Dare to Dream
So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner. This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him. One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. “Listen to this dream,” he said. “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!” 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. 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!” 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?”
God gave Joseph a dream, a dream of the greatness he would come to, a dream of the future he would see in his life.
This dream did not come from man, but was Prophetic and given to him by God.
Why, because God had something great in store for Joseph, He wanted to accomplish a great plan in Joseph’s life, but to serve the MASTER PLAN of the ALMIGHTY.
Sometimes God gives us a glimpse of what will happen, a dream, whether that comes by sleeping at night, a vision in prayer, or an intense impression upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
We do not see EVERYTHING or even how we make it to that place that God reveals to us, but we know in our spirit man it comes from God and therefore it will happen.
Let me tell you about Joseph ----
After this dream his brothers plot to kill him, but one brother intervenes and he is sold into slavery instead.
In that slavery he is brought to a foreign land and becomes the property and servant of Potiphar, an Officer of Egypt - there God uses Joseph to bless Potiphar and he rises in station in his house to manage his affairs - until Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph and lies about him when he runs from her trap.
So now, Joseph is put into prison, and once again God blesses him in prison, but it is prison and although he has been put in charge of the prison affairs, he is still locked up. One day two of the kings servants - Butler and the Baker (chef and wine server) are thrown into prison accused of an assassination plot against the Pharoah.
They each have a dream one night, but do not understand the meaning, and Joseph proclaims that his God can interpret the dreams so they tell him, and he interprets the dreams for them.
The butler would be restored to service, while the baker would be punished and killed.
Joseph requests that he mention Josephs plight to Pharoah but he is forgotten.
Until Pharoah has a dream, a dream he cannot remember, nor interpret and he calls for every magician, wisemen, and astrologer in his kingdom to tell him his dream and interpret it, but they all complain saying this is impossible to do.
Then the butler remembers Joseph, and they send for him clean him up, and he interprets tells Pharoah the dream he has and what it means - and Pharoah sees the wisdom of God in Joseph (who always gave God the credit for the interpretation), and Joseph is taken from the pit and placed to the highest honor in the land, second only to Pharoah - given his daughter to marry, and put in charge of the food supply of the nation for the years of plenty and famine.
When the famine hits - the known world of the Mesopotamia region is effected, and Josephs brothers come to Egypt for food - it is in this timing where God elevated Joseph that his first dreams as a youth become fulfilled.
In between when those dreams were given and fulfilled was a lot of living, a lot of pain, disappointment, heartache, and I am sure times of questioning.
1. Surrender to the Maker of the Plan
1. Surrender to the Maker of the Plan
The first thing we must realize is that God has a purpose and plan for everyone of our lives!!!! He is working to accomplish that plan in us.
Who doesn’t want to hear that God has an awesome plan for each of us! Who doesn’t love the promise of being lifted up and used!
Once in a while the Lord may give you a glimpse of that plan - a picture, a dream, a heart for what He wants to do in your life, your family, your church.
Has God sent a Word for you?
Has He sent a Word for this church?
Did He give a vision of what He longed to do?
God’s hope is not false hope!!!
God’s hope is not false hope!!!
Your current position in life may seem a hundred miles away from God’s plan - like how would this ever happen?
Joseph was the second youngest of 12 brothers - in reality he would never have position, the lion share of the inheritance, or power amongst his brothers.
He may have his father’s love and attention, but that did not change the customs of how things were done.
So, the dreams Joseph had were far fetched and enraging to his siblings, and even made his father wonder what they were all about - especially the one where Joseph’s father and mother were to bow down to him.
When a dream is first given, it is not fully understood, and nor can it be fully understood as much still has to happen for it to become a reality.
The question is will we surrender to God for His plan to be accomplished??
Notice I did not ask if we would surrender to the plan ----
Joseph’s plan was a plan of greatness - it was an awesome plan of his leadership and rule - but in order for that plan to be accomplished many things would have to occur - things that would not seem so GREAT AND ENJOYABLE.
That is why when the Lord gives us a dream, a vision, that impression, we must commit to the Lord to ACCOMPLISH HIS PLAN in us and KEEP OUR EYES FOCUSED ON THE LORD, not on the PLAN!
I believe the Lord showed Joseph a glimpse of what was to come to help sustain him and give him a hope for the future in the days that would becoming ahead for him!
Now Joseph would have to surrender to God.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Jesus knew that glory would follow His commitment to the Father to fulfill the plan.
Was that plan an easy plan? Was it comfortable? Was it fun?
Before there can be honor and glory, there is often pain, suffering, failure, testing, etc.
Jesus had to leave heaven, be born as His own creation, be ridiculed in life, confront those without faith in who He was, and suffer and die on a cross --- all before He would be resurrected and seated at the right hand of God.
JESUS surrendered to His HEAVENLY FATHER
Joseph would ALSO have to surrender to GOD -
He would have to trust as he was being carrried away into slavery that God was in control
He would have to trust when he was being thrown into prison - that God was working out the details
He would to trust when he was forgotten in the dungeon that God had not forgotten Him
The one thing we see in Joseph is that he did not let disappointment and difficulty rob his CHARACTER! He did not succumb to Potiphar’s wife, nor did he sink low into the degradation of those in prison.
