Monday, May 3, 2010

Trusting God WIth Your Dreams # 9

In continuing with our weekly Bible Study from Shelia Walsh's book, Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God, we pick up on study # 9, entitled, Trusting God With Your Dreams.

The biggest question I have had to face in the last few years is this: Do I believe that God is in control? God is either sovereign all the time or he is not sovereign at all. If he is, and I believe he is, that means that nothing that happens to me is random but has passed through his hands of mercy and grace.

That doesn't mean I believe God orchestrates evil to see how we will respond. God is love, and there is no evil in him at all. We live, however, in a fallen world where evil exists. But God has promised that no matter what we face, he will work for our good in the midst of it.

Joseph saw that. It was clear that his brothers hated him in the beginning and feared him in the end. Hatred and fear are both powerful weapons in the hands of an enemy but our God is bigger than our enemy.

I believe that the greatest gift we can give our Father is to keep our focus on him even when the road becomes very dark. If you are a child of God, you are not a helpless victim. Like Joseph, you can face betrayal. But in God's perfect time your dream will be brought into the light.
FIND ~ Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. ~ Genesis 37:5 MSG God is more interested in what he is doing in you than through you. Why is this true?

Because God can use anyone to accomplish his purposes, when he works on doing things in you, it is to help you grow spiritually. It makes you a better person and helps to work on the areas in our life where we need some help from God.
What God-size dream is alive deep within you?

I would really like to see Steve in a job that brings him a level of contentment and happiness. Where people see the strong ethics and level of quality work that is missing in so many people these days. We are praying for this even now and are hopeful that God will once again come through for us. Honestly, I would love to see Steve in some level of the church.

Read Genesis 37:2-8, "This is the family history of Jacob: Joseph was a young man, seventeen years old. He and his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives, cared for the flocks. Joseph gave his father bad reports about his brothers. Since Joseph was born when his father Israel was old, Israel loved him more than his other sons. He made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves. When Joseph's brothers saw that their father loved him more than he loved them, they hated their brother and could not speak to him politely.
One time Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him even more. Joseph said, "Listen to the dream I had. We were in the field tying bundles of wheat together. My bundle stood up, and your bundles of wheat gathered around it and bowed down to it." His brothers said, "Do you really think you will be king over us? Do you truly think you will rule over us?" His brothers hated him even more because of his dreams and what he had said.

How would you have felt toward Joseph if you had been one of his brothers?

I think I too would have been a little jealous of Joseph since not only did he have his father's love and favoritism, but now he is having dreams where he is better than his brothers. It would be hard not to judge Joseph on this one.

After Joseph interpreted his dream, why did his brothers respond so harshly?
Again similar to the answer about. I am not sure it was wise for Joseph to share this with his brothers. He already knew that they weren't too happy with how he was already favored by their father and now he was telling them this.
It is easy to doubt a dream and even begin to thin the dream means nothing. How do you know the dream inside you was planted by God?

I am not sure, but because it falls in line with the things of God, we are hopeful it is something that He may bring to happen for us.

FEEL~ Joseph was eventually thrown into a pit by his brothers. Have you even been thrown into a pit? If so, by what?

I would have to say working in a non Christian environment years ago, it was difficult to not conform to the way some people were doing things. When I stood up for what I believed in at the time, I was seriously retaliated by my peers for "rocking the boat" and not being a "team player." I created a really harsh environment for years after that and nothing was every really the same between me and my boss and peers.

How did you feel while in that pit?

I felt alone and stressed wondering if I had done the right thing or if I should have said nothing. I felt like I had no friends and no support whenever I had to show up for work. It was the worst thing I faced each day.
To who did you turn to be rescued from the pit?
God and my family.

Joseph made his way to Egypt and experienced a series of highs and lows that led to his being put in charge of all of th grain in the land. His brothers, suffering the effects of the famine, approached him asking for food. If you would have been Joseph in that situation, how would you have responded to your brothers? Why?

