Volume 23 Issue 8
Pharaoh was greatly disturbed. In his prophetic dream he became witness to a great famine. Things were desolate and strange. Suddenly, he saw seven fat cows come across the river to graze in the meadow. Following them up out of the river were seven skinny cows, really skinny cows, as lean and skinny as had ever been known. The emaciated cows devoured the fat cows. Yet, despite their indulgence the skinny cows were just as skinny and bony as ever. Their selfish act gained them no advantage. Their greedy and brutish response to hunger offered no solution to the problem. The famine continued. As in Pharaoh’s dream, many are illustrating these same dead-end reactions to our own troubled times.
Pharaoh searched for an interpreter to his dream. He found Joseph. The man of God brought a God solution to the table: store in the good years. It was a simple plan, but it worked. It provided fruitfulness in a land of affliction (Genesis 41:52). However, the execution of God’s plan for provision required obedience and humility.
This powerful story provides a threefold plan that I believe will revolutionize the generations to come. First, we must have a sincere commitment to God’s solutions. Second, we must walk in obedience to God’s word and His commands. Finally, we must learn to live in humility. On the surface, it sounds simple enough, but pitfalls do exist.
First, let’s address the God solution. Never before in modern life have we seen such a hunger for solutions. Yet, as if helpless, this generation turns to the world for answers. Our young men and women live in a society that has been so deceived and manipulated that a great majority relate more to illusion than reality. We expect this deception to have darkened the hearts of those outside the church, but what about those in our pews? Far too many Apostolic young people are becoming resistant to the truths found in the Word and finding themselves unable to resist the allure of the false promises of the world.
Will our youth remain silent while facing a political culture that sees genocide as a solution? What do they say to those who practice the selfish abortion of children as a legal right that overrides taking responsibility for their behavior? What must this generation do when they are being forced by judicial mandates to endorse same-sex marriage? Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no God solution?
We know of course that there is, in fact, a God-authored solution, but it will take great faith, courage, anointing, and self-sacrifice to present it and defend it. And God will not simply reveal His plan to the unworthy who do not desire His influence on their life and their world. The God solutions for this generation must be sought after. It will take a few modern Josephs who are willing to seek God through prayer, education, training, and personal study. Then, in His time, a revelation of the transcendence of God’s power and wisdom will provide confidence for those who have sought His direction to boldly move forward.
The ultimate God solution requires the infilling of the Holy Ghost. There is never a good time for insincere religion; but even more in this age when people are sick of the fraud and corruption, the hungry will be drawn to the real inspiring power of the Holy Ghost. I challenge the young men and women who have a calling on their lives to preach the Word of God. Get up and do it. Never substitute hype, baffling hysteria, coolness, and doctrinal corruption for the clear commands of scripture. “You must be born again” is an imperative. Give up the trivial and get down to the issue.
Second, I submit a word about obedience. In the ‘60s I watched the ‘flower children’ trudge up to Katmandu, sit in open fields by the thousands listening to lectures from a robed, cultic Hare Krishna leader with jingling tambourines playing in the background. They tried to respond to “deep” questions such as, “what does one hand clapping sound like?” As foolish as it may sound now, it was “cool” then and intoxicating – a lustful mix of carnal desires, drugs, and human philosophy that appealed to flesh and intellect. Yet, I watched some of my own friends get caught up in it all. It was a distraction against the doctrinal progress that my generation needed to make. The challenge of my generation was to take the Pentecostal Church forward. That remains the challenge— take the doctrine forward! No one can move truth forward while trying to idealize and compromise with every value, every religion, every idea, every new thing, every lifestyle and every philosophy. This issue is obedience. Obey the truth (Galatians 5:7). If you want your faith to become boring, empty and filled with monotony, leave out obedience to truth and to God’s will in your life (Romans 2:6-11).
Finally, I ask you to remember that every great man or woman of God that you will ever meet or read about all have one particular thing in common – humility! They have taken on an unseen partner and they will tell you that the degree to which they have yielded their lives to God has determined their successes and their failures. It is not about luck. Forget the idea of fate and happenstance. The wise man of Ecclesiastes reminded us that “time and chance happeneth” in all lives — but above all, it is because of God. I’ve often used the quote from Louis Banks: “It is not a gambler’s world. It is not a world of chance; neither is it a world of the survival of brute force or cunning, where the weak must go to the wall. No. Luck has another name, and that other name is God.” Joseph did not offer a chance to Pharaoh but a plan. That plan functioned in the context of humility. Walk humbly. Humility is the key to success and it is one of the major factors of a true revival: to never boast in your talents or trust in the arm of flesh (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12).
Take these three things seriously: Seeking God. Obeying God’s Word. Walking humbly. Apart from the God solution, we will never be satiated. We will eat the fat of the world in our own lusts, yet remain as the skinny cows, unable to stand against the desolation of the dry, hopeless world around us. The Apostle Paul said it like this, “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:15-16).