There are times that God will give us a promise through a dream, vision or a prophetic word. Through faith and patience we will see the promises of God. As we wait on God to fulfill His promises we must not loose the vision of our promise. We must keep the vision of our promise fulfilled alive within us. We must be careful who we share our dreams and promises with, not second guess our promise, remember that we are not alone, remember that the waiting will come to pass, and that God has a purpose.
I. Be Care Who You Share Your Promise (dream, vision or prophetic word)
Be careful who you share your dream with. Not all promises are meant to be shared. Sometimes God will give you a promise that is just for you to know. Always follow the leading of the Holy Spirit concerning when (or if) to share your promise and with whom.
Genesis 37:1-11 NKJV
“Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. He also made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, ‘Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.’ And his brothers said to him, ‘Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?’ So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’ So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, ’What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?’ And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.”
Sometimes Joseph would go out into the field to help his brothers take care of the flocks. Evidently Joseph did not agree with his brothers concerning some of the things that they did while they were working, so he would tell his father about it. Joseph’s brothers began to resent him because he would give a report of their negligence to their father. In other words, they thought he was a “tattle tail.” Joseph was the first son of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachael. Jacob loved Joseph so much because of the love that he had for Rachael. Jacob showed favoritism toward Joseph. He had a robe (tunic) made for Joseph that was very distinct in color (many colors). Because of the special treatment that Jacob gave Joseph, it made him very unpopular with his brothers. They began to have negative feelings and thoughts about their brother, Joseph.
When God gave Joseph the first prophetic dream Joseph was very excited. In his enthusiasm he told his brothers about the dream. By telling the dream to his brothers it made them like Joseph even less. It caused the brothers to begin to have hostile thoughts about Joseph. In the eyes of the brothers, the dream was an insult to them. They understood the meaning of Joseph’s dream and what it meant for them and for Joseph. Joseph Should Joseph have been more sensitive and cautious in telling the dream to his brothers? When Joseph told about the second dream, it not only insulted his brothers, it also insulted his father.
If we do not follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in sharing our promises (dream, vision or prophetic word) from Him, we could cause a lot of problems and hurt a lot of people, including ourselves. Sometimes people will misinterpret our “dream” and sometimes they will misinterpret our motive for telling them. We must be careful! We must also guard against getting puffed up (pride) because of a promise that God has given us. God hates pride. God will resist us when we begin to elevate ourselves.
James 4:6 NKJV
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.’ ”
II. Don’t second guess your promises
Most of the time when God gives us a promise, He only shows us the end of the promise. Not what will take place before the promise comes to pass or how long it will take to come about. When things don’t go (or work out) the way that we thought they should concerning our promise, we have a tendency to “second guess” the promise that God gave us. Doubts and questions may begin to fill your mind. The enemy will take every opportunity to plant seeds of discouragement in our minds. Many promises are altered or destroyed in the mind.
Genesis 37:12-36 NKJV
“Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, ‘Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.’ So he said to him, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said to him, ‘Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.’ So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem. Now a certain man found him , and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, ‘What are you seeking?’’ So he said to him, ‘I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.’ And the man said, ‘They have departed from here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ’ So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. 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!’ But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, ‘Let us not kill him.’ And Reuben said to them, ‘Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him – that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father. So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. So Judah said to his brothers, ‘What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.’ And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes. And he returned to his brothers and said, ‘The lad is no more; and I, where shall I go?’ So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, ‘We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?’ And he recognized it and said, ‘It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without a doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.’ Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, ‘For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.’ Thus his father wept for him. Now the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.”
When Joseph was given the dream from God it probably never entered his mind that the would suffer hatred and abuse from his own family. While in the pit it would have been very easy to second guess the dream concerning his future that God had given him.
III. Remember That You Are Not Waiting On The Promise Of God Alone
When we are having to wait a long time on a promise we sometimes begin to feel that we are all alone and that God has abandoned us. We must remember that God will never leave us or forsake us. He is always with us, even when we don’t feel His presence or see Him at work.
