“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man, and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand” (Genesis 39:2-3).
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). The world constantly wants to conform our definition of success to factors like:
Success is not a goal to be attained; it is a state of being. If we need something outward to validate us as a success, then we are not a success. One of God’s main methods of developing people to their potential is to influence them to become successful on the inside of themselves when they do not appear successful on the outside. This is the soul prosperity mentioned in 3 John 2 of which Joseph is a prime example.
“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man.”
Joseph certainly was not outwardly successful when this was said about him. He was a purchased property of Potiphar and he had no possessions or status, his family had abandoned him for dead, and there were no external signs that his dreams would ever become a reality. Despite all these, he had the Lord with him and that was the key to his success. It is the same for us.
Say these words out loud five times: Because the Lord is with me, I am a successful person.
When our faith is in what Jesus has done and in His presence, and not in our own efforts, we will have the right foundation for personal victory and catalytic influence. As we have these right priorities and right beliefs, we will have a manifest presence and favor that even the non-believer will see and want to partner with.
“And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.”
Say this five times: Others increasingly see that the Lord is making all I do to prosper.
So, when did Joseph become a successful man? It was way before his success became evident to others. When do you become a successful person? When you believe God is with you in the season you are in now—no matter how much outward success you have or seem to lack.
In conclusion, let’s let Psalm 1 speak more into this Joseph kind of success.
“Blessed is the man . . . (whose) delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).
Those who delight themselves in the Lord and in His words will bear much fruit and prosper in whatever they do. They will become Josephs to this generation and will cause even the ungodly to see God’s presence on them. There is no limit to what we can do as we believe God is with us and we believe what He has said.
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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.