The Meaning of Dreams

And the Déjà Vu Phenomenon.
C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

A dream is simply a God-given glimpse of the future, near or far. It’s usually very cryptic and very symbolic, even when it appears to be quite terrene.

“For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds.” Job 33:14,15

A FEW BIBLICAL EXAMPLES

Joseph’s Dream

“Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, ‘Listen to this dream I had:  We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.’” Genesis 37: 5-7

Joseph pardons his brothers

Joseph pardons his brothers.

The interesting thing about Joseph’s brothers is that they instantly knew what the dream meant, but refused to believe that their brother could have actually been chosen by God.

“His brothers said to him, ‘Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?’ And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.” Genesis 37: 8

Then the dream became real.

“Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.” Genesis 42: 6

In the dream Joseph and his brothers were depicted as “sheaves“, symbolic of the individuals. It was an image of the time they could all grasp.

Pharaoh’s Dreams

Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank.  And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.” Genesis 41: 1-4

Joseph and Pharaoh

Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams.

That was the first biblically recorded dream of Pharaoh. Then came a second.

He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk.  After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind.  The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.” Genesis 41: 5-7

Just like Joseph and his brothers, Pharaoh knew that these dreams meant something. So he began a frantic search for someone who could explain them.

“So Pharaoh sent for Joseph... Then Joseph said to Pharaoh… God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.” Genesis 41: 14, 25, 28-32

The healthy grains and cows were the images that God used in the dreams to depict the good years, while the scorched grain and gaunt cows were chosen for the lean years.

Then the dreams materialized.

The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.” Genesis 41: 53, 54

YESTERDAY AND TODAY

Before the modern era everyone instinctively knew that a dream was God-given and meant something.

When a person is asleep, God allows the spirit man to steal a glimpse of the future. That glimpse is either very clear, somewhat muddied, or extremely muddied. That’s why we either remember our dreams or they come off ratatouilled.

Oftentimes, when one of our dreams – even a muddied one – is becoming reality, our spirit man is immediately pricked to the dream’s in progress materialization. That prickling has a name. It’s called a déjà vu, French for already seen. And where have we seen it before? In a dream.

Does that mean every single dream is a glimpse of the future? Yes.

Think of it this way. We are God’s computers. He’s the programmer, and every night He uploads the Updates (i.e., new and current data, not passé). Sometimes they’re coded (a message or a road map), and sometimes they’re not (just a straight glimpse of a futuristic event). Often we download the stream with no hitch (very clear dreams), but at other times the stream appears (only appears) to hang up (muddied dreams).

Given that some actually think that science and technology are anathema to the Almighty, the following question will surely pop up: why are we using God and computers in the same metaphor? Such a sad question deserves to be answered with another question. Where do you think mankind gets all his innovative and ingenious ideas from?

“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6

“In the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill.” Exodus 31:6

Since we’re already on the subject of computers, let’s continue with that line of thought and present another metaphor. Let’s compare what a dream and its subsequent materialization look like.

Any time you’re reading a post on this site, you’ll likely see the visual immediately below; or for our metaphor “the materialization of the dream in the wake-up reality,” if you will:

Reality VisualHowever, here’s the HTML source in its actual text arrangement; or for our metaphor “the dream sequence,” if you will:

Dream visualAs you can see, our dreams are processed in an almost similar fashion: a lot of apparent gibberish that in the end makes perfect sense. In other words, what we see in a dream is not image literal to its actualized counterpart.

JUNK THEORIES AND THE DÉJÀ VU PHENOMENON

Unfortunately, as spurious scientists and self-appointed experts inundated the minds of modern age folks with counterfeit theories (i.e., forged and unproved assumptions or conjectures), they indubitably erected pseudo-intellectual barriers between God and man.

Some of these barriers are their many begrimed understandings of what dreams are. Simply put, they fabricated out of whole cloth views and explanations that are intended to destroy God’s nighttime conversation with His creation.

For instance, the déjà vu phenomenon is interpreted by some to be the “illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time” (Webster). How a phenomenon experienced by millions of people can be labeled an illusion is not only disingenuous, it’s sheer idiocy. Unfortunately, that’s the kind of confused and half-baked explanation that comes along when God is dismissed outright.

