Read: Genesis 43-45
As we read through the story of Joseph I want us to draw our attention to a few facts:
1)Joseph wasn’t in the chosen line for the Messiah.
Judah is the line in which Jesus would come from, but Joseph’s story still reserves quite a few chapters in this story. Ultimately Joseph was used to sustain Judah and his lineage. What I mean is: God used Joseph to provide for Israel (Jacob) and his 11 other children. We are reading about a supporting role someone is playing in history. However, this supporting character was a vital part of our Messiah’s history. Not only was he a head of one of the tribes but he was being used to sustain the 11 other tribes during this massive famine.
We too often think supporting roles take a back seat. However, in the story of Joseph (and many others through Scripture) we see that the supporting roles are MASSIVE parts of the story. In fact, many cases the supporting role is seen as a temporary replacement for the main character during hard times, times of waiting, times of training, or many other reasons.
Don’t let the enemy trick you into thinking that your position is not vital. We are all a part of a giant plan of redemption. You may even be a supporting role for someone while being a main player in another’s life. Joseph was a supporting role for Jesus’ forefathers but was the main player when it came to sustaining EVERYONE ELSE in the surrounding region at the time. He stepped into a supporting role for our redemption while simultaneously preserving many nations. All supporting roles are not ALL a supporting role. Though Joseph was a support he was also a main player in many stories.
2)Judah (our King’s forefather) stepped in to give his life for another.
Judah was the one who Jesus, many years later, would come from. He was also the one, in this story, who was willing to put his life on the line for his brother Benjamin, his brother Simeon, and ultimately all of his family. He was willing to forsake his life to save the rest of his family. What a perfect example of what his great, great, great, great, great, (and a lot more ‘greats’ -you get the picture) grandson would do. The character of being willing to lay one’s life down for another, is vital for our life in Christ. We should be laying down everything, all the time. American’s have this “self care” mindset which is GOOD in some sense, but also horrendous in others. We have become so overly focused on our life here on Earth that we are willing to forego opportunities to sacrifice for other people all in the name of “keeping myself healthy.” I am not saying we should actively harm ourselves by neglecting our health. What I am saying is we should have priorities, the highest one being sacrificing for other’s in light of their salvation. Now many of you out there are “people pleasers,” that is not the same thing.
What Scripture shows us is the need to walk in step with the Lord and be willing to lay down our preferences, desires, or comfort for others WHEN HE CALLS US TO. That means we need to be constantly listening for His voice… not our own insecure habit of making others habit. We have to be in step with Him and being guided by Him or we will end up over extending ourselves in an area that He isn’t calling us to. Now He will likely take care of us even in those situations, since He is an incredibly loving Father. However, we aren’t called to run into situations and just hope He will provide… We are called to keep in step with Him and listen to His direction.
- Realize that a supporting role isn’t an ‘inferior’ position. The ‘main story’ cannot be completed without these roles, and often these roles become the focus for a time.
- Know that sacrifice for others is desired above “self care” IF GOD IS GUIDING YOU TO IT. Priorities need to be dictated by the Spirit not our insecurities or others demanding things from us.
Lord, thank You for allowing me to be a supporting role in Your grand story. Thank You for giving me some responsibility in your overall narrative. Help me to see how You would want me to communicate with You so that I can hear Your direction in what to do. Keep me from overextending myself in the areas I don’t need to. Keep me from making myself too busy to use, instead push me further into Your desire for me. Help me to be willing to sacrifice for others and not be obsessed with my own life. Amen.
These principles are, in themselves, ‘relatable.’ So share them with someone, including yourself. Remind yourself and others that a supporting role has nothing to do with a power struggle or fame issues. Instead it is as if they (or you) are the gas for a vehicle. It cannot run without it and becomes worthless if the ‘support’ is removed. Additionally remind people that God calls us to sacrifice, but in His guidance. We shouldn’t be running around sacrificing time and resources for people when we haven’t been told to by our Commander. He is the owner of our resources and ourselves. So we should be constantly looking to Him for guidance on what to do with everything!