A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
I am a dreamer. I have a dream. I envision sitting on the front row of pristine white chairs under a sprawling oak tree by a breezy lake in November. It is a wedding. I reach over to take hold of my beloved’s hand as we survey our children standing before us. Each one dressed in the finery of such a celebration some will be bridesmaids, others groomsmen and one bride. I feel the hot tears on the edge of my eyes threatened to spill over as I struggle to hold them back. Sighing in my soul, I feel the first breath fill me once again after three long years of holding it. It is the moment that I know everything will be okay. I know the date, time and place that has been sent. Faith will be our guide to reach this destination. Hope is what I cling to as I walk this long dark road. It is only months away yet it feels like years. I have wanted to quit so many times. To just throw in the towel and say that I am done with this dreaming and believing that takes so much time waiting and watching. Is faith real? Does hope exist? I believe that it does. There is purpose in each moment that I crawl through the darkness to the Light that I see. There is meaning in the pain of my broken heart. The Lord is doing something not only in our son’s body as he fights this battle with faith in God and courage only found in surrender, but in my own heart and soul. I am here for a reason. I must be strong. The Lord is my strength. He is holding me up. My eyes are on the future. This dream that I have seen keeps my head up as sometimes grope through the darkness toward the Light of His Love. His Word is the lamp that show my feet where to fall. I must stand firm against the devil who has come to steal my dream, destroy my faith and kill my hope. I must not allow it. But I am so tired, so broken, so weak and uncertain of what it is I am after in the midst of this storm.
Not to be dramatic, but to give insight for this premise. We are in the middle of two long days of evaluations for our son who will have a bone marrow transplant if you are new to the blog. He was diagnosed in 2011. Yes, I know how long it has been. He relapsed four times in less than three years. Yes, I know what statistics say, but I know my God better than that. Our insurance company denied our on this life saving procedure so his family, medical team and friends fought for four long months to find a way for this to happen. We have been knocked down but managed to get up. We have waited and watched being stretched beyond our limit. Hearts have been broken and mended. But there are still times that I must go to the Lord and accept His Offer to “come boldly”. What do I say? Simple. “I just don’t get it. Lord, I don’t understand. Lord, renew my strength and give me new hope.” I am a Christian. More than that I am a believer. But let’s be real for a moment, at the end of the day I am only human. A human who is engaged in a war not against a sickness or disease. By the stripes of Jesus Christ, our son will be healed. (Isaiah 53:5; I Peter 2:24) He has promised me that our son will live and not die to declare His Works forever. (Psalm 118:17) I am not fighting for a cure or answer for I have been given them both. I must learn to wage war against unseen enemies in the dark world and heavenly realms who assault my faith and confident hope by terrorizing my thoughts with fear, worry and doubt. Why go to all this trouble? The enemy of my soul knows what’s about to happen and he is desperate to stop the power and authority of God that is about to be revealed so he is leveling every weapon that he can find to destroy this dreamer. But I have a dream…
Genesis 37:18-20 (NLT)
Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!”
People of faith who have confident hope are the dreamers in life. They see things far greater than what they can cause to exist, yet dare to believe that all things are possible. Joseph was the son of Rachel who was Jacob’s beloved wife of the four that he had. She bore him another son, Benjamin. When Joseph was seventeen, he began having dreams and visions that he shared with his family. He did not think of the ramifications of the dreams and shared them with his family. Jacob wondered at their meaning but his half-brothers hated him for them. So they decided to put an end to his foolish dreams and ranting. When he came to them in his coat of many colors, they stripped him on his robe and threw him in an empty cistern or pit. They felt justified by jealously determined to end their father’s favoritism and silence the dreamer once and for all. Why Joseph? This dreamer feels the harsh ground under her face to her feet. Facedown again from exhaustion again. I have a dream but it is not as I planned. We fell into this pit so long ago. The men decided to sell their brother into slavery rather than live with blood on their hands. They took his robe dipped it in blood and delivered devastating news to their father. What happened to your dream when everything fell apart? Did you stop dreaming? Faith is the foundation of hope in our life. Hope is filled with dreams and visions because it is futuristic. With that in mind, to believe we must continue to dream even in the bottom of a pit.
Genesis 39:2-5 (NLT)
The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field.
