Genesis 37:5 Then Joseph had a dream…
Our dreams, our visions and the plans and goals; those that emanate from the deepest part of our soul, are often, although not always, messages or directions from God. It takes discernment to tell the difference between those that are from God and those that spring from an overabundance of spaghetti. Even those that are from God can be hidden from us in the sense that we do not understand how or when God will accomplish those things in and through us.
If you are familiar with the story of Joseph, follow along. If you do not know the story, you will find it a fascinating narrative. Please go to Genesis 37 and read the story before continuing… it is too long to repeat here.
Let me point out several things about Joseph’s dreams:
- Joseph accepted them as a word from God.
- Joseph did not understand the dreams.
- His dreams seemed crazy.
- His dreams offended others.
- His dreams produced jealousy and hatred in others.
- His dreams caused others to work evil against him.
- God used that evil for good.
- There were many years of unjust suffering between the dreams and their fulfillment.
- God used suffering to prepare Joseph for the job.
- The dreams came true in ways that no one, least of all Joseph, could have ever imagined.
If you are not a Christian or you are a sloppy, loose living “Christian”, forget your dreams… in all likelihood, they mean nothing. If you are serious about following God and your Faith has produced a profound change in your life, your dreams, your visions and the deepest desires of your heart may indeed be from God.
There are some ways to tell if your dream is from God:
- You will remember the dream.
- You will have a witness in your heart that it is from God. (Something deep inside will cause you to believe that it is from God.)
- It will be consistent with the Word of God. (I.E. God will not tell you to shoot people or divorce your spouse.)
- It will begin to affect your decisions and actions.
Your life may change drastically and suddenly. Remember Joseph. The first steps may seem to be in reverse… your life may get worse. People in your family, your church, your Pastor, your friends, may misunderstand your dream. Your dream may bring ridicule. Your dream may make people you love angry or jealous. People may hurt you because of your dream. You may even spend years in unfathomable suffering, grief and pain. None of that should mean that your dream is not from God. The job that God has for you may require you to change; suffering brings change.
What do you do?
- Stay close to God no matter what.
- Do the right thing in every situation.
- Suffer gracefully.
- Don’t get angry at your abusers; they may be the ones God uses you to save.
If you do those things and it turns out it was really a dream induced by poor digestion and pasta sauce, you will have had a meaningful life anyway. If you never have a dream, do those things anyway.
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