Others believe said phenomenon to be a quick, momentary throwback to a similar juncture in a previous life. Now if past lives were real, why can’t we remember them with absolute clarity? Especially if we are dearly paying in this life for past life misdeeds – karma, they call it. What is the point in paying for some obscure mistake one is not aware of, or reliving our existence over and over if we can’t remember the previous ones and the reasons we keep coming back? It doesn’t make any sense.

“It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27

Another example is Sigmund Freud’s rubbish theory that dreams are conduits for our urges and impulses. Can you imagine what he would have made of the sheaves in Joseph’s dream if he took a swing at it?

Flail and threshing

The Flail and the Threshing

He would have convoluted the whole thing, “the sheaves represent the threshing that took place with a flail; and the flail is symbolic of…” 😮 Never mind.

What a giant fraudster that man was! And yet the 20th century has been called the Freud century. We kid you not.

According to George Dvorsky, “… the 20th century has often been called Freud’s century… But his legacy is a shaky one. Freud has, for the most part, fallen completely out of favor in academia. Virtually no institution in any discipline would dare use him as a credible source. In 1996, Psychological Science reached the conclusion that ‘[T]here is literally nothing to be said, scientifically or therapeutically, to the advantage of the entire Freudian system or any of its component dogmas.’ As a research paradigm, it’s pretty much dead.”

What a powerful indictment of junk theories!

However, Freud is not alone in his capacity to script fantasies. There is an extremely long list of pretend scientists in almost every field. One “scientist” in particular that glaringly stands out alongside Freud – albeit not in psychology, but in supposed importance – is Albert Einstein, whose name has strangely become synonymous with “genius.”

Einstein

Seriously?

Nevertheless, we couldn’t find one thing that man invented or came up with that made our lives better or that was not a fraud. NOT ONE THING! Even the equation E=mc^2 that is attributed to him is apparently from an Italian named Olinto De Pretto who published it in the scientific magazine Atte in 1903.

Yet everyone knows who Einstein is. His face and name are plastered on everything that hints at “sheer ingenuity.” Even his so-called “accomplishments,” besides being theories to begin with, were unsupported conjectures that amounted and led to NOTHING, especially his Theory of Relativity (including the GPS & Relativity myth). Nikola Tesla, a real scientific genius, categorized said theory as “the greatest historical aberration of scientific thought.”

Here are some true scientific geniuses and visionaries: Johannes Gutenberg, Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, Auguste and Louis Lumiere, Charles Babbage, Reginald Fessenden, Guglielmo Marconi, Thomas Edison, Karl BenzWilhelm Conrad Röntgen, Wright Brothers, Jack Kilby & Robert Noyce, Tim Berners Lee, Alexander Fleming, and Steve Jobs,  just to name a few.

All of them either invented or contributed to the invention of not useless theories but of things that improved our lives and catapulted humanity to a higher level of productivity. Yet none of them is uplifted like Freud and Einstein. Then again unlike Freud and Einstein they were not and are not Jews (some are still alive), so the Jewish-controlled media inflate their own to godlike status – even when they’re fake – in order to propagandize their misappropriated appellation of God’s “Chosen People.” See How the Ashkenazi Jews conquered the West.

Therefore beware of so-called scientists and experts and their unproved theories and conjectures.

OUR OWN TEST SUBJECT

A trustworthy Christian brother, who wishes to remain anonymous (like us) and whom we know quite well, has been for over two decades studying and cataloging his dreams and visions (visions are similar to dreams, except we’re meditating when they occur).

“How blessed is the man…(whose)…delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1: 1,2

Not only did this Christian brother help us with this article, he also allowed us to incorporate herein one of his dreams and one of his visions to bolster our understanding of their presaging quality.

Our Brother’s Dream

A couple of years after joining a church, our brother had the following dream:

“I climbed a tall, tower-like church steeple all the way to the last crosspiece. I held on firmly to the last rung to keep me from falling. Suddenly, the last rung came unglued as if it had a mind of its own. I held on tight to the detached rung as I fell in a body of water. I then saw myself swimming across a vast ocean where I spotted an older woman on a small raft who helped pull me out of the water.”

He went on to explain the sequence of events that led to the full materialization of the dream through a period of almost 10 years:

“I was part of a ‘church’ where duty-wise I steadily climbed the ladder all the way to a ‘leadership’ position (i.e., climbing the church steeple). Then God began to open my eyes about the mammonish ‘pastor’ of that place. However, I foolishly chose to ignore the many red flags God waved at me, as well as refusing to leave when over and over He nudged me to.

