Have you ever felt like God has forgotten about the dream that He has laid on your heart? Are you on a journey right now in pursuit of your dream but you feel like every time you think you have a breakthrough, you find that there is a delay and you have to wait?
I remembered I was listening to a sermon in April 2011 entitled ‘A Dream Delayed but Not Denied’. This man of God who was preaching had married his high school sweetheart, and they had their children, he had a successful business then suddenly his wife was diagnosed with cancer and within a short period of time she had died. He wrestled with God because they had drawn a picture of their vision as husband and wife walking towards the cross which meant they both strived to serve the Lord in their marriage, but she had died, so does that mean that the dream is now ended? Does that mean it will not come to pass?
Not so, this preacher went on to explain later that the Lord had led him to marry again and now they are working together in ministry both serving the Lord and preaching the Gospel. He explained that sometimes God will show a vision and dream with certain people and in reality you look for those people but his message was that was important was that the dream had come to pass, the details will be different, sometimes the people in the dream will not be the same as the people in reality but the fact is that the dream has come to pass.
So what is a dream?
A dream is a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. A dream is also a cherished aspiration or ideal. So everyone reading this is a dreamer, there is something that you have always wanted to accomplish or every time you close your eyes, you see this recurring thought or image in your mind.
I have come to learn that before a dream comes to pass, there is a process that one has to go through before the dream is manifested. A dream delayed does not mean that God has denied you, it just means that it is not time. As a fellow dreamer myself, it has taken me a long time to understand this.
In Ecclesiastes 3v1, it says ‘to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven’. This means that every dream that you have has an exact date and time that it must come to pass. If you think of a tree for example, if you pick a fruit and consume it before its time and season, you will get sick because the fruit has to be ripe before it can be eaten; there are even some fruits that will poison you especially the Ackee, if you force the pods to open before its time, it releases a poison that will cause death. It may be the season for your dream, but you have to wait for the right time. It is the same with dreams and visions, you may have had a dream that you have wanted to accomplish for a long time but it may not be the season or time for your dream to come to pass. Delay is essential for every dream because it may mean that more growth is required on your path before your dream comes true or the people who will play a part in helping you to fulfill your dream is not in their rightful place and the people who will benefit from your dream has to be ready to receive from you. So God has to delay you from getting to your dream prematurely So being delayed has its own purpose.
Joseph is a great example when it comes to the life of a dreamer and the many disappointments and delay that he too had experienced on his journey. Joseph teaches us that for every dream to manifest, a journey is required to step into the dreams that God has given you. You do not just have a dream and the next day it happens (it can happen) but for dreams that will make a difference in the lives of others, there is a price to pay. There is a process. The process takes and cuts away the ugly things from our character. The process molds you into who God desires and plans for you to be. The process is a painful and lonely place but great things come from the place of processing.
Joseph had a dream in Genesis 37v5. The scripture tells us that Joseph was loved by his father more than his other brothers. He even gave him a coat of many colours. As a result of this his brothers hated him, and they did not speak to him peacefully. The lesson you can learn from this is;
- Know that if you have a dream, you will automatically have haters, it is inevitable.
In verse 5, Joseph had a dream and he told it to his brothers and they hated him even the more.
Lesson number 2;
- Be careful who you share your dreams with
It has cost me many relationships because I was gullible in believing that everyone would be happy for me as I was always happy for everyone but that was far from the truth. Discernment is very key here. For every dreamer, there is a dream killer and a dream sharer. A dream killer is one that aims through their negativity to abort the dreams that you are carrying and a dream sharer is one who helps you birth your dream. Sometimes you have what is known as counterfeits that will present themselves as if they are with you to help you but all they are doing is attempting to halt you but time always reveals this.
Joseph sharing his dream shows a level of insecurity on his part, I believe he was just trying to be accepted in the group of his brothers, so by doing this, he thought they would accept him. This was a flaw that the Holy Spirit revealed to me about myself, every time I was with a group of people who made me feel less than who I am, I started talking about the dreams that the Lord had shown me and how most of them had come to pass already. In my eyes I was just trying to make conversation but the Lord revealed my true motive to me. Sometimes revealing your dreams before the appointed time creates unnecessary enemies. But for Joseph I believe it was a set up. In verse 7, we see that Joseph dreams and the interpretation of that dream is that his brothers were bowing to him, so Joseph was destined to be in a place of authority. In Genesis 37 v18-22, we see the brothers contemplating to kill Joseph all because of his dreams.
