The lives of Joseph and Daniel are one of the great manuscripts to study if you have any desire to be promoted in life. These guys both lived and worked in a secular world and became 2 of the greatest influencers of the bible.
In Genesis we read about Pharoah, the leader of the nation of Egypt and God gives him a dream.
Every great church is the same. Every great leader has a dream.
But what every great leader needs is a Joseph. Someone who can interpret their dream. In fact, great church leaders need Josephs in every area of the church. Youth, young adults, adults, men, women, creative and so on.
To interpret means to make sense of.
Nothing changed in Egypt until Joseph unraveled the mystery of the dream. Then Joseph interpreted the dream and went on to design and strategize the implementation of the dream.
What we need in the church today are not more pharaohs, but more Josephs. There is room for only 1 pharaoh, but there is plenty of room for lots of josephs.
Josephs name means The Lord will increase
1When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.
8In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged.£”
14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22“In my dreams I also saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none could explain it to me.”
28“It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.
33“And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.
Daniel 6; 3 Then Daniel was distinguished above the presidents and the satraps because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
Being promoted starts with an excellent spirit. It’s a spirit that is full of God, full of character, full of the spirit of God. It’s a passionate spirit, a committed heart. An excellent spirit does the following things.
Joseph found favor in Potiphar's eyes and became his attendant.
Something about Joseph attracted Potiphar to study him.
To find favor means to be attractive to the eye. There was something about him that got Potiphar's attention. It was the same thing that got the prison wardens attention. It was the same quality that got him Pharoah’s attention. It was a quality that made pharaoh trust him.
STEP 1: PUT YOURSELF IN THE SHOES OF YOUR BOSS/LEADER
Most people are thinking about their world, their emotions, their side of the story. It’s not that they are selfish, it’s just that they are self-focused. Self-centered. Very few people think about others. Mothers may think about their kids, but the kids very rarely think about their mother.
STEP 2; LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THE LEADERS DREAM AND VISION.
The secret to interpretation is listening. Listen carefully and to everything until there is full understanding.
Most people don’t listen. They finish off sentences. They assume.
Listen to what’s not being said, but where it's being said from.
STEP 3: MAKE SENSE OF THE DREAM AND GIVE THE LEADER UNDERSTANDING
Imagine if at church on Sunday you paid particular attention to the why behind the what. Why is the pastor doing this? What is his goal? What is he/she trying to achieve today? Look beyond what they say.
STEP 4; GIVE CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO SEE THE VISION ACHIEVED.
Joseph not only provides an interpretation to the dream but he provides the answer to the problem.
A lot of people have ideas. I don’t need your ideas. I need solutions.
STEP 5; BE READY TO CREATE THE SOLUTIONS
STEP 6; DO THE JOB SO WELL THE LEADER SENDS EVERYONE TO YOU.
STEP 7; COMMUNICATE THE VISION OF THE LEADER WELL TO THOSE UNDER YOU.
11 CHARACTER QUALITIES THAT IDENTIFY A JOSEPH
1. A lack of selfish ambition. This is evidenced by knowing the heart of your leader even before they know their dreams.
2. They are always reliable
6So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Are you reliable? Can you be depended on? Always focussed, always prayed up. Always leading, always serving.
3. They always dress right
14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
You need to know how to present yourself. How to speak, what attitude, what demeanor to have.
4. They know where the boundaries are. What areas are off limits and what areas they can lead in
My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
5. They know how to handle misunderstanding
Most people who serve on a leadership team can’t handle the misunderstandings that come from their leader. Make no mistake if you serve God for more than 5 mins, you will be misunderstood.
6. Josephs has a great and mighty spirit
38So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God£?”
7. Josephs are problem solvers. They create solutions
55When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you
8. They can never be persuaded to take what isn’t theirs.
Integrity is about knowing what is yours and what isn’t
10And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
9. Josephs know how to offer genuine solutions without making the leader feel under pressure, guilty or manipulated
And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”
37The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials.
Notice the way he presented the plan. Everything has to do with the way you communicate your ideas.
10Josephs know how to build structures for good and bad times
The greatest need in the church today is for josephs who know how to build structures by themselves that adequately meet the needs of their leaders and the congregation
39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Joseph in Charge of Egypt
41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,£ and men shouted before him, “Make way£!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,£ to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
11. They don’t change course. They understand God directs their steps. They are committed to follow through.
Notice Joseph, never changed course. Once it was set, he followed through on it faithfully, understanding that the Lord was leading his steps, even when it didn’t make sense.
Most people do not understand this principle and therefore rarely build anything great. They neither build great character, or build great impact.