Friday

The Enjoyment of Christ
and Our Growth in Life unto Maturity –Week 5

The Reigning Aspect of the Mature Life
Seen in the Life of Joseph

Related Verses
Rom. 5:17, 21
17 For if by the offense of the one death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
21 In order that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom. 14:17
17 For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

John 5:19
19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing from Himself except what He sees the Father doing, for whatever that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

John 7:16
16 Jesus therefore answered them and said, My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.

Matt. 8:9-10
9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.
10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who followed, Truly I say to you, With no one in Israel have I found such great faith.

Matt. 16:24
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.

Rom. 12:10
10 Love one another warmly in brotherly love; take the lead in showing honor one to another.

Related Reading
Joseph must have been very happy to see the fulfillment of his dreams. Genesis 42 reveals that his brothers came to him and bowed down to him. Joseph was seventeen years old when he had his dreams. At the age of thirty he was exalted to rule over the land of Egypt. About nine years later Joseph’s brothers bowed themselves down to him. This means that Joseph would have been probably thirty-nine years of age when his brothers came to him. Thus, about twenty-two years after his dreams, Joseph saw them fulfilled, but not until he had been betrayed and imprisoned. Then he spent many years in the dungeon and eventually was elevated to the throne at the time of his exaltation. But still Joseph did not see the fulfillment of his dreams…Joseph had to pass through a long period of testing. It may seem to us that his patience would have been exhausted. Could you have waited twenty-two years for the fulfillment of your dreams? Joseph did.

Then on a certain day his brothers came and bowed down to him. If we had been Joseph, we would not have been able to contain our excitement…Joseph, however, was not out of control when he saw the fulfillment of his dreams. Rather, he was calm and his excitement was under control. He was able to control himself in such a way because he was a person with the rulership of the Spirit. (Life-study of Genesis, pp. 1477-1478)

The life manifested in the story of Joseph is not the human life, much less the fallen life. Moreover, it is not even the good natural life. Rather, it is the resurrection life, the life of God. Although Joseph was in an exciting situation, he did not display any looseness. This is life. With Joseph we see not only life but also the way of life, which is to keep ourselves under control…He was full of human feelings and sentiments, but he kept himself with all his feelings under the rulership of the Spirit. Therefore, in Joseph we see not only the mature life but a reigning life and the way of this reigning life. We all, especially the young people, need such a life and such a way that is the reigning aspect of a mature person. This life is not easily excited…Instead, in the midst of excitement it remains calm, controls itself, and conceals its glory.

Joseph was a person wholly under God’s restriction. Therefore, the kingdom of God could be brought in through him. In order for the kingdom to be realized in a practical way, there had to be a person who lived under restriction and who denied himself…Joseph had the position and the power to do whatever he desired. However, he did not do anything for himself…The strongest thing is to be able not to do something that you can do. You have the power, the position, and the opportunity to do a certain thing, yet you still do not do it…After Joseph was enthroned, he did nothing to rescue himself from being alone, even though he had been separated from his father for thirteen years. When the brothers first came down to him, he still did not do anything…This indicates that he was the most powerful person, one who has the strength not to do what he is able to do. Joseph was such a person because he was under God’s hand, under God’s restriction.

During the first nine years of his rule in Egypt, Joseph must have contacted the Lord again and again…Even when the time was right for his father to come to him in Egypt, Joseph did not go out to meet him on the way. I believe that this was the result of his being under the Lord’s restriction. Joseph knew that there was no need for him to do anything to fulfill his dreams. This is the real denial of the self and the genuine bearing of the cross. (Life-study of Genesis, pp. 1479, 1519-1521)

Further Reading: Life-study of Genesis, msgs. 115-119

© Living Stream Ministry, 2021, used by permission