord promoted him to such a place of power. He handled all this prestige without pride or arrogance. Joseph was a man prepared to rule with wisdom and to use his position of authority to provide for others. God now had a man he could use as a deliverer.
Joseph was 17 years old when he had his dreams of ruling over his brothers. At the age of 30, he was exalted over Egypt. About nine years later, his brothers came to Egypt to buy grain from him as Prime Minister. Joseph waited 22 years for the fulfillment of his prophetic dreams. In the waiting comes the opportunity for your heart to become pure. This is a sign that the Lord is the Lord of your life. He comes and transforms you from the inside out. Wisdom and grace seems to come along with this journey of becoming like Him as well.
Clean heart from a practical standpoint.
Here are 5 steps to gaining a clean heart:
1. You must desire to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. Get connected with a local church.
3. Find someone as a mentor to help walk with you.
4. Find your rhythm to cultivate worship time.
5. Make confession a lifestyle of keeping your heart posture pure, clean, and alive.
We may be the only bible someone ever sees. Therefore, if they see us in a public place and we are displaying something other than Christ like qualities, we become a stumbling block to their potential growth. It could be a little thing like paying for the person behind you at the drive-thru, or leaving a larger tip at a restaurant, especially after Sunday morning church. They may not have a relationship with the Lord yet, but our kindness has a way of connecting to people without talking to people. And, it plants a seed that may help them want to investigate more about your kindness through your clean walk and your clean talk.
When we put ourselves into the stories of the Bible, we start to get direction for our daily journey. This is the benefit of the manual called the Bible. It’s a road map. Yes, not all the pages make sense in our day and time, but the more you develop a relationship with the Lord, the more you want to do right by Him, for him, and unto Him. This gives us a level of internal reward and confidence that the world cannot buy or take because it’s not a thing, it’s in our being.
I hope this message gives you a picture of a man who stood with a clean heart. Joseph was robbed of a life with his father and family, but lived for the people and excelled at everything he did for Yahweh, as Yahweh had always planned. It was his destiny, and instead of pouting, he went on ruling, managing, and giving glory to God.
Thank you for reading and responding with some good questions. I have enjoyed digging into these topics. Until next time, keep loving Jesus! You matter! You are never alone, for His presence is all around you. This should bring a smile from ear to ear and a cheer!