The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. ~ Genesis 39:2
Again and again, we read that the Lord was with Joseph, so he prospered. This cannot just be a referring to the presence of the Lord, else everyone should have been as prosperous and successful as Joseph – after all, isn’t God everywhere?
You see, it’s a reference to something deeper than just the presence of the Lord; it’s talking about fellowship with the Lord. Joseph was living and operating in fellowship with the Lord.
Presence vs. fellowship
There’s a world of difference between the presence of the Lord and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. One is the Lord being there, the other is the Lord having fellowship with you.
Notice that Paul did not just pray that the Lord will be with us, he prayed that His fellowship will be with us.
"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." (2 Corinthians 13:14).
He understood the distinction clearly.
With fellowship there’s interaction, there’s conversation, there’s sharing, there’s intercourse.
This is not just about the Lord being there, but rather about the Lord working with us – advising, coaching, teaching, helping, and strengthening us. This is partnership.
Joseph prospered and succeeded in all that he did, not just because the Lord was present, but because the Lord was with him. He enjoyed the fellowship of the Lord and reaped the dividends.
If you want to experience prosperity and success, get into serious fellowship and partnership with the Holy Spirit.
"Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it." (Mark 16:20).
Remember, the disciples already had a vision from Jesus Christ – global evangelism; but Jesus had also told them to wait for the Holy Spirit to join them before they stepped out.
When the Holy Spirit joined them, and they entered into serious fellowship and partnership with Him, signs and wonders exploded all around them. Their words worked and their seeds blossomed as a result of the active participation of the Holy Spirit in their lives and ministries.
Joseph prospered and succeeded in everything he did – first in Potiphar’s house, and latter in the prison – because the Lord was actively working with him.
The Holy Spirit has come. He is here with us now. But we must understand His place in our lives and dreams, and let Him have it.
He is not our servant. He is rather our success coach – or Senior Partner, as someone called Him.
He does His work in us. There he guides our choices, decisions, and actions.
"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Philippians 2:12,13)
Yes, we should acknowledge His presence in our lives; but we need to move beyond that to become really conscious and aware of His person in our daily living. Then cultivate a practical working fellowship and partnership with Him.
We need to develop our hearts to actually receive practical advice and guidance from Him on real life issues. We need to learn what releases Him and what grieves Him.
He has access to the thoughts and wisdom of God; and He can make these available to you to realize your dreams and get what you want in life. This was Joseph’s experience. It can be yours.
Persecution and rejection
One thing that draws this level of fellowship with the Holy Spirit is rejection and persecution. When loved ones turn against you to the degree that Joseph faced in life, it has a way of driving you close to the Lord.
From the very first days of his life, Joseph experienced severe persecution and rejection from his loved ones. Even his father rebuked him sharply for daring to dream a big dream.
This must have driven him closer to his God. Jacob was later to refer to him as one who was separated from his brethren.
I imagine that this was also the case with David when he wrote,
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you." (Psalms 73:25).
When people persecute and reject you because of your distinction, and your dreams, don’t despair. Its simply an open invitation to intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
Let us turn our hearts over to the Holy Spirit and consciously welcome Him to take His place in our lives and be the Success Coach for our dreams.