“Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.”
While reading in my journal, I came across notes from a message I heard from the leader of the “Hands of Hur” ministries. He talked about how we can have three reactions to a situation. We can be a victim, a victor or a vector. Joseph in the OT was all three.
When he was thrown into the pit by his brothers, he was a victim, focused on “poor me.” Genesis 42:21 says, “…he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen”. A victim allows his circumstances and suffering to define him. He has a very narrow, self-centered view of life.
A victor has moved beyond that to a trust in God, freeing him to serve more whole-heartedly. When Joseph was working in Potiphar’s house, he was a victor: he gave the right responses and triumphed in each situation, even resisting the temptations of Potiphar’s wife.
A victor lets his successes define his life. God is there, but He is not the center of the victor’s existence. Joseph told Potiphar’s wife that everything was in his hands, that he was the greatest in the house and, by the way, that he was obeying God (Gen. 39:8,9). The focus was on himself and his accomplishments, not on God. This continued while he was in prison, as he told the other prisoners how he could interpret dreams rather than giving God credit.
However, when he stood before Pharaoh, Joseph had become a vector, an arrow pointing the way to the True Victor. A vector is one whose life is centered on God, who points others to God, not to success or comfort.
A vector’s life is defined not by his suffering, or by his victories, but by God’s relationship with him. When asked if he could interpret dreams, Joseph said, “No, but God can” (Gen. 41:16). And when he gave the interpretation he said, “God has chosen to show Pharaoh what he is about to do.” Joseph leaves himself entirely out of the picture, pointing all to the Lord of all. He had been truly broken, learning not to trust himself, but to fully trust God.
Paul expounds on this concept in Romans 8:37 in which he tells us we should be MORE than a conqueror, more than a victor, pointing us to the possibility of being a vector, a signpost to God for all those around us.
In each difficulty, disappointment or danger that comes into our lives, we can be a victim, a victor or a vector. A lot of what determines which one we’ll be is how we cultivate our first love for Christ in meeting with Him each day in worship, confession, reading the Word and prayer. Are we cooperating with God in doing this?
Prayer: “Lord show me where I am acting like a victim or victor. Bring me to repentance and help me to live as a vector, focused on you and helping others to look to you. Praise you now for the help you will give. Amen.”