Hello My Name Is… Dreamer

February 21, 2021   /   Jesus Church

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Hello my name is… Dreamer

(Part 7)

Welcome– Today we end series on identity/calling

This week conclude with a Story from Genesis

Gen 37:2-11


Story – How many love dreams – Dream b4 Mexico

In story – Joseph is a dreamer (God’s people always been dreamers)

  • From the very beginning of God’s creation of humans
    • He’s been giving us dreams
      • Doesn’t always mean – middle of the night (believe that)
      • Really any vision of your future
    • Maybe its that gut sense that something is going to happen
      • Or an idea in your mind that you know is from God
      • This passion Jesus has stirred up inside of you
    • Or maybe it is how u will play a role in the world to show Jesus
      • Thru CHARACTER – Man/Woman u want to grow into
  • All this is focused on the role u are to play in family of God
    • And my guess is that there is a dream in each one of our hearts
    • And the odds are: At least some of ur dream is from Holy Spirit

Because dreams play a very important role in our lives

  • W/O dreams we would get sucked into the rat race of life
    • Held hostage by the urgent… trapped by vortex of materialism
    • End up just just wonder our way thru life – living 4 trivial things
  • But dreams have potential to work like a road map (compass)
    • They are how the “Self-Help” world says…
    • Starting with the end in mid
  • Dreams are how God leads/guides us…
    • To become who God has made us to be
    • To do what God has create us to do

But here is the thing: Dreams are a tricky thing to embrace

  • Because there is always a gap b/w DREAM & FULFILLMENT
    • That gap might be days… months… years…
    • But in that “GAP” we run all the emotions you can imagine
      • FROM: Hope/Anticipation/Faith
      • TO: Fear/Anger/Doubt/Cynicism/disappointment

And this is where we find Joseph

This story is a STORY on how you/I are to live well in that GAP

  • B/C 4 Joseph (us) journey from dream > fulfillment inst straight line
    • There are detours… 3 steps forward/2 steps back
    • It’s a very long road of our main character
  • And in the end it is worth it… but the middle is not easy to live thru
    • And we can’t read Joseph’s full story – But a few key moments

Gen 37:12

  • So Joseph goes on an errand for his dad (multi day journey)

Gen 37:18 -20

  • This story makes me feel so much better about my job as a parent
    • Even though my kids annoy each other and fight sometimes
    • At least we haven’t reached anything close to murder
    • I have 1 wife… not 4 – I think I’m actually doing alright!!!
  • So in this story they throw Joseph into a pit to kill him later
    • But then on the horizon they see a caravan of slave traders
    • Think to themselves… why kill him when we can sell the punk
    • Lets actually get rid of him AND make some money

Gen 37:28

Here is what I want you to notice: Joseph has a dream

But in the next story – Exact opposite of that dream happens to him

  • Instead of Joseph’s brothers bowing down and serving him
    • Joseph has to bow down to all sorts of people as a slave
  • Joseph goes down to Egypt… not up to the father
    • And he goes down not as a master… but a slave

Then if u know story – Things get worse (He is sold as a slave to Potifer)

  • Does a great job… gains influence and authority
    • But then there is a run in with Potifer’s wife
    • Joseph is innocent but there’s a false accusation
  • And all of the sudden just when things seem to be looking up
    • Joseph goes from being a slave… to a prisoner
    • All alone – No value – wrongly accused

Gen. 40:1-3

  • That night both the butler & baker have dreams…
    • And they wake up all distraught

Gen 40:6-8

  • So the baker/butler tell Joseph their dreams
    • Joseph interprets the dreams… a few days go by
    • Both of the dreams come to pass just as Joseph says
  • One of them is put to death – other put back at right hand of king
    • But look at the closing lines of the part of the story

Gen 40:23

Notice in this story – Joseph interprets other peoples dreams

  • But his own dreams are unfulfilled… just imagine that for a minute
    • You have a dream… this this stirring in you – Feel its from God
    • And you feel like ur life is heading 180 in the opposite direction
    • And you can interpret… but can’t live into your own dream
  • The bulter has a dream and 3 days later it comes to pass
    • Joseph has a dream… years go by and literally nothing
    • He is left to rot in a dungeon

Gen 41:1 (look at the next chapter)

  • So now everyone is dreaming… it’s the new “IN” thing to do I guess
    • And goes on – tells the dream – Look at verse 8

Gen 41:8-14

  • Ever have a dream… feel its from God – But no clue what it means
    • And you feel tension/confusion with that itch in ur mind

So there’s this plot twist – He goes from the dungeon to Pharaoh’s court

Gen 41:15-16

  • Notice: All of that cocky EGO… it’s all gone
    • It’s been beat out of him by prison… by life… by perspective
    • He is older/wiser – and there is a humility about Joseph
  • He says: I can’t do it… but my God can
    • He still has faith but now its in God… not himself
    • Even 2 years earlier in prison – Trying to find a way out himself
      • Wants the butler to “Drop” his name to the king
      • But everything is different now

Then Pharaoh tells the dream… Joseph interprets the dream

Gen 41:39-40

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.

