7: Soul of Iron

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.

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Joseph learned to serve.

It takes great strength to serve.  Anybody can rule.  It requires no integrity to dominate.  To serve one beneath your intelligence and to slave for that which is below your social rank – ah, that is the test of a servant-spirit.

In learning to be nothing, Joseph was gaining a strength that would enable him to rule over nations.  The inner power of character: to deny himself, to discipline his wants, to harness his emotions.

God watches to see these internal strengths develop.  For a measure of His own authority – true authority and the presence of His favor – rests only on the lowly servant.

True rulership means that the ruler is servant of all, tyrant only to his own selfishness.  Master of his own lazy wants.  Learning to serve is learning to bear the weight of responsibility under the eye of a Father who cares for the least of His creatures.  Psalm 105 reveals the measure of Joseph’s suffering in prison, a picture not given in Genesis.

(v. 18-19, NKJV)
They hurt his feet with fetters,
He was laid in irons.
Until the time that his word came to pass,
The Word of the Lord tested him.

The footnote, (the true meaning in the original language) says, “His soul entered into iron.”  Joseph, in the irony of spiritual preparation, was being strengthened as he was being crushed.

The capacity to endure was working in his soul, an iron will to pursue God, to survive by His grace.  A determination – unbending and resolute – was permeating his soul, to wait for the Word to come to pass.  To trust the God who authored his dreams and held in His hand alone, their fulfillment.

Suffering either burns rebellion out
or cements it forever.

Even the Savior, purely God and fully human, had to experience the same fiery process to bear the mantle of authority.

. . . though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience 
by the things which He suffered.
Heb. 5:8 NKJV

Obedience is shallow until it reaches the abyss of suffering and remains the life-principle . . . even in shackles of iron.

Copyright © 1999 Martha Blaney Kilpatrick, Our God Reigns

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