Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
Back in the 1970’s our pastor, Harry Bizzell, told us we were a Joseph people and I believed him. And I believe it now more than ever. Unfortunately, I did not understand what I was signing up for in those days.
“God sent a man before them – Joseph – who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters. He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.” Psalm 105:17-19.
If you have a real dream, a real prophetic word or promise over your life, then it is likely you will experience the exact opposite before you see the fulfillment. As hard as this can be to swallow it is the picture Scripture consistently paints. God’s promises are central in the testing and preparation for our destiny.
Joseph’s life reveals what hinders all of us the most- self-focus, self-consciousness, self-centeredness, self-preservation, self-exaltation, self-awareness, self-pity, self-deprecation, self-loathing and on and on; but no matter how you phrase it, our core problem is I, I, I.
Joseph’s brothers did bow down to him as he dreamed, but that was not what the dream was about. It was about Joseph saving them. God’s dreams will bring you the best times of your life and satisfy your heart beyond what you imagined, but that is the by-product. God’s dreams are an extension of His heart. They reflect His heart, nature and desires. God’s dreams are ultimately not about the dreamer.
We will never know what it is like to live the dream in fullness until we get over ourselves. We can partially live our dreams, but who wants to settle for a measure when you can have an overflow? In Joseph’s life here is what measure looked like – being a slave managing his owner’s business while trying to avoid his unfaithful wife’s seductions. Or being an inmate/assistant warden of a dark, damp and nasty prison.
There are three pairs of dreams that are central in Joseph’s story. Joseph’s words in response to the dreams are revealing. It went from a self-focused attitude to a mixture of self and care for others and finally before Pharaoh Joseph said, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” Joseph had finally gotten over himself.
God is faithful, He made Joseph’s life beautiful in it’s time (Eccl. 3:11) as He will with all of us if we let Him. God does have a time for each of us. We can’t dictate the time, but we can delay it and maybe we can hasten it . Time is like an usher, it will escort you into the right place at the right moment before the right people. When it is your time things will happen in your favor outside the realm of your ability, control or plans. You will succeed where you failed and your past will bow down and serve you.
So many have gone through a prolonged season of sifting and testing, but the time is drawing near for them to come forth broken, poor in spirit and set apart to the Lord and His purposes.
Many Blessings, BW