Until…

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Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him” (Ps. 105:19, NKJV, emphasis mine).

Until the time. What all goes into that little word, “Until?” “Until” encapsulates the long, long, long wait for our promises from Daddy to come to fruition. “Until the time that his word came to pass…” This verse is describing Joseph’s formational process during the thirteen years that elapsed between God’s promise and God’s fulfillment. “Until” began for him the day he woke up from that life-changing dream where his brothers’ sheaves bowed down to his.

From the very start, “Until” didn’t look anything like fulfillment…

…When Joseph was entreating his hateful brothers for mercy from the bottom of a terrifying pit… “Until” was an ugly, ugly place to be.

…When vicious slave traders dragged him away in chains from his beloved home and country… “Until” was a cruel, hostile land.

…When he wept bitter, lonely tears at night on his bed, incalculable miles and borders away from the love he once knew… “Until” enshrouded him with sorrow as if hope were gone forever.

…When fierce injustice became the payment for his tenacious integrity, and prison seemed to swallow him alive… “Until” only seemed to grow more and more painful by the day.

“Until the time… the word of the Lord tested him.” Every day of every week of every month of every year between promise and fulfillment, Joseph’s dreams from God tested him. They often must have seemed to taunt him. His reality was simply the utter, complete, dramatic opposite of what he had envisioned when he received those dreams. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the enemy was there every day, relentlessly buffeting his emotions, whispering in his ear, “Did God really say…?”

Any of us who have received a transformational, destiny-shaping word from the Lord are going to pass through a process parallel to Joseph’s. God’s promises to us are going to test us. When we receive that word from His heart, we will enter a long, long, long waiting time. During this period, everything is going to look exactly the opposite of what He said. We each will have our own “Until” to push through, for prolonged days and weeks and months and probably even years.

If you are in the midst of your own “Until,” Holy Spirit wants to strengthen and encourage your heart today. He wants to remind you that “Until” really does have a finish line. “Until” may seem everlasting, but it’s actually not. Just as “Until” has a beginning, it has an end.

For Joseph, “Until” finally did come to an extremely abrupt halt. After years and years of pushing on and on and on and on and on and on and ON, the dizzying moment finally arrived. Pharaoh pulled him out of prison and, in an instant, set him on high. From prisoner to prince, just like that.

Remember this. The day before the King of Egypt summoned Joseph from the dungeon, it looked exactly like every other day of “Until.” The week before looked exactly like every other week. The month before looked exactly like every other month. Nothing changing. Nothing looking up. Disappointment after disappointment. There was absolutely no hint, no clue that “Until” was finally about to be over. And then, suddenly, it was.

Dear one, don’t give up. Don’t stop hoping. Don’t throw away your confidence. Don’t let your heart shut down. Hold onto those dreams. One of these days, you are going to wake up, and “Until” will finally be finished. You will find yourself in the middle of Promise Fulfilled. Everything inside of you will cry out, “It was unspeakably worth the wait!!!”

Don’t give up! The Word of the Lord WILL come to pass!!!

***************************************

How did Joseph manage to hold onto his faith, completely surrounded by unbelievers, with absolutely no spiritual support system?

26 thoughts on “Until…

      1. Ah beloved friend, Abba chose this name for me at one of my lowest point. I was in church feeling defeated and a man of God came up to me and said “God calls you His precious one.” Since then, that name has stuck. We all are precious to our Master. Abba finds us precious 🙌🏽. Love you sister friend! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Good post Jennifer. I’ll answer the last question first. Joseph’s faith developed first from his time with his father Jacob. From there the suffering and pain he endured drove him further into the arms of God until his soul entered into the iron. That blessed suffering he went through was the very thing to grow his faith. He correctly understood that faith isn’t what we believe but who we trust with our very existence. Joseph chose to trust in God for God was the only One who stayed with him faithfully. It is a common myth that we continually need a spiritual support system. When we are children, yes, we very much need it, but when we spiritually mature into adulthood, as Joseph did, God takes you through a wilderness season where He cuts all that support off. Cutting off that support is by design in the wilderness. God does this so He alone is our support structure. You know this. We lose everything to gain Him. It is quite beautiful.

