7 Steps to Your Dream — Genesis 37:5-11

7 Steps to Your Dream success

Joseph’s Dream — Photo credit: poetry-bible.ru

Last post on Genesis 37:1-4 we saw how both Joseph and Jesus’ brothers saw they were their father’s/Father’s favorite and how they envied them. We also saw how both Jesus and Joseph have a heart for their respective fathers.

In this post we’ll learn about Joseph’s dreams. Then after the story of Joseph’s dreams, we’ll discover how to learn what dream God has in mind for you.

Genesis 37:5-11

When his brothers saw he was their father’s favorite, they envied him, to the point where they couldn’t speak a kind word to him.

Around this same time, Joseph had a dream. He shared it with his brothers, with great excitement, I imagine, after which, they hated him all the more. He said, “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 set yourself up to reign over us? Will you rule over us?

And they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said.

Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

When he told his father about the second dream, his father rebuked him, What kind of dream is that? Will your mother and I and all your brothers bow down to the ground before you?

His brothers were jealous, but his father, though he rebuked him, kept the matter in mind and secretly wondered if there might not be something to these dreams.

Dreams:

Jesus very plainly states, the Old Testament scriptures “testify about me.” And that, Moses “wrote about me.” (John 5:39-40, John 5:45-46) We see it here in the story of Joseph. Like Joseph, Jesus had a dream given to Him by God. Joseph’s dream was to ultimately rule and reign in government. Jesus’ dream was to sacrifice Himself for all of humanity, then to rise up and ultimately rule and reign over everyone and everything, over all there is, at the right hand of the throne of God.

I’m going to give you 7 steps to help you learn what God’s dream is for you, but, before I do, I want to point out God’s dream for Joseph was only recognized by Joseph. His brothers derided him for it. And God’s dream for Jesus was only recognized by Jesus. In fact, when Jesus shared His dream, the religious establishment rejected Him, His own disciple Peter rebuked Him, and even after His dream was finished, after the resurrection, His disciples didn’t recognize Him at first.

So when God gives you your dream, don’t be surprised if you and God are the only two who recognize it. But don’t let that deter you. It didn’t deter Joseph. It didn’t deter Jesus. And as long as you follow the 7 steps below, don’t let it deter you.

So the question I want you to ask yourself right now is, “What is God’s dream for me? And how can I verify that dream is what God desires for me, in the most successful way possible.”

7 Steps to Learning God’s Dream for You:

1)Give Thanks and Praise

What a secret this is to successful prayer about any matter. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name, Psalm 100:4 tells us. When you’re entering into His presence to ask Him to give you the precise dream He has for you, first give thanks for prayers already answered, and for those dreams, however small, which have already happened for you.

2) God’s Word

Immerse yourself in God’s word. Soak up God’s perspective of you and the world around you. Seeing yourself and the world through God’s eyes is one of the most powerful things you can do. In this life we see as through a glass darkly, at best, but God’s word is a lamp for your feet and a light for your path. (1 Corinthians 13:12, Psalm 119:105) Time in His word correlates with enlightenment regarding His will.

3) Go Pray

When Peter received his vision on the rooftop, he was in a quiet place, in prayer. (Acts 10:9-13) When John received the great revelation, he was in a quiet place on the island of Patmos, and he was “in the Spirit.” (Revelation 1:9-10) When Nebuchadnezzar demanded his dream be interpreted, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah prayed for revelation, and received it. (Daniel 2:17-19)

So turn off the TV, close the cover of your laptop, put your phone in another room, and carve out quiet time for you to pray for God’s revelation concerning what dream He has in mind for you. Over and over again we see in scripture, people in a quiet place, very intentionally seeking to hear from God.

4) God’s People

After Jesus ascended and left the disciples, they were without their leader for the first time in several years. They needed direction. So what did they do? They gathered together. They were all together in one place when God made it obvious for them, what to do next. (Acts 2:1)

So find people who love God with everything they have and hang out with them as much as possible. Go to church. Ask questions about the dreams of those who are more godly than yourself. Pray with people who love God with all their hearts, minds, and souls about what God wants for your life. Hanging with people who love God with everything might be the most important part of learning what God’s specific dream is for you.

