We all have dreams and desires. When we marry, we dream of the happily-ever-after life and all that comes with living with the person we love. When we have children, we dream of them growing up and becoming the next great leader, inventor, doctor and such.
When life turns in an unexpected direction, what about our dreams? Did we miss God?
In Genesis 37, we read about how Joseph dreamed that his brothers would bow down to him. Not just once, but twice. And both times Joseph attempted to lord the dream over his brothers.
Joseph may have been considered by his older brothers to be the “spoiled baby brother.” So when the brothers found an opportune time, they sold Joseph to slave traders who took Joseph to Egypt where he was demoted to the life of a slave.
Joseph’s life took a different direction from the dreams he had. Reality and the dreams failed to line up at this point in life.
What does that mean for us? Our dreams for our family and reality do not always intersect, but seem like distant parallels. This is the point that we may want to stop dreaming about a better life and just deal with what life deals us.
However, we must remember what God’s word says about the enemy …
Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT).
The thief, who is the enemy—the devil, wants to steal, kill, and destroy our dreams. The enemy is a master at causing family divisions using strife, deceit, bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness.
The enemy wants husbands and wives torn apart. He wants our children to be rejected so that they seek acceptance in ungodly places.
As God’s people, we must see beyond what is in the natural and into the Spirit. We must recognize the spirit behind the circumstances and respond the way God’s word teaches us to respond.
Yes, many people have a loved one who sits in prison, captured by the enemy through his deceitful schemes. I remember that moment when I heard the guilty verdict against my son in the court room and I felt like the dreams I had for our family shattered like glass on a concrete floor.
The enemy used Joseph’s brothers in attempt to snuff out the dreams. But for the thirteen years that Joseph lived as a slave and then later a prisoner in Egypt, he never gave up on his dream.
How do we know that he did not give up on his dreams? He lived his life with godly integrity and thus, he found favor with God in captivity. This led to his promotion—second in command in all of Egypt. The Lord used prison to set Joseph up for his purpose to save the Egyptians and even his own family from famine.
It took over 20 years, but Joseph’s dreams became reality when his brothers came to Egypt seeking provisions to survive the famine. Twice they bowed down to him just as he dreamt they would. After all that time, Joseph finally was reunited with his family.
I don’t think Joseph would have selected the route his life took for God to make the dreams a reality. That’s the same for us—our lives are on a course we would not have chosen.
The Lord gave me a new dream for my family. While waiting for the fulfillment of this dream, God has renewed our relationships with one another in ways I never thought possible. What the enemy tried to break up, God has turned it around and is using it for good.
Joseph recognized that God worked out the bad and turned it for the good.
But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. (Genesis 50:19-20 NLT)
My friends, circumstances in your life may appear to have taken a dark detour. But don’t stop dreaming about a better future. Like Joseph did, we are to live lives of integrity, follow God’s ways, and trust in His timing.
We have the privilege of reading the end of Joseph’s story. Your story is still being written.
Believe. Hope. Revive your dream.
Lord, I give You praise and honor for You are the one true God. Lord, You have dreams for my life and the life of my family. Lord, I surrender those dreams to You. I commit to live a life of integrity. I desire to live a life that is pleasing to You. I will trust in Your timing You will bring my dreams to pass. Thank You that You take what the enemy meant for harm and will use it for good. Thank You that You position each of us for Your purpose. And thank You that You are the author and perfector of my faith. In Jesus name, Amen.
© 2017 Shonda Savage