    Now about the Until part. One thing we learned on our journey is that God marks time differently than we do. We see on earth clocks and calendars that march on incessantly regardless of any action on our part. This puts limits on all things created. Life is a school and God places us here to learn. If we just sit back in our chairs eventually class will end but we will not have learned anything. In fact we will have lost much.

    God gives us time and experience so we can learn. We all start life physically, grow then die. For most this process happens without much input from us. Spiritual growth, however, is different.

    When we come to Christ we are spiritual babies. We will stay spiritual babies forever if we do not take the time and opportunities God gives us to learn. Each time we choose to listen and obey Him we learn and grow. We can, through choice alone, decide to mature from babies, to children, to teens, to spiritual adults. This is progress and is how God marks time for us. He does not look at a calendar and say, “Oh, you have been a Christian for 20 years so therefore you must be 20 years old in the spirit.” Nope. Doesn’t happen. God looks at the obedience you have given to the Holy Spirit and Jesus and sees your progress, or lack thereof. If you have been faithful to each lesson then your progress will be fast and you will move to the next stage of obedience. Again, ALL spiritual growth is dependent on obedience to Him. We cannot behave as spiritual adults if we are just babies, children or teens. We must accept ALL of His lessons to grow. As we develop He will unveil new levels of learning, wisdom, experience, trials and responsibilities with each new level. God will look at you and say, “Oh because you have followed My Son and obeyed Him with this tough lesson then you can go to the next lesson.” Each lesson builds on the next until we become spiritual adults (which few do because the lessons get more demanding as we mature).

    So in this school of life Joseph, Job, David, Moses, Jesus, and Paul are examples of how to grow from spiritually immature to spiritual maturity. Each one learned special, active obedience through what they suffered. Each took the lessons in the school of life seriously and allowed God to mark their progress without respect to time. They understood, and accepted that progress was dependent on obedience and choice, not time alone. For Joseph 13 physical years were needed to prepare him. For Moses it was 80 years. Both men reached their proper destiny at the right time by following God through the wilderness and maturing. The time isn’t important, the spiritual progress is.

    So as we wait for God, especially in the wilderness, the suffering and sacrifice seems like it will never end because God doesn’t put a time limit on it; He puts a progress limit on it. While we suffer in faith God is leading us. As long as we stay the course and learn it will end when He determines what He is looking for is there. When we finish a course He will move us on, but not before. This is why it is ‘until’; spiritual growth is ALWAYS conditonal upon obedience.

    In our homeless journey I would often say to my family, “If God wants us to be outdoors, we’ll be outdoors. If God wants us to be indoors, we’ll be indoors.” The lesson was that as long as there was purpose in a place or suffering we would stay there. Nothing would get us out until we learned the lesson of that area. For some places we learned quick and were only there for a few days. Others took longer for there was more to learn and more obedience required. Again, time was irrelevant, progress is what God was looking for in us. We made mistakes many times but we did learn.

    So in the end, Until, is a great word for it encapsulates this whole concept. We won’t move on in our spiritual lessons UNTIL we learn to submit, surrender, yield our will to God and obey Him in all things.

    Great post Jennifer.

    Blessings,
    Homer Les
    http://www.uncompromisingfaith.ca

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “God doesn’t put a time limit on it; He puts a progress limit on it.” Wonderfully explained, Homer! Thank you so much for investing the time to share your insights in such a thoughtful and thorough way. Your journey is invaluable to so many. And yes, so very true about the support system removal. How alone I felt when I left my parents’ house and moved across the world to the Amazon Jungle as a 21 year old! But submitting to His process and life-long school is exceedingly worth it, isn’t it, my dear brother? 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for confirming in my spirit what God was showing me. I kept hearing exactly what you wrote right down to Joseph…..I am living out a dream I had that already came to pass. The dreams usually involve ministry and the ministry is not always delightful. But I know that God wants me to press on

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Praise God! I’m truly delighted to hear it was confirming for you! I pray that the Father would give you strength to press forward in His wonderful purposes for you, Lonnie. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Like

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