Whose Gift Is It?

“Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ ‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’” -Genesis 41:15-16 (NIV)

Joseph had an incredible gift. The ability to correctly interpret dreams is definitely something to marvel at. This gift which Joseph had reached the ears of Pharaoh, who as ruler of ancient Egypt was the most powerful man on Earth. Though he had many under him who claimed to have the ability to interpret dreams, all of them failed to deliver on their claims. What an opportunity for Joseph to make a name for himself! Standing before a man of such stature, he had the perfect chance to advertise himself as the undisputed authority on dream interpretation. He could gain the prestige of being the man Pharaoh goes to whenever he is disturbed by a troubling vision. Yet, Joseph knew that his ability to interpret dreams was not through any capacity of his own. It was solely by the work of God in his life and he humbly acknowledged this fact before Pharaoh. For his humility, God rewarded Joseph by prompting Pharaoh to appoint him as prime minister over Egypt; giving him power and status that was subordinate only to Pharaoh himself.

All of us have gifts and abilities given to us by God. But what do we do with these gifts? Do we use it to boost our pride, our reputation amongst men? In our egocentric attitudes we wrongly attribute that which God has graciously bestowed upon us to our own human capabilities and determine that only we are able to discern their proper use. However, if we rely on our faulty wisdom tainted by our sinful nature to direct us, we cheat ourselves out of the vision God promises us for an inferior one. God knows us intimately well, and knows of the abilities He has given us. Shouldn’t He therefore be the only one who can help us guide us in how to use them? When we cast aside our pride and humbly allow the Spirit of Christ to work in our lives, He will exalt us as we permit Him to use whatever we have for His restorative mission to the world. Our humility before Christ and our surrendering of our gifts to His perfect plan for our lives will take us to places we would have never imagined; leaving us in awe of His faithfulness and love.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.