5) Give Love

As we’ll see later, God’s dream for Joseph was to save millions of people from a devastating famine. God’s dream for Jesus was to save all of mankind from their failures, and their inherent faults and flaws, and to reconcile us to God.

You probably noticed, in both dreams, given to Joseph and Jesus, serving others is central to the dream. I’m not saying you have to be a savior of the world, but how others are blessed by your dream provides great indication of whether or not your dream is simply a self absorbed means of selfish gratification or is truly the dream God has in mind for you.

After all, you have to recognize, “If in my dream I do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)

6) Great passion

God designed you for your dream, and your desires and passions are central to that design. So if you hate high humidity, bugs, and camping in the jungle, your dream probably doesn’t involve missionary work in Africa. I’ll never forget reading about how one of the big considerations for Chuck Smith choosing to pastor a church in Costa Mesa was the great surfing available in that area. In fact, the first time he decided to teach through the entire Bible was partly because he needed enough material to keep him in Costa Mesa where he could continue to surf.

A big consideration of whether or not your dream is truly from the Lord is, how well it fits with your passions and desires.

7) Give Thanks

“Well we already gave thanks in step 1,” you might be saying.

Give thanks again. Only this time give thanks, in faith, for what the Lord is going to do.

Moving forward with an attitude of hope, expectation, and thanksgiving is key to successfully receiving and living out God’s dream for you. Besides, one thing you know for sure is to give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I’m not proposing this as some kind of formula for learning God’s dream for you. God can’t be confined to a formula. But look through scripture and see if it isn’t true. Those who received their dreams and revelation from God were 1) thankful, 2) spent time in God’s word (or even wrote some of God’s word) 3) prayerful, 4) hung with people who loved God with their whole heart, 5) lovers of God and people, 6) passionate, and 7) faithful.

There is no formula but it’s undeniable these seven steps are modeled in scripture.

Your dream becomes your story:

What a phenomenal story resulted from Joseph receiving and living out God’s dream for him.

And what an amazing story was born from Jesus receiving and living out God’s dream for Him.

You have to ask yourself, “What story will be told about my life? When people tell my story, what will they say?”

“He watched a lot of TV?”

or

“He was amazing at that MMOG, RPG, or at that first person shooter game?”

or

“His Minecraft creation was the best I’ve ever seen?”

Or will your story be one of value from God’s perspective:

“He went to work everyday and did his job with integrity and honor, as unto the Lord.”

or

“He lived out God’s word, as a father and husband.”

or even,

“He loved the Lord his God with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his mind.”

or even,

“He dared great adventures, for Christ. He swung for the fence, for Him.”

or even,

“That guy really loved people like Jesus.”

You see, in the end, finding and choosing to follow God’s dream for you, will determine what story will be told of you.

Try those 7 steps for a couple of months, see what happens to your life.

Live out the dream God has designed uniquely for you.

Swing for the fence, for Him.

In Christ’s name.

References:

Bible Gateway

Blue Letter Bible

Walton, Matthews, Chavalas. (2000). IVP Bible Background Commentary, Old Testament

Matthew Henry

John Piper

Chuck Smith, (2001) Living Water

Jon Courson

 

God the Father over Friends brings Freedom: Genesis 37:1-4

peer pressure Christian

Joseph betrayed by his brothers.

After revisiting a summary of chapter 36 of Genesis, we’ll look at why Joseph shared the bad report of his brothers to his father, and how it speaks of Jesus.

Genesis chapter 36 was devoted to Esau’s descendants. Beginning in Genesis chapter 37 and on throughout the Old Testament we’re given an account of Jacob’s descendants. That’s quite a disparity. So why does Jacob get all the ink? Well Esau was a great man of worldly talents, but represents the flesh, that part of you, of me, of every person which desires my own way, that part which wants to live for me, that part which wants to live without interference from God. Jacob represents the Spirit, and while God acknowledges the flesh, He’s primarily interested in the things of the Spirit because those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.(Romans 8:8)


Genesis 37:1-4:

In the first four verses of Genesis 37 we see Jacob is still living in the land of Canaan, in the same area where his father Isaac lived.

