The Revealer of Secrets

“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” Gen 41:15-16

“And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.” Gen 41:45

Our prison experiences are what prepare us for the palace experiences of life. If they do not prepare us, we might never reach a palace situation. There are those who perish without experiencing freedom.

To be able to step out of a situation where our options are seriously limited and we are bound, requires that we learn the lessons God has prepared for us to master. We must rid ourselves of bitterness and resentment toward others. We do this through forgiveness and prayer. We must allow God to strengthen our spirit and seek God for knowledge and wisdom as He develops our gift.

“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge. A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” Prov 18:14-16

God often uses our “gift” as a tool to bring us out of prison, yet the gift is what God develops as we allow Him to strengthen our spirit and impart His understanding. You can never teach others a lesson you have not yourself learned.

It was as Joseph reached beyond himself and touched others that God developed a gift that allowed Joseph to go free. If the enemy can cause us to focus on the injustices and wrongs done to us, he has effectively padlocked and bolted our prison cell. Only as we forgive and reach out to others will God strengthen our spirit, impart knowledge, and develop our gifts. The unforgiving are doomed to a life of regret, bitterness, and missed opportunities.

One of the lessons of prison is the ability to discern the voice of God. The unforgiving are seldom able to discern the still small voice of the Lord over the howl of bruised emotions and the calamity of smashed expectations. When we can hear the voice of God speaking to us in our prison experiences, we understand that God speaks to others in all phases of life. The problem is that others aren’t always willing to listen to the voice of God. They have not tuned their ear to God’s voice, and the will of God is drowned out by the constant noise of a busy life.

Being able to discern the voice of God in calamity and even in tragedy is a gift that God develops as we walk with Him and keep the dream alive in our life. This is the gift that God wants you to have. This is the gift that will bring you out of prison and into the palace. This is the gift that will stand you before great men and women. This is part of your ministry and calling in life. It begins when we discern the voice of God in our times of struggle.

God wants to speak to the unsaved and bring them into a meaningful relationship. Yet they do not know how to listen to the Lord. They are unable to discern what He is saying to them. God’s Word to them is a “secret,” a mystery that is shrouded in dreams and hard to understand allegories. Being able to seek God in tragedy and calamity enables the Lord to speak to us and develop our gift. The gift of clearly communicating God’s will to others who perhaps do not know the Lord as you know Him, is a very valuable gift! It is that gift that will transform you from inmate 1234567 to “the revealer of secrets.”

Standing Before Pharaoh

“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” Gen 41:15-16

When Joseph stood before Pharaoh, thirteen years had passed since Joseph was attacked and sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph had grown from a seventeen-year-old who was fixed on what God has spoken to him and into a man who know that God speaks to others also. Joseph was no longer preoccupied with telling his dream to others, he had learned to listen to others’ dreams.

Many dreamers are never able to make this transition. It is always about what God has shown them or what God is saying to them. And yet God would like to communicate to others. But most have not tuned their ears to His voice and the Lord is left to interrupt their sleep with fantastic dreams that are mysterious and hard to understand.

The cool thing about all this is in knowing that God has placed people into your life for a reason. As you minister to them and help them understand the word of God, they just might be part of the dream He has given you. God did not call you to pronounce your own word upon their situation. You are not called to prophesy your own will for them or to proclaim your own words to them. The Lord wants to use you to help others know the mind of God in their own life. And God will use your knowledge to help others shape their actions to conform to God’s desires for their life.

Notice what Joseph did not say when he stood before Pharaoh. “I am the Wizard of Dreams and God wants you to worship me.” – Joseph did not seize the opportunity to promote self.  “I am almost too holy for earth and you are just lucky I agreed to speak to you.” – Joseph did not act condescending or patronize someone God was speaking to.  “God just wanted you to talk to me and I will now tell you why your one-eyed yellow dog died three years ago.” – Joseph did not try to interject his own ideas into God’s communication. Joseph recognized that God wanted to use him to reveal what He was saying; not to speak in place of God.

Joseph said, “It is not in me.” If the dream came from God, God must supply the interpretation. So often those who are used by God seem to feel that they have exclusive rights to what belongs only to God. You do not have liberty to add your own desires to what God says.

What God speaks to an individual will never be contrary to what He has spoken in His Word. God will not tell you that it is all right if you disregard something He has recorded in the black and white of the Holy Bible. God will not give a new revelation or another book to place beside of or even substitute for the Bible.