“The main reason for my reticence was the fact that I really enjoyed the fellowship of the brethren. God then put me on a sickbed for a month where He made it quite clear in my spirit that I had to leave, otherwise I would not be healed. After meditating I finally relented. I then emailed the ‘pastor’ and let him know of my decision to leave the church (i.e., the last rung with a mind of its own came unglued). I was fully healed one week later.

“Not too long after, the mammonish ‘pastor’ sold the entire church property and pocketed over $12 million from the sale. His goal of becoming a millionaire finally came true. (Beware of prosperity teachers! They’re out to prosper themselves.)

“Knowing that I unwittingly took part in his Machiavellian scheme as a member of the leadership left me devastated as I collapsed emotionally (i.e., I held on tight to the detached rung as I fell in a body of water [or tears]). At least God made sure I was not there when the sale went through and its proceed misappropriated. I am grateful that He forced me to jump ship before it capsized. Subsequently, I left the country and visited my aunt in a small Caribbean island where I stayed for a year (i.e., the older lady on the small raft in the middle of the ocean) to recharge and refuel spiritually.”

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book… In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56: 8,11

Our Brother’s Vision

Our Christian brother explained to us why he finally decided to leave that “church” when he was on his sickbed:

“I was reticent to leave for the reason mentioned earlier, but I also wanted to be obedient to God. Consequently, a battle waged inside me and disturbed my peace. So I had a frank conversation with the Almighty. I basically asked Him to show me whether He was really the one nudging me to leave.

“As I meditated, I had a vision so vivid it’s still etched on my mind: ‘I saw myself walking on a paved road that strangely and speedily became steeper and steeper until I could no longer stay on its sheer vertical slant. I jumped off and landed on a tranquil dirt road that led me to a well.’

“Here’s the meaning of the vision: ‘The man-made paved road represented the man-made ‘church’ I was a part of, which like every other man-made church system elevated a sinful mortal man on an altar above God’s flock – hence its man-made, paved-like quality. I was to jump off because that road was to become not only unbearable, but a spiritual abomination, represented in the vision by a hovering vertical road which no dedicated Christian would be able to walk on. The tranquil dirt road I landed on symbolized the God-made road that would lead me to the well of living water, Jesus Himself, with no man hovering above it to pollute His word and disturb the tranquility and peace that He gives.'”

“…your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:17

See Church Services Are NOT Biblical.

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR DREAMS

If you want to fully grasp your dreams (visions included), keep a journal.

“And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets…’ ” Habakkuk 2:2

Write them down as soon as your waking mind has got a hold of them, otherwise they’ll slip right through. However, don’t try to decipher them at once or you’ll find yourself all over the map. Let them percolate. Then they will become quite transparent as God readies to materialize them. Your understanding of them will come during or right before or right after their actualization.

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

To decode a dream prior to its materialization is in actuality inconsequential. When God encodes your dream with a hidden message or a road map – as opposed to just a straightforward glimpse of the future – that message (e.g., forgive your brother or sister, careful with so-and-so, etc., which in turn generates “intuition”) or that road map (e.g., idea, invention, breakthrough, plan, etc.) will – unbeknownst to you – penetrate your spirit man in a way that will cause you to heed to said message or road map. In other words, the encoded dream will materialize in your life whether you’re aware of it or not.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Still, as you faithfully catalog your dreams and visions to match the goings-on in your life, God in turn will be faithful to open the eyes of your understanding.

Dreams are always about the future, near or far, not the past. To help you understand them, we have a few tips.

+ Dream Images

God uses familiar images to draw your attention to the upcoming events He wants to share with you. That’s why many times they feel like things you’ve already seen or gone through.

For instance, the setting of the dream that involved Joseph and his brothers was in the field they daily toiled. However, the actual bowing down of the anthropomorphic sheaves (i.e., Joseph’s brothers) took place in Joseph’s Egyptian palace and not in the field. Consequently, everything in your dreams is dramatized with familiar images and characters, even when it’s about a simple phone call, a text, or an email.

+ Dream Examples

If you see yourself kissing someone, it might just be that a) you’ll be talking to someone on the phone or in person or b) you’ll be watching a couple kiss on TV or in a movie.

