Summary: God gives us dreams that we can achieve with his help. The world would crush us and our dreams, but God tells us to "keep dreaming!"
1. MLK, I Have a Dream (through 2.18 of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vDWWy4CMhE)
2. We are challenged to keep dreams alive in a world that would crush them (and us)
a. "Dreams don't die, only dreamers."
b. The world says that you can't:
* Set goals to Live righteous lives
* Aspire to Teach righteous things
* Desire to Live with Liberty in Jesus
* Have opinions differing from mine
* Be intolerant of me
c. God encourages our dreams for him and from him -- Matthew 19.26
* "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
* ["Sir, we're surrounded!" "Excellent. We can attack in any direction!"~ An Army Officer
3. Dreams can seem impossible at first, but God can make them happen -- Joseph's story
4. Genesis 37.18-24
5. Four Insights About Our Dreams
I. Dreams Are from God
A. Acknowledging God's Role
1. Joseph and Brothers -- Genesis 50.19-21
19 But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
2. Pharaoh -- Joseph's explanations
3. Paul -- Macedonian Man
B. Our Dreams are More About God and His Purpose than About Us and Ours
* God was at work in Joseph's dreams to save the lineage of the Messiah
* Henry Blackaby said, "You never find God asking persons to dream up what they want to do for Him...Without doubt, the most important factor in each (Biblical) situation was not what the individual wanted to do for God. The most important factor was what God was about to do." (Experiencing God, page 66)
When God came to Noah He did not ask, 'What do you want to do for me?' He came to reveal what He was about to do. It was far more important to know what God was about to do. It really did not matter what Noah had planned to do for God. God was about to destroy the world. He wanted to work through Noah to accomplish His purposes of saving a remnant of people and animals to repopulate the earth." (page 99)
A. Dreams for the Older
You may be familiar with George Foreman, the former heavyweight boxing champion? You may not be a boxing fan, but you've got to admire him. He is now a preacher & an entrepreneur.
A number of years ago, at age 42, he came out of retirement to box again in order to support his ministry.
Foreman said, "I decided to go back & challenge the heavyweight champion because I needed the money to build more recreation centers for young boys & get them off the streets & out of trouble."
Evander Holyfield, the heavyweight champion at that time, was 28 years old & 215 pounds of solid muscle. George Foreman was 42 & weighed 257 pounds, & not all of that was solid muscle. But that was a whole lot better than the 350 lbs. he weighed just before going into training for his comeback.
Boxing experts said that he didn't stand a chance. No way that the old & slow Foreman could last more than 2 or 3 rounds against Evander Holyfield.
But on that Friday night Foreman stepped into the ring. And when the bell rang at the end of the 12th round, the 42 year old was still on his feet. George Foreman didn't win the fight, but as the 2 fighters embraced in the center of the ring at the end of the fight, the entire crowd in the arena stood up & gave them a standing ovation in appreciation of both boxers.
After the fight, when he was being interviewed, Foreman said, "I lost the fight, but...as long as you're alive you can dream." He's saying, "You're never too old to dream."
16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17 "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
B. Dreams for the Younger
1. THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUTH. Most people are converted to follow Jesus before they reach age 18, and most people who accept the call of God to full-time ministry do so before they are 21.