Of all the men in the Bible, of all the examples I would want to follow besides Jesus, Joseph and Paul are the top two for me.
I think what I like most about these men was their ability to allow God to shine through their own imperfections. Their lives certainly weren't perfect though: both men made mistakes in their lives, both were a little cocky during their younger years, both spend time in prison, both had unique talents that they used for God. Yes, they were clearly anointed men, Joseph interpreting dreams and Paul preaching the Word with such passion and insight. But they had other talents as well.
Joseph was extremely organized and an amazing administrator, he had to be. It's not easy running a country on the verge of famine, but he did it. God used Joseph's divine talent of dream interpretation to put him in a position to use the earthly talents that God had been cultivating in Joseph his whole life through working for Potiphar, and holding a position in the jail, even through working with his father and brothers. Joseph was cultivated from a very early age to understand the importance and the many nuances of the role of administrator.
Paul was just plain brilliant. The pure knowledge that man held in his head amazes me! He knew the law like the back of his hand, he knew traditions, expectations, rules, and regulations. And he knew God. And he knew which one was most important. When Paul became a Christian, he went and spent time with the disciples because he knew that he needed to relearn things. He understood himself and God enough to know how to position himself to best learn what he needed to know. Both of these men used their God-given abilities, both natural and supernatural, to honor, obey, and glorify God. While I'm on Paul, I read Eph 1 this morning and learned how to pray for my friends and loved ones! Check it out!
How to pray for your friends and loved ones according to Paul (Eph. 1):
1. Do not stop giving God thanks for them and their faith and love for God and for others.
2. Continually pray for them; for God to give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they can know Him better.
3. Pray that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (1:18).
4. Pray these things also for yourself.