Dreams that Shape the City / Day 16


Genesis 37: 5-11

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, ‘Listen to this dream I had: we were binding sheaves of corn out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered round mine and bowed down to it.’

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.

Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.’

When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?’ His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

1 Corinthians 13:9:

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part…” (NIV)

“Our knowledge is incomplete and our ability to speak what God has revealed is incomplete.” (GWT)


We’ve been thinking over the past 4 weeks about dreaming with God for our lives and our city. God speaks and imparts dreams to His people in many and various ways.  These may be through Scripture reading and meditation, circumstances and events, burdens we experience, frustrations we face, through friends, family members, leaders and others speaking wisdom into our lives. Also, often God’s heart for us will be expressed in more overt supernatural ways like dreams, visions and prophetic words.   

In whatever way God communicates His dream to us, we need to understand that God very rarely give us all the details up front.  We don’t get the whole picture before we set out in pursuit of the dream and seeing it become a reality.  Most often God gives us a snapshot or a glimpse or an outline or a blurry image at the start of the journey.  God goes into our future and sees our potential, all that we could be, then He comes back to the present and gives us a dream, vision or prophetic word to help get us there. 

Why do we need to know this?  Because between the dream and the fulfilment of the dream there will often be delays and detours.  During this period of deferment it can seem like the dream has become dormant or has even died, when actually God’s delays have a definite purpose which generally falls into two categories: (i) God is Defining the Dream, or (ii) God is Developing the Dreamer.  For Joseph this delay lasted 13 long years, but at the end of it he was perfectly positioned for God’s purposes and ready to step into his destiny which would impact a whole nation.  In fact, his legacy reverberates through history.

This week we’ll think about both of these aspects of God’s delays and how they apply to where we find ourselves as a church and where we might be as individuals right now. 

In May 2015, when we raised over £550,000, our dream and intention was to establish a 400 square metre centre for the poor in our community.  This was to be a single story facility that could be extended over time.  However, through delays related to land and planning, the dream has become more defined in the past 16 months.  In fact, we have realised God’s dream was bigger in size and scope than ours.  We look at the details and implications of this in the coming days, but for now, ask yourself:

Where am I currently experiencing delays in the dreams I am longing to see fulfilled?

What might God be doing in the delay?  Is the dream being more defined and brought into greater level of clarity and focus? 

Was my dream too small to begin with?  If so, what might a God-sized dream look like?