Made for Posterity, Part 2

The future is both present and forthcoming. You and I were created to love God and others. Perhaps the highest form of love is to love sacrificially. Consider what Jesus did for us on the cross. What better way to demonstrate love than to pour ourselves into others with the future in mind? You and I were made for others and to be a posterity.

But what does posterity mean?

According to Oxford Languages, “all future generations of people.” We could say future or succeeding generations. Or simply those who come after us. In God’s design, we are made for others. Specifically, our lives are to impact future generations.

We may or may not have natural descendants, but in our lifetime, we will impact the lives of many others. Research reveals: The average person influences 80,000 people in their lifetime and the average life expectancy is 78 years. [1]

Take a minute and think about whose posterity you are. What have the generations before you done/been that impact you today?

Let’s continue with what it means to be a posterity for future generations.

We will use Joseph in the book of Genesis to discuss this subject.

Joseph had favor with his father. His father made him a “coat of many colors,” which was a “prophetic sign” of the calling and purpose in his life. Gen. 37:1-11

As a teenager, God gave Joseph significant dreams about his purpose and destiny. In his immaturity, he shared those dreams with his brothers who were already jealous.

His brothers conspired to kill his dreams of rulership over them by killing him. They stripped the robe of many colors from him, threw him into a pit, and sold him to traders to become a slave to Potiphar in Egypt. God allowed this, for He was preparing Joseph to be a governor of Egypt and a posterity for many generations. Gen. 37:18-20

Often, when God places His finger on you, things get worse before they get better. God will often remove that which is dearest to us. In Joseph’s case, it was the robe that represented the father’s affection and God’s hand upon him.

Have you ever wondered why God often removes things that are dearest to us? It might be because we have made them idols or because having them prevents Him from being able to take us through the process, etc.

The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house… Gen. 39:2-4 NKJV

God’s hand was on Joseph in Potiphar’s house. There was a process unfolding, and God would mature Joseph through the trial. Years of preparation were beginning.

It was nineteenth century preacher C.H. Spurgeon who said, “If I had twenty-five years left to live, I would spend twenty of them in preparation.” We prefer quick solutions and preparation in our time, but God’s ways are eternal. He prepares His leaders through time, pressure, and circumstances, as well as the disciplines of study, training, and prayer.

Joseph was eventually falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and imprisoned.

Even though Joseph was falsely accused, he didn’t defend himself. The same was true with Jesus. “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” (Jn. 2:19). On trial, these words were used against Him (Matt. 26:61). At times, God allows others to wrong us in order to carry out His purposes for us. How do you respond when wronged?

We read, in Gen 39:21 “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” NKJV

Joseph was wrongly accused and imprisoned. But God’s favor rested on him, with the jailor, and eventually with Pharaoh. Favor is often veiled by circumstances and preparation.

Joseph was about to experience great favor and promotion in his life. He matured through suffering to be prepared to lead and deliver Egypt and, more importantly, to be a posterity for God’s people.

Psalm 105:17-19 states, 17 He sent a man before them—Joseph—who was sold as a slave. 18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. 19 Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. NKJV

The very word you received is testing you while you are in God’s process. God knows the discipline and refining that each of us need; whom He loves he trains. Joseph did everything right, yet he was chastened, or trained, by God.

When God chastens us, He is not getting even with us for our sin (Psalm 103:10). God’s justice met at the cross!

God kept Joseph in the prison to deliver him from self-pity, self-righteousness, and from the need to manipulate his future (Gen. 40:14 to the butler, “Think of me when it is well with you…”) “They stole me from the land of the Hebrews, put me in this prison, and I have done nothing!” (Gen. 40:15) In the beginning, he insisted on defending himself.

What God did with Joseph, He has to do with all of us. Joseph had to be free of any defensiveness, any kind of self-pity, or any tendency to manipulate.

Why did Joseph have to be free of these things? Was it possible these things signify victimhood or victim thinking? When you’re caught up in victim thinking, there is no room (or no hope) for victory. Victimhood and Victory cannot coexist; they are mutually exclusive.

