If we are in a day-to-day relationship with God, He will speak into our lives. He’ll provide direction through dreams, visions, an audible voice, or an impression on our spirit, but we may want to use discernment with whom we share those revelations.
In Genesis 37, Joseph, the great-grandson of Abraham, received a couple of dreams from God that he disclosed to his brothers. The first: “Listen to this dream,” he said. We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” In the second dream, he said, “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”
While these were true dreams from God and symbolic of what was going to happen in the future, I believe Joseph over-shared. They were already jealous of Joseph because he was his dad’s favorite. In addition he was a tattletale. His dad, Jacob, would send him out to his brothers who were shepherding sheep in the pasture to check on what they were doing. He would then run back to dad to provide a status report. This probably had been going on for a while and fueled the bad feelings. Then there were the dreams… Scripture says Joseph’s brothers “hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them” (Genesis 37:8).
Sharing dreams that pictured Joseph’s brothers bowing down to him did not promote better familial relations, so much so that Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him, but sold him into slavery instead.
Those who know me, know I am honest and an open book, too much so at times. Years ago, I did something Joseph-like concerning our Wednesday morning Bible study at church. I was a small group leader and prayed on my knees that God would show me who He wanted in my group. There were eleven spots, and over the course of about a week, exactly eleven women came up to me and asked to be in my group. I received my answer! Confidently, I went into our selection meeting, and announced “I am going to make this easy. God has shown me who is to be in my group, and I named off the eleven women.” That did not go over well with the other group leaders, and it created a rift with one of my best friends and prayer partners, also a small group leader. That rift has thankfully been mended and we are closer today than ever. But I over-shared. By doing so, I demonstrated pride, but more importantly, I stole the glory from God who would have put the group together without my interference.
I learned a valuable lesson through this experience. Be cautious what you share, and who you share it with. What are your motives? Will it fuel jealousy? Will it be more than the person can handle or understand? Is it prideful?
In the end, God turned Joseph’s faux pas around for good. After a stint as a slave, and a prisoner after he was falsely accused of sexual assault by his master’s wife, it was Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams, of all things, that led to his release from prison. After he rightly interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph rose to power in Egypt. His brothers, seeking food during a time of famine, did bow down to him, and I am sure memories of Joseph’s dreams came back to his brothers. But Joseph had to be humbled first before the Lord brought the dreams to fruition.
What is the lesson in this? I believe we should pray before we share the revelations that God gives us. Are they for our ears only, or will they edify someone else? It sometimes takes discipline to hold back on what we share.
Categories: Devotion of the Week