5: Joseph’s Authority

Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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About Our God Reigns Series

Martha's thorough and definitive series on one of the most pivotal spiritual issues, and one of the most misunderstood: Authority.


Joseph had not merely a dream, but a vision of his authority under God’s dream.  He dreamed of ruling over fields of wheat and over brothers who bowed to him: the picture of Joseph’s authority in earthly realms.  Divinely planned.  The next dream had the “sun and moon and eleven stars bowing down to” Joseph (Genesis 37:5-9).  This dream pictured his heavenly authority.

His brothers scorned it all as arrogance, and set about to make JOSEPH do the bowing – under their control.  Joseph, favored son of a rich and powerful man.  Born a prince and called even higher by God’s whisper in dreams.  But his brothers scorned his elected place of eminence.  They would not bow!

Thinking they could destroy one chosen by God, they sold the prince as a slave to a distant heathen land and considered they had succeeded in making Joseph do the hated bowing.

But Joseph’s dream of ruling had burned into him. By telling it he had secured it – even though, also by telling it, he had lost his freedom.  Because Joseph knew that he was a ruler, that it was his identity, it became his view of himself.  He rose up to that authority, in charge of all Potiphar’s house.

Joseph had seen his assignment, so no matter where he was placed, no matter the tyranny of those who had absolute control of him, he lived and thought as one-who-ruled.  And in his terrible trials, he was learning how to rule.

From an unjust slavery to a wrongful imprisonment,
Joseph learned the secret of authority.

For though he was chosen to rule, he had to become trustworthy of the dominion that was his calling.  In the furnace where one burns out or burns up, he had to forge his own character to be capable of ruling rightly.  Authority is offered by God’s election but it is only attained through suffering under crushing authority.

Joseph is a picture of the New Testament Believer, inheriting a position from the Father.  In addition, he was given a position over the Brothers and – by those same Brothers – persecuted into his authority!

To become what he was sent to be, Joseph was put in an uncommon ordeal, years long and seemingly hopeless.  He shows us the way, Joseph teaches us how to possess the authority for which we were created and to which we have been restored by the Cross of Jesus.

Copyright © 1999 Martha Blaney Kilpatrick, Our God Reigns

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