The last few years have been dream-stealers. We have become exhausted of the pandemic and the politics and it is hard to even think about the future to go big but I want to encourage you to go big this year….I want us to look at one dreamer as an example
I believe the Lord has placed a dream in each of our hearts, not the kind of dream like winning big at the casino, which is really the desire to escape our present circumstances. I am talking about a vision deep down inside that speaks to the very soul.
The thing we were born to do, that draws from our gifts and talents, appeals to our highest ideals, sparks the feeling of destiny in our life and is inseparably linked to our purpose in life. A dream that links us to the success of our journey between the lines of a time to be born and a time to die.
Today I want to talk about dreamers and dreaming again, hopefully I will be talking about you.
In Genesis 37 we read of a dreamer by the name of Joseph. His dream spans from Genesis 37 – 50, the last chapter of Genesis. Quite a dream, but then aren’t dreamers filled with dynamic vision. Let’s begin to look at the beginning of his dreaming
One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. 6 “Listen to this dream,” he said. 7 “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” 8 His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. 9 Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!” 10 This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” 11 But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.
We have the advantage of reading ahead, to see the fulfillment of his dream. But it wasn’t easy. No visionary will have an easy time.
Dreams given by God require us to stay true to the Lord and true to the dream regardless of the circumstances
- felt the jealousy of others, in this case, his own brothers.
- was almost killed for the dream by them.
- Sold into slavery wasn’t quite the picture of the dream.
- the object of seduction.
- did not lose sight of the dream despite the difficulties
- remained faithful to God and the dream.
- did not give in to Potiphar’s wife so he was falsely accused by her. Her word against his, the owner against the slave.
We know without reading ahead who would win that battle. Potiphar has him jailed, that should be enough to end this dreamer’s vision of the future. But it didn’t. The opposition worked as a refiner’s fire in his life. Now he is able to be used of God to interpret the dreams of a cupbearer and baker of the Pharaoh, which opens the door for interpreting the Pharaoh’s dream and the eventually fulfillment, in God’s time, of his own dream.
This is literally submitting to the Lord’s discipline (training) rather than demanding your own way.
Because Joseph remained true to the Lord despite what it looked like and the condemnation of others, God used everything he walked through to promote and prepare him for the fulfillment of the dream.
You have to realize as you dream…
- dreams are not generally accepted for some time. But it doesn’t stop the dreamer.
Joseph’s brothers got rid of the dreamer hoping to stop the dream…Potipher tried to squash the dream and silence it by sending him to prison but God used both things to fulfill the dream
Henry Ford had a dream that grew out of his interest in mechanical things as a boy. He was intrigued by the automobile, built his first one out in a shed behind his house. His dream was to put the horseless carriage, at that time only available to the wealthy, into the hands of the common person. He helped form the Detroit Motor Company, where his fellow organizers balked at the idea of manufacturing their product inexpensively in order to sell to the masses. Ford left the company, but he did not leave his dream. In 1903 he organized the Ford Motor Company and produced the Model T. The first year, only 6,000 cars were built, but only 8 years later, over 500,000 cars a year rolled off the line. They were able to reduce the cost from $850 to $360, Ford’s dream, like Joseph’s, came to pass.
Let’s talk about what a dream does…
- First, it gives us direction. Have you ever known a person who doesn’t have a clue about what they want in life, but are successful? Neither have I….
Our dreams give us something worthwhile to aim at. It is a compass, telling us the direction to go. And if you move in any direction other than toward your dream, you’ll miss out on the opportunities necessary to be successful.
Just as a side note, You have heard me say, “Christians don’t really have problems only opportunities for God to move in our lives.”
Joseph had no idea what the dream fully meant or how it was to be fulfilled but he stayed true to the God who gave him the dream
- Second, a dream increases out potential. Without a dream, we may struggle to see the potential within ourselves because we are unable to look beyond our current circumstances. Following our dream, we begin to see ourselves in a new light, having greater potential and capable of stretching and growing to reach our dream. Like with the life of Joseph, every opportunity we meet, every resource we discover, every talent we develop, becomes a part of our potential to grow toward that dream.
