HOW TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION
My beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord I want to speak to you about Joseph the example we can follow in these closing times. A man that demonstrated the true characteristics of our God and the christian we ought to be today.
To our Lord Patriarch, Queen Abbess and Cardinal greetings in the Name and only One that as brought us thus far admist the trials and temptation that have passed our way, we are still standing on the promises of Almighty God. To our other ministers, brothers, sisters, friends, well-wishers and Affiliate churches it is for us to give the Lord all the praise and the thanks for all benefits we have received at His hands.
We see Joseph in this chapter as an excellent example of how to overcome temptation.Let’s take a look at how he did it. “The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household.” It is said that power corrupts but in Joseph’s case his promotion to head steward did not lead to pride. As we see later, he remained humble both before his earthly master Potiphar and more so before God.“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”(Prov. 16:18) So like Joseph we must always remain humble regardless of our temporal success in the eyes of man. This is so true to us in this day we are living in, how names and titles have sought to destroy the very existence that God has set up for us. The very foundation of our establishment is shaken because of pride. Today I thank God for humbling Grace and love to me, ever keeping me in check and in line with the word of Almighty God. I have seen many fall and I have taken that to be my stepping stone. For on Christ the solid rock I stand and all other is sinking sand. When I thought of Joseph I had no choice but to read the story and see the man for myself. See, him for who he is and how I can apply the circumstances to my life in this day and age.Yet I gave our Patriarch the thanks for believing in me and for elevating me to where I am today.
Here is the temptation and challenges for Joseph just as Eve was tempted in the Garden of Eden. I want you to look at similar incidences and see which one you can apply to your life. “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.” Potiphar’s wife tried every approach from the direct demand to the daily pleading and Joseph strongly refused her and even rebuked her. Maybe she was saying what the adulteress says in Prov. 7:16-19: “I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink deep of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey.” But he did not debate with her or flatter her but quickly and firmly refused her.Convictions for obedience to God must be formed in advance, not in the heat of the moment.
“She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ranout of the house.” Now she practically rapes him, trying to take him by force. And he runs. “Flee from sexual immorality.” (1 Cor. 6:18) Joseph does exactly what Scripture calls us to do.
“Dedication to the calling of God will enable the servant of God to resist temptation.” Choose to make Jesus the Lord of your life. (Rom. 12:1-2) Although Scripture doesn’t say it directly it seems that Joseph had not forgotten the dreams of leadership God had given him (God’s call on his life) which was being confirmed by God’s manifest presence in his role as Potiphar’s head steward: “The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.” This was such an extraordinary blessing that even Potiphar gave credit to God. As we faithfully serve the Lord in humble obedience and serve the people He sends us to, we will experience His presence and be encouraged to live out His call on our life. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10)
In contrast to all the sexual sin of Judah, Joseph’s brother, seen in Genesis 38, we see Joseph flee from sexual sin because of his absolute commitment to God’s call on his life. Saying a strong “Yes” to God’s will, not just in the moment of temptation but as the very purpose of our life, makes saying “No” to sin much easier.
“When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.” The reward for obedience to God may not come immediately but persevere in faith for the reward will come. “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised” (Heb. 11:39) “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”(Heb. 6:10). Our full reward for obedience only comes in heaven. Should I continue to speak or try to unfold this scripture lest I miss the point and fall to temptation of bias or ill will. It is simple and straight forward to the eyes of the true believer and nothing more is needed. Our reward is of God and not of man. Therefore, we have to be considerate of the the things we do and how we do them. I MUST remind you that all sin is punishable by law. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We must stay in the word of God to escape the punishment of sin.
Joseph is a great example of a man who was so committed to God’s call on his life that he said “No” to the sins that would delay or prevent God’s destiny for him. But more so, our far greatest example is our Lord Jesus Christ Who was spoken of prophetically in Psalm 40 when He said: “Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” (Psalm 40:7-8) And because of Jesus’ joy in doing God’s will we read this about Him. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb. 4:15-16) Jesus is not only our greatest model for complete dedication to do God’s will, He is our means through which we do it. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)
As I close my beloved brethren I want you to see the extent of the lie by the wife of Potiphar to her husband when she couldn’t have her way with Joseph the man of God. Same like today when people cannot get there desires in church they lie their way to the very end and as we often say the innocent pays for the guilty. It is sad when we come to that level and simple because we have lost the vision. We all know strongly where there is no vision the people perish. For lack of wisdom our people are destroyed daily. Bless the Lord and for His Grace to keep us on the path of truth. My Mystical Order brethren hear the voice of the Lord, the voice of reasoning and do good in the sight of all men. I do not ask anything for me but that we all love God and our brothers and sisters. Remember the higher we go the greater the responsibility, and to whom much is given much is required.
Let us hold fast to the truth and live for Jesus everyday. As we prepare to join His Lordship Hon. Micah Nero Bishop of St. Francis Mystical House of Prayer in England for the second anniversary celebrations, let us bear them up in prayer and ask God to strengthen and grow the church. May Almighty God bless and keep us and grant us peace in our hearts. Much love
Your servant and brother,
Sir Dr. Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Apostolic Head