“There are no shortcuts to obedience of faith with God! Either your turn to Him for counsel and obey what He says, or you make your choice in what seems right to you!” ~ Henry Blackaby; Created to be God’s Friend
We have a very limited perspective of the world. If we are honest we would admit that we are far more ignorant about what is happening around us. This is not an ignorance of choice or laziness, but of reality. The body in which we live is confined to one place in time, we simply cannot know all of what is happening around us, and what we do know is colored by other people’s perception.
This reality makes it impossible for us to fully understand what is best for our lives and the lives of others. Something that might seem right at the moment may, in fact, have lasting effects in the future.
Take for example Joseph. We read about this man of faith in the Old Testament. We know that while he was the favorite son of Jacob, tragedy was part of Joseph’s life. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit, and finally years later Joseph’s faithfulness pays off when he is made second-in-command in Egypt.
During his time as a slave, Joseph was a young man at the time, he was approached by his master’s wife in attempt to get him to sleep with her. Joseph was alone in Egypt, no family or accountability partners. There is no guarantee that he will be able to marry, and this type of relationship was expected for slaves, as long as it was kept secret. There was sufficient reason why beginning a sexual affair with Potiphar’s wife would seem to be in Joseph’s best interest.
What stood in Joseph’s way was his commitment to God. While it might have been in Joseph the slave’s best interest to sleep with the wife of Potiphar, it was not in Joseph the Chosen One’s best interest. Now this is pure speculation since this is not what happened, but I believe that if Joseph would have given into the temptation that he would have remained a slave, and while he may have remained a favorite slave, that would have been his lot in life.
While the immediate consequence of Joseph’s decision to reject the advances of Potiphar’s wife seemed to cause his life to be more difficult: from being the head slave in Potiphar’s house to prison, it was the route that led him to accomplish the task that God had for him. Joseph had no idea of what God had in store for him, but Joseph committed his life to God and God’s law and this allowed Joseph to discover the purpose God had for his life.
We will never discover what God wants us to do if we never commit ourselves to following God: obeying His commands. Only when we begin to live a life of faith, trusting and obeying what God has told us, will we find the meaning for our lives. We cannot see all ends for our vision is limited by time and space. God knows exactly what is going to happen and He provides us with choices to guide us down the road He wants us to travel. God’s Way is the best way, even though it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Our way will not only keep us from experiencing what God has planned for us, but it will also lead to death. Only God’s way will lead to significance and a life that is beyond our dreams.