The Biblical account of Joseph’s life is intriguing and touching. It is based on two dreams that he has. The dreams come from God and are about his future. Although we will not all have dreams of this kind, there is a divine purpose for each one of us. This purpose is God’s plan for your life, and the reason for your being. Joseph’s story is therefore important because it shows us what to expect as we move towards the fulfillment of our destiny.
From Genesis 37-47.
Insights from Joseph’s life and dreams
God Will Give You A Vision/Dream For Your Future—If You Let Him
God has a unique plan for every one of us, this means there’s a vision for your life and that’s the dream He will put in your heart. Occasionally He reveals the plan in actual dreams or visions but more often than not it will happen gradually as we walk with Him. Joseph already had a relationship with the Lord by the time his destiny was made known. There is obviously no fixed pattern that God uses. Stay within His will and it’s only a matter of time before you’ll feel this urge to move in a certain direction. Your purpose tends towards what you are naturally gifted at or passionate about.
We Should Be Cautious When Sharing Our Dreams
When God gives you a dream, it is exciting and usually we want to share it with someone, but we need to be careful about whom we tell. The reason for this is simple: most people will not encourage you or be happy for you. Some will, no doubt, but more likely there will be indifferent or discouraging responses.
Joseph told his brothers about his dreams and they hated him for it. There are those who will not like the fact that you have aspirations. The thought of you excelling may not be what they want to hear. Share your dream with someone you know has your best interest at heart.
Doing The Right Thing Will Not Make Everyone Like You
You must already know that trying to live the right way does not make you popular. Your good choices may inspire some but they will also offend others.
Joseph’s brothers were not impressed by his obedience to their father. They obviously did not like the fact that he told the truth and exposed them. When we choose to live the way God expects, we will definitely upset a few.
The First Steps Toward Fulfilling Your Dream May Not Be What You Expect
God gave Joseph a dream about his future which made him excited, imagining that one day he would be some kind of leader, that the “sun, moon and stars” would bow down to him (Genesis 37:9). The dream was accurate; he would eventually be a great leader but the path to this greatness was not exactly what he had in mind. Joseph was cruelly betrayed by his brothers, thrown in a dry well to die then sold as a slave. When one is going to be great, the worst place to begin is as a slave. This is the way most people would view it, but God allowed it anyway.
As it was with Joseph, once God puts a dream in your heart, it may look like circumstances are taking you in the exact opposite direction and we may begin to panic and doubt what He said. This is the time to believe even more, because His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55: 8-9)
No One Can Stop Your Destiny
No one can bring God’s divine purpose to a premature end. Joseph’s brothers had the intention of destroying him along with his dreams saying, ‘’Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits…then we will see what becomes of his dreams”, but God prevented them and they instead sold him as a slave. As long as you do not pull the plug on your dream, you will witness its fulfillment and nothing will be able to stand in your way (Jeremiah 1:19). In fact God will use what is meant to hinder you for your own progression. He turned Joseph’s brutal betrayal around to allow him go into Egypt where he would eventually see the dreams come true.
God’s Purpose Will Prevail In Spite Of Your Pain
Have you at one time desperately prayed that God would change circumstances that were putting you under enormous pressure, and got no response? Well, Joseph felt the same way. As the Ishmaelites carried him away, you can be sure he prayed and hoped that God would somehow restore him to his father. He however did not get what he wanted.
In the same way, we at times pray that certain circumstances are removed, but those circumstances may be the stepping stones towards the fulfillment of your promise. God will not grant our requests and we will have to believe He knows what is best for us. If He had answered Joseph’s prayer He would have saved him a lot of pain but also blocked the route to his destiny. So when you find yourself experiencing adversity in spite of your many prayers, maybe it’s best you remain there for a season—trust Him.
God Usually Brings Us To A Place Where We Need To Depend On Him
As we journey towards the fulfillment of our dream, God will teach us to depend more on Him than on anything else. He will draw away the things that we tend to rely on. Whether it is people, our job, money or even the luxuries we are accustomed to having. Chances are if we depend too much on anything, we will begin to have less of it. Not to deprive us but to make us understand that all that is not founded in God is shifting sand (Mathew 7: 24-27).
In Joseph’s case, he was taken away from his family and his homeland. He lost all that he could put his hope in—except God. As he lived in Egypt, he had no choice but to rely on Him. When God is all we have we should be encouraged because we have everything we need (Mathew 7:11).
We Will Need To Be Prepared For Our Purpose
Before we can be hired for a job, we must be skilled or educated in the appropriate field. Likewise, God needs to prepare us for the role that is attached to our dream. While He may lead us to be taught formally, we will also join God’s own school.
His school is informal but extremely effective. Here we learn a lot that will help us in future. Subjects like patience, honesty, humility, love, faith among others are taught divinely. God tends use circumstances rather than words. If He wants you to learn to walk in love for instance, He would put you in the presence of someone who is difficult to get along with. If you submit to His will, you will learn to love that person and the experience will help you elsewhere.
For Joseph, his training came while he was a slave working at Potiphar’s house. He worked every day in the fields and at the house and learned much about planting, harvesting and storing grain. Later on, Potiphar gave him charge over all his servants.
Joseph learned to submit to authority, trust God, be patient and remain faithful in trying times. As a leader, he supervised Potiphar’s men but his role as slave enabled him treat subordinates fairly since he had been a servant himself. He would later draw from this experience.
