I want to share part three in our Unstoppable series, where we’re going through five concepts we must affirm in order to fully participate in the work and will of God. Let’s review the first two:
#1: I am brave enough to tell the truth about who I really am.
#2: I am bold enough to anticipate the future with hope instead of fear.
And now, here’s the third:
A Young Man Named Joseph
There are many things we could say about the life of Joseph. So much of his life and character is a picture of what it means to align ourselves with God’s will for our lives. Just like Joseph, when we are obedient to God, our lives will be characterized by:
- God’s favor
One notable aspect of Joseph’s life was his vivid dreams (Genesis 37:5, 9). He dreamed that his brothers would bow down to him in honor and respect, quite an unusual thing for the younger brother in the family to dream.
In Old Testament times, particularly in the book of Genesis, dreams were associated with divine revelation. They were often a vehicle God used to communicate a message. Knowing the full weight of dreams like these, Joseph tells his family about them.
Though it could be argued that Joseph didn’t make the best decision in sharing his dreams with his brothers, and was perhaps even motivated by youthful arrogance, at the very least, we can say that Joseph valued those dreams. They were meaningful to Him. He did not take them lightly. They were the very words of God.
As is always the case with the word of God, Joseph’s dreams came true! In Genesis 42, Joseph was reunited with his brothers and they indeed bowed down to him in respect and honor. This full circle moment wasn’t lost on Joseph. He connected this event to what the Lord had spoken to him years ago: “And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them.” (Genesis 42:9) Clearly, the substance of his dreams as a young boy was so gripping that it remained in Joseph’s heart over the course of many years.
So what does all this have to do with you and me? Well, Joseph’s dreams were divine revelation. God was trying to tell Him something.
You and I have also received divine revelation. We’ve been graced with a special gift that God uses to this very day to speak directly to our hearts: the Bible, the Word of God.
Because Joseph knew God was speaking to him through the dreams, he valued them. Similarly, the Bible is God speaking an individualized word to you. Do you value it as such?
Do you and I see the Word of God as directives from God’s lips to our ears? Do we see His Word as holy, set apart and separate, a thing to be cherished and esteemed through the ages?
Or have we trampled it underfoot, picking and choosing what snippets suit us best, rationalizing, skipping over and omitting the directives and concepts we don’t agree with?
I think it might be good for us to sit with this question for a moment more. If we read past it too fast, we may too quickly conclude, “Of course I value the word of God. I like to hear inspirational verses that help me in my life. I have several Bibles in my home. I even use a Bible app on my phone from time to time. Yes, the Bible is very important to me.”
But when it comes time to make a decision, no matter how big or small, or to figure out how to respond to a certain situation, how long does it take you to consider what the word of God might have to say on the matter? And if the Bible’s outlook is different than your own, what’s your response? These indicators will be the true test of how much value we place on God’s Word.
When the Bible clearly tells you that the good-looking, affluent, educated gentleman you’ve just met is not the one for you because he doesn’t share your faith, what do you do with that information? Do you accept the Bible’s mandates, knowing that His Word is literally the God of the universe speaking into your life, or do you begin to list all the reasons God’s Word does not apply to you in this particular situation?
When we see that God has clearly called His children to act in loving patience with all people, including ornery co-workers, challenging husbands and wayward children, what do we do with that information? Do we receive it as divine revelation and respond appropriately, or do we minimize the importance of these words from the very lips of God, figuring that we’ll do what we want and repent later, because it’s just “too hard” to obey?
Have we bought into the lie that God’s Word can be picked up and put down, disregarded and set aside at will with no consequences?
We live in a day and time when many are longing for direction from God. But could it be we’re not getting the direction we’re looking for because we’ve mishandled the direction He’s already given?
Just as God talked to Joseph in a dream, God talks to you through His Word. Are you listening?
Dare to Dream
Because Joseph’s dreams were from God, he believed they would come true. He had faith that God had the ability to work in His life to align him with the dreams.
Do you believe that God can work in your life to align you with His Word?
Joseph’s dreams gave him something to shoot for, focus on and work toward. No matter how bleak his circumstances got, he seemed to have an inkling that his story wasn’t over. His dreams gave him a picture of his future state. No matter what his current situation looked like, he had the dreams hidden in his heart, which may have helped him remain resilient and to keep moving forward.
Joseph’s dreams directed the trajectory and purpose of his life. Do you believe the Word of God will direct the trajectory and purpose of your life?
The people of God are people of direction and purpose. Our first step in finding direction and unlocking purpose is treasuring the Word of God. God blesses us with precious jewels of truth in the Scripture that we can use to visualize, reach for and meditate on in order to keep us moving toward Him.
Go ‘head and dream, girl! Get a picture in your mind that’s consistent with God’s Word of how He wants to work in your life.
Get excited about it! Dream about Philippians 4:8. Picture yourself encountering a difficult situation and addressing it with prayer rather than worry, and then having an overwhelming sense of peace. Dream about 2 Corinthians 10:5. Imagine your thought life being completely transformed as you strategically weed out each and every notion that creeps in that’s contrary to God’s Word.
Can you see it? It’s really more than a dream. It’s what God wants for you because it aligns with His Word!
You know one of the really great things about valuing the word of God so much that it shapes your thoughts, goals and attitude? It puts fear and anxiety on the run. Many of us are so consumed with playing out the worst case scenarios in our heads that it grips us with fear and we don’t leave room for believing God for what He already said He wants to do in His Word.
But I believe when we shift our attention away from negativity and start to focus on what God says He wants for us, trust and faith in the power of God will crowd out the uneasy, anxious mindset that so often plagues us.
Resolve today to be a woman of vision and purpose directed by the Word of God. It’s God’s will for you!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t make a few special announcements!
- I wrote a book, y’all! It’s called Ignite: How to Fuel Your Soul’s Passion for God and I pray that it’s a tool to help you find and maintain spiritual fervor and passion no matter what season of life you’re in. Get your copy at The Gathering on June 2 or online beginning June 4. More details to come!
- Did somebody say The Gathering? Mark your calendars for our live event on June 2 at 5 pm! Don’t miss this dynamic evening of worship, fellowship and time in the Word of God. I’ll be sharing a message from Ignite that I pray encourages and blesses you. Purchase tickets today! Early registration pricing ends May 20.
- Did you know we have a YouTube channel?! Well, now you know! Check it out and let me know what you think. Be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications so you receive the latest updates.