Follow after Jesus, not your Dream – The Danger of a Dream Part 2

A dream makes you different - The Danger of a Dream Part 1
Approved in Private - Marked| Pastor Michael Todd

The sermon we are talking about in this post is The Danger of a Dream, and this is the second part.

The anchor scripture of the sermon is Genesis 37: 5

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.

Genesis 37:5

The first part – A dream makes you different, introduced us to the idea that we are supposed to be different, and having a dream makes us different. But it also introduces us to the idea that the story of Joseph is actually not about perseverance and holding on to the dreams we have. The story talks about God’s presence and God’s purpose in Joseph’s life.

Pastor Steven then goes on to say that the story of Joseph’s life has nothing do with if you having a dream and thinking that God is obligated to bless it. And then he said:

Joseph didn’t ask God for a dream. 

This does not mean we can’t have dreams and make vision boards, but Pastor Steven then says that our dreams can become a distraction.  He talks again about how Joseph should have probably kept quiet about his dream, nevertheless, even Joseph’s decision to talk about his dream to people who couldn’t handle it, put him in a place where he could do the dream that God put in His heart. Pastor Steven then said this is because God’s dream for my life will involve my decisions, even if my decisions are immature.

God will use some of the desires in my heart that were not good desires in the beginning because the word says, in Psalms 37: 4, that if you delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart. And He will take the desires that you have and purify them, He will rinse them, and He will separate the wheat from the chaff to bring you to an ultimate place of purpose. Pastor Steven then uses Joseph as an example because when Joseph started to talk about his dreams it was all about him. So his decision to speak about his dream was part of what God used to get him to Egypt.

It was a place of slavery at that point, but ultimately it would become a place of provision.

Pastor Steven explains how if he had not been put in the pit, he would not have been in the position of influence in Portiphar’s house after God prospered him, and he would not have been in the pit, if he had not worn his coat. So if you leave your coat in the closet and downplay your dream to fit in with people who don’t like you because you are different, you can’t end up in the position you need to be in. The more like Christ you become, the more different from culture you will be.

Pastor Steven then goes on to point that Joseph’s dream looked different from how he had envisioned it to be many years before. He then talks about parenting as an example, explaining how when he became a parent it was not a dream of his, and yet it has become the delight of his life and there is nothing he is more passionate about. He says that it was the thing he did and when he did it God gave him the desire for it, yet it started as a duty. He then points out that there no record in the Bible where Joseph remembered his dream and followed his dream, what he saw was that Joseph’s dream followed him.

Joseph’s dreams followed him, so watch this, I don’t follow dreams, I follow Jesus and when I do, dreams follow me.

Joseph’s dreams followed him everywhere he went, they followed him to Potiphar’s house, they followed him to prison and they followed him into Pharoah’s court…Because dreams follow me when I follow JESUS.

“If you look behind your life, you will see very clearly that some of the things God did for you, and some of the doors He opened for you, and some of the ways He made for you, and some of the opportunities that He granted for you, were accidental from your perspective. But I’ve got good news for you, God’s dream for you is bigger than your dream for you, just because it doesn’t look shiny when you see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. God said, ‘You’ve got the right dream, you just need to see it differently.’ The fact of the matter is, some of us are standing in the middle of our dream but we can’t see it because it feels different than we thought it would when we first saw it.”

Then Pastor Steven says he believes in dreams, he talks about his own dream, which is the church, but that it is different from how he envisioned it to be, because he is preaching to different people with different backgrounds. He reminds us that Joseph’s dream was a different kind of dream because it was a dream that Joseph did not decide for himself. And then he says don’t follow your dreams and asks the question,

“Cause what if your dream was just a first draft? Are you open to a revision?”

He wanted to be a punk rocker and sing songs but God took that desire and has him pastoring a church and writing songs that churches all over the world are singing as an expression of faith. It wasn’t his dream but God took the desire and gave him the dream, he doesn’t have to be the one singing the songs but he just wants to be a part of it, he added that it’s the value of the bigger picture.

Pastor Steven then says your dream can be a distraction because now you’re not following Jesus, you’re following your dream and when your dream takes you down an unexpected path, you start to complain and freak out and get frustrated, and you’re missing the dream because you will not wake up to the reality.

Sometimes we don’t know the difference between a dream and a fantasy.

