God is always willing to give us new dreams, new visions, a new sense of purpose and direction when we have been faithful to see the last fulfilled. He is always speaking giving direction. As we learned a few weeks ago we can hear from the Lord. As we listen, as he speaks we get direction that he wants to fulfill in us.
And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
There are things we all dream about, we hope for. From the big stuff…. house, happy marriage, kid’s college, happy kids, retirement, good health, new car, greater relationship with the Lord, changing the world….to the small stuff like… will I find the best price for gas, when will the next marvel movie come out, will I get a deer, (turkey, bear) this year, will I find shoes to match this????
God gives us dreams and visions so that we will not lose hope…. Solomon the second wisest man to ever live said this…
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
What are your dreams? What of your dreams have come to life? What of your dreams are still not here? What of your dreams have been destroyed?
I want us to look at a few dreams and maybe these will encourage you!
Jacob the deceiver dreamer– Genesis 28:10-15
A little background in case you are unfamiliar. Jacob tried to fulfill God’s plan by conniving rather than trusting the Lord to fulfill it. Because of this his brother Esau, hated him with such a hate as to want to kill him. In order to save Jacob’s life and keep peace in the family Isaac and Rebekah (Jacob’s mother and father) sent him away to Rebekah’s family’s home. Jacob feeling rejected, repentant, fearful, and sorrowful leaves his family and heads to a family he has never known.
Sometimes we blow it trying to do things our way, because we don’t have the patience, faith, trust or all three, in the dreams and promises God makes for us. Despite our worse efforts God is always faithful to us and was so to Jacob….let’s hear about the dream
10 Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11 At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12 As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
13 At the top of the stairway stood the LORD, and he said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
Even though Jacob had blown it with God, with his brother, broken trust with his Father, because of his repentant heart the Lord met him and gave him hope. God went beyond giving him hope to fulfill the blessing over an abundance in his life
Too many times we allow the enemy to ruin our future, our dreams, or our vision because we have blown it. We wallow in our mud pond of unforgiveness toward ourselves. We get stuck in a quagmire of self-doubt because of our sin. Like the woman brought before Jesus who was caught in the very act of adultery Jesus forgives and simply says, “Go and sin no more”
The dream you have, came from God and it is his heart’s desire to fulfill it. That is exactly why he gave it to you. Don’t every give the enemy freedom to steal your dream. If you need to repent because of something you did….well then do it and let’s move on to change the world the way he made you to…..apparently Mary Martha’s sister was a woman of marked history, I believe she was the woman Jesus spoke to…and she made her mark in all of our lives exampling for us the love someone could have for the Lord.
While we are in Genesis let’ s look at another dreamer Joseph
Joseph – the going from bad to worse dreamer
Back story – Joseph was the favorite son of his father Jacob (remember Jacob from the first scripture) He was the second to the youngest, he had 10 older brothers and one older sister. Because he was the son born to Jacob’s favorite wife (he had two wives and had sons born through two other concubines (the servant of each of his wives common practice to stave off barrenness as children were important to family survival.) Joseph didn’t seem to have the same responsibilities that his older brothers did. He seemed to have his heavenly Father’s heart as well as his earthly Father’s because God gave him a dream
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.
Dreams from God don’t often have the meaning we naturally assign to it. When trying to truly understand God’s dreams we need to spend time in the word, prayer and asking for the wisdom God has given others to understand God’s purpose for the dream. If we trust Him God will always fulfill His purpose for giving us the dream
Joseph’s brothers were so angry they wanted to kill him. But when your heart’s desire is to follow the Lord God protects, God defends, God leads perhaps not the way we understand but we need to learn to trust. Keeping our hearts pure ensures our trust
Titus 1:15, 16
Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.
Joseph’s brother’s heart’s were filled with jealousy, insecurity, anger, and rage. Rather than taking the time to ask the Lord for understanding. It seemed everyone interpreted the dream to mean Joseph was going to place himself in a position of authority but the dream meant that God was going to use Joseph to save the life of his family. Here was their response to Joseph’s dream…
Genesis 37: 19,20
When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. 19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. 20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
The last thing the enemy wants is for a God dream to be fulfilled. Throughout Israel’s history, Jesus’ life, and world history, the enemy has used people to try to stop God’s dreams. That is one of the reasons why jealous, envy, gossip and all of the fruit of the flesh need to be controlled by the Holy Spirit in our lives…so we don’t find ourselves in a place of fighting God.
