Once A Wanderer, Now A Conqueror
God is calling you
Genesis 37: 12-15 – AMP – Then his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. Israel (Jacob) said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing [the flock] at Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” And he said, “Here I am [ready to obey you].” Then Jacob said to him, “Please go and see whether everything is all right with your brothers and all right with the flock; then bring word [back] to me.” So he sent him from the Hebron Valley, and he went to Shechem. Now a certain man found Joseph, and saw that he was wandering around and had lost his way in the field; so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?”
Jacob sends his beloved son Joseph away to go and look for
his ten brothers who are tending the sheep at Schechem. Joseph’s father gives
him the necessary instructions about how and where to find his brothers. As
an obedient son, Joseph executes his father’s order and happily starts on his
journey. As he leaves his father’s house, Joseph is sure that he knows where
he is going and which way to go. But all of sudden, he realizes that he has
lost his way. He thought he understood his father’s instructions very well.
He even reassured his father that he would be back soon with a good report about
his brothers and the sheep. But here he was now, lost in the fields, not knowing
where to go anymore. “Did Father said to turn left or right?” he asked himself.
And he started wondering about how in the world he was going to get to his brothers.
He arrived at his destination in Schechem but he could not find his brothers
there. He lost his way as he was looking for them everywhere. Joseph had no
map, no GPS and no direction at all. He had no cell phone that he could use
to call his father and let him know that he was lost. He was all alone out there
and he kept looking around him to see if there was anybody who could help him
to get back on the right way. But there was nobody around, nobody to give him
the answer that he needed so bad to fulfill his mission. He took a distant walk
of approximately 80 km from the Hebron valley to Schehem but he did not find
what he was looking for. He started thinking about what to do next. Give up
and walk another 80 km back home without the expected report about his journey?
His father would be disappointed and worried if he went back home and told him
that he was not able to find his brothers because he got lost on the way. His
father trusted him with this task and Joseph wanted him to know that he is up
to the task, so that his father would be confident enough to trust him with
another important task next time. No, he could not just give up like that. He
thought to himself: “If I am able to find my brothers, they might change their
mind about me and stop thinking that I am just the little spoiled boy of the
family who can do nothing but sit back home the whole day and be pampered by
Dad and Mum.” Joseph had to prove to His brothers that he was now a grown and
responsible boy. But not only that, if he could find his brothers, they would
understand that he had nothing against them and that he still loved them even
though they treated him so bad the whole time. The atmosphere had been quite
tense at home for some days now, especially since Joseph shared his dreams with
them. And as if that was not enough, their father made him a coat of many colors
to distinguish him from everybody else in the family. So they hated him not
only because he was the favorite son, but also because he thought that he would
be their master one day. Finding his brothers and giving them some of the provisions
that he took with him was very important for Joseph because it would show them
that he and his father care and just want peace and harmony to reign in the
Joseph was on a very important mission that would determine how the atmosphere was going to be at home and how things would develop in the future. No, this trip meant too much for Joseph and his father for him to give up and go back home. He did not want to be a failure, even though he already felt like one. As he was sitting there on a rock thinking about the best thing to do in the present circumstances, a certain man came by. But who was this man and where was he coming from? Joseph had been looking around him again and again in search for help and there was just nobody to help. But this “certain man” just popped up out of nowhere and asked him: “What are you looking for?” That was the right question to ask in such a time as this. This unknown man immediately identified the problem. In other words, he was asking Joseph: “Boy, I can see that something is wrong. You look like you have lost your direction. Can I help you? Where are you going and what are you trying to find?” It was not Joseph who found him, but it was the unknown stranger who found Joseph. Joseph did not hesitate to answer this stranger’s question, even though he could not understand just where he was coming from and who he was. But even though he did not know this man, Joseph felt confident in his presence. He opened his heart and expressed his dilemma to the stranger: “He said, ‘I am looking for my brothers. Please tell me where they are pasturing our flocks.‘” (Genesis 37:16). That was exactly the right answer to the man’s question. Joseph sounded as if this unknown man evidently knew the whereabouts of his brothers as if he had been watching them the whole time. Joseph went right to the point. He did not start with a small talk trying to find out who this man was and where he was coming from. And he did not pretend as if everything was just fine and there was no problem at all. He was sincere about his predicament and gladly accepted the help of the unknown man. Joseph’s answer to the man’s question was honest and expressed a real need. As a result, he obtained exactly the answer and the direction that he needed. He sincerely acknowledged the fact that he was lost and needed help. And the conversation between the two of them went on: “Then the man said, “They were here, but they have moved on from this place. I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” (Genesis 37:17). Joseph’s intuition was right: this man had the right answer to his dilemma. He seemed to know every detail about Joseph’s brothers spending time in Schechem. He knew that they had been there for a while and he knew that they had decided to move on to Dothan. This certain man was the perfect person who could give Joseph the information that he needed to find his brothers, and thanks to him, Joseph happily went for another 25 km from Schechem to Dothan and found his brothers there (Genesis 37:18).