  • So when he was young… he was an arrogant fool
    • Now he is marked by humility and called wisest man in empire
    • And I’d guess it’d be hard to impress someone like Pharaoh
  • So now the dream is just finally coming to pass – slave to ruler
    • Everything has been flipped again
    • But still the brothers are not in the story – and its been years
  • So based on Pharaoh’s dream… the whole world is in a famine
    • The brothers are a 2-3 week journey from Egypt
    • The family is running out of food
    • Jacob (Joseph’s dad) tells brothers to go to Egypt to buy food

Brothers come down: Guess who decides who gets food & who doesn’t

Gen 42:6-9

  • Can u imagine… running empire – saving world from starvation
    • And in walk in your brothers that sold u into slavery
    • And after all these years that thought in back of mind
      • Was that dream from God or am I crazy…
      • Is there a God… is God with me… or am I all alone
  • Then there ur brothers are… bowing down – Just like your dream
    • Story goes on with a ton of drama… don’t have time for
    • Brothers go back home… no clue who saved their lives
    • Years go by – Run out of food again and have to return

Gen 43:26

  • Then there is more drama… and Joseph can’t keep it in anymore

Gen. 45:1, 3-5

Gen 45:8

So now it was not you hwo 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. (WHAT A STORY… AND THAT’S THE SHORT VERSION)

A lot to learn from story on how to live in the Gap b/w dream and fulfillment

Want you to see 4 things about when dream comes…

  1. Different
  2. Harder
  3. Longer
  4. Better


In the dream Joseph see’s his brothers bowing down to him

  • But he doesn’t see Egypt… Slavery… Prison… Famine
    • He see’s a little – But definitely not close to entire picture
    • And that is how dreams usually are
  • B/C a dream is to reality is what the tree is to a seed
    • The raw material is in the seed… just a fraction of the whole
    • When we get a dream from God (dream/vision/desire/idea)
    • You might get 10… 20… 50 percent – But huge chunks missing
  • When we get a glimpse of the future… its fuzzy… its not clear
    • Yoda even said: Difficult to see, always in motion the future is

Paul… another wise man (real person) said something very similar

1 Cor. 13:12


All prophecy about the future is a sign post pointing into the fog.

  • Think of driving over to San Diego… Marine fog rolling in off ocean
    • There’s a sign post pointing to Sea World
    • It’s this way… and that’s all that you get
    • Not a photograph – Just a direction
  • Its b/c the point of a dream isn’t 2 tell u what will happen in future
    • Its to tell you how to live in the present

In fact God seems to be against His people knowing the future

  • There was an ancient sin talked about all over the OT (Divination)
    • Where people would divine the future thru witch/physic
    • And this practice is still alive and well today
    • B/C there is a human desire in all of us (occult or church)
      • To know what is going to happen
  • Whether its through palm reader… astrology… prophecy updates
    • We want to know the future b/c we think knowledge is power
    • And if we have that power… we can have control over future
    • And if we have control – We don’t have to trust God
      • And control is much easier than trust
  • But if there is one thing I believe God is calling/teaching us to do
    • It is to trust him… so we have to let go of knowing everything
    • Reject anxiety of future… live in peace b/c God is over ur future

God doesn’t want us to have control… he wants us to have faith

  • Its why God will rarely (if ever) tell u exactly what will happen
    • Instead he will tell you just enough about it
    • To show you how to live today
  • And it IS healthy to ask God: Show me what is coming
    • Not to control the future so I don’t have to trust you…
    • He won’t play that game – If he does… its b/c of ur immaturity
      • But show me what to focus on right now
      • What do I meditate on… pray on… look out for…
  • And b/c of that – When the dream does come to pass
    • Most of time (general rule) it’s different than u expected


Joseph in the dream has this picture of his family bowing down 2 him

  • But he doesn’t see the slave trade/pit/jail cell/2 full years
    • He see’s all of the good and none of the bad (we all do this)
  • Most of the time when we get a dream… we romanticize it
    • And “for me” I’m an idealist – I’m probably worse than most
    • But still… most of us imagine something God is stirring up
    • Its warm/fuzzy/adobe photoshop all over it
      • And we will never sad again