I would like to say like Joseph especially being the person I am today. I try to let things go and leave the judging of people up to God as well as any punishment and wrong doing to Him as well. Nothing good would come from holding my brothers accountable for their actions.

Consider the following questions and respond to them honestly. I say I trust God, but do I?
Most of the time. There are some times when the enemy tries to get in there and say things to make me doubt, but I try and hold those thoughts captive and lay them at God's feet and pray about whatever it is that is bothering me and keeping me from trusting him 100%.
I say God is in control, but will I let it go?

More so now than before! I realize when we hold onto things that need to be given to God, it causes so much stress and worry which really wear you down, much like carrying a heavy load that you don't have to. Now I lay all that down and pray about these things to God.

I say God is my deliverer, but will I allow him to vindicate me?

Absolutely! I try not to take matters into my own hands and let God be the judge of people who would try to hurt me.

I say God is my defender, but do I still want to speak up for myself?

I try to remember the saying, If you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all. It keeps me from having to ask for forgiveness for saying something I shouldn't. If I need to say anything at all, I try and speak it in love and think along the lines of dealing with the act not the person who hurt me. It keeps me from hurting their feelings.

Joseph had every right to seek revenge, but he offered his brothers forgiveness. What Joseph's actions reveal about God's attitude toward us?

God could seek revenge on all of us, but when we sincerely come to him with a humble heart and a repent spirit seeking forgiveness, God gives it gladly.

FOLLOW ~ Think about your own life right now. Perhaps you started out with a dream of what you believed God would do with your life. Then life itself got in the way. Maybe even at this moment, you sit wounded and broken, wondering where God is. God is here. He is right here with you. He never left you but at every turn in the road longs to show you what is inside your heart and set you free. You are not a victim of the whims of others, no matter how true that may feel. You are a beloved daughter of the King who is making you into a greater and greater beauty as you learn to leave your dreams in his care. How can you reclaim your dream and get back on the path to being the woman God created you to be?
Put all my faith and trust in God every day. Pray about things to Him everyday even if I have to pray the same prayer everyday. God is faithful and will bring me through whatever life hands me and I will come out of it a much stronger person in my faith and spiritual walk.
Now write a prayer expressing your desire to let the dream God planted in you to be reborn in your life. Use this prayer as part of your daily time with God and as an expression of your desire to pursue God's best for your life.
Abba Father, You never leave your precious children alone in this life, just like I would never leave my children. Thank you for the constant reminder that just like I am parenting with my children, you are also with me every step of the way, in joys and sorrows, hills and valleys. I face nothing alone. My faith is strong in knowing that You will bring me through whatever life hands me. Nothing is impossible for You. I wil rise above this turbulent waters and once again sit with you as a child of God, filled with the love of my wonderful Father and move forward in faith one step at a time. In Jesus name ~ AMEN


Denise said...

You my friend, are very precious.

Just Be Real said...

I am just learning now that I can give my dreams to the Lord. It is a hard process daily to even think He is interested in them. Amen. Great post Kat.

Darcie said...

I have always taken so much encouragement from the story of Joseph. I think we can learn so much from his life...all that he went through, and yet in every experience he grew closer and stronger in the Lord. Thanks for sharing this with us Kat!

Andrea said...

I am learning to live out HIS dreams for my life...they are so much greater than my own.

christy rose said...

This was great Kat! It ministered to me a lot!s

Angel said...

What a great post. I love the story of Joseph, what all he went through yet lived in forgiveness and grew stronger in the Lord. I really needed to be reminded of the dream and allowing God to bring it to pass!! Love and Blessings, Angel

Mich said...

Great post. One I needed to read. Thanks friend!

Happy Monday!

Patrinas Pencil said...

I am the beloved daughter of hte Most High King! indeed!

thanks for sharing, Kat
Patrina <")>><
His watchman on the wall

Charlotte said...

Nobody likes those pits!
Great post as always,