He remained surrendered to the Lord even though the dream seemed lost.
When his life seemed LOWER - HE FOCUSED HIGHER
How many a man, woman, child, youth have said things are not going my way - I am going to do what makes me happy - God has forgotten me?
2. Stay the Course
2. Stay the Course
We just spoke about remaining surrendered to the Lord regardless of what is going on around us - to keep our eyes focused on Jesus and not solely on the dream.
However, STAY THE COURSE.
It is one thing when circumstances blow you off track --- those could be part of God’s intention to get you where you need to go.
It’s another thing when we start tracking differently.
Joseph was put in the pit and sold into slavery - did he have a choice? NO
However that sale brought him to the country where God needed him.
Joseph excelled in Potiphar’s house - keeping his heart and mind on His God and faith regardless of the temptations before him, and the Lord blessed him that == elevating him to high position within the house.
Joseph took what was before him and excelled at it!
Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you.
Some people find themselves with such lofty dreams for the future that they fail to excel in the right here and right now of life.
For a youth, the right here is SCHOOL, for one starting off in a position it is the lowly job on the totem pole.
We might not always ask for where life lands us - but rest assured we should do whatever is placed in front of us with excellence because we do not fully know what God has prepared for us.
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Maybe the opportunity right before you is not all you dreamed of, but you have no knowledge of what God may be preparing to do through that opportunity!
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.
Do you believe in the dream or the vision that God has given you, then show your faith in your actions!!!
Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
Whatever God has placed before you - do not run, but be faithful in all that you do, working not as for yourself, but as for HIS KINGDOM!
Likewise, when Joseph was sent to prison, I mean - how low can you go, a slave to a prisoner!
Yet he was faithful in the work he was given, and then he was entrusted with ALL the leadership of the prison!
Stay the course and be faithful in the opportunity God has given you. Trust in the Lord to bring His promises to fulfillment in your life, family, our church!
3. Seize the Victory
3. Seize the Victory
OK, sold off, enslaved, sent to prison, forgotten about… then one day everything changes.
Did Joseph second guess the opportunity when it was placed before him!?
NO - he was called for to interpret the Pharaohs dream after telling him what the dream was.
Now, Joseph could have said, UM, I don’t want to be worse off than the dungeon.
If I fail the King, he might put me to death, uh, who am I to tell him his dream, usually I at least hear the dream and then interpret it
NO - Joseph by this time had grown in his confidence IN THE LORD ---
He personally experienced dreams (thought they had not come true - yet)
He interpreted dreams for others that were fulfilled....
He could have said - I have been shorted on the dream things, not risking this one...
NO, instead he gave credit to God for the revelation and interpretation of the dream - a pattern he always had operated by - first giving God the glory for the interpretation...
But his dreams - he did not see their fulfillment
WOW, wouldn’t you be in a position to not trust! to think that maybe these interpretations were just a lucky guess on my part and i never really have heard from God????
NO - HE SEIZED THE MOMENT OF VICTORY -
He took hold of the opportunity to let God be glorified through HIS LIFE - even though his life to this point was not so great....
He allowed God to show him the dream and its meaning....
Then, when that had passed, the Pharaoh saw fit to elevate Joseph to be in charge of the dream being fulfilled!!!!
ALL THAT WAS LOST WAS REGAINED! a hundredfold
He did not cower, but trusted God to take care of him, and HE DID ---
Now Joseph was right where he needed to be for his own dreams to be fulfilled,
What was the difference...
He was not going to be an abuser of the power God gave him, rather use God’s dream to fulfill God’s plan...
Why did God give Joseph this dream of greatness and bring him to Egypt ???
It was to have him right where he needed to be to not preserve the pagan nation of Egypt, but so that the nation of Israel could be spared from starvation and annihilation.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
God showed Joseph a glimpse of greatness so when he was in the pit of despair there would be something to hold onto.
That pit of despair would prepare him for the greatness he was to obtain and rule in - God’s university
Ultimately it was because God was working out a plan to save HIS PEOPLE from destruction, so He could continue to use the nation of Israel for the hope of Messiah to come....
When God dreams for us, we are part of a bigger picture, a more glorious plan, so we need to prepare for the struggles and yet be willing to seize the victories when they come!
There are people in this room today,
Some here need to hear the words to Surrender to God, not the plan, but to God and trust HIM. His dreams for you have purpose, purpose you may not see yet or understand,
You need to be encouraged to stay surrendered to GOD even though you dont’ see the dreams coming into fulfillment
Others today need to hear STAY THE COURSE --- Keep on in whatever your hand has been given to do. Take hold of the opportunity that is before you, not to run off and try and create your own dream, but accept where God has placed you right now and be faithful in your work while trusting Him
Still there are some, that the road has brought you to this place and God is saying SEIZE THE VICTORY! NOW IS THE TIME NOT TO GIVE UP, SHRINK BACK or QUIT - but to seize the impossible that is before you,
BECAUSE ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD!!!! and if all things are possible than God is wanting you to trust that the ANSWERS COME FROM HIM and this is all for HIS PURPOSE AND PLAN --- you get to go along for the ride in the dream for HIS GLORY!