You’ll be surprised how much of TV shows, movies, and news makes it into your dreams before you actually watch them. Those nightmares are not because of what you ate or what you watched on TV or at the movies, but because of what you will be watching.

A great amount of your sensual, violent, and scary dreams are directly related to the kind of media you will be consuming, of which you are getting a futuristic glimpse. Many times you’ll see yourself and some of those you know as the “protagonists” in those kinds of dreams – maybe it’s God’s way of saying “you are what you watch”. At other times, they’re connected to the words you’ll speak, the jokes you’ll tell, the anger or frustration you’ll experience, the books/magazines you’ll read, the games you’ll play, the deeds you’ll commit, etc.

Let’s say you get shot in a dream, and you’re frantic and frustrated as you look for someone to help dress your wound; it could very well be that you’ll soon experience a wrong such as theft or fraudulent credit card charges, and you’ll frantically try to redress that wrong while simultaneously throwing your frustration at whoever you’ll be arguing with.

+ Common Dreams

If you see yourself:

a) in the air flying like an angel (without wings), you’ll probably be driving on a highway or flying in an airplane.

b) naked or wearing only underwear in a public place, you’ll most likely be involved in a situation where you’ll feel vulnerable; or it could be that you’ll be going either to the beach or the pool wearing swimwear, which is technically underwear; or at one point you’ll be walking around your house naked, or in underwear or something like it.

+ Symbolic Representation

When you dream of:

a) brothers, sisters, cousins, etc., they are many times symbolic of interchangeable family members with similar characteristics that you’ll soon interact with.

b) dead folks, they are definitely symbolic of people with similar characteristics such as nationality, race, family relation, etc.

c) actors, they could be symbolic of other actors you are fans of, or people in the entertainment business in general.

+ Patterns

Try to detect patterns; for instance, a dream with a recurring dog. A gentle dog might very well be a project dear to your heart that you’ve been faithfully working on.

However, if the dog is rabid, it might represent someone – or the symbolic composite of various individuals – who’s been repeatedly antagonistic, and whom you might have referred to – in your heart of hearts – as a “dog” or as an “animal”. Nevertheless, if you prefer cats, God might just replace the dog image with a cat. 🙂

+ Mundane Glimpses

Don’t forget that dreams are not only symbolic, but most often than not are about quite mundane things.

A dream in which you squash a cockroach could very well mean that you’ll probably be squashing a spider or blasting ants with bug spray or… squashing a cockroach.

You might also dream of cleaning your bedroom or bathroom, especially if God is trying to hint at something. 😉 Still, even these mundane dreams will be full of symbolism.

+ Layered Episode

At times, divers future events will fuse into one dream. It’s like looking at a stack of transparent pancakes from above.

+ Opposite

Occasionally, the opposite of what you dream materializes instead.

For example, if you literally dreamt that you got a business contract, it could very well be that you won’t get it. In actuality, if you were about to win a business contract, the dream would be very symbolic, like “catching a bird under your bed”.

Those “opposite” dreams often come off ratatouilled, leaving you with just a “feeling” or a “partial glimpse” of the whole futuristic view.

+ Clear As A Bell

On the very rare occasion, God might give you a dream with a very clear view of the future and with no symbolism, to boot.

It’s His way of helping you cope with a major upcoming event. Whatever that event may be, always take it in stride and apply biblical principles. After all, you might be wrong. So be wise.

+ Random Voices

Many times, just when you are falling into a deep sleep, a voice wakens you, calling out your name. It is often masked with the familiar vocalization of someone you know, usually a family member or close friend or associate.

“A third time the Lord called, ‘Samuel!’ And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’ Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.” 1 Samuel 3:8

It is God warning you of an impending verbal confrontation with that particular individual. Do your best to take heed to it and keep your anger under control, even though it’ll prove difficult, nigh impossible, to avoid said confrontation.

“’What was it he said to you?’ Eli asked. ‘Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.’ So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him.” 1 Samuel 3:17,18

+ Description

Every detail is important. Therefore, stay faithful to your dreams as you describe them in your journal, especially those dreams you feel are so symbolic they must mean something.

+ Time

Be patient as you endeavor to decipher your dreams. It will take time (or not, depending on your spiritual condition). So don’t get frustrated, it’ll bear fruit.

