“We both had dreams,”they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”Then Joseph said to them,”Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.” Genesis 40:8
God made us to fulfil our dreams. His creative love placed vision, ambition and passionate goals within our hearts. To add a bit to St Irenaeus:
“God’s glory is man fully alive…in achieving his dream”
One of the saddest things about life is that most people have no context to fulfil their dreams. “There is no one to interpret them.” This leads to great frustration that expresses itself in the various evils and addictions that try and offer some relief to the inner pain of carrying an unfulfilled dream.
We are also sold bogus dreams. Here are three categories of counterfeit dreams:
The MTV dream. Life is just one hedonistic video clip. If it feels good, do it now!
The Disney dream. You can buy anything! Or as Madonna might say “I am a material girl, living in a material world.”
The Twisted dream. This is religious zeal without love or the Holy Spirit. Hitler, Marx, the “Moonies”, inquisitions and Jihad’s would all come under this category. False Messiah’s, they drink on the untapped dream, the “hunger to die for a cause”, like greedy, intoxicated vampires.
God longs to reveal a “Kingdom dream” to our hearts. A revelation of the King, of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the key to fulfilling dream.
The story of Joseph in Genesis gives us some great insight into how a “Kingdom Dream” is worked out. Read it through from Genesis 37 to 42. Let’s look at 4 principles.
- A dream is born in an environment of fatherly love. “Now Israel loved Joseph…”
- A dream needs anointing. This anointing is symbolised by “the richly ornamented robe”, which was given him. The Septuagint uses a Greek word “poikulus” here which is used in the New Testament to mean “manifold” or “diverse”. We find “grace in its various forms” in 1 Peter 4:10, “the manifold wisdom” of Ephesians 3:10 and the “trials of many kinds” of James 1:2. True anointing develops within a context of grace, wisdom and testing.
- The death of a dream. Joseph’s dream was severely tested to the point of destruction by his jealous brothers. “Here comes that “dreamer”…Come now, let’s kill him…Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” Gen 37:19- 20 Joseph’s robe was dipped in blood and our “dreams” will also go through a cross to prove their authenticity. Christ’s very robe in victorious combat is “dipped in blood”. Revelation 19:13
- The discipling of a dream. There was a huge distance between Joseph’s dream and Joseph’s character. To fulfil his dream Joseph had to go through a long process of “on the job” training. This included:
- Learning to succeed in Egypt under a pagan master. Gen 39:3 He learnt the basic disciplines of life.
- Learning to resist temptation. Gen 39:10. In the end it was his genuine desire for God which protected him from falling into sin and losing his dream. Intimacy and holiness protect our dreams.
- Learning to succeed even in a “narrow place.” Gen 39:23. Don’t crave a wide platform. Learn to succeed in the ordinary, narrow duties of everyday life….even if it feels like a prison sometimes.
- He learnt to make space for others in interpreting their dreams. Gen 40:8. This was Joseph’s finest hour. He had come of age. Instead of having his eyes fixed on his own personal vision he began to listen to others, using his gifts to create a context for their dreams. He himself became a disciple maker. The good news is that in giving time to interpret the dreams of others he himself ended up fulfilling his own greater dream. If we or our churches and movements want to fulfil our dreams we must create an environment which disciples others and releases them into their Kingdom dreams. As soon as Joseph learnt to listen to others, God released him from the prison and he found himself in front of Pharaoh interpreting the dream of a whole nation. “Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it” Gen 41:15.
So, what are your dreams and visions? Don’t give up on them but learn to create the environment which enables others to fulfil their dreams around yours. Surely the church should be a place which interprets dreams. It can be quite a wounding experience going for our dreams as Joseph himself knew. God prophetically gave him two sons of healing and hope to see him on his way. Let’s end by making these sons our own promise in the one and only Son Jesus.
“God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” Gen 41:51
“God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” Gen 41:52
May you be whole and fruitful as you fulfil your dreams….and a final word from the famous singer Sean Paul.