If you read about Joseph’s dreams, you will see that they were about ruling, reigning, power and authority. (Genesis 37:1-11) His brothers did not accept that this would happen at least not if they had anything to do with it and his father just pondered such thoughts. But it becomes evident quickly that this young man had a knack for leadership and authority. He quickly ascended to head of Potiphar’s household. He was given the mantle of authority over all Potiphar’s household affairs and it flourished. Potiphar’s wife decided that she wanted Joseph to be more than servant. She set her eyes on him lustfully. Joseph had no interest in the woman or abusing the trust of his master. So she maligned his character by claiming that Joseph assaulted her and ripped his cloak from him as he tried to escape. Potiphar sent Joseph to prison. The man could not catch a break. Have you ever felt that no matter how good you try to be nothing goes right? Do you wonder when you will catch a break and some of God’s Favor will come your way? Just when you think you have made it, it all come tumbling down now what?
Genesis 41:37-42 (NLT)
So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.
To paraphrase the rest of Joseph’s rise to power, he was imprisoned. In prison, “the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.” (Genesis 39:21-23) Shocker, I know. Joseph found favor in his father’s house, in the pit, in slavery, and in prison. The Favor of God will reach you any place that you are willing to be faithful and hopeful in Him. Favor is attracted to your belief. No matter where Joseph ended up the Spirit of the Lord was with Him. God gave Joseph the dreams that he had and the Spirit of God was his interpreter. Dreams are part of our DNA as God inscribes divine purpose on our heart for our life. It doesn’t matter the details in this life if our heart and mind are set on Him. When Pharaoh’s cup bearer finally remembered his promise to Joseph, God had the time to line up every single detail of the man’s life according to His Plan and Purpose. He would save his entire family. He would have all the kingdom authority being just below Pharaoh in power. But the pit, slavery and imprisonment were part of His Process just as much as each broken mantel.
Mantels were consider garments in the past. A mantel is believed to represent power and authority in our life. Joseph had a coat of many colors which was a beautiful robe that told other he was favored by his father. It provoked jealousy in others. Listen to me carefully, the Favor of Your Father will produce envy in others and provoke the enemy to arms against you. So be ready! But if Joseph had never landed in the pit stripped of his father’s mantel, then he would never have made it to Potiphar’s house. He rose to power in man’s house. Joseph was stripped of man’s authority by a lie. It is was unfair and untrue. It was unjust. But the Lord’s Plan would prevail. Even in prison, the Favor of the Lord was with this man. When he was called to the palace, Joseph was given kingdom power and authority by the King (and I am not talking about Pharaoh anymore.) You were created by God to live in His Kingdom as His Child which gives you the right to Kingdom Power and Authority in your life. There are not too many people if any that would willingly give up what they have and know to fully embrace hope and the future unless stripped of something here on earth. The ripping of our heart and tearing of our soul is for something greater than what you have today. Let it go! You are engaged in a life changing process and the best is yet to come no matter where you are in it. Broken mantels allow us to accept greater power and authority. Our rise to the top will not stop until the only power greater in our life is God!
Psalm 105:19-22 (NLT)
Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s character. Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household; he became ruler over all the king’s possessions. He could instruct the king’s aides as he pleased and teach the king’s advisers.
Is the Lord testing your character today? Is the fire of refinement burning like hot coals under your feet? Is He daring you to trust Him while He makes your dream a reality working out every detail to perfection? What is your response? Some will stop dreaming as they drown in doubt, discouragement, despair and defeat? In the Name of Jesus, I pray that is not you today. Some will still dare to dream not really knowing what to expect. God will honor that seed of faith and prosper your soul while you wait. Your dream has an appointed time and it will not be delayed. But God is not slack concerning His Promises and will not allow us to settle for comprise. He will do everything that His Word said it will do and it will not return to Him void even if we don’t want to wait any longer. God wants you to live in His Kingdom Power and Authority every single day of your life, no matter where you are, what you are going through or how bad it hurts. He is ready to heal you. He is ready to restore you. He wants to renew you and revive your soul again. He wants to pour more dreams and visions in you so they will manifest through you but you have to make this first one a reality by faith. Confident hope is indeed an anchor for our soul (Hebrews 6:19) so that we can stay safe in the process and wait until it comes to pass. I speak life to your dead dreams today and tell them to live again. I ask the Holy Spirit to stir up those visions tucked safely in the past. Jesus Christ died for you to have abundant life to stop dreaming is to accept so much less. I have a dream. You do, too. It will come to pass as we learn to step out of reality into the Presence of God and fully experience His Power in our life.
Proverbs 13:12 (NLT) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.