+ Materialization

Most dreams will materialize right after you dreamt them, some within a few days. Quite a number of them will take months or years before they actualize.

Revisit your journal entries often so you can match them with their real life equivalents, as you look back on the events of your life or as you experience the déjà vus.

+ Your Dreams And Visions

They are for you alone. God will not give you a “message” for someone else. If God wants to tell so-and-so something, He can tell so-and-so Himself. Learn from Joseph. He wanted to give his brothers the “message” that they would soon bow down to him, and so his brothers kidnapped him and sold him into slavery.

+ Enigmas

Many of your dreams will remain lasting enigmas. It’s okay. We can’t win them all. God likes to keep us on our toes. After all, He’s the only omniscient one.

CONCLUSION

Joseph dreams and the Angel speaksDreams are visual and audial conversations about the future that God undertakes with His creation.

He uses them to generously fill us with glimpses of the long and winding road that is the rest of our earthly existence. It’s His loving way of alleviating our anxiety about what lies ahead.

Consequently, even when we are oblivious of them, they still leave an undeniable and hopeful imprint on our souls, which somehow relays to us that tomorrow is brimming and waiting.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

So don’t let pseudo-scientists and dream crushers destroy that link. They’re atheists who have learned to hate the spiritual side of our nature.

No matter what they do, they can’t hide from God nor thwart His appointed purpose. Ironically, they themselves are also recipients of said purpose, even of their God-given dreams.

“Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:24

“He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:45

If you tenaciously apply yourself to understand your dreams, you’ll become aware and wide-eyed to their materialization, at least to a good number of them. Your faith will then catapult to a whole new level.

“Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Daniel 1:17

In this era of Jesus’s New Covenant, so can all of us.

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.” Hebrews 10:35

Continue reading

The Heart Adjustment

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

The very essence of Christianity is Service.

Jesus serving the disciples

Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.

Unfortunately, the word “service” has been somewhat corrupted by its liberal use in the labeling of the erroneous principle of “Church Service”. See Church Services are NOT biblical.

TRUE SERVICE

Service implies that Christians become Servants.

There are a great many bible verses about becoming a servant, but here Jesus spells out the most important one.

“…whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” Matthew 20:26

To be a servant is to be of use.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

From a Ministry standpoint, Service is understood by most to be within the confines of the five-fold Ministry – explored at length in Understanding the Duties of Ministry.

However, there is the forgotten Everyday Life Ministry. The very one that Jesus lived and practiced constantly. The one where every instant becomes an opportunity to serve and display the fruit of the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5: 22-23

With these everyday moments God catches us unaware and pushes us to walk in the kind of service He has prepared for us.

There are myriads of them. They usually go unnoticed because they are simply needs. But just like Jesus, we only have to look around to find them.

“He [Jesus] got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet…” John 13:4,5

Feet washing is a service. The disciples’ feet were dirty and needed to be washed. So Jesus, without complaining and lecturing, took care of it. Mary Magdalene who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears also performed said service. (Luke 7:38)

Now all we have to do is look for similar opportunities, and we too will be in the Service Business – sorry, Ministry. 😉

Examples:

1. take out the trash;

2. don’t leave the shopping cart in the parking lot, take it back;

3. visit a sick friend or relative (read Of Healing and Miracles before you go);

4. be courteous and responsible while driving;

5. pick up your boss’s clothes at the cleaners if he asks, or volunteer if the need arises;

6. cook dinner once in a while for someone who’s always busy;

7. babysit your siblings’ kids so they can have a night off;

8. bake your mother-in-law her favorite cake even if she hates you, or do your mother’s nails, or cut your father’s or brother’s hair;

9. serve the clients/customers in your business by going the extra mile;

10. mend broken family relationships;

11. help a family member or a trustworthy friend jump start his career;

12. give some money away. See Who Should Christians give their money to?

And the list goes on and on.

There is no need to fuss about how we can be of service, it bobs up incessantly. Let us catch the opportunities and run with them.

Whether our acts of service are acknowledged or reciprocated and whether gratefulness is expressed or not are irrelevant.

Peter reacted arrogantly and poorly to Jesus washing his feet, and yet Jesus kept at it.

“ ‘Then, Lord,’ Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!’ ” John 13:9

However, when we serve we must not complain. Here’s what happens when we complain.

