THE COAT MY FATHER GAVE ME
Gen. 37:3 ¶ Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.
This Old Testament story is one of my favorites. It a great picture of God’s calling, His sovereignty, forgiveness, and the power of visions and dreams. Children in Sunday School all over the world have heard the incredible story of Joseph and his multi-colored coat. In 1994 this coat took on a whole new meaning in my life. I began to see that Joseph’s coat was a picture of the anointing of the Holy Spirit that had been placed upon his life. God had a great plan for Joseph, there would be numerous twists and turns along the way. Joseph would need supernatural power upon his life in order to complete the plans God had for him.
What changed in my life in 1994 was this, I experienced a new encounter with the Holy Spirit, actually He placed a fresh coat of His anointing upon my life. I had heard about a revival that had been breaking out in various locations around the country and I made my way to one of the churches that had been experiencing this fresh outpouring of the Spirit. I spent about a week sitting in services day and night, that alone was a new experience for me. After that week of meetings I began to recognize a new presence had invaded my life. I wasn’t aware of the long term implications at the time but I had received a new mantle. My Father in heaven had made a multi-colored coat just for me, I was about to begin the adventure of my life.
As we already know, Joseph’s life changed radically after he put on his father’s coat. The first thing that happened was that he stepped into the realm of supernatural, prophetic dreams. The Lord began to speak to Joseph about His plans for his life as he was caught up into this realm of dreams and visions. In the same way I began to experience a new awareness of the prophetic anointing in my life. Often times I would start to preach and an unprecedented prophetic anointing would begin to fall on me. I had prophesied often before but this was different, this was much stronger than anything I had experienced before.
The next thing that happened to Joseph was that his brothers began to hate him because of this prophetic mantle upon his life. People in the world often become quite hostile to the things of the Spirit. In a similar way, I also began to experience persecution from my ministry friends. Surprisingly, not everyone in the ministry is that excited when the anointing actually shows up.
Finally, this mantle carried Joseph to the fulfillment of God’s plans for his life. It took him through slavery and prison but he ended up prime minister in Egypt. For me, I’m still riding this anointing wherever it takes me. So far it has taken me into some amazing places with amazing results, only eternity will tell the story of the coat my Father gave me.
HELD BY A PROPHETIC DREAM
Gen. 37:5 ¶ Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more.
Visions and dreams are one of the most controversial yet common phenomenons of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. On the very first day of the initial New Testament outpouring, Peter prophesied of an increase of dreams and visions as a result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all mankind. As a matter of fact, dreams and visions are seen all throughout the Bible. From Abraham’s burning torch to Daniel’s beasts, the Old Testament is filled with prophetic dreams and visions. In the New Testament we see Peter’s rooftop vision of creeping and crawling critters all the way to the vivid and shocking visions that make up the book of Revelations. Joseph began to experience these prophetic dreams after he put on his father’s coat. Wow! Did you get that? We have a coat to put on as well. The Father promised us we would be “clothed” with power from on high after the Holy Spirit came upon us. We also put on our father’s coat and often the coat brings with it these prophetic impressions. Here is what J.W. Ryle said about Joseph’s dreams.
Prophetic Dreams and Visions
The Hebrew word for “had a dream” means to bind firmly. Joseph became firmly bound up in the dream that God had given him. Dreams that are from God are spiritual experiences that root deep in our hearts, never to be forgotten. “Joseph had a dream,” but perhaps we could accurately say that the dream had Joseph! The dream sustained him through all that happened to him over the years (37:12-36; 39). Like Moses, he “endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27)
Joseph had a huge journey ahead of him filled with all sorts of twists and turns. It seems that that just goes with the territory of the calling of God. This coat that Jacob gave to his favorite son Joseph is a type or shadow of the Father’s multi-colored coat that He has reserved for all of His sons. This special coat designed individually for each of us has all the tools we will need for our journey. Joseph’s dream impacted and sustained him in the many dark days he lived as a slave and as a prisoner in Egypt. Not only did the dream inspire him to keep on, the anointing also gave him supernatural tools that God used to bring Joseph to his place of influence to become a deliverer for his people. It took years for those dreams to be fulfilled but the power of those dreams worked in Joseph’s life until their fulfillment
How about you? Have you put on your Father’s coat or are you afraid of what your “brothers” might say? Everyone may not understand the power of God’s dreams but that has never stopped God’s people from embracing them. You may have a long journey in front of you, don’t get started without your Father’s coat.
