We go through seasons in life where God seems so far away from us personally. Others around us are advancing and experiencing success. Hello? What about me? The longer the oversight we start losing joy, get bitter at and envious of others, disillusioned, apathetic, sloppy, and give in to self pity. Pretty soon, we’ve lost sight of that drive and that dream. There’s an interesting story that takes place beginning in Genesis 37 about Jacob’s sons.
“One night Joseph had a dream…” That dream soon started to crumble. His brothers were incredibly jealous of Joseph because he was Jacob’s favorite so they sold him into slavery. He gets promoted at his first job but is quickly jailed because his boss’s wife accused him of trying to rape her. While in jail, he interprets two of Pharoah’s servants’ dreams. One is killed, the other is restored to his position of influence. Pharoah then has a series of disturbing dreams so Joseph is summoned from the pit to exercise his God-given gift. Because of this, he was elevated to be the most powerful man in Egypt, second only to Pharoah. Through a strange twist of events, his family joins him in Egypt…fulfilling his original dream.
Joseph trusted in God Who in turn protected and directed his life. When we’re in relationship with God, He makes us overcomers. When we face problems, this relationship is key to the comeback; the lack of one is the key to failure. Intimacy with the Almighty helps us to understand God’s ways…
The Call of God
Joseph received his calling. He didn’t comprehend it but also didn’t force it or create situations. He didn’t ask how, what, or when. He remained faithful even when it seemed like God had forgotten him. The call of God isn’t always clear, but it’s simply God leading us to do something, then completing it for Him. So many ways God spoke to people followed by so many responses. It won’t always come the same way, many times manifesting in a still small voice, one that we need to be listening for.
Confirmation from God
- As we continue to seek God, He will reveal His answers to us through prayer and scripture. God does not want to confuse us…we’re probably the ones who make things complicated. Caution: revelations will never contradict the Bible. Never make a decision in the middle of a stressful situaiton. Always seek the counsel of others (parents, pastors, friends who have the power to say “NO.”)
- God can use people as when the cupbearer acknowledged Joseph’s gift (Genesis 41:12).
- God can use events to confirm our calling. “The Lord was with Joseph and gave him successes in whatever he did” (Genesis 40:23).
Challenge from God
There will be tests to determine our faithfulness, motives, desires, hearts…who are we trusting in?
- There will always be options: some easier, others more appealing and or less glamorous. But what does God want me to do?
- Everyone will offer us opinions. What is God saying to me?
- There will be obstacles. Being sold into slavery kind of puts a damper on someone’s dream. But while Joseph was alone in prison he persevered and kept his eyes on God. Many around us will fail, fall, or give up. But what does God want me to do?
- People will oppose us. His own father rebuked him. His brothers “hated him and couldn’t speak a kind word to him.” People will get downright ugly with us with slander, lies, and character attacks. What does God say about me?
Just because a dream is from God doesn’t mean it will take place. Many dreams have died with tired, wounded people who felt overwhelmed, worn out, and battle fatigued. We must always remember that In the midst of chaotic, confusing, or contradictory circumstances, God is willing and able to fulfill our dreams! Some things may not work the way we want but we must let God work out His purpose. Don’t you ever, ever, ever, ever give up. Many were tempted in the desert, the valley, the belly of a fish, a lion’s den, a fiery furnace, in the Garden Gethsemane or on the island of Patmos. Sometimes when we think we’re furthest away from His Plan, we’re actually right in the middle of it. Remember, His silence doesn’t negate His presence.
Never dream alone. God will bring others to stand by us.
Never dream and forget to wake up. We need to get up and do something about it
Never dream just once. As we prove ourselves faithful, God will give us bigger and bigger dreams
Where am I right now?
Dreaming: What’s next?
Potiphar’s House: Am I tempted to throw out the eternal in exchange for something temporal?
Dungeon: Have I lost sight of the dream? Do I feel forgotten? Robbed?
Commanding Egypt: Do I feel fulfilled? Am I walking in confidence? To what do I attribute my “success?”
Ready to dangle my critics over an open fire: Whatever happens next is totally up to me. What would God have me do?