Joseph responded to the man and accepted his help. He found what he had been looking for because a certain man found him when he was lost. The King James Version says in Genesis 37:15 that Joseph was “lost in the open country”. Just like Joseph I had lost my way in a world that is open to all kinds of sins, philosophies, ideologies, beliefs and religions. Deep within me, I felt that there must be more to life. It was hard for me to differentiate between right and wrong in a world where people call right wrong and wrong right. I had lost my values, my sense of integrity and the moral principles that my parents had taught me. And when I looked around me, I saw that most of the people were just living according to their own thinking but did not seem to be really happy with their lifestyle. Like a lost sheep, I was wandering in uncertainty. I had lost my way in the open country just like the prodigal son who left his father’s house thinking that he knew where he was going and what he wanted until he found himself wandering in the open country and begging for bread. (Luke 15:11-32). He was sure that he had it all. But his illusory security wall had crashed. Now he was all alone, without direction, not sure which way to take or what to do in his miserable situation. He used to be a prince in his father’s house. But he had become a beggar who was never sure what the next day would bring. His so-called friends who used to hang out with him as long as they could waste his father’s heritage with him had abandoned him. You know who is truly your friend when you are in trouble. So like the prodigal son, I once was wandering, going up and down, trying everything I could to find a solution to my dilemma. How would I ever be able to get out of this chaos? Would I ever be set free from all these addictions that held me bound? The power of sin was just too strong in my life and I did not know if there was anybody to help me out. I tried everything I could: positive thinking, sports, yoga, transcendental meditation, esoteric, drugs, sex… but still no peace of mind and no lasting joy. I still felt that uncomfortable void inside of me and it just kept growing by the day. I felt so rejected. I hated myself. I wished I had never been born. I had made so many mistakes in my life and many people had suffered because of me… From time to time I heard this little voice suggesting to me that a bullet shot in my head might just settle the matter and set me free at last. I became more and more convinced that life was not worth living, and more suicidal ideas kept emerging from my mind. So often times I felt like Job who wished he had died in his mother’s womb (Job 3:11). How often did I also curse the day that I was born! Pain after pain… my life seemed to be a succession of failures and regrets about my past mistakes that haunted me. My mind was in a constant tornado and I could not find any peace or rest for my soul. There was a constant wrestle and battle going on inside of me and it seemed like this battle would never end. I felt like I was just such a loser. My soul was crying out in despair. The pleasures of sin were so deceitful and so disappointing and my heart was broken after so many abuses. My friends did not understand me and said I had lost my mind. My relatives had abandoned me. Those that I trusted the more had let me down. I had gone so many places to find the answer, but it was all in vain. O I was so desperate, so miserable, so bitter about everything and everybody including myself. I was lost in the darkness. If only I could see a little sparkling of light somewhere. Was there any hope on this planet? Was I born to live such a miserable life and die one day like a forsaken dog?
Those were the question and the thoughts that were shooting through my mind. Little did I know that a certain Man had been watching me all this while. It was a certain Man who knew my every step and my every thought. Little did I know that a certain Man had been looking for me, waiting for the appropriate moment for me to be completely broken so that He could offer me His helping hand. Little did I know that even though I felt so alone the whole time, I was not alone. A certain Man, a special Man, a very unique Man was following me and was ready to take me in His arms of love to redirect my path. His name is Jesus. He came running after me when I was lost. He lifted me up, He cleansed me from all sin, He restored my soul and mended my broken heart. He healed me and comforted me from all my past failures and mistakes. I cried to Him and He rescued my soul. O how I love Him! I am forever grateful because He gave His very best for such a worm as I. When He found me, He told me how He had to die for me on the cross. Yes, that’s how much He loves me, even though I don’t deserve to be loved. The whole purpose of His life was to help me find my way back to Him. He told me that I am the centre of His thoughts and the reason why He lived and died. His precious blood was shed on the cross of Calvary because it was the only way for me to be set free from the power of sin and death. Like the old song says: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Who is that Man? It is the Man of Galilee. He found me when I was wandering and rescued my soul. He is the Prince of peace. He gave me the perfect peace of mind that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). He brought light into my life and now I can rest on this blessed assurance that my sins have been forgiven and my name has been written in the Book of Life. Now I know where I am going. I am on a journey to heaven. Now I know what the purpose for my life is: to know Him and worship Him all the days of my life in spirit and in truth, lifting Him up and glorifying Him in everything I do so that people of all races, nations and cultures will be drawn to Him. My Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). I have decided to follow Him all the days of my life and there is no turning back. He is my Shepherd. He leads me on the right path and as long as I trust Him, He will always lead me into the green pastures (Psalm 23). Jesus is the answer to my questions and He is the reason why I live. I love Him so much because He first loved me when I was still a sinner. He blotted away all my transgressions and gave me a clean conscience. He hung on a bloody cross and took upon Himself the curse of my sins to redeem me from the penalty of a deserved death. I am forever grateful for the cross because it changed my destiny. I used to be a wander in a lost world, but now I am a conqueror and much more because of this certain Man called Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Now I walk in victory and sin no longer has dominion over me. I am no longer the slave of shameful vices that weighed me down. Nothing can ever be able to separate me from the love of Jesus for me (Romans 8:37-38). He did not have to die, but He did it for you and for me. This is a free gift. The price has already been paid for and everything was accomplished at the cross. Jesus is calling you to come to Him now. Tomorrow could be too late. We now have a free access into His presence because the veil of separation between God and us has been torn. You can run to the Mercy Seat and fall in the Father’s loving arms. That’s the place where you will find comfort and rest for your soul.
There is a beautiful song called Softly and Tenderly where you can hear Jesus’ call to come back to Him and be saved. Listen to this song by clicking here and just obey Acts 2:38. Jesus loves you so much. mt