Pharoah heard about a Hebrew who could interpret his dreams. Pharoah brought Joseph out of the prison quickly, changed his clothes, and cleaned him up. When Pharoah asked him if it was true, can he interpret dreams, Joseph responded:

It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” Gen. 41:16, NKJV

Joseph interpreted the dreams correctly, warned of a famine that was coming, and advised how Pharoah and Egypt could prepare for it.

When God is working His plans out, He brings together the circumstances and the timing. This is a process otherwise known as providence. Pharoah may have seemed unreachable, but not with God’s process of circumstances and timing.

Pharoah listened to his wise men, his magicians, and professionals, and said to himself, “all else has failed, why not try with a Hebrew slave!” When God is at work, you will often find yourself listening to people you would normally pay no attention to.

Pharoah put his signet ring, fine clothes, and a gold chain on him. He gave him authority over all Egypt, second only to himself. He rode in the second chariot, to shouts of “Bow the knee.” You can wait years, then suddenly God elevates!

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” Eccl. 3:11 NLT When God’s time has come, your time has come!

How do we know when God’s time has come?

First, when we have come utterly to the end of our own strength. With the butler, “remember me…” This was Joseph trying to make things happen still in his own strength. God decided he needed two more years. Joseph pinned all his hopes on the butler, but he couldn’t succeed because he took vindication into his own hand.

Two years passed, Joseph had probably given up hope. This was exactly what had to happen, because he was hoping in himself. When he gave it up, it allowed God to step in. None of us have held on to a desire for vindication that long, have we?

Secondly, we know God’s time has come when He does a work outside of ourselves. God gave Pharoah a dream, not Joseph. Who called him? Pharaoh. Man’s wisdom failed, only God could interpret. God delights to show the world that for which there is no known explanation.

Thirdly, when someone else promotes you and not yourself. The butler, at risk of his life, told Pharoah, “While in prison, there was a Hebrew young man …” In God’s time, he directed someone else to speak favorably of Joseph. Self-promotion rarely works! Worse, it can derail you from God’s best.

Fourth, when God makes you fit to stand before a king. “Get ready, you’re going before Pharoah, King of Egypt!” What did he do? He got a shower, shaved, and put on new clothes. This is what Jesus did for us! Jesus getting us ready in this hour!

After Joseph is elevated by Pharaoh to governor, his brothers came to Egypt for food due to the famine that covered the region.

They soon discovered that Joseph, the brother they threw in a pit and sold as a slave, was still alive. Further, they realize that Joseph’s dreams had come to pass, and they feared for their lives. But Joseph, full of forgiveness, told them,

Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it. 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. And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 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. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 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. Gen. 45:1-8 NKJV

Notice forgiveness in verse 5? “… do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”

Notice in verse 7 how Joseph declared God sent him to “preserve a posterity for you?”

It would be easy for us to think that the Joseph’s forgiveness for his brothers came because he was now in a good and comfortable position. Total forgiveness is when we can forgive others before we know the outcome. There is much more blessing in forgiving while we’re in the pit than there is simply by forgetting once we’re in the palace. Jesus forgave while He was on the cross, not after he was resurrected!

Later Joseph adds, “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.” Gen. 50:20 NKJV

God’s answer to a famine was a faithful servant. Who are you an answer to? How can God use you in your generation and for future generations?

God gave Joseph favor so that he could be a conduit of blessing for many in his generation as well as for the generations to come.

Your spiritual blessings are redemptive in nature—for others and future generations.

In fact, like Joseph, favor is your inheritance in Christ, and you are being blessed to be a blessing for many, presently and for future generations. Will there be trials? Yes, but God’s hand of favor is upon you!

See yourself wearing Joseph’s coat of many colors, this is what Jesus did for you! No one can take His hand of favor from you!

God’s favor on your life empowers you to be a conduit of His love and power. Did you ever consider that God’s favor on your life may be the “key” that unlocks someone’s heart toward God?

God’s favor is your inheritance, and it blesses others as you partner with Him for kingdom purposes. We should expect to increase, or another translation says advance, in a Spirit filled life that abounds in favor.

