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Church of the Good Shepherd

Dreaming God's Dreams

  1.  Defining Dreams

Though I'm using the word dream I'm not talking about the indescribable pictures and delusions that last night's chili con queso brought to you sometime between 2 AM and 5:30.

  • A dream is a piece of God's revelation that locks onto your soul, and gives you a picture of the future.

A.  Dreams are God's Vision

1)         God has a plan.

  • Before God spoke the universe into existence, he had a concrete plan put together.
  • We don't live by random moments by the force of chance. God is in control, and in fact there isn't one maverick molecule that has flown outside of His plan..

-          Joseph saw this.

o       After this story, Joseph's life took a big turn.

§         Brothers sold him into slavery.

§         His new owner (Potiphar) had a wife who tried to seduce Joseph, and when he turned her down he was thrown into prison.

o       He lived there for a long time

-          By events that seem to improbable to happen without God's steering, he became 2nd in command to Pharaoh.

When Joseph was finally reunited with his brothers, he said:

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."            (Gen 50:20)

God had a plan, and because he did:

  • Lives were saved
  • Joseph was taken care of
  • God's name became well known and well praised.

2)         To let us in on His plans, God gives us dreams

Again, dreams aren't necessarily late night fantasies.

  • Webster defined dreams as: "A goal or purpose ardently desired."

- There are three ways that we get things done

1.         Do it yourself

2.         Hire someone else to do it.

3.         Forbid your kids to do it.

When God wants something done, he gives a person, or a group of people, a dream.

God kindles a passion in our souls

He locks a purpose and goal onto us, and uses that purpose to lead us into action for His plan.

3)         Dreams are always anchored in REVELATION

Joseph's dreams weren't things he made up, then pursued.

  • They came from God

-          The same guidelines hold for our dreams.

-          Dreams are not our whims, hopes and plans

  • The are rooted in God's word; the Bible
  • They follow God's character and His plan
  • This is the first requirement to make sure a dream is from God; that it fits and follows the commands of God in the Bible.

B.  Joseph's Dream

God's plan =   To use Joseph as a leader and save his family and countless others from a devastating famine.

  • God spoke in 2 dreams to let Joseph in on this plan
  • 1st dream used pictures from life on the farm

-          Maybe to look forward to the famine, or maybe just because Joseph was used to life on the farm.

-          The dream showed the brothers and Joseph binding big piles or sheaves of grain

-          The brothers piles bowed down to Joseph's, showing God's plan to promote Joseph from son #11 to the #1 son position.

  • 2nd dream used pictures from the sky.

-          This time Joseph's mom and dad were included as the Sun and Moon, his brothers were the 11 stars.

-          They all bowed down to Joseph, showing that he would even become the leader of his parents.

-          The process was already started.

§         You know the coat Joseph wore, the TECHNICOLORED DREAM COAT.  It was more than just for show.  It was a sign that Jacob, Joseph's father, had already decided that Joseph would be the next family leader.

§         Joseph would get the privileges of the first born son, including the inheritance.

 

  • The dreams locked onto Joseph's soul onto the purpose of being a faithful leader, then helped him through the difficult days that would come before he was a leader.

C.  Our Dreams

God still has a plan, and He still sends dreams to let people in on specific ways he wants them to take part in it.

GOSPEL

Overarching plan is in the Great Commission

Mat 28:18-20  "All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

He has other commands and dreams scattered through the Bible.

This means that the Bible has to be the first filter for all our dreams.   

Then God locks a purpose onto a person or group and steers them into a specific way to bring His Plan into reality.

I remember when it happened to me.

- My Call to Ministry

When God sends a dream, your life will never be the same.  So how do we develop dreams?  I know that the giving and defining of dreams is God's business, but is there anything we can do to help?  How can we put ourselves in the place where dreams come?

