by Dr. John Tetsola


Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:
To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.
Psalm 105:16-22

    The word of the Lord that has been released or spoken over our lives, ministries and families is going to be tested. Until the word of the Lord is tested, we are not ready for the throne. God is going to enlarge our capacity power to be able to carry and handle the word of promise over our lives and ministries. Most Christians and leaders don't have the capacity power to handle the word of promise that has been spoken over their lives. God brings our enlargement of our capacity by testing the word and allowing it to go through a process of refining and dealings.

Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
Psalm 105:19

    "Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him." What was this word of Joseph's that had been delayed in its fulfillment? It was the word he spoke based on the dream he received "My father, my mother and my brothers will all bow down before me." He carried a dream - a word of the Lord in his heart. While the manifestation of that word was delayed, that word "tested him."

    I wonder if Joseph ever regretted telling his brothers about his dreams. "If I had just kept my mouth shut, I could have saved a lot of face. But no, I just had to open my mouth and tell everybody. And now look at the mess that I am in right now." The truth is, Joseph's declarations of his dreams were an expression of faith. It was a word that was spoken out of the confidence that rose up in his soul. He knew God spoke to him. But then the word tested him. Can you imagine Joseph sitting in his prison cell thinking to himself, "What were those dreams all about? I was so sure they were from God. Am I delusional? Maybe I was deceived. Maybe I did not really hear the voice of God. But, no. It has to be God! I am prepared to bet my life that it was God. God spoke to me and I will never let go of the word of the Lord." The fire on his life during this season must have been incredible.

    One of the most painful dynamics of the testing of the word of the Lord in our lives and ministries is the feeling of being excluded from everything that God is doing around you. You sit and watch others progress in God, rejoicing in the Lord, their churches growing, moving about with great freedom and fruitfulness. And there you sit. It is almost like John the Baptist. There is revival happening. The crowds are following Jesus of Nazareth. The reports are incredibly exciting, but John is in chains. How his heart must have yearned within him! He must have longed to participate in the revival meeting. But instead he was languishing in prison. God was not calling him to follow the blessing, but to follow the voice. Many of us will experience this. As the word of the Lord is tested in our lives and ministries, we will be brought to a place where hearing the voice of the Lord becomes greater than the blessing. We see the same thing in Joseph.

    By the time God was finished with Joseph, he was an entirely different person, no longer the impetuous lad who had to blurt everything he was seeing and hearing. That is what God does in us as He begins to test the word of promise over our lives. He brings us to a place of maturity in our spirit where we are able to carry out that promise without the involvement of our flesh. The testing of the word of promise over the life of Joseph brought him to a place of maturity where he was willing to waste nine years for his family finally to arrive. When we hold on to the word of promise as that word is being tested, the ability to wait - without scheming and manipulating our way to the throne until the word of promise is fulfilled - becomes an easy task.

    It would have been quite tempting during those first years in power to send a memo to his father and brothers in Canaan. "Hey guys, I am alive. And by the way I am the new Prime Minister of Egypt. How do you like that now?" But by now he could see God's purpose clearly in the years of plenty and he knew that the famine would eventually draw his brothers to Egypt. So he waited patiently for God to fulfill His purpose. He had been trained by God, and this training caused him to become a mature co-worker with God. And because he was once a prisoner trained by God, he could now judge righteously and pronounce righteous judgment mixed with empathy. Joseph was equipped for righteous, yet compassionate, leadership.