Day 2: Whose Dream Is It Anyway?

C.S. Lewis "Prosperity" quote

Opening Prayer:Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”

Daily Scripture Reading: Genesis 37:1-4

Whose dream are you living? Whose purpose are you pursuing? I pray you have embraced the truth that God has a plan and dream for your life but the reality is He’s not the only one. In the first 4 verses of Joseph’s story, before God gives him His dreams, we see several other dreams Joseph could have chosen to live.

We see that Joseph’s family was settled in the land of Canaan which is famously known in the Bible as the Promised Land of the Israelite people. Generations before God told Joseph’s great-grandfather Abram to “Go from your country to the land I will show you (Genesis 12:1).” When he arrived as a foreigner God promised “to your offspring I will give this land (Genesis 12:7).” And He did. We find young Joseph living in that rich land, tending to the abundant flocks of his father. To the world, it would appear that Joesph was already living the dream. Wealth. Comfort. Safety. Those things were certainly not wrong, they just weren’t all God had for Joseph. C.S. Lewis wrote “Prosperity knits a man to the World.” Be aware, the world will try to sell each of us a counterfeit dream and it will probably look a lot like it did for Joseph- possessions, comfort, success, ease. God has more.

We see that Joseph was his father’s favorite because he “had been born to him in his old age (Genesis 37:3).” Joseph was also born to Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel and he wore his father’s favor for all to see in the form of a beautiful robe. Quite literally, Joseph was Jacob’s dream. That’s a lot of pressure! When others hold us in unhealthy esteem it usually comes with unrealistic expectations. I’m sure Jacob had dreams of his own for his son (as most parents do) but those were not the same as God’s purposes for him. Everyone from our families, to our friends, to our employers, to acquaintances on social media probably have an opinion of what we should do with our lives and we can get lost living for the permission, blessings, and approval of others. God has a different path.

Lastly, we see that the enemy had a plan for Joseph’s life as well. Through the seeds of bitterness planted by Jacob’s favoritism, Satan grew hatred in the hearts of Joseph’s brothers to the point that they couldn’t even say a kind word to him. Satan knew God had big dreams for Joseph and he wanted to destroy him before they could be fulfilled. So he fanned the flames of jealousy and division in Joseph’s brothers that resulted in a murderous plot. Satan wants to keep us from God’s best purposes for our lives as well. He is the thief that “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” the abundant life and eternal dreams of God in your live. He may attack that dream in us and he may just numb us into an apathetic vision for our lives. God has better.

We all dream of living a life of purpose because God has placed that desire in our hearts. But He loves us enough to grant us free will which means we can choose whose dream we will live. When we pursue the world’s dreams, other’s dreams, or the enemy’s dreams we will waste our lives. Could there be anything worse? But when we hold tightly to God’s plans, we will find the purpose we were made for.

Today’s Big Questions: Whose dream for your life are you living? Do you see the world’s dreams, other’s expectations, and the enemy’s plans having influence over your life today? Where?

Prayer Response: Get quiet before the Lord and ask Him to reveal the counterfeit dreams that are influencing your life. Confess any plans or purposes that are not from Him and ask Him to redeem His dream for you.

Optional Action Step: Make a chart with 4 sections or 4 separate lists labeled WORLD, OTHERS, ENEMY, and GOD. Now think about the direction your life is going, the decisions you are making, and the opportunities you have. Write them under the corresponding heading. For the remainder of this series, continue to assign the dreams and desires you have to one of these influences.

Closing Prayer: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Day 1: A Dreamy Guy

Living the Dream Devotional Day 1

Opening Prayer: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”

Daily Scripture Reading:

  • Jeremiah 29:11-13
  • Joel 2:28
  • Hebrews 10:35-39

We are about to embark on quite an adventure together. In fact it has all the makings of a great movie; family drama, a murderous plot, devastating secrets, foreign lands, sexual temptation, wrongful accusations, a climatic finale, audacious dreams, and a larger than life hero. Joseph was a “dreamy guy.” The Bible actually describes him in Genesis 39:7 as “well-built and handsome,” but that is not what makes him the star of this tale.

Joseph’s life was set apart by God’s dreams and for God’s purposes. His story will actually point us to the life of Christ. Like Jesus, we will watch Joseph obey through suffering, ultimately saving God’s chosen people. We will witness Joseph living a life of redemption, forgiveness, and reconciliation, foreshadowing Jesus’ earthly and eternal ministry. Joseph dreamed big dreams having no idea the journey those dreams would take him on. But through it all he remained faithful.

However, unlike a mere movie about someone else’s life, Joseph’s story is for us because Joseph’s story can be ours. God has a plan, a purpose, and a dream for each of our lives. Like Joseph will walk hard roads, we will live mundane days, we will have to fight hard for that dream, but in the end, if we remain faithful, the finale will be just as victorious.

The first step in “Living the Dream” is believing that there is one.

Right here at the very beginning you have to decide if you believe that God has a dream and a purpose for your life- not just your godly friend’s life, your pastor’s life, that author you look up to’s life. YOUR life.

In today’s scripture reading, we find that God already knows the plan He has for your good and your future. We see that each of us will find God and learn about His dreams for us when we seek Him with all our heart. In Joel, we read the prophecy that God’s Spirit will be poured out on His people resulting in dreams and visions. I believe that time has come. And finally, in Hebrews we learn that God takes no pleasure in those who shrink back from His purposes for their lives, but like Joseph, the righteous will live by faith.

Are you ready to walk with Joseph down roads filled with both suffering and success? Are you ready to embark on this journey not just for information but for transformation as well? Are you ready to embrace your role in God’s story for your life?

Today’s Big Questions: Do you honestly believe that God has a plan, a purpose, and dream for YOUR life?

Prayer Response: Take a few moments and get honest with God. I promise He can handle it. Tell Him if you doubt that He has a dream for you life. Confess if you have not been seeking Him with your whole heart. Declare to Him that you desire not to shrink back from all He plans to do in you.

Optional Action Step: Write down the top three circumstances or beliefs that keep you from embracing God’s dream for your life. Confess each one to God and either put a big red X on it or rip it up to signify that it no longer holds power on your journey.

Closing Prayer: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

You can subscribe to receive a Living the Dream 30-day devotional guide via email here and you can view all devotionals that will be published on the blog here.

“Living the Dream”: A 30 Day Devotional on the life of Joseph

This summer I had the honor of writing a 30 day devotional for my church family to correspond with our fall sermon series on the life of Joseph called “Living the Dream.”  I spent countless hours studying, praying, and really wrestling with God on what it means to dream His dreams for our lives. Joseph’s life is so full of wisdom as we seek to detangle ourselves from the world’s false definition of “dreams.”  The lessons are deep, rich, and not easy at times but well worth our attention.

Last week the sermon series launched and my little devotional baby was born.  So, I wanted to make sure it was made available to my friends here as well. I’ll be posting the daily devotions on the blog for the next month and you can subscribe to get the full 30-day devotional guide in your inbox below.  Everyday has an opening prayer, daily Scripture reading, thought provoking questions, a prayer response, an optional action step, and a closing prayer.  My hope would be that you would grab a journal and a quiet few moments over the next 30 days to embrace “Living the Dream” with me. You can get a preview of the devotional by reading Day 1 here.

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