Summary: Like Joseph, we have a destiny for our lives. What is it and how can we learn from Joseph’s life and how he realized his dream?
OPEN: An elderly husband and wife noticed they were beginning to forget little things around the house. They were afraid that this could be dangerous so they decided to go see a doctor to get some help.
Their doctor told them that many people their age find it useful to write themselves little notes as reminders. This seemed like an excellent idea.
When they got home, the wife said, "Honey, will you please go to the kitchen and get me a dish of ice cream? Why don’t you write that down so you won’t forget?"
"Nonsense," said the husband, "I can remember a dish of ice cream!"
"I’d also like some strawberries on it. You better write that down, because I know you’ll forget."
"Don’t be silly," replied the husband. "A dish of ice cream and some strawberries. I can remember that!"
"OK, dear, but I’d like you to put some whipped cream on top. Now you’d really better write it down now. You’ll forget," said the wife.
"No problem, ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream."
With that, the husband shut the kitchen door behind him. The wife could hear him getting out pots and pans and making lots of noise. He emerged from the kitchen about 15 minutes later.
Walking over to his wife, he presented her with a plate of bacon and eggs. The wife took one look at the plate, glanced up at her husband with this look of disgust in her eyes and said, "Where’s the toast?"
APPLY: Yogi Bera, the famous catcher for the New York Yankees once said:
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re likely to end up someplace else.”
I. Joseph was a man who knew where he was going.
He may not have known HOW he would get there, but he knew WHERE he was headed. At the age of 17, God had given him a vision. A vision that he would be man of great importance. And even tho’ he had faced the rage & rejection of his brothers, the insult of slavery and the hardship of imprisonment (for over 13 years) - he kept his eyes on God and never gave up hope in dream God had placed in heart.
He knew where he was going and he had no intention of going anyplace else. How did Joseph know where he was going? God told him.
II. In the same way, you and I have a destination. You and I have a place to go.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
You have a destiny. You have a dream set before you. Like Joseph – you may not know EXACTLY what that destiny entails. I mean, Joseph didn’t realize he was to become the 2nd in Egypt, but he knew that God had SOMETHING planned. Like wise, you may not know the details, but you do know there is a destiny laid before you. And like Joseph there are certain things you can do to ensure that your destiny from God.
III. First, Joseph attained his destiny because he knew & understood the power of God
Notice the 1st thing he tells the cupbearer & the baker when they mention their dreams:
"Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams." Gen. 40:8
Later, when he stands before Pharaoh to interpret HIS dreams, Joseph says: "I cannot do it… but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires." Genesis 41:16
Did you catch that? The interpretations belonged to God (they did not Joseph). And when he stands before Pharaoh, Joseph says he can’t interpret Pharaoh’s dream, but he knew God would give him the answer
Joseph realized that whatever skills he had, whatever potential lay within him… his abilities and his skills and his potential were solely reliant upon the power of God.
ILLUS: As one person once put it: “I am a pencil in God’s hand. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it.”
God can make the best use of us when we are willing to get out of the way and let Him work through us.
IV. Secondly, Joseph realized that God could use him, no matter what his circumstances
Where is Joseph in this text we’re reading this morning? Joseph is in prison. He’s there because Potiphar (his master) had a wife that wanted him to go to bed – and he wasn’t going to do it. So, his master’s wife falsely accuses him of raping her, and now he’s in the King’s jail. And (if Potiphar has anything to do with it) he ain’t never getting out of there.
Joseph is in prison. It’s kind of hard to do much of any value while you’re setting in prison. Or at least that is what many people might say.