“The people started to complain about their problems. The LORD heard them. He became very angry. He sent fire. The fire burned among them and it destroyed the edges of the camp.” Numbers 11:1

God is none too happy with such an attitude. All it does is create fiery conflicts. If we are griping and grumbling, it means that the disposition of our hearts is not that of servants but that of arrogant sinners with entitlement issues.

If such is the case, a heart adjustment is sorely needed.

THE RIGHT HEART

When our hearts are not right (and they usually aren’t), God has no choice but to fix them. Just remember that He has a very strange way of regulating them.

He uses something that we do not plan for. Something that doesn’t fit neatly into our preconceived idea of what Service or Ministry should be. Something that at first glance seems like nothing God would ever resort to. Something like this:

“As the Midianite merchants were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. The Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.” Genesis 37:28

Well, how would we have reacted in a similar circumstance?

Many Christians in Joseph’s stead would have performed the binding-and-casting-out-the-Devil routine, and they would have prayed mountain-moving words of faith in order to pry themselves out of such a predicament. Unfortunately, it would have been to no avail.

Something more profound was in the works: the making of the right heart, of the obedient and grateful heart.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Joseph was sold into slavery in order to turn him into an obedient and faithful servant.

“Potiphar liked Joseph so much that he made him his trusted servant.” Genesis 39:4

A true servant nurtures within the core of his soul the virtue of obedience. And no egregiously unfair circumstance will turn him against the will of his God.

So when Potiphar’s wife made a sexual advance, the fruit of said virtue, buried deep within Joseph’s soul, showed its true color.

“… you’re his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9

To adjust our hearts, God has to instill in us the true spirit of obedience. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the way He goes about it is by placing us between a rock and a hard place, where He squeezes out the impurities.

“Although He was a Son, He [Jesus] learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:8

If Jesus, who did no wrong, had to suffer in order to learn obedience, how much more we who are all sinners.

None of us is perfect and everyone needs a heart adjustment. Without said adjustment no plan or dream of ours will bring forth fruits worthy of God’s Kingdom.

OUR PLANS

Joseph had a dream, a great dream. It was his dream. Or so he thought.

“Joseph had a dream and when he told his brothers, they hated him even more… Then his brothers asked him, “Are you going to be our king or rule us?” They hated him even more for his dreams and his words. Genesis 37:5,8

No matter the size of a dream or plan or goal, if it is from God it will meet opposition and face great hardship. But fear not!

The purpose of adversity is to mold us into Christ’s perfect image before God can make our goal a reality.

By dream or plan or goal we are not talking about marriage and such. Different situations require different biblical approaches. Let wisdom be our guide. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint and Of Authority and Christians.

What we’re talking about is the plan or goal that will cause us to deal with the world outside our own little world, like Joseph’s unexpected new environment as pertained to his destiny which was set in motion by his God-given dream.

When we execute such life-changing plans or goals, different scenarios might take place.

1) If a plan is not of God, we may still meet hardship. In turn, we will get discouraged and abandon it, or it will quickly succeed and then crash.

2) If it is from God, it will materialize. But if adversity causes us to abandon it, somehow it will, in spite of ourselves, become a success, especially after having put a lot of hard work into it. Still, that doesn’t mean it won’t fail later on.

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” Ecclesiastes 7:14

The vicissitudes of life and the pressures thereof are God’s tools to constantly adjust our hearts. A grateful heart welcomes them like David did.

“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” Psalm 119:71

Is it any wonder that God loved David?

CONCLUSION

No plan or goal is bigger than a regular act of service. In reality, God’s plan for our lives, once implemented, is itself also an act of service.

Joseph’s dream was not for his benefit. It was to be his opportunity to serve by saving the lives of others, including his family’s.

“I am Joseph, the brother you sold into slavery in Egypt! Now, don’t be sad or angry with yourselves that you sold me. God sent me ahead of you to save lives.” Genesis 45:4,5

Every plan or goal must be looked at from the angle of serving others, lest we’ve concocted it just to satisfy our own greed and ambition.

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:3

By taking real stock of how we plan to serve, we come to understand that the riches of God’s Kingdom and of our inheritance can only be measured by how much love we have one for another.

“A new command I give you: Love one another.” John 13:34

Love is not a feeling. It is an act of service, a sacrificial deed, a heart adjustment.

“Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:18

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