I’m going to repeat the follow paragraph at the beginning of every blog in the series, “From a Dream to a Destiny.” Here’s why: Robert Morris is the pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, TX. I really respect him and appreciate him as a man with a heart for God. He wrote a book that changed me! It is entitled “From Dream to Destiny.” If you wish, you can pick it up at a bookstore, go online to Robert Morris’ website, or order it at Amazon, as a Kindle Book.
No one can stop my destiny. No one can stop your destiny. No one – no boss, teacher, preacher, parent, etc. No one …. BUT YOU.
God wants to open up the world to you. Maybe God gave you a dream to be a concert pianist and play for Him, or a scientist that wants to develop a cure for diabetes for His glory, or a teacher that influences and blesses students and points to God, or a stay-at-home Mom that raises her children to be world-changers for the sake of God’s Kingdom, or an engineer that discovers the next way to build a safer bridge for God’s glory.
Whatever it your dream is, God wants to partner with you. But before He does that He will always grow you into the person (on the inside) that He wants you to be. He’s committed to purifying your character so that what you do brings glory to Him, and draws people to Jesus!
We’ve been studying the character development of Joseph. His story is found in Genesis 37-50. And we’ve talked about tests that God used to grow him into a man He could use for His glory. Every one of these tests is meant for men and women. And every test is meant to be passed. And it’s God’s way, His style, that He will give you a test until you pass it.
Before he could save nations Joseph had to pass the tests we’ve already written about: The Pride Test, Pit Test, Palace Test, Purity Test, and the Prison Test. Now Joseph will face the Prophetic Test.
Genesis 40:1-8, 14-15
1 Some time later, Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer and chief baker offended their royal master. 2 Pharaoh became angry with these two officials, 3 and he put them in the prison where Joseph was, in the palace of the captain of the guard. 4 They remained in prison for quite some time, and the captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, who looked after them.
5 While they were in prison, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each dream had its own meaning.6 When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset. 7 “Why do you look so worried today?” he asked them.
8 And they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.”
“Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.”
After Joseph interpreted the cup-bearer’s dream he said:
14 And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. 15 For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it.”
The cup-bearer and the baker’s dreams were interpreted perfectly by God’s servant, Joseph. The dreams were amazing. The cup-bearer would be restored to his position, but the baker would die a horrible death
20 Pharaoh’s birthday came three days later, and he prepared a banquet for all his officials and staff. He summoned his chief cup-bearer and chief baker to join the other officials. 21 He then restored the chief cup-bearer to his former position, so he could again hand Pharaoh his cup. 22 But Pharaoh impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had predicted when he interpreted his dream. 23 Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.
Joseph was still in prison … and it would be really hard to believe that the dreams God to him when he was 17 would come to pass. But here is the primary point I hope to communicate about Joseph’s Prophetic Test, and it is found in Psalm 105.
Psalm 105:17-19 New Living Translatiion (NLT)
17 Then He sent someone to Egypt ahead of them — Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar.
19 Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.
Verse 19 is key! But in this translation we can miss something. The words in the original language, Hebrew, make this verse POP off the pages of the Word of God.
Let’s look at verse 19 in the New American Standard Bible (NASB)
19 Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.
The Hebrew words for “his word” and “the word” are not the same word.
Every thing God has ever done or communicated has come through WORDS!
He created the whole Earth and the Universe we live in by saying words. “Let there be light” and so forth. God spoke!
In St. John, chapter one, the Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him [the Word], and without Him [the Word] nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1,3).
When God wants to do anything, He speaks!
With that in mind, let’s look again at Psalm 105:19 again, and I’ll quote from Robert Morris’s book, From Dream to Destiny.
“This verse actually says, “Until the time that his [dabar] came to pass, the [imrah] of the LORD tested him” (Ps. 105:19).
“Now let me explain something to you about these Hebrew words. The first word, ‘dabar,’ is used 1,441 times in the Old Testament and is the Hebrew term most frequently translated as ‘word.’ [‘Dabar’] means ‘a matter’ that is spoken of.
“With that in mind, we can see this verse is actually saying, ‘Until the time that [the word that was spoken over Joseph’s life] came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him.’
“The second Hebrew word for ‘word’ is ‘imrah.’ The word ‘imrah’ appears only 37 times in the Old Testament. It means ‘commandment,’ ‘speech’ … and refers to the very Word of God — the literal Word of God.”
So we see one word means “a prophecy,” or “a prophetic word or words,” and the other word means “The literal word of God.”
Here’s how we could say it in today’s language: “Until his prophecy came to pass, God’s Word tested Joseph!”
God speaks, and sometimes … many times … He speaks through His servants, THE PROPHETS.
Some have what the New Testament calls “the gift of prophecy.”
When God was speaking about His church the Word of God says that He gave the gifts of people. They are called “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.” (Ephesians 4:11)
Every gift person mentioned in Ephesians 4 speaks for God, but prophets speak some very important words. According to God’s Word, you can expect prophets to give comfort, guidance, warning, encouragement, caution, judgment and edification.
Some prophetic words are directed to individuals, and some are meant for a Christian community.
Prophets can make mistakes. But so can every apostle, evangelist, pastor or teacher. God uses humans to speak for Him. Prophets are so important that God not only gives them to the church as office holders, but the Holy Spirit calls others in the Body to exercise the “gift of prophecy.”
Paul said to the Corinthian church that if a prophet or a person with the gift of prophecy speaks to the entire body they should follow these guidelines.
29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace… (1 Corinthians 14:29-33)
We love and appreciate prophets because what they have to say will not only agree with God’s LITERAL Word, but their gift is meant to either gently or forcefully open up the heart of a person or a people group to the heart of God.
If you want to know how God thinks about you, ask a prophet! And if a person with the gift of prophecy says, “I think I have a word for you,” pay attention!!
The beautiful thing about prophetic words is this: they don’t inform. They affirm something God has already said to you, or confirm what God has said to you.
Either one – affirmation or confirmation – is meant to:
• get you moving in the right direction,
• corroborate and validate the direction you’re going, or
• correct the direction you’re going in.
Prophets are appointed by God to speak directly to a certain individual or to a people group. And I like to say that prophets bring a word from the Lord for that moment in time. It is timely!
Sometimes the prophetic word is comforting, sometimes it gives guidance, and sometimes they give a person a warning.
Many times the prophetic word to an individual is encouraging, but sometimes prophetic words warn of judgment coming.
But in every prophetic word there should be a sense of “edification,” or building up. Even in words of warning or judgment a person should hear that God is for them and not against them. He just wants a course correction. He hasn’t given up on anyone!
The literal Word of God speaks to every nation, every tribe, every people group. It is universal. The Word of God is the revelation that God has given of Himself to mankind in general.
I’m not concerned so much with how you respond to the prophecies that speak about you and your destiny. But I am concerned about something.
I believe you will not fulfill your destiny unless you know THE WORD of the Lord. Every apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher should KNOW THE WORD OF GOD because every concerning our destiny will flow from it and agree with it.
Every man or woman of God that has ever had an impactful life KNOWS the literal, written word of the Lord. You cannot live by going from one prophetic word to the next.
If you know the Word of God, He can trust you with His most valuable possession. The anointing. He will not give His anointing to someone who doesn’t know His heart and mind.
And you will never fulfill your destiny if you don’t have God’s anointing!