Summary: Part 1, Joseph’s life teaches us some principle characterisitcs of maturity.
Joseph The Dreamchaser
Part 1: How To Grow Up
If money & time were not limitations, what would you dream about doing with your life?What would you do to leave an impact? Have you ever had a dream of what you wanted to be when you grow up? How close are you to that dream?
In Genesis 37, God gave a dream to a 17-year old of what he (Joseph) would be when he grew up. That dream drove every moment of his life. It wasn’t an easy road, fraught with frustration. When God gives you a dream for what you are going to become, the journey becomes as important as the destination. God has a dream that all of us would one day be conformed to the image of Christ, and so every thing in our life, good or evil, drives us to that point. What should we be looking for on this journey? What are the signposts that tell us we’re making progress?
Step 1: Maturity = Knowing Where You’re Going Gets You Growing
* Instead of trying to fit God into your plans, get yourself fit for His plans. Remember, God never changes and you are being molded. How can I be fitted for His plans?
1)By praying–“What is Your dream for my life?”
2) By living– the truth of Romans 12:1-2. Every day, pray to be a living sacrifice. Remember the old Keith Green song, "Make My Life A Prayer To You"? Let that be your theme.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
How was Joseph a living, unconformed sacrifice? Look at Joseph–he turned in his brothers for their lack of integrity, he avoided temptation, he was not afraid to give pharoah bad news.
Step 2: Maturity = Growing Until It Fits
*God won’t give us what we’re not ready for. I didn’t have a child until I was 33. Smart God we have, because I was not mature enough for all the responsibility of daddyhood. Events need to happen that break us and build us.
*Growth comes from learning life’s little rules:
1)Life isn’t _fair_. Was anyone fair to Joseph?
2)God keeps His promises, so use the time. Left for dead, slavery, imprisoned--God’s promises are sure, so examine what you are doing with the setbacks.
3)Tough times make tough people. In order to handle the stress and responsibility of being close to the throne, Joseph needed the hardship. God didn’t let him down, nor allow him to have more than he could take. With God beside you, you sure can take a lot more than you think.
4)You have a choice in every circumstance, and you’re responsible for your decisions. We never heard Joseph whine about being a victim. Whatever hand he was dealt, he followed God’s wisdom.
5)God doesn’t tell us everything. Ok Lord, the dream is they’re all bowing down to me. You left out the middle part. The hard part. Of course, I probably would have run away right then if you had told me the whole story up front. Visions and dream--the end looks so exciting. It’s the getting there that discourages us. So God keeps it a secret so you don’t give up. Think about it--if you knew right now that baby you’re holding, what kind of teenager they were going to be--you’d get rid of that precious thing right now! Those of us with teenagers say "amen."
Step 3: Maturity = Seeing With A Divine Perspective
*God begins with the end in mind. It’s common sense--if there’s wasn’t a pot of gold at the end, we would never start anything.
*God’s dream is a solution to a problem. How was He going to manuever His people to bring His great Exodus/Salvation plan about?
Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Genesis 15:13-14
Your hardship, dream, and journey are all a piece of God’s great plan for fulfilling the promise, "I shall be their God, and they shall be my people." *Pray for opportunities and plan as if God is going to answer. This is another way of saying get the buckets ready for the blessing. Joseph never gave up to discouragement for the sake of the dream. In prison, he could have ignored everbody in bitterness, yet he instead was a friend to all because God was going to fulfill the dream.