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The Jospeh Journey

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Knowing Your Guide

Last week We discussed how Satan will entrap us with familiar sins before he introduces unfamiliar sins. I love the ever changing word of God. As I was preparing this sermon series a month or so ago I set a clear path as to what I was going to preach on and when. I put together a cool little calander with all the titles and break downs of the sermons so that when it came time to write the sermons it’s easier and I can make one sermon lead into another—kind of like a good TV series. However, God has a way of disrupting the direction you think you should go to put you on the path that you need to be on. I want to preface this sermon with this: I believe someone needs to hear this sermon this morning. God doesn’t usually stop me on a dime for no reason and although I don’t know the reason who even who it’s intended for I know He wants me to talk about this subject this morning. So....let’s to open our bibles to
Genesis 37:18–23 ESV
They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore.
Genesis 27:18–23 ESV
So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.” But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the Lord your God granted me success.” Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. So he blessed him.
Genesis
Genesis 37:18–24 ESV
They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
I was going to preach on the pit, but as I was reading this verse again for the 100th time something new popped out. Understand in studying for a sermon I can read the same passage of scripture several hundred times. And the more you become familiar with something more the you tend to miss something new because you begin to read with your mind and not your eyes. I want to encourage you today when reading scripture try not to get into habits because sometimes when we memorize scripture we tend to make small adjustments and those small adjustments can make us miss a huge point.
Like I said I read this scripture many times, but I never saw what I am about to show you until Yesterday. You may have caught it and will be surprised that I skipped over it, but this realization in this story at this particular juncture opened my eyes and I hope it will help to open yours as well.
We see the brothers already had their mind made up to murder. and this is what I read passed so many times. Reuben steps in as the surprising voice of reason. Reuben who slept with his fathers concubine. The leader of the pack tries to save Joseph’s life.

Not Everyone who stands beside you is for you; Not Everyone who seems to oppose you is against you.

At some point Rubens heart begins a dynamic change. If you go back to where Dinah is raped the brothers kill the men of Shechem. In Jewish culture we know that the eldest brother is usually the gate keeper to the behavior of the rest of the family. The eldest brother has mantle, Jacob bought Esau’s with a bowl of soup meaning Jacob, the younger brother, carried the authority of the family only subject to the Father while the Father was alive.
So Ruben was the second in command. He more than likely led this rage filled slaughter. But here we begin to notice a slight change.

Hearts change.

Ezekiel
Ezekiel 36:26 ESV
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
People who you thought were your enemies can slowly become your greatest Allie’s. People who were your greatest Allie’s could become your worst enemies. At this point in Ezekiel Israel had turned their heart from God. They were committing some pretty wild sins. They were worshipping false God’s and their heart was hard with rebellion.
Earlier in Ezekiel the prophet states the same idea, but with more intent.
Ezekiel 11:18–20 ESV
And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
The key to a new heart his the removal of detestable things and all its abominations.
Last week we discussed how the brothers went back to the place of their first murder. They went back to Shechem, they stayed there for-we don’t know how long, but then moved to Dothan. The journey through Shechem only fanned the flame of murder in the hearts of the brothers. Except in Ruben.
There are times when the journey into our past is meant to soften our hearts and not to harden our hearts. In Shechem Ruben’s heart began to transition. Sometimes God will take us through a pain filled past memory not to remind us of the hurt, but rather to show us that today can be different.
God tells Israel that he was going to give them a new heart, but right after that he explains how he will do this.
By placing in them a new Spirit.
The only way to change past behaviors is to change the Spirit you are listening to.
The Spirit of Pain tells you to be angry and defensive. The Spirit of pain tells you you have a right to hold a grudge. The Spirit of pain tells us to take our revenge. After all the people who hurt us deserve to suffer. The men of Shechem deserved to die for raping their sister. If someone did that to my daughter hell hath no fury. However, when we receive this New Spirit---The Holy Spirit that God promised us—the helper that Jesus sent after his ressurection— we must remove our hear from the old familiar spirit and bend our hear to the Holy Spirit. Who we listen to needs to change.
We see this transition in Rueben. His heart begins to soften.
Later when we see this same situation arise. Joseph demands to see Benjamin and tells his brothers not to come back without him. Jacob refuses to let Benjamin go. If the Old Rueben still had charge he could have taken Benjamin in the middle of the night and saved his family. If the brothers were the same people who tried to kill Joseph and then sold them into slavery they could have devised a scheme and made a plan. But something changed. Rueben takes a stand. With a soft heart he tells his father—I will protect him with my life. And if he dies you may kill my children. We see the caring side. Rueben understands they are all going to starve. They don’t have a choice, they need to go back to Egypt. But this time they travel back with honor and virtue.
This transition only comes when we change the Spirit we are listening to. We need to cast down the Spirit of anger, the spirit of offense, the spirit of the need to feel important. We need to cast down the spirit of guilt, the spirit of shame, the spirit of pride. We need to release the spirit causing us to hold grudges.
Not only are we called to a higher standard through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, but those spirits will keep you in the same life habits that have continually wounded you.
Romans 8:2–6 ESV
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
No longer was Rueben bound by deceit. But the amazing thing is this: Once Rueben turned his ear to the Holy Spirit, once his heart became soft. He became the catalyst of change for his family. The younger brothers didn’t scheme. But we see the father, the one who should have led was stuck in the past. Jacob never let go of the supposed death of Joseph and his clinging to the past almost interrupted what God was doing in the present. He refused to let the boy go, but once he lent his ear to the voice of reason, to the voice of God—the entire family found new freedom.
We talked about family curses. You don’t have to wait for the patriarch in your family to draw the line. You can be the change in your family tree. You can be the one who stands in the gap and says Satan no more. No more will you control my family. No more will we listen to your lies. I embrace the power of God and the voice of the Holy Spirit. I listen to his leadings not your lies. You don’t have to repeat old habits, you can be the change in the life of your family. And when you begin to change you will see others will follow. When you allow the Holy Spirit to ignite a new fire or fan the flame of a dying fire you can be the catalyst to salvation. You don’t have to wait. You don’t have to wish things will change.

But you DO have to BEGIN BEING THE CHANGE in order to see the change in your family!

I want to open the alters and you need to come. I don’t care if you have been saved 20 years. I believe God is speaking to your heart. We all have lies about us or our family that we believe to be truth. We all have the demon we listen too.
You’re Not good enough.
You’re may be saved, but your family is lost.
You will always be poor.
You will always be stuck
Your son, daughter, mother, father will always hate you or hold a grudge.
We break these lies in the Name of Jesus Christ.
You don’t have to eat to be comforted.
You don’t have to work for your salvation.
You don’t have to repeat the same bad choices you made yesterday.
You are set free
You don’t have to work for your salvation.
You are forgiven
You are set
You are the change your family needs
You can have joy
You don’t have to wait for your situation to change in order to have a change of heart.
You are an overcomer.
You are more than a conquerer.
You are limited by what you can do because you serve a God stands above all limits.
You are loved
You are chosen
You ARE A CHILD OF LIVING GOD!!!
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