ADAPTING TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Recently I have been reading in Genesis about the story of Joseph, and I want to talk about what God has been teaching me through this story. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, I encourage you to go read in Genesis 37-47. In part of this story, Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers because of their jealousy. Joseph then finds himself in several different situations that eventually promote him to being ruler of the entire land of Egypt. Let’s look at a few scriptures here that show us how Joseph was promoted. 

Genesis 39: 1-4

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.”

After this, Joseph is falsely accused of committing adultery with Potiphar’s wife, so he is thrown in prison. 

Genesis 39:20-23

“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.”

What happens next is, God works it out for Joseph to interpret the dreams of two people that were close in position to the Pharaoh, and he interpreted each dream correctly. So when the Pharaoh had a dream that he needed interpreted, he was told about Joseph, and Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dreams correctly as well. This impressed the Pharaoh, and he put him in charge over the land of Egypt. 

Genesis 42:46-47

“Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully.”

Here we see that everywhere Joseph went he prospered. It didn’t matter his circumstance; the Lord was with him and promoted him. Even in a place as lowly as a slave or as lowly as prison, Joseph relied on the Lord and found a way to succeed wherever he was.

Today our society tells us that if you are not succeeding somewhere then  just go find somewhere that you can succeed. Society tells us that we are always right, our truth is our truth, and if we cannot prosper in a specific environment, then it is the environment’s fault and not our own. In my own personal life, I can tell you that this is almost never the case. Majority of the time, God is calling me into places that are not only difficult for me to be in, but also to change myself in order to succeed. I think that this is also what we are seeing here with the story of Joseph. His environment didn’t affect him, he affected his environment. The scripture doesn’t say it, but I have a hard time believing that Joseph was able to succeed while being prideful and not feeling like there was anything about him that he needed to change. 

I do need to point out that you should never compromise your righteousness to fit in to an environment. If a specific environment has authority figures that are asking you to sin, then you definitely need to move out of that environment. 2 Timothy 2:22-14 says “Run from temptations that capture young people. Always do the right thing. Be faithful, loving, and easy to get along with. Worship with people whose hearts are pure. Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble, and God’s servants must not be troublemakers. They must be kind to everyone, and they must be good teachers and very patient.” 

We have to realize that we don’t have everything right, that we don’t have the answers to all, and that sometimes we are wrong. Once we can accept these truths it is then easier to receive what God has for us in specific places and situations. 

I encourage you to go to the Lord and ask Him to be your guide, ask Him if you are in the place where you are supposed to be, even if it might be a hard situation. If He says yes, then ask Him what you need to change to succeed!

Here is a short clip I saw from Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church that is a perfect summary of what we have discussed here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
 
 
PASTOR APRIL GADDIS
 

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