The Dream Killers
Sermon Summary


This message highlights the beginning of Joseph’s slavery in Egypt. Things happened to Joseph that would have caused many to despair and give up on his God-given dream. From a human perspective it seemed unlikely if not impossible for Joseph to ever advance from slave to ruler, especially in a foreign land. And then Joseph is falsely accused of seeking to be with his master’s wife and thrown in prison. However, Joseph depended on God’s presence, remained dedicated to his calling, and was determined to be faithful! As a result, Joseph was able to defeat the dream killers of devastation, discouragement, despair, despondence, doubt, anger, and temptation.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. A list of questions was given to help determine whether or not a dream is God-given or self-generated. Read the following list and discuss whether or not you think these questions can indeed help identify the origin of a person’s dreams and aspirations for life.
Have you prayed about it?
Have you consulted God's Word?
Have you sought Godly counsel?
Does the dream work with your God-given talents and abilities?
Does your heart desire what God desires?
Does the dream comply with Biblical principles?
Does the dream accomplish Godly purposes?

2. Have you ever had a run in with any of the dream killers? (Devastation, Discouragement, Despondency, Depression, Doubts, Despair, Anger, Confusion, Temptation) Give a little background and explain how you dealt with the dream killers.
Psa 18:2  The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psa 18:3  I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
Psa 18:4  The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
Psa 18:5  The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
Psa 18:6  In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

3. Three principles of handling dream killers were taken from Joseph’s experience:
Dependance on God's presence, dedication to your calling, and determination to be faithful. Discuss how these three principles could help overcome the dream killers.
Psa 86:2  Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.
Psa 86:3  Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Psa 86:4  Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Psa 86:5  You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psa 86:6  Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
Psa 86:7  In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.



The Dream Killers
Full Sermon Notes

So touching to see that video and how this young dad keeps thinking back to situations in his past with his own dad. God used the example of this young man's father to remind him of the kind of dad he needed to be. God's dream for any dad is that he has the right priorities in his life and family! Today's message is not just for Dads, but for all of us and it is so important I would like to take a moment to pray for God's guidance…Let's pray!

Someone turned in an info card last week with this question… "How do I know if my dream is from God or not?" I have preached entire sermon series' on the topic of discovering the will of God! Andrew even touched base on the subject in his series on Jonah. Let me just briefly address this question before we get started with our message today.
Here's a little list that you might find helpful with this question...

Have you prayed about it?
Have you consulted God's Word?
Have you sought Godly counsel?
Does the dream work with your God-given talents and abilities?
Does your heart desire what God desires?
Does the dream comply with Biblical principles?
Does the dream accomplish Godly purposes?

If you can answer YES to all of those questions, you can rest assured the dream is from God and you can pursue the dream with great effort and passion. As I mentioned last week, there's no shortage of opposition to a God-given dream and there are things Satan will use to try and kill the dream. If your dream is a God-given dream then it makes sense that God's enemy will seek to destroy that dream!

This morning we're going to look at the continuing saga of Joseph. It's a fascinating story and one that should give us some perspective on what is happening or what has happened in our own lives. God had given Joseph several literal dreams and Joseph didn't know exactly what they meant, but he knew they meant something. He believed they were from God, they were, but as we talked about last week, Joseph's dreams collided with reality. He was hated by his brothers so they sold him into slavery. In case you weren't here last week and haven't had a chance to listen to or watch the message online, Joseph's dreams indicated that his brothers and even his father and mother would someday bow down to him. So now you know one of the reasons the brothers hated Joseph. And so without further a due, we pick up our story where we left it last week. Genesis chapter 39.

1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
2 The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.
3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did,
4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.
5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.
6 So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome,
7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.
9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside.
12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house,
14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed.
15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
16 She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home.
17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me.
18 But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger.
20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison,
21 the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.
22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.
23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

Wow, can you imagine? Joseph just couldn't catch a break! How do you think you would have done if your family sold you into slavery, the slave traders took you to a another country and sold you again? You work so hard, given your situation, and do everything with excellence only to be falsely accused of a horrible crime and thrown into prison. What would you do? How would you react? Would your dream survive the collision with reality? Would your faith survive? Could it? What about Joseph? How do you think he felt? Devastated? discouraged? despondent? depressed? I don't know about you, but I just might have been all of these things! I might have even been tempted to be angry! Angry at my brothers! Angry at Potifar's wife! Angry at Potifar for believing her lies. Maybe even angry at God for allowing all these bad things to happen in the first place. Now let me tell you a couple of things.

First of all, it would be natural for anyone to feel devastated, discouraged, despondent, depressed, doubtful (if there was anything to the dream in the first place), angry, confused and ready to give up! Some of the Bible's greatest leaders faced the dream killers. Moses, King David, Elijah, Peter, Paul and even Jesus.

But the second thing is this. The way you deal with all of these feelings will determine whether or not they become dream killers or dream builders. What you do with these feelings is oh so important! Your response can either make you or break you!

I've met people who live in despair. Some live with constant discouragement. Some no longer even ask why me? They just expect to be victims of some cosmic conspiracy designed to get them. They just give up on the dream and some even give up on life!
Others become angry at everyone and everything! They are a ticking time bomb! Exploding from time to time and hurting themselves and those around them. And here's a truth you need to hear, write down, and never forget.

If you allow the dream killers to take over your attitude, your emotions, your thoughts, and your spiritual being, when the most wicked of temptations come your way, you will be powerless to resist. And you can write this down as well…these temptations are designed to further destroy the dreams and plans God has for your life! You might remember Jesus told us in the model prayer to pray for deliverance from temptation…

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’

He also said this…

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Paul had some great wisdom as well in 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Is it possible to stand up under severe temptation? Is it possible to keep on going even when it seems the dream has died and there's no human way possible for the dream to be resurrected? Can the dream killers be overcome? I think the answer is in our Joseph story. Genesis 39:2

Genesis 39:2 The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.

Defeat Dream Killers through Dependance on God's presence!

It's important to note, God didn't keep him from trouble, but was with him in his trouble. In other words...
God may not take you out of the storm, but He'll walk with you through the storm, and if God is with you rememberer God is bigger than the storm!!

Psalm 139:7-12
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Defeat Dream Killers through Dedication to your calling!

Joseph was dedicated to do the best job he could do no matter what situation he found himself in. Joseph did what he could do and put the rest in God's hands so God was with him.

Genesis 39:3-5
3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did,
4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.
5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.

Sometimes we have the attitude, "I'll work hard once the dream comes true! The dream job, the dream position, the dream calling. However, God wants us to be dedicated in the little things, then He can trust us with the big things! Jesus said this in a parable...

Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

And I love these verses in Paul's letter to the Colossians...

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:23-24
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Defeat Dream Killers through Determination to be Faithful!

Listen again to what Joseph told his tempter…

Genesis 39:8-9
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.
9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

Joseph was faithful to his master! Joseph was faithful to his God! By being faithful to them he was being faithful to himself! Listen to the way the Psalmist put it...

Psalm 10-12
10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.

How many of you have ever heard of the "Shampoo algorithm?" Lather, rinse, repeat!
If you followed these instructions literally you would run out of shampoo every time you took a shower! But when it comes to a God-given dream, you will face an unending parade of dream killers, so you must repeat today's instructions every time you face a dream killer.


Dependance on God's presence
Dedication to your calling
Determination to be faithful

Joseph repeated the instructions! Listen to what happens when he goes to jail...
 
Genesis 39:20-23
20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison,
21 the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.
22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.
23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

You just gotta love that guy! He refused to let the dream killers destroy his God-given dream!
Let's pray!