THE COAT DIPPED IN BLOOD
Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.
This is one of the beautiful pictures of Christ painted for us in the Old Testament by the Holy Spirit. Of course this is the famous “coat of many colors”, Joseph’s coat that was given to him by His Father. It is a picture of the bloody coat of Jesus that the soldiers gambled for at the foot of the cross. What is the hidden meaning of this coat? What does it mean for us today?
Joseph’s coat of many colors was a picture of the calling of God on Joseph’s life. The calling of God is performed and confirmed by the invisible coat, the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This anointing is despised by the natural man and will bring persecution upon anyone who wears it. Joseph’s brothers hated Joseph because of this coat, rather they hated what this coat represented.
Have you received a coat of anointing from your Heavenly Father? If so, do you wear it proudly in respect of your Father? In today’s world, even in the Christian world, wearing a supernatural coat is not very popular. Christians are more comfortable with popular empowerment slogans rather than walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Cliche’s and man centered messages have replaced the bloody coat in most churches today. Most of us would be more comfortable walking with Joseph’s brothers than wearing that unpopular coat.
Why should I bear the stigma of this bloody coat, why did Joseph wear it despite the criticism it brought? We choose to wear this coat because of the supernatural nature of it. When Joseph put on this coat, he stepped into the world of spiritual visions and dreams. When I wear the mantle of the presence of the Lord, I too step into the world of the supernatural.
Do you want to experience the power of God in your life and ministry? Would you like to see people you are praying for come to Christ? Would you like to be used by the Lord to win someone to Christ? If your answer is yes, you must put on the coat. Jesus said we would be “clothed with power from on high” Lk.24:49. He was describing the effect of the multi-colored coat upon our lives.
This coat is valuable, after all it was purchased with the price of blood, purchased with the precious blood of Jesus. While others may be playing games at the foot of the cross, like the Roman soldiers, but many Christians are deciding to put on the coat. Even though I can’t buy this coat, it was already purchased for me, it will cost me to wear it. It may cost me friends or even more, but the benefits far exceed the costs.
THE FATHER’S COAT
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.
Jacob loved his son more than all his children, what a very strange statement. Actually, this is a powerful picture of the Heavenly Father’s love for His children. How much does He love us? He loves us with an infinite love. His love has no bounds. His love for us is like a bottomless ocean with no shores! This is an unlimited, eternal love the Father pours out on His children.
Just as Jacob expressed His love for Joseph with the coat of many colors, the Father expresses His love for us today with His special coat of incredible diversity. What is this coat? Why of course, this is the “mantle” of His anointing. Just as Joseph wore His father’s coat out of respect for his father, we wear this coat of anointing out of respect for our Heavenly Father.
In the life of Joseph, we can see the effect of the anointing the Lord had placed on Joseph’s life. First we see him supernaturally sustained during times of extreme difficulty. He was thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, falsely accused, thrown in prison, and separated from his family for years. In all of these conflicts, the Lord was with Joseph, sustaining and satisfying Him with His goodness. In the same way, we are faced with all sorts of difficulties in our Christian journey. How can we be sustained like Joseph? Of course by wearing our Father’s coat of love. This mantle of His Presence is His love poured out daily upon our lives to keep and sustain us in the midst of the conflicts of life.
Not only did the Lord sustain Joseph, He also used those circumstances in his life to bring about His perfect plan. He was positioned perfectly to bring deliverance and provision for his family. What an incredible God, He was directing Joseph’s steps, even in the worst of circumstances to bring about His plans. The Lord is actually doing the same thing in you. The trials in your life will ultimately prove to be in place for the furtherance of God’s kingdom.
What should I do in light of this? Simply put on the Father’s coat. He will do all the rest. Trust Him, wear the coat of His Presence proudly. Even if your
“brothers” hate you because of the coat, it doesn’t matter, His plans are sure
and His grace is sufficient.