2.  Don't Be Afraid of God's Dreams

2 Cor 8

A.  It is Grace to be asked to do Hard Things

Grace to give

2 Corinthians 8:1-4 -   We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints

B.  How to Tell if it is God's Dream?

  • If its difficult
  • If it's a command

-          Sex

-          Job

  • Times for Discernment
  • Ask for Wisdom

James 1:5   -    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

3.  Developing Dreams

  The first thing Joseph did to put himself in the place where dreams come is to be faithful, especially in little things.

#1.  Faithfulness

Do you know anyone who is nit-picky to the point of annoyance?

1) Joseph's faithfulness

a) His Job =     To tend his father's flocks; he was a shepherd

- It's a bit monotonous, but important

b) Brothers would goof off in the fields and cut corners

  • I'm not exactly sure how a shepherd could cut corners, but his brothers were creative and came up with a way.

c) So Joseph brought back a bad report of his brothers' antics to Jacob.

WHY?

-          He's not a tattle-tale

-          He was being faithful

Joseph's reasoning

-          The flocks belong 1st to God, and then to my Dad.

-          Treating them poorly is slapping God and Dad in the face

-          My loyalty is the my God and my Dad, so to be faithful, I need to report this so that it doesn't happen any more.

This is what faithfulness is all about.

  • Faithfulness means being driven out of love and doing the best you can.
  • It means that you won't settle for 2nd best, but want to do your best.

Joseph's Thought life re: Potiphar's Wife

So what does faithfulness mean for us?  How can love motivate us?

2) Us

a) Your loyalty at work or school is #1 to GOD

Therefore, whatever you do is done for Him.

Col 3:23          "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men . . . it is Christ you are serving."

This applies to homework, housework and office work.

You know what this means for your situation.

 

The first character quality that puts us in the place where dreams come is faithfulness.  The 2nd is a sense of discontentment with the way things are around you.

#2   Discontentment with the Status Quo

 

1)         Joseph

  • I've been thinking about the bad report that Joseph gave about his brothers.
  • I think that there's more to it than just faithfulness
  • I think he saw his brothers settling for the easy life of sin and sloth and said, "There more to life than this.  I'm not gong to follow the easy way out!"

 

He was discontent with "Good Enough"

-  the status quo

 That motivated him to live exceptionally.

 

Have you ever known anyone who did this.  People who looked around at the average, easy life of work and play, with all the sins and cop-outs affiliated with them, and decided to stand up and start working for more.

 

Popeye - That's All I can stands and I can't stands no more

Moses came to defense of countryman (Ex 2)

Martin Luther King Jr

 Bill Hybels

 

2)         US

Look around how things are always done

How your co-workers cut corners

How you do your chores at about a 50% quality level

And don't settle for it.

 

#3 Expectation: Learn to ask the question, "WHAT IF?"

attitude of Expectation.

Expectation of Revelation

1) Joseph

I'm amazed at Joseph's response to the dreams God sent.

-          He didn't shout questions to the sky - "Who are you?"

-          He didn't ignore them

-          He didn't ask how or when

-          With child-like faith he went to his family and said, "Listen to this great dream God sent me last night!"

 

Why wasn't he surprised that God would send him a miraculous dream?

Maybe b/c he was expecting God to do something

 

  • He knew that God had come and shown people like Abraham where to go.
  • He knew that God came and saved his grandpa Isaac
  • He grew up listening to Jacob's stories about the dreams God sent him.
  • That built a sense of expectation in his heart.
  • Why wouldn't God reveal something to him????

And I'm here to ask, "Why wouldn't God come through for you?"

 

2) Us

Honest Question         "What are your expectations of God?"

What do you think will happen when you:

Pray

Read the Bible

Worship

These are the places where dreams come

Do you really expect God to send you a life changing, thrilling, faith stretching dream?

 

If you want to begin to dream God's dreams, you have to expect that He will come, that His word, His Spirit and His worship will change you, and let you in on His plan, and lead you on the ride of your life.

#4 Tenacity (Finish Well)

 

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