This shows that the attack, you are going through right now is not about you but it is about the dream that you are carrying on the inside of you. Joseph’s brothers threw him in the pit and then sold him to the Ishmaelites, this was the beginning of a thirteen year process for Joseph before He got to his dream (his place of destiny).
What I learn from Joseph, is that God often shows the end of a dream, but He rarely shows you the process; I am sure that if Joseph had seen the experiences he was about to encounter, he would have said to God, no thank you!!! But when you see the end of a thing, that is what gives you the strength to face the adversity and builds up an intestinal fortitude deep down on the inside of you that says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4v13).
Joseph went from going into the pit, to being a slave in Potiphar’s house where he was falsely accused of raping Potiphar’s wife then from Potiphar’s house he went to prison and all of these events led him to standing before Pharaoh and interpreting his dreams and all these events led to Joseph being promoted to Ruler over Egypt (Equivalent to a Prime Minister). Joseph became a ruler at the age of 30 years old (Genesis 41v46), Joseph was 17 years old (Genesis 37v2). So he was processed for thirteen years before his dream was fulfilled.
Joseph’s character had to be molded in order to maintain his gift. It is good to have a dream, but when your dream comes into manifestation, it is your character and your spirit of excellence (the ability to improve one’s self and skill continuously). These 13 years of processing may have seemed harsh but it worked out for Joseph’s good. These 13 years of processing created a wealth in the soul of Joseph. It refined his character. In Genesis 39v2, it states that the Lord was with Joseph and he was a prosperous man. How could this be? Because he was a slave, he was bought; he was stripped of everything in the pit. Sometimes on our journey to the dream, when things go really bad, we think God has left us but God never leaves you and He will never forsake you.
- Lesson-You are not what you are going through just because of the price you are paying right now, does not mean that the dream is not going to come true.
- You are not defined by what you are facing right now; this is the journey you have to take to get to your destination. Your circumstances you are facing right now is your vehicle to your destiny.
At the end of his process, Joseph’s attitude changed; before the pit, he was telling everyone about his dreams prematurely to make others feel insecure and to make him noticed. But during the process, he changed positions, he went from dreamer to interpreter of dreams, firstly to the butler and the baker (Genesis 40v1) then to Pharaoh in Genesis 41.
The Lord revealed to me that one’s experiences are a direct sign for the type of people that you are assigned to. Joseph’s dreams were not just about him ruling and reigning over his brothers, it was bigger than that, it was about his assignment. You have to know what it is like to dream before you can interpret a dream. Have you ever had to try and explain to someone what you are going through but they did not understand you because they had not experienced it themselves? It is frustrating and it is like you are talking to a brick wall.
That is why you have to experience your process before you get to your dream because it is the process that qualifies you to access your dream. Your dream could be to work in a certain industry but you have to gain the necessary qualifications and work experiences to get into that particular industry. To be a minister, pastor, preacher, you have to have experienced the pain of the people before you can reach out to them. And i believed it was the same for Joseph, he started to see the hand of God in His process, had his brothers not put him in the pit and sold him, then he would not have been bought by Potiphar; had Potiphar’s wife not accused him, he would not have been placed in prison where he met the butler and the baker and interpreted their dreams; and as a result the butler remembered him two years later and that ushered him into the presence of Pharaoh where he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and he was promoted to rule over Egypt.
You see in Genesis 45v5-8, Joseph sees the purpose in process. And it is here he recognises that the dream he initially had was bigger than his brothers bowing to him, it was about the deliverance of Egypt and his family and saving a generation.
Your dream is not about you, it is about the deliverance of a people; it is about legacy. It is about the many lives that you will touch, whether it is with a product or a service or a ministry; whatever it is, it will touch the lives of many.
In your time of delay, use this time to improve your skill and use this time for preparation. I now see delay as an opportunity to prepare myself and gain more knowledge for what it is I am waiting to step into.
My prayer for you is that the passion of your dreams be rekindled in the name of Jesus. And that you will not become weary in well doing, that you will have a shift in perspective and that you will begin to see that the delay is not denial, it is just God’s way of equipping you and maturing you for the manifestation of your dream. God bless you and thank you for reading.