Memo 1131: Know and Prepare
As we continue to look at the life of teenage Joseph in our "Never Too Young for Purpose," we learn that he had a second dream about his future, which simply confirmed the message of the first dream:
Then Joseph had another dream and told his brothers, “I had another dream, in which I saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowing down to me.” He also told the dream to his father, and his father scolded him: “What kind of a dream is that? Do you think that your mother, your brothers, and I are going to come and bow down to you?” Joseph's brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept thinking about the whole matter (Genesis 37:9-11).
Later, Joseph told Pharaoh when he had two dreams that "the repetition of your dream means that the matter is fixed by God and that he will make it happen in the near future" (Genesis 41:32). So God was showing Joseph at seventeen years of age what his future was going to look like and He gave him two dreams to prove that it was going to happen. God wanted Joseph to know His will for his life and He wants you to know, too. Does that mean Joseph could just sit back and wait for the dreams to be fulfilled? No, not at all.
After that, Joseph had to get ready and prepare himself to be the leader God assigned him to be. What he went through wasn't anything like you would think his preparation would have been like. First, his brothers betrayed him and sold him into slavery in Egypt. Once there, he served as a personal assistant in an Egyptian household only to have the master's wife lie about Joseph which led to him being imprisoned. In jail, Joseph became the head jailer's assistant where he helped care for his fellow prisoners.
On one occasion, Joseph helped two of the prisoners by correctly interpreting their dreams. Joseph asked in return that the men remember him if and when they got out of jail, which one of the men did—but soon forgot his promise to help Joseph. Therefore, Joseph had to spend two mores years in jail. Finally, Joseph was brought before Pharaoh to interpret the king's dreams, which he did, and was promoted to be the second-in-command throughout all Egypt! One minute Joseph was a prisoner and the next minute he was an important leader. That's because God knew how to prepare Joseph and Joseph was faithful to the process. Yet there was one more thing Joseph had to do to come into his purpose.
He had to remember his dreams.
Later we read, "Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. He remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them" (Genesis 42:8-9). Why didn't Joseph's brothers recognize him? It was because they had not seen him in 22 years. God had been preparing Joseph in Egypt to fulfill the purpose He had for him all those years, while his brothers thought he was dead. For 22 years, Joseph remembered the dreams God gave him. He had to live in those dreams while he was away from home, in jail, and then a leader in Egypt but far away from the family he was destined to lead. God had said he would lead his family so he had to have faith that somehow, someday, God would help him fulfill his purpose.
If you're young, it's good to have a dream—some idea of what you will be doing later in life. After that, however, comes the time to prepare and sometimes the preparation is more about your character than your knowledge. And at times, the dream will seem so far away, maybe even seem impossible, that you will have to live in your dream of being a singer, a doctor, a teacher, or a leader before it ever becomes a reality. Then you will have to prepare in faith so that when your day comes, you won't have to get ready—you'll be ready.
Maybe it would be good for your to read Joseph's story for yourself, which is found in Genesis chapters 37 through 50. As you read, put yourself in Joseph's place. More importantly, be like Joseph as you prepare to find and fulfill your purpose. See yourself doing God's will in the future, and then prepare to do it and keep on dreaming and preparing until your dream becomes reality. Have a blessed week!