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Joseph came in to them in the morning, and saw them, and saw that they were sad. He asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, saying, "Why do you look so sad today?" They said to him, "We have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it." Joseph said to them, "Don't interpretations belong to God? Please tell it to me." The chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph Genesis 40:6-9 WEB.
Joseph had been in prison for two years. He had been accused of attempted rape by Potiphar's wife, though he was innocent. The Lord was with Joseph in prison and caused him to excel at administration. He also began to use his gift of dream interpretation to help those around him, and word of it got back to Pharaoh.
Joseph became known for his gifts of dream interpretation and administration. Later, when Pharaoh had a dream, Joseph was summoned to interpret it for him. Because of his gifting and his excellent spirit, he promoted Joseph.
Pharaoh set Joseph free from prison and made him second-in-command of the most powerful nation in the world. Yet, if Joseph had become bitter because of his circumstances and not used his gifts, then Pharaoh may have never heard of him. Joseph might have remained in prison. So Joseph was set free because he used his talents right where God had put him, even if it was a prison. This is very important.
I once had a great paying job with good benefits (by South Carolina standards anyway) as a supervisor over a maintenance crew. It had matched 401k retirement, insurance, and many other perks. The boss loved me, but I had to work twelve-hour shifts every weekend and couldn't attend church.
After I fasted and prayed for a couple of weeks to get closer to the Lord, they suddenly laid me off. I was a bit shocked at first as I didn't see that coming. But I just knew in my heart that God had something better in store for me. I felt that I should be working in a Christian bookstore anyway or a Christian environment. Listening to the Bible, or gentle praise music all day, and talking with others about God. I assumed that He was working on making that happen.
Wrong! After being out of work until the bills began to pile up around me, a door opened, and I had to take a job in the worst, darkest, hole-in-the-wall place I ever worked in my life. It was horrible in every way. It paid one-third of what I had been earning and had zero benefits. I operated a buffing machine and polished brass plumbing parts by hand. Everyone that worked there soon became the same color, black from the buffing compounds and green from the brass dust.
It was dangerous work. There were giant, roaring, forty-year-old belt sanders the size of cars with no safety guards in place. The lengthy sanding belts just ran in the open air and would cut you in half if you bumped into them. Sometimes, the buffing machine would snatch the part away from you, wind it up, then fire it back at you like a canon. I was hit in the chest and knocked down a few times at the start.
Almost everyone there did drugs openly, cursed like sailors, and death metal roared from giant speakers all day. It was skidrow. A dark, hopeless place, and everyone there was just trying to make it to another weekend.
I prayed about leaving, but I could feel in my spirit that this is where I was supposed to be. The Lord gradually revealed to me that I had become prideful in my supervisor job. Now He was fixing that, and He asked if I would submit to His correction. I could leave if I had to, but I knew my place was there for a season. So I humbled myself by becoming the best employee they ever had. I swept the floor, picked up trash, and kept my work area immaculate. Where some polished a few hundred parts, I was soon polishing 7,000 a day.
I prayed silently most of the day, listened to the Bible in headphones, and fasted as much as I ate. Though I was pretty fit and muscular at the start, I lost thirty pounds from the combined heat, work, and fasting. One day while working at my machine, I felt righteous indignation suddenly sweep over me. The Holy Spirit had enough of what the enemy was doing around us. He inspired me to claim the place in the name of Jesus Christ, and I declared it holy ground.
Suddenly things began to change around me. A lot of the worst elements immediately left. They scattered like bugs. The ones who remained came to Christ. Then the owners fired the manager and promoted me to his place. We started the day out by praying together in a circle and attended church together. Since we were all believers, we played the Bible over the intercom all day. A mini-revival had broken out, and it was a beautiful thing.
It had become a Christian environment. When I went to church, I would fill my entire row with guests. The pastor loved me. Soon after this, the brass plant merged with another. Then the Lord unexpectedly launched me into my own computer business for the next seventeen years. Just as Paul had crashlanded on the island of Malta, my promotion had taken a slight detour and saved some people along the way.
Sometimes the way of promotion isn't lined with roses. Yet, serve God right where you are, right now. Believe me, it may not be a pretty place, but it will prepare you for what's coming. So do it wholeheartedly, and hold nothing back. Be the best floor sweeper they've ever seen in their lives. The Lord knows what you need, and if you submit, He'll provide it. Prayer: Heavenly Father, I submit to Your will for my life. Please forgive me for thinking that I know what is best, and remove the things that hold me back. Place me where You can use me, and speak to me in a way that I understand. I know that You are in full control and that You love me. Increase Your presence in my life, whatever the cost. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!
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