Solomon said it this way in Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law. (NASB)
Our potential would be limited because there is no focus or accountability to the call of God on our lives! God has designed and created you for a divine purpose and not fulfilling that purpose leads to all kinds of failure in your life
Third, our dreams help us to prioritize. It not only gives us hope for the future, but power in the present. A person who has a dream knows what he or she is willing to give up in order to succeed. Paul put it this way….
Philippians 3:13, 14
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
His dream was being fulfilled by continually moving forward not looking back not worrying about the cost but realizing whatever the price the “prize of God” the fulfillment of the “God dream” was worth it
Unfortunately, many people do just the opposite. Instead of concentrating on their dream and letting go of less important things, they try to keep everything going so they have more options. And they never quite succeed, for you spend so much time keeping things going, preserving the options, that they never quite move forward to the dream.
Fourth, a dream will also add value to our work. It puts everything in perspective. Imagine if Joseph did not really believe his dream came from God. He probably would have made other choices with his life that would not have gotten him to where God intended him to be. But he realized, those things that came up along the journey, as unpleasant as they were, would be used to ultimately contribute to the fulfillment of the dream.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us that following your dream can be costly, it cost Jesus, but it is God’s dream for you and will always be worth it…
Hebrews 12:1, 2
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Vince Lombardi said, “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour–his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear–is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle–victorious.” A dream provides the perspective that makes that kind of effort possible.
Fifth, a dream predicts our Future. It gives us a mental picture in our mind, making us participants not spectators, so we are not blown by changing winds, but focused on what lies ahead. It doesn’t mean we have any guarantees, but it does increase our chances of success tremendously.
Joseph, in the old testament, and Joseph and Mary in the new, David, Noah all held onto their dreams in the most difficult of circumstances and it changed or fulfilled their futures
Today, I want to challenge you, Dare to Dream, and then to act upon those dreams, in spite of problems, circumstances, and obstacles. Be like Joseph. Live out your God given dream.
The whole process begins with the seed of an idea. A vision given from God. Some people discover their dream in a flash of insight after working in an area for years. Some receive it during a time of prayer. Others are motivated by an event from their past. Let me give you 5 quick steps that will clear away the clutter and help you discover or fine-tune your dream.
1. Believe in your ability to succeed. You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent from which you see yourself.
2. Get rid of your pride. People who are full of themselves usually don’t have much room left over for a life-changing dream. Pride puts the focus on appearance rather than potential, and it prevents you from taking risks.
3. Cultivate constructive discontent. Discontent is a driving force that makes people search for their dreams. Complacency never brings success and only constructive discontent will motivate you to find your purpose and grow to reach your potential. Every invention registered in the U.S. Patent Office is the result of creative discontent. Each inventor, not satisfied with something the way it was, found a way to constructively overcome her dissatisfaction, either creating something new, or improving on what already existed.
4. Escape from habit. Habits can be defined as something you do without thinking. Habits can kill a dream because when you stop thinking, you stop questioning and dreaming. You accept what is without considering what could be.
5. Balance creativity with Character. Successful people have enough creativity to think it out and enough character to try it out. They have enough creativity to see it in their minds, and enough character to produce it with their hands. All the dreaming in the world will not work unless you wake up and go to work.
Then, after you have caught the dream, you must invest in it emotionally, it has to go beyond your thoughts to your feelings. That is when Joseph became a threat to his brothers, they could sense the feelings of his dream. Then you have to seek after it. It takes hunger, tenacity and commitment to see a dream through to become a reality.
If you have not already discovered your dream, you hopefully realize how much you are missing. A dream will provide you with a reason to go, a path to follow, and a target to hit. Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
- Commit yourself today to being successful.
- Recognize that success is a process, not a destination.
- Discover your dream and do what you can to see it fulfilled…pray, study the Word, listen to the Lord, and the wisdom of others, don’t give up
The potential for greatness lives within each of us. The key to achieving greatness is found when we discover and then develop our dreams.
Just to show you even in the midst of a bad situation….
How many have been blessed to spend more time with their families since March of 2020
How many have gained a child through birth or adoption?
How many have started coming here since march of 2020?