Summary: A sermon about hearing what God has planned for your life, then living your life for that plan.
I think all of us have graduated from “the school of hard knocks”. And since we are pretty smart people, I am sure we have learned many lessons in that school, and these lessons can make excellent testimonies – if we survive them.
But there is an easier way to learn; a better way that is much less painful and frustrating. God’s word is full of what men and women of old went through, and the Bible uses their experiences as examples of how we should be doing things in different times of our lives.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:11 says,
‘All these events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close.’
We’ve all heard the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors. Joseph was a great example of a man who lives by Godly standards, and he is also an example of how living like that can and will be rewarded greatly by God. Today, let’s take a quick walk through the Bible to see what lessons we can learn from Joseph and what he went through.
1. WE MUST HAVE FAITH IN GODLY DREAMS
To recap; Joseph’s story began with a dream when he was just 17 years old. He knew the dreams that he was having were from the Lord and they revealed God’s purpose and plans for his life.
In GENESIS 37:5-12, we see his story unfolding.
‘One night, Joseph had a dream and promptly reported the details to his brothers, causing them to hate him even more. “Listen to this dream” he announced. “We were out in the field tying up bundles of grain. My bundle stood up, and then your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before it.”
“So, you are going to be our king, are you?” his brothers taunted. And they hated him all the more for his dream and what he had said.
Then Joseph had another dream and told his brothers about it. “Listen to this dream” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”
This time, he told his father as well as his brothers, and his father rebuked him. “What do you mean?” his father asked. “Will your mother, your brothers, and I actually come and bow before you?” But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father gave it some thought and wondered what it all meant.’
Some people think Joseph made a mistake when he told his family about the dreams, and others think Joseph used the dream to taunt his brothers, but I think that he knew they were from God, and he was so excited that he couldn’t wait to share it with his family.
2. WE MUST KNOW OUR GODLY PURPOSE
God created Joseph for a divine and unique purpose, and He showed Joseph what it was in a dream. You were also created for a divine and unique purpose. God may not show you what it is in a dream like He did with Joseph, but if you become determined to seek His face and plan for your life, He will reveal it to you.
As long as you are content to live your life without knowing what God has planned for you, God will not show you. If you are not fulfilled in your life, even if things are going well, then don’t put it off any longer! Don’t settle for anything less than knowing what God’s personal plan is for you.
EPHESIANS 5:17 says,
‘Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.’
Not only will pursuing your vision with God bring fulfillment in your life, it will also help keep you focused on living a Christian life. We see that Joseph’s vision kept him focused during storms and that brought a measure of peace into his life that would not have been there had he not had a vision.
PROVERBS 29:18 tells us,
‘When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is happy.’
3. WE MUST UNDERSTAND OUR BLESSINGS
When you know and follow the Godly vision in your life, you will be blessed no matter what physical circumstances you find yourself in. That is what happened to Joseph.
He was hated by his brothers and sold to slave traders from another country. We would look at these circumstances and think that Joseph was anything but blessed, but we read differently in -
‘The Lord was with Joseph and blessed him greatly as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. So, Joseph naturally became quite a favorite with him. Potiphar soon put Joseph in charge of his entire household and entrusted him with all his business dealings.