“A good man obtains favor from the Lord …” obtains also means to “draw out.” Prov. 12:2 NKJV

Favor is also translated as grace, from the Greek word Charis. We could say then that “A good man draws out grace from the Lord …” The favor that comes from God reflects His nature and character and has purpose associated with it.

God grants favor to those He can entrust with his purposes!  Purpose moves us toward fulfillment of our destinies.

Do you know what your purpose is? How does God want to use you as a posterity for others?

Principles to Become a Posterity for Others

Allow God to remove unforgiveness, bitterness, and vindication from your life.

Joseph never would have become a blessing and posterity to future generations if he did not totally forgive and experience freedom from self-vindication.

Total forgiveness of others is the beginning step to total freedom and becoming a person of great influence to bless and help many.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph. 4:32 NIV

Often, we think we have forgiven, only to discover that even the mention of the person makes us angry. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling.

Joseph was kept by God in the prison for two years because he wasn’t prepared yet. He most likely still carried a grudge (unforgiveness) toward his brothers. Could you blame him? Have you ever felt this way?

Why do I believe this? Any person who would say, Gen. 40:14 “Make mention of me unto Pharoah” is still trying to self-vindicate themselves. Self-vindication is a foreigner to love, for love Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (1 Cor. 13:4 NIV)

Self-vindication is not God’s will for us.

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Rom. 12:19 NKJV

Often, we want those who have mistreated or wronged us to suffer. That is vindication. But this is not God’s way. In Christ, we are to forgive and release the offender. Break off any judgments toward them.

When we have totally forgiven those who have mistreated us, we are at peace and feel no need to protect ourselves. Unforgiveness, grudges, offenses, fear, shame, guilt all these types of negative emotions cause us to yield to the flesh and attempt to control others and situations around us.

Embrace Time and God’s process.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… Eccl. 3:1 NIV

God kept Joseph in the prison to deliver him from self-pity, self-righteousness, and from the need to manipulate his future. For God to prepare us, time and circumstances are needed. His providence orchestrates. He knows what will occur and allows circumstances to play out over time to accomplish the refining in our lives.

We all know what it’s like to want, or even long for, something that we don’t yet have. It’s often tempting to try and rush it along, do it in our strength.

If it’s not God’s timing and God’s way, it could destroy you. Striving, grabbing, or taking outside of God’s way and timing could cause you to fail, to fail miserably, or worse, to walk away from God.

Learn to wait patiently on the Lord.

13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

Learn how to rely on God’s Spirit to accomplish God’s purposes.

“Can we find such a one as this, a man whom the Spirit of God is?” Gen. 41:38 NKJV

Pharoah believed Joseph’s interpretation for one reason: in Joseph was God’s Spirit. To move forward with God, you must be able to discern the Holy Spirit at work with you and in others. You must understand the witness and leading of the Holy Spirit.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Rom. 8:14 NIV

When the Spirit bears witness, you know it at once and will be safe in following Him.

First thing, to know, is the Spirit gives peace. Gen. 41:16, “God shall give Pharoah and answer of peace.” NKJV

Now, at first, it may not be peace! Consider how Pharaoh was troubled at first by his dreams (Gen. 41:8). Sometimes the Spirit will bring a person to a state of being troubled before the answer and subsequently peace.

When Joseph gave the interpretation, the Spirit was revealing God’s mind for the future. God knows the future is the explanation and confirmation for prophecy and its fulfillment.

Do you know that it will be through the Spirit alone that you will know why you are here? Why you have been created?

Allow God to enlarge your capacity to love others.

God was also enlarging Joseph’s capacity to love others.

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:13 NIV

Seeing how much God loves us. God didn’t want Joseph’s brothers or Joseph feeling guilty, nor does He want you carrying that either.

In Christ, God has removed condemnation and guilt. Sadly, many believers still feel guilty. Do you still feel guilty about past behaviors? In Christ, all things are new!

Must renew your mind to the truth of what Christ has done for you and for others in Him!

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:1-2 NKJV


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