Interview with Micahel Jordan on his success

  • He talked about the famous song “If I could be like Mike”
    • And he thought it was so interesting – b/c for most its not true
    • The dream looks great from the outside
      • Just really good with a basketball
      • Make lots of money
      • Fame… fortune… part of history
  • But he said… no one saw the reality of what it took to get there
    • The lows of being cut from high school team
    • Shooting 1000 free throws after every game
    • The temptations and loneliness of being at the top… and more
      • I want to have the dream
      • But I don’t want what it takes to get there

We do this with everything… many do it with marriage

  • We get this romanticized idea about what marriage will be
    • It’s gonna be like this – He will be like that – He’ll be so amazing
    • That’s gonna be my soul mate
    • Doesn’t the Bible teach someone out there is a perfect fit 4 me
      • Formed by God 2 fit perfectly in my life… just waiting 4 me
  • No… Bible teaches that we are all born sinful
    • Best case: Find someone w/ issues that balance out ur issues

Tim Keller

On one level every person on the planet is a bad fit for you. It’s just that some are a lot worse than others. (sounds cynical)

  • But living with an ideal for marriage – It can be so destructive
    • Gives false expectations/disappointment waiting 2 happen
  • There’s a healthy kind of romance… its others-centric
    • Thinking creatively with love and servants heart
    • How can I make this experience special for that person
  • But there is also this unhealthy romance
    • Where your thought is “How can I get the next emotional high”
    • How can I change them to fit my needs
    • And if it looks different than expectations… find someone else

Listen to what Paul wrights…

But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. (Talk about cynical… that’s in the Bible)

And honestly I think this is one of reasons divorce rate is thru the roof

  • So many people go into marriage with stars in their eyes
    • And its not that marriage is bad… its very good
    • But its also hard – Some easier than others… but none are easy
  • B/C love… defined by Jesus is self-sacrificial: putting others first
    • And that is not a natural thing for us to do

Point: Its really easy 2 romanticize future.. career/relationship/future

  • And the world tells us that life is this straight arrow to success
    • And that has found its way into the church
    • Life will just get better… better… better
    • #the best is yet to come – Isn’t that in the Bible too
  • Reality is there is truth there… but life isn’t always like that
    • We want it to be – Why almost every movie has a happy ending
    • But that’s not reality… its not what we read in the Bible either

2 main types of literature when it comes to plot (Bible is literature)

  • Commercial Plot… like Avengers
    • Hit an obstacle… push past it… fight bad guy… beat him
    • Deal with inner struggle… prevail
    • And in the end just before everything falls apart u have victory
  • Literary Plot: Bros Karamazov… pride & prejudice… mice & men
    • End of literary novel doesn’t really end… it just stops
    • And it sorta leaves you sad… makes u think
    • But its up/down – More about life and journey than action
      • Sometimes ending is hopeful and other times is ambiguous

Here’s where I’m going… is the story of Joseph commercial or literary

  • Far more literary – especially if u keep reading to the end of story
    • And his story actually ends better than most
      • David (amazing man of God)… but the end of his story
        • He is killing all these people
        • He has a young concubine in bed with him
        • Family is a disaster.. and then the story ends
      • Another king has this incredible story – Brings revival
        • Get to end… turns away from God & has foot disease
        • Thats the end of the story – who ends a story like that
        • What’s the moral… wash feet a lot at night if you sin
    • Point is that the stories aren’t to give you a shot in the arm
      • They are to empathize with the human condition
  • And why is the Bible way more literary than commercial
    • It’s because life is way more literary than commercial
    • We rarely feel like Iron Man
    • We often feel more like Joseph (where is God/was that him)
  • That’s more what its like to be human
    • But so often (like Joseph) we are blind to that reality

THREE: LONGER (Just for a bit more encouragement)

Lets do the math… there are 8 chapters in the story and 22 years

  • Joseph is 17 at dream – 30 becomes ruler – 39 before dream begins
    • That is a really long time
    • There’s a time gap b/w conception of dream and birth of dream
  • And God will imprint a dream & passion in your heart
    • But it takes time for that dream to grow into reality
    • If you’re like me… you have a dream – Ok lets GO!!!
      • Let me get out my schedule God… how does Tuesday work
  • But what if its months – years – decades before the dream is reality
    • Often the dream comes long before God’s timing
    • And many times: larger the dream – longer the waiting period

