Opening Prayer: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”
Daily Scripture Reading:
- Genesis 39:6-10
- Matthew 16:26
- Romans 12:1-2
- I John 2:15-17
Being in the world but not of the world is simple to say but difficult to live.
Suddenly, it seems, Joseph finds himself with the world at his fingertips. He has honor, power, and success. He even looks the part, well-built and handsome! When Potiphar’s wife took notice of him, I wonder if for a moment he felt entitled to that pleasure. After all, his road had been rocky. He had known betrayal- why not betray? He had been rejected by those that were supposed to love him- why not enjoy being cherished by someone off limits. I wonder if for a moment he felt numb? After all, what did it matter? Underneath the trappings of success, he was still just a slave. I wonder if for a moment he felt lulled by the glitter of the culture all around him. I’m sure he didn’t have to look far to use the justification “everyone is doing it.”
Prosperity has it’s own set of difficulties. We cling to God in the pit, but are we as faithful in Potiphar’s house? In the pit we feel our need for Him, but in Potiphar’s house of prosperity, we can become more self-reliant. In the pit, we have nowhere to look but up, but in Potiphar’s house of prosperity we can become hypnotized by culture. In the pit it is life or death, but in Potiphar’s house of prosperity the rules seem to change and “did God really say…(Gen. 3:1)?”
I think about another young, handsome, displaced Israelite named Daniel. In Daniel 1:8 it says, “but Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…” In the palace of the King of Babylon, Daniel too had the world at his fingertips. He resolved not to defile himself with the rich fare offered to him in prosperity, and remained faithful to God.
Joseph chose well. Though the transgression would have probably disappeared into the river of cultural acceptance and moral majority, Joseph too was determined to remain faithful and not “do such a wicked thing and sin against God” (Gen. 39:9). He did not succumb to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life, heeding the warning of I John 2. He didn’t offer his body up to sin, but offered it up as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1).
Being “in the world” speaks to our location. We will in fact be in the world until our time on earth is finished. “Of the world” speaks more to our integrity and identity and what we have resolved in our own hearts. Is it the same in the pit and in prosperity?
Today’s Big Questions: Where do you find yourself today, in a pit or in prosperity? Have you found that your character and your choices change based on your circumstances? Are there areas you have “conformed to the patters of this world?”
Prayer Response: Confess if there are any parts “of the world” or anything in the world that you love (I John 2:17-17). Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind today in the midst of the entitlement, moral numbness, and slippery compromise of our culture.
Optional Action Step: Who do you purpose in your heart to be, both in the pit and in Potiphar’s house? What are you determined not to be defiled by? Write a mission statement for your life or make a list of those things that are off limits for you no matter where you find yourself.
Closing Prayer: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21