Some times the dream does not look like how you wanted it to, or look like how you thought it would. When Joseph’s dream finally came true, it was years later and he had gone through so much already. Pastor then says,

God develops dreams in the dark room, and the issue is we have an Instagram expectation and yet we serve a darkroom God.

He gives an explanation of how pictures are made by professionals and explains that we go through seasons in our lives where we have to give God our negatives and trust that in His hands they will turn to something else; if He takes them in the place of His purpose they will become something more.

“If I have the patience to know that every scene of my life is playing a part in the bigger picture, not of the dream that I had, but of the desire that was in God’s heart. And I might be standing in the middle of a dream that I don’t have the clarity to see right now, because the picture does not match my preference, But watch this, I’m willing, and ready and able to trust God, even in the dark places of my disappointment because I understand that some of God’s greatest work happens in the dark. Where I don’t understand, and I am feeling around, and I thought I would be done by now, I thought I’d be different by now … But here I am God, and I trust You, not my dream, I trust you not my idea. I will not make my ideas my idol. I’m worshipping You. I’m serving You. It’s not about position, it’s about purpose.”

I feel like this where I am living right now, not just in terms of my dream, but even in my personality and my life. I really did think I would be different by now and would be changed by now. But maybe me changing is just another dream of mine? And yet I had this experience six months ago where God told He was changing me and changing my name…yet I am still feeling around trying to find something and I don’t understand why I am still here. When I received that word, I thought things would be different but Pastor is right, it was God’s word and not my own, and I just have to trust Him and not hold on to my idea of how I thought it would be.

He is faithful so in Him I will hold on, He is faithful to complete what He started.

And now back to Joseph, Pastor talks about how when the dream came true, it was not in the form of stars, but it was in form of his brothers, who had betrayed him, coming to him and asking for food. Joseph realized that the dream was that he was at the centre, but not for status, it was for service. And sometimes as people, we attach ourselves at a version of a dream that may not even have come from God, to begin with. What if the greatest thing God is going to do to your life is what He is going to allow you to contribute to someone else’s life? Are you open to that dream?

This for me comes back to what I mention in the first part where I said Pastor Prince had taught me to pray for God to give me something that will give glory to God and bless His people. I am willing to have my dream be something that contributes to someone else’s life. While, of course, depending on His willingness and ability to do for HIS good pleasure in whatever His dream for me is.

By His grace of course…let’s not get ahead of ourselves

Then Pastor says what if God has bigger or better or just a different dream for you. What if the reason God let your dream die was because it wasn’t big enough?

when we put too much pressure on a dream to come true, we allow our dreams to become a distraction from the season that we are in.

For Joseph, it wasn’t in the form of the stars that the dream came, it was in the form of a duty. He encourages that you don’t have to have some grand dynamic dream to serve God. You don’t have to have a huge dream, but you do need to serve a purpose.

Pastor then prays for two different groups of people, those who are discouraged because their dreams haven’t happened, and they don’t know if they will;  & others who are disillusioned because they are in their dream but it’s different than what they thought it would be. He said that God told him that today would be the day for us to see what the dream really is and let go of the illusion of what we thought it would be. He explains that maybe it’s not even a different dream, but a more mature one. I encourage you to play the sermon and have him pray over you if you are in either of these situations.

And here is another  YouTube video of another talk that Pastor Furtick had about dreams and how they change when God to become God’s dream for you.

So for this sermon as a whole, I just truly loved the reminder that it’s not about the dream or how I thought it was going to look. Because that can be one major source of anxiety for me, just thinking about the fact that things aren’t working…I should be different by now…is this the wrong thing… the wrong dream? But then Pastor Steven also said that the right dream is not the solution to your lack of drive. I love the reminder that what I need to concentrate on instead is His presence and His purpose, I need to concentrate on giving glory to Him and blessing His people.

One verse I would like to close this with, that I pray as often as I can, is 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1: 11-12

So there you have it guys, we are at the end of my thoughts and feeling about this sermon. What did you think about it? Have you watched it? Or are you interested in watching it after this? Comment down below your thoughts on following after Jesus and not your dreams or send me a message.  Let’s chat.

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A dream makes you different - The Danger of a Dream Part 1
Approved in Private - Marked| Pastor Michael Todd

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