Give What you Have

Genesis 40: 8

“Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.”

Just one more lesson from Joseph’s life. Do you remember where Pharoah found Joseph? He was in prison. Joseph was imprisoned for assaulting Potiphar’s wife. Egypt did not have a legal system like we are used to. Joseph was presumed guilty because of the words of Potiphar’s wife. Her advances to him were not new but Joseph never exposed her deeds to Potiphar, not even when she accused him of trying to rape her. So, Joseph sat in prison for something he did not do.

Joseph could have been bitter and indeed, I am sure there were days when he doubted the dreams God gave him. He persisted though, and he gave what he had to give. When the baker and the cup bearer had dreams, he interpreted them for them. Joseph told them that it is God who reveals dreams. He did not take any credit for the gift at operation within him. He did ask a favor though. The cup bearer was going to be restored to Pharoah’s service. Joseph asked the man to remember him when he was again in good graces and to help him get released. Unfortunately, the cup bearer’s gratitude did not remain, and he promptly forgot both Joseph and the grace God had shown him.

Hold on though, for the next thing that happened is that Pharoah began to have dreams. Pharoah called for all the wise men in the kingdom, but none could interpret his dreams. Then, the cup bearer remembered Joseph. So, Joseph was taken from the prison to stand before Pharoah. From there, Joseph was elevated to the second most powerful person in Egypt second only to Pharoah.

The point of the story is that Joseph always gave what he had. He knew he was wrongfully imprisoned, that his brothers had done him wrong and that he had only tried to serve Potiphar to the fullest extent of his abilities. He thought he was always doing the right thing but he suffered multiple injustices. He might have become so bitter that he no longer trusted God nor used his Godly gifts to bless others. Had he not agreed to interpret the dream of the cup bearer, there would have been no one to testify about his gift to Pharoah.

The moral is, regardless of the fairness of your circumstance, always give what God has bestowed upon you. Service should be its own reward. I know how hard that is, especially when you are not being treated fairly. Just give as if you are giving to God and do not let God’s promises escape you. Sometimes the vision does not manifest quickly but, hang on. Jacob never thought to see his son again, but he did. God isn’t through with you. Keep believing in the vision, the dream, the Word and always give what you have to give so that it may produce a crop.

Night and Day

Psalm 16: 7 – 8

I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

I have to dedicate today’s Word of the Day to my friend Dr. Charity Kayembe (https://www.glorywaves.org/) who has taught us to pay attention to the guidance the Lord gives us in the night. God uses dreams to communicate with us at night as Dr. Kayembe explains in her book, Hearing God Through Your Dreams.

I think this shows God’s passion for leading us. He doesn’t leave us out in the cold, on our own, trying to forge our way through life’s blizzards. He wants to make our lives less challenging by directing our footsteps. Jesus lived every day of his life walking in step with the Father. The reason this ministry’s slogan is “Intertwined with Jesus” is because I believe it epitomizes this synergy between our lives and Christ’s. In these two verses, David points to a life which exists, at all times, intermingled with the Holy Presence.

Our beloved is with us day and night. He speaks to us in our waking hours and whispers in words and images in the dreams of our sleeping hours. He is before us continually, at our right hand. We choose to put Him in the frame of every picture of our lives. David says, it is the Father’s presence in his life which makes him unshakeable. The God’s Word translation reads, “When he is by my side, I cannot be moved.” David’s level of resilience came from keeping Yahweh present at all times. It is not a skill everyone developed but you can certainly see the fingerprints of God on the lives of people who have chosen to live in stride with Christ every hour of the day, and night.

Let the Lord be your constant companion. Listen to the still small voice speaking in your ear daily and be attentive to the messages in the night. This I know and can attest to, God is speaking to you. The needful thing is to learn how to listen.

Above and Beyond

Ephesians 3: 20 – 21

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever, Amen.

Yesterday we looked at 1st Corinthians 2: 9 which said that the mind of man has not even conceived of all the good things God has prepared for those who love Him. Many of you undoubtedly were put in remembrance of this verse from Ephesians.

This is a favorite verse for contemplating the plans that Yahweh has for us. Like Isaiah when he wrote about God’s goodness, Paul cannot seem to find words enough to express the great expanse of God’s favor and provision for us. Again, we see from this verse that no matter how big we may think, despite our most grandiose wishes, dreams and prayers, we have never thought big enough to comprehend all that God wants to do for us.