And usually the waiting period is way longer than we expect

  • Like the line in the story “When 2 full years had passed”
    • Not 18 months… not 20 months – It was 2 full years!!!
    • That one small line says – this was a long time for Joseph
    • And it was all alone… no church group to comfort him
  • But your not alone… this is pretty standard in the Story of God
    • If you look at the OT Prophets (count time gap b/w prophecies)
      • At beginning there is usually a line –
      • In 2nd year of king… the word of the LORD came
      • Then look how long it takes for it to come to life
    • Easy to read and think… wow they are just hear all the time
      • But then realize… oh that was over 20 years
      • Daniel had 6 prophetic words of 60 years (one per decade)
  • Easy to forget about the long slow work of God in our lives
    • And waiting is hard… I am super impatient
    • Living in the future is easy for me… here and now isn’t

But so often the gap b/w dream & fulfillment is longer than we expect

  • Even when it comes to identity/calling its so easy to look at others
    • They have it all together and I don’t
    • They know exactly what their calling is… I have no clue
    • Why can’t I be where they are
      • And its easy to not imagine them 10 years ago
  • I love where I am and what I’m doing
    • But I worked 6 years as an intern… with a top ramen budget
    • And then 10 years before I was able to become pastor here
    • I remember working at Sprint thinking… did I hear God right???
  • It’s easy to forget when you look at where people are
    • It took them time and trials to get there too
    • Sometimes it can be helpful to see how others are in journey
    • But remember there is a whole story that goes with it


Better… maybe not by human metrics – But by metrics of God

  • Joseph’s dream was all about his own glory… ego dripping off page
    • But in the end – Dream actually wasn’t about Joseph at all
      • It was about saving the family of God
      • Eventually for the line that would bring the Messiah
      • So the dream was really about all of us

But b4 God could bring dream to pass he had to strip it of ego/idolatry

  • And that’s how God works – He purifies dream from our glory
    • We deal with disappointment… uncertainty…
    • Always learning growing in trust of God
  • And the beauty is if you let God into that waiting period
    • He will strip the dream down 2 the essence of what it should be
    • And we become set free of everything of ourselves
    • So that dream can actually come to pass
  • And we become a person who can steward the dream
    • And walk out that dream with wisdom/character/Jesus center

If you were to walk into your dream b4 your were ready… destroy you

  • Imagine if Joseph would have interpreted Pharaoh’s dream at 17
    • He didn’t have the character to steward it
    • Because it was both an idol and entitlement
  • Just look at most young stars who become famous before 20
    • Lets buy 4 lamborgini’s and wreck them all street racing
    • And then get thrown in jail for being stupid
  • And we fall into idolatry of the dream… b/c it becomes our goal
    • And in that it becomes our God
    • B/C we want the dream more than the giver of the dream
    • And we think the dream will satisfy us and make us happy
      • But no dream can do that… no marriage… job… calling
      • Only God can bring us true contentment

And you don’t have to wait for that contentment in the future

  • That is available to you right here and now (think of Philippians 4)

Phil 4:13

  • People take that verse and tare it out of context as a self help line
    • I can make money… get married… start this business
    • And yes God can help you do that
  • But in context – What is he writing about – CONTENTMENT
    • I have been poor and had a ton
    • And I have learned to be content in all of it
    • “b/c I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me”
  • You want to know what’s way harder than the mountains u face
    • It’s being content in the here and now
    • And only way to do that is “Thru Christ who strengthens me”
    • No matter where you are and what u are dealing with
      • Whatever your situation… you can be content in Jesus
      • Because he gives you strength (17 or 70)

But God will often let you sit and wait… even let the dream die

  • So he can free you of your need to have the dream come to pass
    • To bring you to a place where you are content with God alone
    • And then anything else becomes just a bonus
    • And at THAT POINT… you are ready for God to fulfill ur dream
  • And you can enjoy it as a gift… entitlement is gone
    • And you can steward the dream with wisdom/character
  • That’s why so often dreams go thru cycle of death/burial/rez
    • Just like Jesus… there is a death to dream (Abraham & Isaac)
    • There is a burial (You feel it’s just over and dead)
    • And frequently if its from God… there is a resurrection
  • And when it comes back to life – It is never the same
    • Its better… maybe not by human standards – But by God’s
    • And it is always worth the wait

Different/Harder/Longer/Better – Sounds like Nike ad

But this is a biblical theology of dreams

  • I would say you could lay this over almost any character in Bible
    • It’s Moses and dream of exodus
    • It’s Paul and dream of Gentiles
    • It’s David and dream of Temple
  • God’s people have always been dreamers

End… we have a call to dream – And dream bigger than yourself

  • Dream about partnering with God in his Kingdom… his future
    • Dream into your identity and calling
    • Opening yourself to the Holy Spirit
    • And let God speak that dream deep into your heart

And when its different (trust God)…

When it’s longer (trust God)

When it’s harder (trust God)…

And when it’s better (thank God)



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