WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 19, 2022
TOPIC: YOU’RE MAN, NOT GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Joseph said to them, ‘God is the only One who can explain the meaning of dreams. Tell me your dreams’” (Genesis 40:8b New Century Version).
Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (New King James Version). Some things are beyond human comprehension here on earth. We can only know what the Lord will allow us to know. And we must acknowledge our limitations and the omniscience of God.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (New King James Version). Paul admitted that he didn’t know everything.
Verse 9 of 1 Corinthians 13 says, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation says it this way: “Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!” That was a genuine servant of God. He didn’t claim to know everything. Isaiah 31:3a says the Egyptians are men, not God. You’re not God, but man.
Some people talk as if they know everything and can foretell everything. Can any genuine servant of God prophesy or foretell without the Holy Spirit? Will the Holy Spirit reveal everything or everybody’s case to him? Can he speak when the Holy Spirit is not speaking? Does a genuine prophet of God always know everything? Does he prophesy or foretell as he wills or as the Holy Spirit wills? 2 Peter 1:21 says prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
The Prophet Elijah told Gehazi, concerning the Shunammite woman whose only son had died, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the LORD has hidden it from me, and has not told me” (2 Kings 4:27 New King James Version).
Elisha wasn’t ashamed to admit he didn’t know why the woman was deeply troubled. He didn’t know until the woman opened her mouth to tell him. And at that time, Elisha was on the mountain, apparently to pray. He eventually raised the child back to life. Elisha didn’t try to play God; he admitted his humanity.
How can you prophesy or foretell if there is no revelation from the Holy Spirit? Are you going to prophesy by Baal? (Jeremiah 23:13). God said He had not sent those prophets in Samaria, yet they ran; He had not spoken to them, yet they prophesied (verse 21).
Any true prophet of God should know his limit. He should not promise what he cannot deliver. Prophecy is of God; men are only mouthpieces of God. Any servant of God promising what he cannot deliver may be guilty of what is called in advertising “misleading advertisement”! Misleading advertising is the use of “false, misleading or deceptive information that is likely to cause the average consumer to act in a way they might otherwise not.” You can only prophesy when the Holy Spirit speaks; anything otherwise is not from God.
When Joseph was talking to the two officials of Pharaoh, who were worried by the dreams that each of them had in the prison, Genesis 40:8b says, “Joseph said to them, ‘God is the only One who can explain the meaning of dreams. Tell me your dreams’” (New Century Version). Did you see that?
He didn’t speak with an arrogance that he could interpret their dreams. He humbly acknowledged that only God could explain the meaning of dreams. They told him their dreams and he accurately interpreted them, and they came to pass just as he had said.
God is the interpreter of dreams. He is the healer; no minister is. He is the teacher; no servant of God is. He is the deliverer; no deliverance minister is, and so on. God only uses His servants, and they must never forget this.
Human nature became evident in Joseph when he appealed to the chief cup-bearer, who would be restored to his position in the palace, not to forget him. He thought he should benefit from God’s gift operating through him. But he was wrong. God had His own plan. He allowed Joseph to be in prison for two more years when the king would have a dream that needed interpretation.
Don’t make a mistake that you must always benefit from the operation of the gifts of God in your life. That may amount to trying to take credit for what God is doing or trying to share in His glory. Be content that God is using you; that’s why He gave you the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good – to help each other. God knows how and when He will bless you in return. Faithfully use your gifts; don’t focus on rewards from man.
Two years later, when Joseph stood before Pharaoh to interpret his dream, having been recommended by the chief cup-bearer whose dream he had interpreted in the prison, but had forgotten about him, he was standing on a bigger, better platform. His presence was more valued and the dream to be interpreted had a global implication.
Joseph told the worried king, as he had told his two officials in the prison, “I am not able to explain the meaning of dreams, but God will do this for the king” (Genesis 41:16 New Century Version). Joseph didn’t boast even though the chief cup-bearer had told the king how accurately he interpreted his dream and the chief baker’s dream, and he was restored to his position and the baker was hanged, as Joseph had said.
Joseph may also have learnt not to look to a man for a reward for the operation of the gift of God in his life as he had done two years earlier. What do I mean? After interpreting the king’s dreams, he made no personal request. He told the king the solution to the dreams without mentioning how he (Joseph) could benefit from it. He only told the king to look for a man who would implement the food storage programme.
Genesis 41:38-41 says, “And Pharaoh said to his servants, ‘Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?’ Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.’ And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt’” (New King James Version).
The king put Joseph in charge of the land of Egypt without Joseph lobbying for it. But don’t forget that Joseph had magnified the LORD before Pharaoh. He had not taken credit for what the LORD would use him for. That is always the attitude of genuine servants of God.
In Daniel 2, when Daniel was brought before King Nebuchadnezzar to tell him about his dream and its meaning, he didn’t boast that it was a small problem for him to deal with. He told the king, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days” (Daniel 2:27-28a New King James Version).
He told the king, accurately, his dream and the interpretation. He didn’t ask for any benefits, but he was promoted. He also made a case for his three friends, who had also joined him in prayer to God to reveal to them the dream and its interpretation. They were also given appointments.
Later in Daniel 5, when Daniel was brought before King Belshazzar to interpret the meaning of the writing on the wall, he again humbled himself and wasn’t interested in the gifts the king promised him.
He told the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation” (Daniel 5:17 New King James Version). Nevertheless, the king still promoted him.
Magnify the Lord; don’t magnify yourself. Know your limits or boundaries. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver by your own power. Stop misleading advertisements! Use the gifts of God in you in humility. You are not God; you are a man. Who are you without God?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me in any way that I have magnified myself and not You. Holy Spirit, help me henceforth, to magnify God, not myself. I will no longer try to steal the glory due to Father in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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