Separate Temptation From Opportunity.

But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. – Gen. 39:8 NIV

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The scripture for today’s Devotional is part of the response of Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob and the first child of Rachael, to the offer presented to him by Portiphar’s wife whilst he was serving him as a servant in Egypt. She had invited him to her bed because of his physical features with the Bible writers also acknowledging that Joseph was well-built and handsome – Gen. 39:7.


Joseph who was a favourite of the father had found himself in that situation because of a spiritual revelation he received concerning his future and which he chose to share with his family members, at least that will be the human explanation for why he found himself in that situation, even though that may have been the Almighty God’s way of leading him into his destiny – Gen. 37:1-36.


From the plan of the brothers to kill him to his being put in a pit based on the advice of Reuben who the Bible says had the intention to save him from death using that strategy, to his being sold to the Midianite traders who were to eventually sell him to Portiphar, a high ranking official and the Captain of Guard of Pharaoh’s army, it must have been nothing but great emotional torture for Joseph who possibly at some stage along all these transitions would have had cause to regret ever having such a dream, more so sharing it with his family members.


His arrival in Portiphar’s house, even as a slave, would probably have been a welcome relief from the trauma he had experienced and like most human beings, he would probably have been strategizing on how to ensure that his present position remains a permanent feature which he will most likely want to improve on thereby charting a final escape from the situation he found himself and may be, help to realize the dream that brought him into his situation in the first place. The request of Portiphar’s wife that he gets into her bed, to someone else in that situation, would probably have been considered a divine opportunity to break into a better life of comfort and achieve his dreams but he chose to reject it with the excuse which is the foundation of today’s scripture signifying his intention to avoid being considered and ingrate but he must have also considered it a temptation rather than an opportunity. He probably considered the fall, back into terrible conditions, if caught in such an act than the upliftment that will accompany such act if he chooses to do the bidding of his master’s wife. Although he opted to refuse the offer, he still had to go through the same fate that he would have gone through, had he been caught accepting the offer of his master’s wife, but in the long term, the wisdom of his choice became glaring. Not only did he arrive at that dream destiny, but got there through a more honorable route. He had allowed the Almighty God to take him to his destiny thereby enjoying the full value of arriving there, rather than choose the option that seemed to do so but will ultimately destroyed the joy on arrival at that destiny, and that is if he ever arrives there.


There is so much for today’s Christian to take away from the story of the journey of Joseph into destiny in this regard some of which are listed below.

  1. No matter how real a dream is, it remains just a revelation of a divine plan whose mode and time of implementation remains the exclusive of the Almighty God. Having a pre-knowledge of the plan of God should always be seen as a privilege and not a right to an information that the Almighty God must share. It may have been for a purpose best known to Him but nothing compels Him to share all the information. He will only give as much as He desires to give and man will have no choice but to live only within the boundaries of the information shared. Doing anything outside this will be an attempt to declare independence, like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. The result of such acts to the present day man will be exactly same as what happened to the first couple on earth.
  2. No divine dream can be implemented through an ungodly route. The Word of God through the Scriptures or His direct communication on specific issues remain the only standard to be used in determining the appropriateness of any action. Any action that will negate his direct instructions with regards to an issue cannot be right, no matter how much it seems to help in achieving a divine destiny. A right thing done in a wrong way will always be wrong.
  3. No matter how rewarding an offer may seem to be, Christians must learn to separate a temptation from an opportunity. Several people Christians inclusive, have found themselves in situations completely in opposition to the Lord by taking offers that seem to be from the Lord but which in actual fact is a temptation – 2Kgs. 5:20-27. Nothing obtained through an ungodly source or route can ever be rewarding in the long term although it may seem that way in the immediate.


Christians need to be very cautious when taking decisions that seem to help their course by always taking a step back to give very deep consideration to all the options that is before them with the aim of determining whether it is an opportunity or a temptation. There may be no room for a second chance as the damage done due to such wrong choices made at such times may be irreversible. The bible advises Christians not to be ignorant of the deceitful nature of the Devil – 2Cor. 2:11-13. Truth be told, one of the ways the Devil creates problem for the undiscerning person is to present temptation that will lead to a fall, like it is an opportunity that will lead to uplifting, and that remains a mistake and a trap that all should and can avoid, with the possession of the gift of discernment and deploying such gift during those times that the so called opportunity appears – 1Cor. 12:10.


Joseph recognised the temptation that was presented like an opportunity and was able to avoid it but the lives of many Christians are in shambles today because of the wrong choices made at such critical moments. Depending on how those errors are considered by the Almighty God, it may still be possible for him to restore you if you are honest in your admission of those errors just as Peter advised Simon the Sorcerer – Acts 8:9-24. According to Peter, Simon needs to repent and be sober for his errors, as it may still be possible for the Almighty God to forgive and of course restore him.


However, if you are lucky not to have made such error of judgement yet, this may just be the time to take the pro-active step of asking God to grant you the spirit of discernment that will help you to overcome such temptations that have been dressed up as opportunities by the Devil. May God guide all our decision making process and grant us the spirit of discernment in Jesus name. Amen.

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