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Prayer 123: Divine Intention

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Prayer 123: Divine Intention

Our prayer life is always intended to be two way- speaking to God and hearing from God.
A marriage in which only one partner speaks and the other partner only listens is… well a typical marriage. JK. It is deficient. Something is wrong.

Prayer is when we speak to God.

Revelation is when God speaks to us.

Prayer often proceeds revelation. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. Those who long to hear God’s voice and to know His will are the ones who will be told what He has planned and purposed.
Matthew 5:6 NIV84
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Matthew 11:15 NIV84
He who has ears, let him hear.
Jeremiah 29:11–13 NIV84
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Revelation shows us:
Who God is
What God is like
What God wants
Genesis 37:5–8 NIV84
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
Genesis 37:18–20 NIV84
But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
Joseph’s dream were the means by which God spoke to him. In one sense, the dreams must have brought direction and encouragement.
In another sense, there had to be times in Joseph’s life where he looked back and regretted receiving the dreams- because they were a catalyst for some of the most difficult events in his life.
Why would God give Joseph these wonderful dreams, and then allow him to suffer terrible injustices?
If God knows the beginning from the end, why didn’t He delay the dreams?

God speaks on purpose.

God gave dreams to Joseph at this exact moment in his life, to position and prepare him for the next season of his life. Joseph was prepared when the famine came because God gave him a dream years before. But that dream unleashed a series of events that were heartbreaking to Joseph. Still, it was a part of God’s purpose for His life.
Joseph would have to forgive his brothers for one of the greatest betrayals of all time. It would surely be bitter and difficult. But before he is ever thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, put into prison… before any of this God prepares Joseph by showing him that one day He is to feed his brothers and his father and mother.
Years later when his brothers show up in Egypt, the first thing that comes back to Joseph’s mind is not the betrayal but the dream. And Joseph weeps as he realizes that the hardships he faced were not in vain and that God had both blessed him and allowed him to suffer to prepare him for this very purpose- to save his family.
Genesis 42:6–9 NIV84
Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked. “From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.” Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”
Because of his dreams, Joseph’s brothers become jealous and sold him into slavery. It would seem like the giving Joseph the dreams was a mistake. But it was not. It was intentional. It was on purpose. God gave him these dreams to launch him into the preparation process and to give him hope through what would at times be a terribly difficult process.

God speaks on time.

We do not know the future, so we cannot fully know God’s purposes. But we can hear God’s voice, and if we obey His voice we will be prepared for His purpose. And if we want to hear God’s voice, God will speak. He promised. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.
God knew when Joseph needed to receive the dreams.
God knew when Joseph needed to go into the desert to find his brothers.
God knew when the Ishmaelite traders needed to pass by the well that Joseph was thrown down into.
God knew when Potiphar needed to be at the slave market.
God knew when Joseph needed to be in the prison, in order to be promoted in time to serve Pharoah’s Cupbearer and baker.
God knew when Pharaoh needed to have a dream to prepare for the famine.
God knew when Jacob’s son needed to arrive at the market to buy bread from Joseph’s hands.
God knew when Jacob needed to move his entire family to Egypt.
God knew when the nation of Israel needed to leave Egypt to fulfill the prophecy to bring them out after 430 days, and they all left on the very last day of the 430rd year.
God knew when the Roman empire needed to be established to build roads across the ancient road and to establish the Roman Pax- or peace so that the message of the Messiah could quickly spread from Israel across the entire world.
God knew when Jesus needed to breath His last and die so that He could be laid in an empty tomb before evening without having any of his bones broken.
God knew when Jesus should rise from the dead on the third day.
God knew when to send the Angels to meet the women who went to Jesus’ tomb.
God knew when Peter and John would arrive.
God knew when it was time to pour out His Holy Spirit on the early Church.
God knew the day you were born, the day you would be saved, the person who would tell you, and what you needed to hear to receive the gospel.
God knows the day Jesus will return, the day satan will be cast into the lake of fire, the day all men will be judged.
God knows how long eternity will last and how to show His love and glory to us to prepare us to Worship Him for all time.
God knows and He speaks right on time to make sure we are well positioned for things we don’t even know are going to happen. And God will speak and lead us into His perfect plan for our lives if we will listen and obey.
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