We know the story of Joseph well. He was the favorite son of Jacob. He was arrogant and boastful. Yet in Genesis 37:5 we see Joseph had a dream… The way he dealt with it was unwise, telling his brothers, yet in verse 9 he has another dream and tells his brothers again, making them angry. In verse 10 he tells his father Jacob who rebukes him, but Jacob, the Bible says, kept the matter in mind. Why would he keep the matter in mind? If we go back to Genesis 27:27-29 to the time Jacob was being blessed by his father, Isaac, we see that in his blessing, Isaac, pronounces the same blessing upon him that his son Joseph has now dreamt about. …May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you…. No wonder Jacob kept the matter in mind.
God is faithful to His promises. He is faithful to fulfill that which He puts in your hearts, however we see again and again that not all of God’s “dreams” are fulfilled in one generation. Indeed, what Jacob had received from Isaac was fulfilled by Joseph. We know Joseph went through an extremely hard time during which time his character was dealt with in a huge way and he was prepared for the purposes of God, but his dream was fulfilled. He was to be what I will call a ‘dream- carrier’.
I have a dream for the church. I hope to see some of it fulfilled in my time, but I know that not all of it will be fulfilled. I pray that you, the church, and the next generation, will be the ‘dream-carriers’ and let the purposes of God be fulfilled that the splendor of the Lord might be displayed.
The dream I have for the church, the dream I believe God has given me to lay into the very foundations of His beloved Church; the bride of Christ.
I have a dream…
1. Where only Jesus is glorified. Where the world longs for Jesus and not a great church with all the up to date programs. Where Jesus is shown. Where Jesus is our focus. Where Jesus is preeminent. Where Jesus is glorified above all.
2. Where The Word of God governs our lives and Jesus is Lord. I long for a church where it is not about me, but it is a gospel centered church where even our prayers line up with the Word of God. Like in Acts 4 where they prayed for the Lord to show Himself strong as opposed to how many of us today would pray for protection. Where we obey as Jesus is Lord. When the Word says, forgive, we forgive and do not question why. When the Word says, submit, we say, “Yes Lord!”. Where the Word says, tithe, we say, “Yes Lord!” and just do it. Where even when things don’t make sense and circumstances are screaming at us to do something different, we keep our eyes on Jesus our Lord and take His Word and obey because He is our Lord.
3. Where we are Presence led not vision driven. This includes every- thing that the triune God does: Healing, deliverance, prophecy, the gifts of the Spirit… This includes being supernaturally natural and naturally supernatural. Why? Because we are led by His Presence. This includes speaking to the elderly lady at Walmart because the Holy Spirit nudges us to. It includes baking a cake for the neighbor. It also includes services where we are open to the moving of the Holy Spirit and will not allow ourselves to be more concerned with how things will look to visitors than to following the leading of the Holy Spirit. We prepare to preach and always will, but if God breaks in and says do something else, we follow His lead.
4. Where we do not consume, but rather, we do. We come to church and we do receive. That is good. But we also come to give. It is not what I can get from the church, but rather what I can give to the church. Do I make a difference to the church? What we do receive, we take out to give to others, be it revelation, a heart for prayer, whatever.
5. Where the broken and lost are welcomed and they are brought to freedom. Let our church be one with open doors. One that has an open arms policy. Where people can come in and belong. In their belonging, they can begin to be restored and brought to freedom. To know what a joy it is to truly be a son or daughter of God.
6. Where the local church will not be one that compares itself to other churches. Instead, it would be a family, a home to those who are here. But it will also embrace other churches. We celebrate what God is doing in other churches but we belong in our local church. Something like a healthy family. We celebrate with our cousins, uncles and aunts (keeping in mind we are ALL the bride of Christ) but we belong in our family.
7. Where we as local churches are generous in all we do. Where we are generous not only with our finances, but with our people. Sending people to help churches all over the world. Sending people to plant churches. Sending them to help church plants etc.
8. Where we build into the next generation. My dream is to see them come through in all areas of their lives. To go beyond us in ministry, in business, in preaching, in worship, etc. Where we are the platform from which they launch and they become the platform from which the next generation launches.
9. Where we enjoy the journey together. As we journey on this road of Kingdom Living, may we enjoy and celebrate each other. Let us celebrate the marriages, the babies, the children’s milestones, the new jobs, the new revelations from God, the new people that are added to His family, the baptisms. Let us journey together.
10. Where we have passion and expectancy for every meeting. Imagine a church where people come each Sunday to the service, and to other meetings, with a heart full of faith, expectancy, and passion for what God is going to do. Where meetings are not something we just do, but they are a coming together of the saints of God with a heart after God, ready to serve and full of passion for Jesus. Where our hearts are excited with anticipation of what Jesus is going to do at this meeting. Is He going to speak to us specifically? Is He going to heal someone someway? Is He going to manifest His Presence so tangibly all will know Jesus is there? Is He going to give me a Word for the church? Is He going to do a miracle? Is He going to bring me to tears for another country so I can pray? …
11. Where we live with open windows. It is so easy as a church to close the windows of our church and make sure we are all okay. Let us keep everything God is doing within our church and our community. What a small vision, yet it is so easy to do. Oh that we would have all our windows wide open. That every one of us in our local churches would have passports ready to go to the nations. We are so privileged to partner with a team such as NCMI with whom we can go to so many nations. We can go on a trip to India, we can go on a trip to Africa, to Europe, to Australia etc. We can go for a week, we can go for a month or we can move there. But the key is to say, “God I am willing to go wherever You will have me go, be it a trip there and back or to move there. My heart is to take the gospel to the nations of this world.” In Psalm 2:8 it says, “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.”
Let us be dream carriers and take His dream for us, to the four corners of the world and into the next generation with love for Jesus, our King and His Kingdom, His bride and the lost people of the world that Jesus so loves.