Joseph & Brothers • Devotion #2: I Have Dreamed a Dream
Kenny Hovis | Prison Ministry Director
Growing up, I spooked easily. I did not like going out in the dark or walking into the house at night with the lights out. I would have wild nightmares, seeing little guys in top hats flying around my room, slamming into my leg, causing it to go numb. Dreams have been used throughout history to tell the future, bring enlightenment to situations, and remember things that happened in our past. Though I have never had God speak to me directly through a dream, I have had a couple instances where in my dreamtime as an adult, I have been challenged spiritually.
Both occurrences involved me in a physical altercation with demons. I had not watched a scary movie, used an Ouija board, or went to a fortune teller. I just went to bed, fell asleep, and the only thing I can remember was literally wrestling with a demon, and on both occasions losing until crying out Jesus’ name. The dreams seemed, as all dreams while in them, real. So much so, that the sounds that I was making scared my wife enough that she started to wake me both times, but I woke up on my own just before being shook. I was sweating and breathing heavy as though I had been in an actual physical confrontation. As I said, dreams can seem very real.
In Genesis 37:5-11, we find Joseph having two dreams, both seeming very real, and then him sharing those dreams with his family. In both instances, Joseph’s dreams foretell him ruling over his family. Verse 7 says, “Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” Then again in vs. 9, “Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, ‘Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.’” As a result of him telling his siblings and parents his dreams, he is hated and despised by his brothers, and they plot to get rid of him. This sets Joseph on a path that will try his faith in God, people, and government. In the end, God weaves His divine will through Joseph and his family’s lives to make his dreams come to pass, which in turn saves his family’s lives.
Though I am no Joseph, I too have had a couple dreams of a similar nature. This is what I have gleaned from them. We battle every day with an adversary that wants to get rid of us, destroy us, and see us doubt whether God loves us or even knows that we exist. The Bible says in Job 16:9, “He has torn me in his wrath and hated me; he has gnashed his teeth at me; my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.” Also, 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Our adversary, the devil, wants to influence us to make choices that will burn our world to the ground, divide our families, and cause confusion. This is where he thrives and dwells. We cannot conquer him on our own, just like in my dreams. Only by invoking the name of Jesus into our lives, in every situation, challenge, tragedy, venture, ministry, or relationship do we have a chance to defeat him.
Just as in the case of Joseph, we cannot trust in our own power to overcome our adversary and the obstacles he places in front of us. We will only gain victory in our lives when we invoke the name of God the Father, Jesus Christ’s work at Calvary, and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit into every aspect of our existence. When this formula is used, God will weave His divine will through our lives so that our dreams may come to pass and that our eternal lives will be saved!