Do you ever feel like you are in a pit? Have you found yourself in mental or emotional "prison"? God wants to move you forward to the palace... into the most inner deep places of His chambers.
I watched a boy evolve into a young man. As a boy he was skinny and quiet, often felt inadequate and was pressured by others to conform to rules in order to be accepted. It was like being in a pit. Too young to control it, he did not knowing how to process it. Over time he found a niche for himself to excel in ways that most people only dream of. He worked hard to reach his goals. He went from scrawny to powerfully built. He strutted around town with pride and relished in the attention that he received for being so handsomely built. He had worked hard to be where he was and enjoyed going from feeling unnoticed or pushed down to praised for his outward appearance. Having been deeply wounded, he now felt powerful and in control of others instead of feeling controlled by others. But his pride landed himself into some self made prisons.
Seeing it play out in front of me seemed so obvious. But as I looked at myself, I realized, I do the same types of things in a dozen different ways. We all have a tendency to find our worth and fulfillment in people, work, accomplishments. It is human nature.
Mostly we can not see it ourselves in the moment. And the pit or the prison feels like....well, the pits. It is hard to see the purpose. Unforgiveness for those we want to blame (real or perceived) leaves us there to wallow in self pity and defensiveness.
Let's step back in time and visit some scenes from a man who experienced the pit and prison. Joseph. I always felt like Joseph had a tendency towards the same weaknesses. God gave him visions and dreams and discernment. This is a great gift in and of itself...but he boldly boasted of his ability and greatness to his brothers...relentlessly. This evoked their jealousy.
His PRIDE got him thrown into a PIT. (Genesis 17:10)
He became successful as a slave (just a slave or still a slave to his pride?). He was handsome and well built. I have wondered, was he still strutting himself around the house to gain the attention of others to try to soothe his inner pain of the prior rejection? That need for attention inadvertently got him the wrong attention. He resisted Potipher's wife in the end but the pride had already cost him. (Genesis 39:1-7) He did not see how much seeking to fill his needs by the praise of others would cost.
Sometimes we don't see how attempting to fill our identity needs in others will land us in PRISON.
We have all been in the pit and wondered how we got there. Sometimes we defend why we should not be. Sometimes we wallow in self pity. We all have our own prisons. Secret sins, hiding our weaknesses and feeling stuck. God prospered Joseph in both places (He never stops caring for us. Ever.) But prison comes with it's own set of trials. Our freedom is restricted, our joy diminished.
We all can find ourselves in a pit or in a prison. I believe the pits and the prisons in our lives are meant to refine us to get to the PALACE (destiny). The pit and the prison are scenes in Joseph's life... they are not the complete story.
What you see in front of you is a scene in your life but it is not your story. The scene isn’t meant to define you. Don’t give up in this moment and miss your destiny!
What will it take for you to walk out of our prisons and into the PALACE?
The work of grace on the Cross allows us to lay all of our weaknesses, insecurities, sins down and move into the inner chambers of the palace and walk in destiny...
I believe that he had to find forgiveness for being thrown into the PIT and the unjust accusations that landed him in PRISON. He did everything "right" but there was character that God wanted to build IN him. There was a dependency that needed to form on God and not in himself. He needed to find grace and learn to forgive. He had to realize on a deep level that his talents were a gift from God and that his identity, his worth, his purpose, his abilities were in Him and not what he did.
When we KNOW grace, we can forgive. When we can forgive, we move past our own strengths and walk in our weaknesses too.