It is not enough that God does abundantly. His abundance exceeds any normal definition of abundance. Still, not enough. He wants to do for you that which is beyond anything you have ever thought or asked. Now then, how big have you dared to dream? God has a challenge for you. He effectively says to you, “No matter how much you expand your dreams, hopes and desire, I have something even greater for you!” I like to challenge God right back. “Okay Dad, I can dream this big, I say to Him.” Even then you think, “Wait, there is obviously something larger because no matter how big I think, He is thinking bigger.” That causes me to ponder my own boundaries. I purposefully push my boundaries out further; make my dreams bigger. It is quite an exercise.

It is interesting to note that the power that God is going to use to exceed my greatest expectations is already resident within me. Ponder that one for a little while. That power within you is alive and poised. Release your imagination and your belief in God’s words. Let’s see how far we can go.

Dare to Dream

Genesis 37: 6 – 8

And he said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had; for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” Then his brothers said to him, “Are you actually going reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?”


Joseph was seventeen years old when he had that dream. Just a youngster but he knew he had heard from God. We all know the end of the story. He did eventually rule over his brothers. There was quite a journey between the time of the dream, though, and the realization of it. What amazes me about Joseph is that he never gave up on the dream and he never gave up on God.

Frankly, if I was sitting in a prison or serving as a slave in a foreign country I am pretty sure that I would have doubted me, God or both; probably both. I would probably have started out thinking that I didn’t really hear from God. I only thought I heard from God but if I really did then I wouldn’t be sitting in this filthy prison. I just have been wrong about hearing from God. But it seemed so real, so certain. Well, maybe it is that I missed it somewhere along the line. Maybe I really did hear from God but I blew it somehow and now I am off the track. Yeah, that’s it. Well, even so, why isn’t God big enough to bring about his will even when I make a mistake?

Does any of that sound familiar? Have you ever had similar doubts? Maybe it has been several years since you had that word from God and you see absolutely no evidence that you are any closer to the realization of it than you were the day you received it. The trite statement of the day is, “Have faith.” It seems trite but really that is the thing we must do. In order to accomplish great things with God, we supply the faith and he supplies the power. You’ve got to hang in there, though, when the situation looks bleak. Even when you are Egypt and you think your miracle is in Canaan, hold on. What God did in Joseph’s life He is able to do in yours. Brush off those old dreams and goals. Give them a new coat of paint. You are coming out of prison and the future is bright.

Satisfied

Psalm 107: 9                      NIV

For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

That sounds good, really good but listen to how this reads in the New American Standard, “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Now that is an out of the park homer. The NIV is a good Bible and I like it a great deal but the NASB is just a bit more accurate but what is going on here is that these words are really describing a dynamic that we can only fully comprehend when we receive the amalgamation of both translations. You see, God has already satisfied your every need but with God you have to understand that God does not live in “time” as we do. Therefore, he has already satisfied you and is satisfying you and will satisfy you. All of His blessings take place in the present because He is always in the present but for us His present is our past, present and future. Have I managed to confuse you? My point is, don’t be confused over the variance in these translations because God’s blessing are eternal and continuous. What you want to receive is that God is and has already met your deepest need and He will continue to do so until the end of time and on into eternity.

When we first read this passage it is easy to think of food and drink but I think the real hunger and thirst from which we suffer is not in our bodies but in our souls and our spirits. God is here today to tell you that He knows of the deep hunger inside of you and that He has already moved on your behalf to satisfy that deepest of needs. What’s more, God satisfies us with good things. All of His answers are goodness, kindness, mercy, etc. He is filling us with the bounty of His goodness and grace. Everything good is yours without measure. He has no desire to withhold any good thing from you for His source is boundless. There is no bottom in His well. 

So what is it that your heart of heart longs for? Do you want to preach to the world? Evangelize a nation? Would you like to see revival in your home church or maybe just your brother-in-law saved. All of these fall under God’s grace and provision. Do you long for a meaningful relationship or work that calls you to higher ground? What would you do if you had absolutely no limitations? That is what God is trying to encourage in you today. He sees the deep longing of your heart and He wants you to know that He agrees with you. He trusts you with that goal and vision and is your top encourager. If you dared to dream the impossible, what would it look like? Well, guess what, God is able to dream that big. He is, will and has satisfied that deepest longing. God is in the fulfillment business. He isn’t putting your longings on backorder so get ready to receive. Build a bigger barn, here comes the blessing.