Recognizing the Voice of God

“And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.” Gen 41:25

Being able to help others understand what God is doing in their lives begins when we recognize that God is working. In this case, God was communicating with the ruler of the nation about a famine that would come. This famine would affect the entire region. There would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. The fulfillment of this dream was certain; there would be no delay.

“And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.” Gen 41:32

Joseph went a step beyond revealing what God was speaking. Joseph understood this communication as a call to action. He suggested a plan of conservation during the plenty years that would sustain the people during the famine years. This is called application. Many are never able to make the step from understanding to applying God’s Word. And yet the reason God’s speaks words of warning is not so that He can say, “I told you so” later!

A believer’s job does not end with helping others understand what God is saying. We must also help others apply God’s Word and react to it in a way that is consistent with God’s desires. For example: Understanding what is about to happen prophetically is not God’s purpose in giving us the Book of Revelation. If one understands the big picture of prophecy yet is still not ready for the catching away of Christ’s Church, the communication is pointless.

The revelation of God’s will is always a call to action.

“Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.” Gen 41:33-34

The connection between understanding and action is one that we must never fail to make.

Joseph was promoted to the position of Prime Minister not because he asked for it, but because others recognized his gift.

“And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?” Gen 41:38

God speaks to many folks, but not all are filled with the Spirit. Real progress for the Lord takes place when others recognize the Spirit behind our words and actions. When others can see the Spirit of God in us and understand that we walk with the Lord, that is when they are willing to follow us.

Pharaoh did not mention that what happened to Joseph in prison brought him to his new position. Pharaoh was not aware of that deeper truth. I will mention it because you have followed Joseph from his first dream to the palace in Egypt. Joseph learned to listen to God and minister to others. Joseph learned to forgive the injuries and release the bitter feelings. Joseph learned to recognize the voice of God as God spoke to others. Joseph learned that it was not all about him. Joseph had grown from a self-centered seventeen-year-old to a mature spirit-led thirty-year-old man.

Pharaoh recognized the Spirit of God in Joseph because of the familiar voice. When Joseph spoke the Word of the Lord, the king recognized the source. There are people who might not know God the same way you do, but they are able to recognize the source of your words. When you speak truth to those who seek truth, there is a common recognition.

The Revealer of Secrets

“And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.” Gen 41:45

Pharaoh recognized the Spirit of God in Joseph and promoted him on the spot.

“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:” Gen 41:39

This promotion included many outward signs of success. The royal signet ring, a gold chain, and a stretch limo chariot. Joseph could have let it all go to his head.

The next trail for Joseph was the trial of success. Many allow success to rob their dream and steal their ministry. More on this later.

Pharaoh gave Joseph a fancy Egyptian name. Zaphnath-paaneah means “a revealer of secrets” or “the man to whom secrets are revealed.” I would prefer to simply call him Joe. But truly, the dream was given to Pharaoh; he just didn’t have the tools to understand it. The ability to understand comes from the Spirit of God. As Joseph said, “It is not in me.”

When one begins to feel like God’s gift is a personal possession, bad things can happen. There are many old prophets who thought that because God used them at one time that the gift was theirs. When someone tries to use the gift of God for personal promotion, they become a soothsayer instead of a prophet. The name Balaam comes to mind. He tried to use a gift of God to promote his own interests and he died on the end of a sword.

Summary:

Our prison experiences are what prepare us for the palace experiences of life. If they do not prepare us, we might never reach a palace situation. There are those who perish without experiencing freedom.

Learning the prison lessons is essential for us to be able to minister to others. We must rid ourselves of bitterness and resentment toward others. We do this through forgiveness and prayer. We must allow God to strengthen our spirit and seek God for knowledge and wisdom as He develops our gift.

As we reach beyond ourselves and touch others, God develops our gifts and prepares us for the next phase of our life. Only as we forgive and reach out to others will God strengthen our spirit, impart knowledge, and develop our gifts. Because of this, the unforgiving are doomed to a life of regret, bitterness, and missed opportunities.

One of the lessons of prison is the ability to discern the voice of God. When we can hear the voice of God speaking to us in our prison experiences, we understand that God speaks to others in all phases of life.

God wants to transform us from a prisoner to an ambassador for Him. When God reveals secrets to us it is so that we can help others understand what God is saying. We must also apply this understanding with a call to action. God speaks to men in order to call them to act.

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