At one point or another, all of us have dreamed of a different future for ourselves. Sometimes those dreams include different job or living locations. Sometimes those dreams involve a completely different way of life. Sometimes those dreams are just wishful thinking, while other times we are absolutely convinced they are from God.
There is a great story in the book of Genesis on the Bible about a young man named Joseph. Joseph was one of 13 brothers. His father was a shepherd and when the story picks up, Joseph is tending his father’s flock of goats with two of his brothers. Did I mention that Joseph was his father’s favorite? Or that Joseph made it a practice of ratting out his brother’s bad behavior to their parents? As you can imagine, Joseph’s brothers were not on speaking terms with the 17 year-old brat.
One time Joseph had a dream. Then he told his brothers and parents about it… He said, “Listen to the dream I had. We were all in the field tying up sheaves of wheat, when my sheaf got up and stood up straight. Yours formed a circle around mine and bowed down to it”.. Then Joseph had another dream and told his brothers, “I had another dream, in which I saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowing down to me.” (Genesis 37:5-7, 9 GNT)
Joseph had a God-given dream. It was big. It was grandiose. And it was from God. And we know from reading the story of Joseph in Genesis that God fulfilled that dream that He gave Joseph.
Many years later. At the very least, four years later (but it was probably much more than that).
So how do you navigate the waters between the dream that God puts. In your heart and the actual fulfillment of that dream?
1. Watch what you say.
It’s not a bad idea to talk about your dream. Just realize that not everyone might not be on the same page as you. You might meet resistance or discouragement – even from loved ones. It’s also important to take into account the timing of your dream-sharing and the manner in which it is shared.
Joseph did a lousy job of sharing his dream. His family felt as though Joseph was trying to set himself up above everyone in his family and it got him into big trouble. And when I say big trouble, I mean the kind where your brothers decide to kill you but settle for throwing you down a well to leave you for dead and then decide to make a buck by selling you into slavery. Yeah… that kind of big trouble.
Did God use it? Absolutely! Some might even argue that God used Joseph’s pride (and later humiliation) to ultimately get Joseph where he needed to be geographically and spiritually to fulfill God’s dream for Joseph.
2. Bloom where you’re planted.
Instead of complaining that your dream isn’t happening right now, instead be the best “you” you can be. Right now.
Joseph was faithful wherever he was – even though his dream was not being fulfilled at that point. Joseph didn’t sign up to become a slave or a prisoner. But no matter where he was, Joseph was faithful to be the best “Joseph” he could be.
3. Spend time preparing yourself for the dream.
Don’t wait until God is ready to move you to begin working on you. Become the person you will need to be when God moves you into your dream.
Joseph didn’t wait to be the vice-regent of Egypt before he began to work on his attitude and his leadership skills. It is obvious from the Genesis account of his life that Joseph continued to ready himself so that when he was moved by God into his dream he was as prepared as he could be.
Joseph did a lot of things wrong in the early stages of his dream-seeking. He was arrogant and full of pride. Later, however, he did a lot of things right. He learned humility. He excelled where he was at rather than become embittered that his dream wasn’t fulfilled. It is obvious that Joseph also continue to prepare himself personally so that when the moment came for his dream to be fulfilled, he was ready.
Question: What dreams has God given you? What are you doing to get ready? You can leave a comment by clicking here.