God Will Give Us Grace Wherever We Are
As Joseph worked as a slave day-in day-out, month after month and year after year, he wondered if he would ever see his family again—let alone the fulfillment of God’s promise for his life. He needed the grace of God. This grace is the one that carries us beyond what we can do on our own. It’s the bits of encouragement God gives us daily in many different ways. Just when you are considering giving up, the Lord speaks to you through his Word, or someone shows you appreciation for something you did and suddenly you have the strength to go on. Joseph needed grace and so do we.
Our Faithfulness To God Will Be Thoroughly Tested
As we wait on God, we will be tested in all sorts of ways. Your integrity will be put to the test several times. Joseph’s key test was Potiphar’s wife trying to seduce him. He was placed inside the house where he could be tried ‘day after day’ (Genesis 39:10). He said no to her many times and eventually passed the test. Joseph was then taken closer to his dream and away from Potiphar’s wife.
We, just like Joseph, will be exposed to temptations in many forms. If we fail the test, we will most certainly have to take it again. If we fail yet again, we will have to take another—and another (you get the picture). In the meantime there will be stagnation in the fulfillment of our destiny. This at times is the reason we get frustrated with God; we keep going round in circles of disobedience and consequently take long to achieve what He has put in our hearts. God will test you continually so that your character can be strengthened in preparation for your role.
Obedience Does Not Always Produce The Expected Visible Results
Joseph refused to give in to the advances of his master’s wife. Because of his resistance, she accused him falsely and he ended up in prison. The lesson here is that sometimes a step closer to your dream can seem like a step further. After you’ve passed a big test, things can appear to get worse as a result of your obedience. Joseph had no way of knowing that prison would be the passage to his promotion and in the same way we never know how God is going to lead us to His promise. One thing we do know is that God likes to use unconventional methods but we must trust Him whatever the circumstances.
The Key To Our Promotion Is Within Us
Did you know that you keep the key to the doors of your promotion? The key to Joseph’s promotion was his ability to interpret dreams—it was within him all the time. God will get what is in us and use it to fulfill the dream. The process can be abstract and many times we don’t even know that it is happening, but when the key is ready, it will be used. Although it is always there, it cannot be made effective until we let God work with us. He alone can take it and open the doors to our destiny. Our part is to submit to His will.
God Will Arrange For People To Lead Us To Our Promise
While Joseph was in prison, God arranged for the cupbearer and the chief baker to join him. He also arranged for both men to have dreams which Joseph would interpret, it would ultimately lead to the fulfillment of his own dreams.
It may not be as straightforward in our lives but there will always be people God uses to enable us advance towards our promise. That said if we try to fast track the promotion we will certainly fail. Joseph attempted to speed up his exit from prison. He told the cupbearer to make mention of him to Pharaoh so that he might be released. The cupbearer promised to do so but once he was out, he forgot all about Joseph. When it was the right time, God gave Pharaoh a dream and the cupbearer was forced to recommend Joseph as a way to protect himself. Promotion belongs to God, we should not try to get ahead of Him.
Sometimes It May Seem Like All Is Lost
It’s not uncommon for God to allow circumstances to get so bad that it seems like all is lost and the dream cannot be fulfilled any longer. If you’ve discovered your divine purpose, then never give up on it. God allowed Abraham reach the age of a hundred years (you won’t have to get so old don’t worry) then his promise arrived in the form of Isaac (Genesis 21:5).
At times God will make it seem impossible so that there can be a strong testimony of our lives. When Joseph was in prison, and had been forgotten by the cupbearer, he must have wondered about the dreams. How does a slave—who is locked up in prison—ever become a great leader? Well the answer is another question: is there anything too hard for God? (Jeremiah 32:27) He is not limited by anything that exists so there is indeed nothing impossible for Him (as Joseph later discovered), but we have to adjust our minds to believe. If He promised, He will certainly do it.
Perseverance Over Time Will Bring Your Dream To Fulfillment
Joseph was around 17 years old when God gave him the dreams of his destiny, he was 30 years when he became governor of Egypt. There will be many obstacles you face but the biggest test is time. Joseph waited a long time but remained faithful to God through it all. If you want to reach your destiny, you are going to have to persevere. We must know that like it was with Joseph, God knows what we will go through before He gives us the dream but He gives it to us anyway. We have what it takes because we have Him with us.
God Will Always Fulfill His Promise And More
It has been said that God always fulfills His promises but it’s more accurate to say He always gives more than what He promised. When Joseph was made governor, he was overwhelmed and said “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house” (Genesis 41:51). He was content to live without his family but God had something else in mind. On top of being lord over all Egypt, having a lot wealth and power and being blessed with his own children, Joseph was reunited with his family. When God is fulfilling that promise he gave you, be sure there will be additions because He gives abundantly.
He Always Sees The Bigger Picture
For every fulfilled dream there’s the bigger picture. For Joseph, God used him to preserve Jacob’s family who were to become Israel. He was to use Israel to reveal himself to the nations of the world through the Scriptures but more importantly to bring salvation to the world through his son Jesus. Joseph understood a bit of the picture (the preservation of life) but obviously not all of it. We likewise may only see a bit of God’s purpose but there is always more. One thing we should remember—if we consider letting go of our dreams—is that there is a lot at stake because there is always the bigger picture.
Experience Joseph’s Rise From Slave To Governor of Egypt
For a clearer understanding of how God guided Joseph towards his purpose, with much more detail, perspectives and insights, consider getting the book (Kindle & Paperback) Joseph Of Egypt. Find out more by following the link.