Jacob’s son Joseph is seventeen now. One time, while tending the flocks with his brothers, he brought back a bad report about them to his father.

Israel (Jacob’s new name given to him by God in Genesis chapter 35) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he was born to him in his old age. He made a special coat for Joseph. A coat that may have been distinguished by many colors, length of the hem, and size of the sleeves. When his brothers saw he was their father’s favorite, they envied him, to the point where they couldn’t speak a kind word to him.

At first glance we might think of Joseph as a sort of teacher’s pet and a snitch. But there could be another explanation. Keeping in mind Joseph is a picture of Jesus, I think it’s more likely he simply prioritized his relationship with his father above his brothers.

I think Joseph was about his father’s business, even as Jesus said to His earthly parents, “…I must be about my Father’s business.” (Luke 2:49 KJV)

Joseph simply desired to honor his father even as Jesus stated, in John 8:49, “…I honor my Father…”

Joseph strove to do what pleased his father. Even as Jesus, speaking of His Father, said, “…I always do what pleases him.” (John 8:29)

Joseph, like Jesus, was fiercely loyal and devoted to his father, and he had the spine and the spirit to back it up with his behavior, even at the expense of his reputation with his older brothers.

Like Joseph, Jesus was his Father’s favorite. When Jesus was transfigured, His Father said to Jesus’ disciples, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” By the way, When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. (Matthew 17:5-6)

And, Joseph’s coat and assignments given him by his father speak of his authority. Jesus too was given authority from His Father, for Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power… (John 13:3)

Finally, Joseph’s brothers envied him and hated him for his strong connection with his father, and the authority given him by his father, and the favor he enjoyed with his father, even as Jesus’ brothers envied Him and hated Him for precisely the same reasons.

What a powerful picture.

As Jesus said, the Old Testament scriptures “testify about me.” (John 5:39-40John 5:45-46)

Your Life:

So what does this have to do with how you live your life?

Well, let me tell you a story about a different Joseph. His last name is Tson and he’s from Romania.

While under arrest his Romanian interrogator threatened to kill him because he refused to stop teaching people about Jesus Christ. Joseph Tson responded to his interrogator, “Sir… Your supreme weapon is killiing. My supreme weapon is dying. …I will actually rejoice in this supreme victory if you kill me.” (see previous post: Pastor Offers to Die)

I think both Joseph of the Bible, and Joseph Tson, as well as Jesus’ behavior all speak of the type of love they had for their respective Fathers/father. The kind of love where they could care less what others might think of them. The kind of love where they were unafraid and unashamed of the opinions of others.

This type of love obviously pleases the Father.

I don’t know about you, but I can stand to learn from their example. I need to live a life more abandoned to God the Father. And I think I might find an intriguing dynamic will occur as a result.

An interesting thing happened to Joseph Tson after he offered his life to his interrogator. They became afraid they would create a martyr if they killed him. So they didn’t. Tson said, “I remembered how for many years, I had been afraid of dying. I had kept a low profile. Because I wanted badly to live, I had wasted my life in inactivity. But now that I had placed my life on the altar and decided I was ready to die for the gospel, they were telling me they would not kill me! I could go wherever I wanted in the country and preach whatever I wanted, knowing I was safe. As long as I tried to save my life, I was losing it. Now that I was willing to lose it, I found it.”

I think you and I often try to save our lives, our social lives. We often choose to give more weight, usually much more weight, to what our friends and family think, and not nearly enough consideration to what God the Father thinks. We live our lives afraid of dying, socially. We live our lives afraid of dying, of embarrassment.

I believe the Father wants us to live like Joseph lived, like Joseph Tson lived, and like Jesus lived. We need to live for God the Father without regard for the opinions of our friends, and brothers, and sisters, and others.

We need to live for Him.

And when we do, ultimately, we’ll find the same freedom the two Josephs and Jesus found.

There’s freedom to be found in abandoning yourself to God.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…

Fear of man will prove to be a snare…

Proverbs 9:10, Proverbs 29:25



References:

Bible Gateway

Walton, Matthews, Chavalas, (2000) IVP Bible Background Commentary, Old Testament

Jon Courson

Image via Lawrence OP – Creative Commons