9 August 2014 by Jason Law CM –
Pr Peter Tsukahira is well-known international Speaker, an anointed teacher of GOD’s word and a marketplace mentor, and on the 19th of July, 2014, he was here in Petaling Jaya to conduct the SOM Conference 2014 about Israel and the Mystery of God’s Favour, held at Grace Convention Center. Specifically, for the first session, he established the understanding of Godly favour, by using the life of Joseph as an illustration.
‘What I want every Christian to understand is that every one of us are God’s favour-ites. This means that God intends to bring His prosperity, peace, and freedom to each one of us. The word ‘favour-ite’ here contains a hyphen, and is not the same as the word ‘favouritism’; God does not play sides. But God’s favour is not instantaneous. In order to be within God’s favour, we must conform to His purposes for our lives,’ Pr Tsukahira shared.
‘God often hides His design in His Creation, and there are reasons why He does this. Firstly, God does not want to be manipulated. Therefore, we need to find and understand God’s identity and character. It is by understanding who He is, and by walking with Him, that we learn to have the same mind and heart with God and gain the ability to see the world in a proper perspective.’
The Nature of God And His Favour
Who is God and what is He like? Most of all, God is moral. He is above carnality and lust. So, His favour has a holy and pure purpose, and is never for us to fulfill the lust of the flesh. But sole morality does not tell us how to accomplish God’s purpose in our lives. They just bring us into His presence. Many times, we go through seasons of life, and we don’t understand what is going on, but in those times, remember that God always has a design and a purpose for each one of us.
‘You know how in Esther 4:14, she was told that she was born for such a time as this? That is the case for all of us; God works with us or without us. Understand this, and we will know how to be in God’s favour. We will know that God has a place for us and it brings a constant awareness of being God’s favour-ite. God’s Kingdom operates foremost as a big family, and the best analogy for a relationship with God is that of parenthood and child,’ Pr Tsukahira imparted.
The Life of Joseph
Pr Tsukahira used the story of Joseph as an example of a life of Godly favour. ‘The Bible stories are there for a purpose; they are universal and they teach us about our times through the revelation given by the Holy Spirit. And 1/3 of Genesis was given to the life of Joseph. His was an important story. The gifts of God comes with His design, and His design for Joseph was there with him at every step, including the time when he was sold into slavery, and the time when he was falsely accused and put into prison,’ Pr Tsukahira communicated.
From the beginning, we notice that Joseph’s life was one that was of special favor from God. He was from the line of Abraham and his covenant; he was born of Rachel, Jacob’s love, which made him Jacob’s favourite. And he was blessed with certain innate qualities that would later bring him from the depths of life up onto its pinnacle.
‘Do you know that if God did not allow Joseph to be sold by his brothers, Joseph would never have gone into Egypt where his destiny would later be fulfilled? God did not cause the incident, but it was within His will. Even at the very start in Egypt, we see God’s favour was there. The gift of administration that God had given to Joseph helped him to rise in Potiphar’s household (Genesis 39:2-6),’ Pr Tsukahira pointed out.
One foundation for this was that Joseph was living a life that was honouring God, but it would later lead him to trouble, due to the jealousy of Potiphar’s wife. Pr Tsukahira contextualized; ‘Joseph was doing God’s will. Despite the possibilities it provided him, he did not exploit the lust of Potiphar’s wife for his personal self, and it got him into prison. He spent 13 years in prison as a result, and in those days, there were no such thing as Amnesty International. Many of us would inevitably wonder if God was sleeping’.
However, in Genesis 39:21-23, we find that though Joseph had fallen into the lowest depths, God’s favour was still with him, and people noticed. God allowed him there for a purpose, and God moulded him throughout that time. There were many possible things that may have run through Joseph’s mind in Egypt, one of them being revenge. But though the Bible does not record it, many things could have taken place during the 13 years in prison.
Joseph’s revenge dies out and he discovers that the emotion does not come from God. He learned that such an emotion does not build, but only destroys, and this transitioned him to forgiveness. He held on to the dreams God had given him in his homeland and starts to learn. He learnt about servanthood and to carry out his responsibilities well. He learnt to love and have compassion for his fellow men, including the Egyptians. He learnt to connect. He learned to respect authority and to love justice. He learnt what it meant to have power, but more importantly, its righteous use.
It was in prison that Joseph met the chief baker and cupbearer, and exhibited the gift God had given him to interpret dreams (Genesis 40). From this, he also learnt about patience, but more significantly, it opened the way for Pharoah to know about him (Genesis 41:9-13).
‘Joseph grabbed his chance. He shaved and changed his clothes (Genesis 41:14), and he was careful (Genesis 41:16) and astute (Genesis 41:33) in the way he talked. The savvy Joseph here is different from that of the ‘naïve’ man in the earlier passages, and Pharoah made him the second most powerful man in a powerful kingdom, answerable only to him (Genesis 41:39-43).’
‘In 5 minutes, his life changed, but the 13 years in prison had already changed him. The 13 years was a preparation for something great for Joseph. Very likely, it was the right amount of time for God to mould him,’ Pr Tsukahira communicated.
Applicability of Joseph’s story
Joseph was an example of a marketplace leader. He was from the very first an administrator. He wasn’t a prophet, priest or missionary. What are the great lessons we can learn from Joseph’s life? What does God want for Malaysia? What is our role in it? How ready are we to come into that role? In Genesis 45:4-9, Joseph showed that he clearly understood what he had undergone during his time in Egypt.
‘Joseph’s story teaches us that we do not need to be in full-time ministry to be God’s ministers and be in His favour. It also tells us that even in our darkest moments, God can still redeem it and accomplish His purposes for us. The question is; what He has found in Joseph, will He also find it in us? The principal point in Joseph’s story is that every stage of his life was long enough for God’s purposes for him, and that point also applies to all of us,’ Pr Tsukahira closed.
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