Genesis 39:1-23 NKJV
“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. 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 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. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph‘s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass after these things that his master‘s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and said, ‘Lie with me.’ But he refused and said to his master‘s wife, ‘Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’ So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me.’ But he left his garment in her hand and fled outside, that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, ‘See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.’ So she kept his garment his garment with her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, ‘The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to mock me; so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.’ So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, ‘Your servant did to me in this manner,’ that his anger was aroused. Then Joseph‘s master took him and put him into prison, a place where the king‘s prisoners were confined. And he was there in prison. But 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 theLord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.”
In verse 2 of chapter 39 the Bible tells us that God was with Joseph as he was being sold into slavery in Egypt and in verse 21 it tells us that while Joseph was in prison the Lord was with him and showed him mercy. God never left Joseph and He will never leave us.
IV. The Waiting Will Come To Pass
There is a season and time for everything, including waiting. Waiting too, will come to pass. In due season you will reap the promise of God, if you do not give up or quit believing.
Genesis 40:1-23, 41:1-15 NKJV
“And it came to pass after these things that the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief butler and the chief baker. So he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined. And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while. Then the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream, both of them, each man’s dream in one night and each man’s dream with its own interpretation. And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, ‘Why do you look so sad today?’ And they said to him, ‘We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.’ So Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.’ Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, ‘Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. The Pharaoh‘s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh‘s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh‘s hand.’ And Joseph said to him, ‘This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh‘s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. For indeed I was stolen away from he land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.’ When the chief baker say that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, ‘I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.’ So Joseph answered and said, ‘This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.’ Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh‘s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh‘s hand. But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So the Pharaoh awoke. He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good. Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream. Now it came to pass in the mourning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told of his dreams; but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh. Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: ‘I remember my faults this day. When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker, we each had a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. Now there was a young Hebrew man with us there, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream. And it came to pass, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.’ So Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.’ ”
After what seemed like a long wait to Joseph, God fulfilled the dreams He gave to Joseph.
Genesis 42:6 NKJV
“Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth.”
V. God Has A Purpose For Your Wait
God always has a plan and a purpose for everything that He does. We cannot see the whole plan. Many times we will not see or understand why we had to wait. All we can rely on is the Word of God. Sometimes we have to wait on the promise of God for His benefit, sometimes for our benefit, and sometimes for the benefit of others.
1. For God’s Benefit
To bring glory to God. To make His power and might know. We must remember that everything we go through should bring glory to God.
Genesis 41:16 NKJV
“So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”
2. For Your Benefit
In order to be put in the position that God desired for him Joseph had to go through all that he did so that he could be at the right place at the right time.
Genesis 41:37-41 NKJV
“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.”
3. For The Benefit Of Others
God had sent Joseph to Egypt to prepare for the famine that would be coming. Through Joseph’s preparations many people would be saved from starvation during the famine. Joseph realized that although his brothers had intended to harm him, God had a greater plan.
Genesis 41:57 – 42:1-3 NKJV
“So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands. When Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, ‘Why do you look at one another?’ And he said. ‘Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we may live and not die.’ So Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt.”
Genesis 45:3-8 NKJV
“Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph; does my father still live? But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Please come near to me.’ So they came near. Then he said: ‘I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.’ ”
Joseph asked his father and his family to come live with him but Jacob feared what would happen in Egypt. He was very uncertain about going down to Egypt, despite what Joseph had said. God came to Jacob in a vision one night and told him not to fear. God also told Jacob that He would make a great nation out of his family, and that He (God) would go with them to Egypt, that He would not leave them alone.
Genesis 46:3-4 NKJV
“So He said, ‘I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.’ ”
Like David, at times we may be tempted to feel that we are forsaken.
Psalm 13 NKJV
“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest my enemy say, I have prevailed against him’; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
While waiting on the promises of God we must keep our eyes on God and remember that He loves us so very much. Much more than we even love ourselves. The plans that God has for us are greater than we can imagine. We are to never cease praising and worshipping God, even when (and especially) while waiting on God to fulfill a promise or dream. We must trust in God and continue to rejoice in Him.
While waiting on Your promises help me to keep my eyes on You and remember that You love me so very much. Much more than I even love myself. The plans that You have for me are greater than I can imagine. Help me to never cease praising and worshipping You even when ( and especially while) waiting on You to fulfill a promise or dream. Cause me to trust in You and continue to rejoice in You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen