A dream is the start of a new chapter. Pentecost is an invitation to dream. (Acts 2:17-18) It is an invitation to a new chapter in your discipleship, in your walk with Jesus.
When I think about visions and dreams, I think of the guy who was actually called a dreamer. His name is Joseph. The story begins in Genesis 37. Do yourself and read the whole story.
How does a person survive abusive treatment by his family, being utterly rejected by them, being sold into slavery in another country, being elevated in position and then being thrown into prison on false charges? Joseph survived and thrived because the God who gave him a dream of how He would use Joseph, that God never left him.
Joseph not only had special dreams, but he also had a special ability to interpret dreams. Pharaoh summoned Joseph from prison and told him his dream. Joseph explained that the Pharaoh’s dream was about an upcoming famine on the land of Egypt. He said there would be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. They needed to get prepared. They needed to save up grain during the years of plenty so they would have enough food during the famine. Well, who better to put in charge of such an operation than Joseph?
Genesis 41:41:41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,[b] and people shouted before him, “Make way[c]!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
Pharaoh gave Joseph his personal authority. He dressed him in royal robes. His brothers had stripped him of a special robe his dad had given him and had ripped it to shreds and soaked it in blood to fake his death, but Pharaoh dressed him in royal robes. Joseph had ridden as a slave in a caravan to Egypt, and now he was riding in a chariot as second in command of the entire country. His brothers had shouted angry words at him, and now people were shouting words of praise as his chariot rolled by. Joseph had gone from rock bottom to Rockstar.
He did a fabulous job prepping for the famine, and guess who came to Egypt looking for food when they got hungry? Guess who had to humble themselves and bow before their large and in charge brother? Guess whose dream had come true? And look at the gracious words Joseph spoke to his brothers as they came into his presence in Genesis 50:20: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Let me tell you something, When God gives you a dream it is bigger than you are.
Joseph’s dreams weren’t about his brothers having to grovel or bow before him, but they were about him getting to provide for them, about him getting to bless them, even when they had treated him so poorly, and even though he could have taken them out. The fulfillment of those dreams was about Joseph holding on to God and holding on to his God-given dream regardless of his circumstances.
Sometimes, when people get intimidated by your dreams, they don’t realize that what God wants to do through you will wind up for their benefit!
God wants to give you a dream today. Each one of you. I believe He wants to impart something supernatural to you that will keep you relying on Him. It will be something to spur you on in the tough times, and it will also be something that will enable you to be a blessing to others. God wants to send the Holy Spirit to open your mind to God-sized possibilities. Dare to be a dreamer. Dare to believe in God-sized possibilities. You can’t be small-minded and have big dreams. Your dreams will only be as big as your view of God and as big as your willingness to receive the Spirit of God! Joseph had a high regard for God! Joseph knew God was with him because Joseph never quit looking for Him. Don’t stop looking for God. Don’t stop trying to find him in every circumstance.
Don’t view setbacks as the death of your dream.
Joseph had so many reasons to give up on his dreams. He could have given up hope countless times, but he didn’t. Here is what I know: The Christian life is a life that is always on the rise. It is a Resurrection life. It is a get back up life. It is an overcoming life. Every set back Joseph dealt with was a set up for a comeback and the fulfillment of the dream God gave him.
Second, Don’t compromise your integrity or relationship with God on the way to your dream. Joseph could have compromised his integrity many times on the way to his dream, but he refused to justify an immediate pleasure that could have defiled his character and compromised his relationship with God. He wasn’t going to take short cuts.
Listen, if you are going to realize your God-given dreams you will have to stay faithful in the hard times, in the hard places. Don’t go down the paths of lying, stealing, cheating, compromise and cover up. Sometimes we get in a hurry. Sometimes we feel as if things aren’t happening fast enough, and we think we need to do something to speed up the success, to speed up the realization of the dream. It will never be worth it to work your ways in the flesh. Let God lead you by His Spirit because His timing is perfect. I am sure when Joseph went through all of the heartache and difficulties it seemed as if it took a lifetime to get to the realization of those dreams, but do you know he was just 30 years old when he was elevated to Pharaoh’s right hand? He was literally ruling the happenings of Egypt at age 30. What did any of us over age 30 have on our resume’ by then?
Finally, Don’t become bitter towards people who try to crush your dreams. Joseph had every reason to hate his brothers. He could have hated his father for sending him to check on them so many times, for favoring him and putting him in the position where his brothers hated him from the start. He could have hated Potiphar’s wife and Potiphar and had a negative attitude in that prison which would have cost him the opportunity to gain that promotion where he was put in charge. He could have hated God for allowing Him to go through such unbelievable pain. He never became sour. He never became bitter.
Bitterness negatively changes who you are and keeps you from being in a position to bless others.
Joseph could realize his dream because he kept his heart free of offense. The dream wasn’t about a position, but it was about putting him in a place where God could use him to bless others.
I think too many believers have settled for mediocrity when they could have achieved greatness. They have let setbacks sit them on the sideline. They have justified giving into temptation and they have allowed what has happened to them to derail their dreams.
It’s time to dream new dreams. It’s time to let God do a new thing. It’s time to picture what God wants to do. It’s time to prophesy, to speak for God, as we allow Him to lead us by His Spirit with new visions and new dreams. Pray for the Spirit of Pentecost to rest on you the way it obviously rested on Joseph. Pray for the kind of dreams that take such hold in your life that you will tenaciously hold onto God no matter what. Never give up on your God-given dreams.
Pentecost. It’s an invitation for the sons and daughters to prophesy about what God can and will do. It’s an invitation for young men and women to have Holy Spirit-led visions and for the mature men and women to dream new dreams! Dream on and move on in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to enable your dreams to come true.