Joseph story is found in Genesis 37 and 39-50 it is a very powerful story of God’s faithfulness Joseph’s dream was that his family would bow to him….yet rather than a promotion and rather than being killed, his brothers sold him into slavery….
God’s plan for Joseph was to be sold into slavery….now would that make sense to anyone in this room? If we trust the Lord, if we battle to keep our eyes on him and battle to believe the dreams we can learn and glean all the Lord has for us in the most difficult of circumstances….Joseph did!
The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. 3 Potiphar noticed this and realized that the LORD was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. 4 This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned. 5 From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the LORD began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. 6 So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat!
Because of Joseph’s trust in the Lord and the dream God gave him, even in slavery, God blessed him! Your dreams are God’s dreams and he may take you in a round about way to get there. To us and perhaps to Joseph it doesn’t make sense but God’s dream needed to get Joseph to Egypt.
As part of the requirement to fulfill the dream, the slavery got Joseph to Egypt, taught him the culture, and the language, preparing him for his future.
If you are stuck in a difficult place but know God has given you a dream, stop to ask Him why you are there. Allow him to show you what you are learning. Your life is in his hands, you are his masterpiece. The plans he has for you are for a hope and a future. Keep your heart right, battle to trust the Lord….and He will show you why you are stuck….trust that he is training you! God will often use storms in our lives to teach us how to dance in the rain. Storms tend to eliminate the things that shouldn’t be there like dead branches on a tree…but this wouldn’t be Joseph’s last storm….
Joseph was falsely accused and was sent to prison….but once again Joseph kept his heart right in his storm He fought and battle to trust the Lord despite that his situation didn’t make sense. I’m sure his dream seemed far off as he sat in prison but he kept trusting…are you seeing a theme here about how to battle for your dream?
But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. 22 Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. 23 The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.
Did you notice again, Joseph is on his journey to fulfill the dream and despite his circumstances he chooses to trust the Lord and not only is he blessed but so is everyone around him….Don’t give up on your dream….don’t allow the circumstances to make it seem it is impossible. Jesus talking to the disciples said this.. Luke 18:27
But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Let me just share how God put all of this together….while in prison two men had dreams, Joseph needed the gift of dream interpretation so God gave it to him so he could interpret those dreams. One of the men who had the dream was restored to Pharoah’s right hand!
God then gave Pharoah a dream, the right hand man was there to say…Pharoah, I know a guy that can interpret dreams…..The dream was God speaking to Pharoah about a danger that was coming that would impact the whole middle east! Because Joseph trusted the Lord God provided and opportunity to give him a gift, that gift then God set up so that Joseph would be the one to save the whole world, Pharoah made him Prime minister of Egypt
A famine was part of the dream and because Joseph had learned household management as a slave first in Egypt he knew how to manage the nation for the famine. The famine hit his family in Canaan they needed to come to Egypt for food. Long story short they came an bowed before Joseph (not knowing at first who he was) and Joseph saved their lives and the lives of everyone in the Middle East.
God gave you your dream He will make it happen…His way
Trust him with your whole heart don’t lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5,6)
Repent if you need to, but trust that the dream he gave you he wants to fulfill more than you want to see it fulfilled and as you choose to trust him in whatever circumstances you find yourself…others will be blessed by you and you will be disciplined, trained, and blessed to fulfill God’s dream for you!
I must warn you….you can give up on the dream and God will fulfill it through someone else But as Paul wrote Galatians 6:9,10
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Trust God’s plan and God’s dream and it will happen…..if I didn’t hit your particular battle this week….next week I’ve got a few more dreams and dreamers to talk about!
Let us pray for your dream today and if you don’t have a dream let us pray that the Lord stirs in you a fresh dream just for you….He loves you, wants you to change your world and bless you and other beyond all you could hope or imagine if you will allow him!