Lessons from Joseph the Dreamer

Relying on God’s Guidance Helps us Prepare for the Future


But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you into all truth. He will not speak his own words. He will speak only what he hears and will tell you what is to come.

John 16:13ICB

Throughout his life, God blessed Joseph with the ability to interpret dreams. While in jail, Joseph performed this act for servants in Pharaoh’s home, one of whom was pardoned and returned to serve the Egyptian leader. Later, Pharaoh had a confusing dream, and his servant told him to summon Joseph.

Joseph told Pharaoh the dream meant Egypt would have seven years of bounty, followed by seven years of drought and famine. Because of this, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of preparing his nation for the years of want. God enabled Joseph to have the wisdom and guidance to perform this difficult task: “ During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured” (Genesis 41:47-49). 

Because of this, the people in Egypt ate during the famine, and people came from all over the world to purchase the food during that time as well. Relying on the Lord for council and wisdom will always be the best place to start preparing for the future.

Wage Warfare with Prophesy that has Gone Ahead of You

Timothy, my child, I entrust to you this command, which is in accordance with the words of prophecy spoken in the past about you. Use those words as weapons in order to fight well, and keep your faith and a clear conscience. Some people have not listened to their conscience and have made a ruin of their faith. 

1 Timothy 1:18-19GNT

Indeed, this is a fight we’re in—it’s a good fight of faith against unseen enemies. “For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Thankfully, the unseen God—and unseen angels—are on our side.

It took 23 years between the time Joseph had the first dream to the time the dream was actualized ie sun. moon and 11 stars bowed before him. In that time, he continued to dream and interprete dreams.

He could have said, these dreams got me in trouble with my brothers who sold me as a slave in Egypt and that is why I am here. But even as a slave, he continued to fear the unseen God. In prison, he continued to interprete dreams as inspired by God.

What has God spoken to you today? Wage warfare…

Unleash a Heavenly Host

The angels are an important part of this spiritual warfare equation. Think of Daniel. He had a prophetic vision that took him into prayer and fasting for three whole weeks. That prophetic vision, prayer and fasting was followed by an angelic encounter from which we can learn plenty. The angel told Daniel from the first day he started praying out that prophetic vision, God heard his words and an angel came because of his words.

“For from the first day that you set your heart to understand this and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me for twenty-one days. So Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:12-13).

Angels are still warring in the heavenlies. God can dispatch them—Jesus said He could pray and God would send 12 legions (that’s 72,000 angels) to rescue Him (see Matt. 26:47-54.) God told Moses He would send an angel before him to drive the enemies out of the land (see Ex. 33:22). But angels also obey the voice of His word (see Ps. 103:20). That includes the written Word and true prophetic words.

So, we see that waging warfare with the proven prophetic words we’ve received is scriptural—and that angels hearken unto the voice of His word. The question is, how do we wield this weapon?

  • We pray it through.
  • We decree it.
  • We declare it.
  • We meditate on it so that it gets down so deep in our spirit that when we pray it, decree it and declare it, it carries authority that comes through faith.

We’re fighting a good fight of faith more than we’re fighting any enemy. The enemy is real, but the fight is often the fight to believe God’s Word is true in the face of contrary circumstances. Scripture is the final authority and it’s our sword, but tested prophetic words are like arrows in our quiver that we can shoot into the spirit realm to hit the target of God’s revealed will. It’s time to go back and review some of your prophetic words and rise up against the enemies that are standing in the way of your destiny.

Fulfill God’s Purpose of the Gift of Dreaming

The purpose of the spiritual gifts is to edify (build up), exhort (encourage), and comfort the church. There are as many gifts as there are needs in the body of Christ.

But those who proclaim God’s message speak to people and give them help, encouragement, and comfort

I Corinthians 14:3GNT
  1. Your dreams should edify or build up people. Definition: to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge : uplift also : enlighten, inform. : build and establish.
  2. Your dreams should exhort God’s peope. Definition: to incite by argument or advice : urge strongly to do the right thing, to give warnings or advice : make urgent appeals.
  3. Your dreams should comfort the body of Christ. Definition: encouragement, whether by words or the presence of another to help in time of need.

Christ gave those gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving. He gave those gifts to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge about the Son of God. We must become like a mature person—we must grow until we become like Christ and have all his perfection.

14 Then we will no longer be babies. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from men who are trying to fool us. Those men make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong path. 15 No! We will speak the truth with love. We will grow up in every way to be like Christ, who is the head. 16 The whole body depends on Christ. And all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part of the body does its own work. And this makes the whole body grow and be strong with love.

Ephesians 4:12-16GNT

Believe that God is

Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find him.

Hebrews 11:6ICB

If you believe this, you will be at rest. Believing it does not mean that you sense it is like that or that you understand it to be like that. Having faith means that you build your life on God’s Word; you conduct yourself according to God’s Word and reckon that God, who has said it, guides everything and is a rewarder.

To believe in God is to conduct your life according to this Word. The person who wants to please people is never at rest, but if you believe that God rewards those who seek Him, you will be at rest. “Knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord …” Ephesians 6:8. In other words, whatever people do means nothing to us who believe. Whatever good a person does, he will receive it again from the Lord. That ought to be sufficient for us who believe in God.

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