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This is a God Dream

What is the dream of God for your life? Pastor Ben Fleming teaches.


my name is Ben Flemming I'm the young adult pastor here at Westside Church and after the 8:15 service somebody came up to me and and said I really like Steve she said and I really like beau but this wasn't bad and it's like thank you so I hope you're ready for not bad this morning as I am bringing all the mediocrity all the okay messaging and all of the really boring theology to you today I'm just kidding we're gonna have more fun than that I'm really excited to preach to you I'm always excited to be together I really like Church I know that's not necessarily everybody's cup of tea I really like church I really like gathering together hanging out with all of you encouraging one another whatever it is sing it together all that good stuff church is just such a cool dynamic there's something about it there's not many places where I intentionally gather with people honestly that have hurt me or that I have hurt or that we have disagreements with or that we come from so many varying walks of life so many different backgrounds it's an incredible thing this church this gathering that we have together and so I just hope maybe this is a normal thing for you you come all the time I just hope that we don't take this for granted this opportunity that we get is we come together especially because I believe that the church as we move forward in culture and society and as our nation continues to shift and change and move I really am a huge believer that the church is gonna be a catalyst the catalyst the main catalyst the primary catalyst for love and for grace and for mercy and of course for Jesus in this society because we need it we need the church and we need the church to not just cow down so whatever kind of wind a jock wind of doctrine as Paul would say but instead I believe that we are called to be a church that is confident as we go forward sometimes I like to just read the first couple lines of Paul's letters to different churches you know like Ephesians and Philippians and Colossians and Galatians because how does Paul start off all of his all of his letters he starts off by saying I Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ to the Saints and the faithful wherever he's talking to Galatia or ephesus or something like that and i just think sometimes after i read that it's such a simple thing it's just a greeting it's the salutation of his letter I think man I want to be able to walk into a place I'm gonna be able to live a life like I'm writing a letter like Paul Paul walks into a space and he goes hi I'm Paul I'm a gospel I am an apostle of Jesus Christ I'm sent here by God say that in your next business meeting hi my name's John I am the CFO of such a such a company I've been sent here by Jesus Christ for this financial meet just kidding no say that um I mean you can if you want but but what would it what would it be and how would our lives change if we were willing to step into a confidence as a church not just arrogance not just anything belligerent not just to overwhelm someone but instead that we can walk into every situation in our life as fathers and as mothers and sons and daughters and business owners and leaders and students if we can walk into the situation and go I Know Who I am and I know who's I am I Know Who I am and I Know Who I belong to now that that dynamic changes the dynamic of everything after you walk into that room and you know who you are and who you belong to you should see my kid my three-year-old when he walks into church cuz he knows that dad's a pastor which means all this is in his mind he goes ah I am Joel son of been the pastor hello which means these drums are mine and these cookies are mine and you can eat all of them I know where the kitchen is can you imagine if we lived our life knowing where the kitchen was we're not worried when we get our toes stepped on or when things don't go our way because we have the confidence of understanding that we belong in this house we belong in this life we belong with these people that God has called us it's not on accident and even though at times we feel a lack of confidence and we feel ill-equipped that we are right where God has called us to be why because it's where we are right now amen and so what I preach today I'm gonna preach to you from the sermon title this is a God dream this is a God dream and one of my main goals as we walk through some of this Scripture and as we talk about Jesus today is that you would come out of today feeling more confident maybe maybe you still need to learn some skills and maybe you're not always the cup most confident mom or dad but I believe that you can be confident in an understanding that you're a son or a daughter of Jesus so go ahead and turn in to your Bibles to Genesis and chapter 37 we're gonna talk a little bit about the story of Joseph today so Genesis chapter 37 are you with me are you enjoying the bend summer this year amen I just floated the river for the first time since I've lived here just the other day and I also forgot the keys to the car that we had at Drake Park and Wow so I got to do a bunch of Bend things ahead and done hadn't walked the River Trail either and I accidentally did that my wife was Genesis chapter 37 let's move on verse 2 these are the records of the generations of Jacob Joseph when seventeen years of age was pastoring the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth along with his sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah and the father's wives his father's wives and Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father and now Israel loved Joseph more than all of his sons because he was the son of his old age how many of you have a favorite child do you parents out there yeah right I got a favorite one whichever one slept longest that day is my favorite welcome to church sorry everybody will get better okay the son of his old lady Mary he made him a very colored tunic and his brother saw that their father loved him more than all of his brothers and so they hated him and they could not speak to him on friendly terms and Joseph had a dream and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more and he said to them no please I know you hate me but listen to this dream which I have had check this out for behold we were binding sheaves in the field and lo my she froze up and also stood erect and behold your sheaves gathered around and they bowed down to my sheaf Joseph is a hero of the Bible by the way he's also show socially awkward hints I know you guys hate me then and this whole group of that but they hate me come gather around let me tell you how you're gonna bow down to me anyway not a great idea I have brothers and sisters that would have not flown Hannah so then his brother said him do you think you're actually going to reign over us or are you really actually going to rule over us and so they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words and then I'm gonna skip down to verse 18 and his brothers were out in the fields again he comes out Joseph comes out and says when they saw Joseph from a distance and before he came close to them they plotted against him to put him to death and they said to one another here comes the dreamer now they'd come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits and we will say a wild beast devoured him then let us see what will become of his dreams I believe that for each and every single one of us that God has put a purpose a vision or dream on our hearts to accomplish for his glory now if you're saying a name man I feel like I haven't had that moment with God I haven't heard the voice or heard the whatever maybe you will or maybe you won't but I do believe that God has probably put a purpose or a desire or an interest or a set of gifts and talents on your heart and in your life that he is calling you and asking you to use for his kingdom and his glory and so a lot of this message comes around it's built around what his brothers are saying about him right now when he comes here let's see what will become of his dreams now I want to ask you today what will become of your dreams what has become of your dreams maybe what will become the dream of Westside Church to see a city without orphans and and to see this place minister to with the gospel in the salvation of Jesus Christ what will become of these dreams what will become of the dream that you've had since you were 10 or you were 20 or you were 40 for your life maybe you've given up on it maybe it's disappeared maybe it became too much work today I really believe that God is going to inspire us to pick up those dreams again or maybe to start to dream for the first time are you with me let's pray one more time and we'll continue on father God we thank you for this morning but again I thank you for this gathering what an incredible group of people that Westside church is not because we're all so gifted and talented and good-looking although many of us our Lord I believe it's because you're here and you're with us so matter what gifts or talents we would possess Jesus it pales in comparison to simply being in your presence today that's what we want we want your presence so come and be with us as we get into your word Lord we want to see you in the scripture today because we know if we see you will be changed forever in Jesus name and everybody said amen have you ever gotten partway down into a project or into an errand and and life happened right where something happened you got thrown off course and you went to go get milk and three hours later you were home and everybody was wondering what to do with their dry cereal you know I experienced this and I talk about this all the time because it's very much just it is my life right now I'm a dad of a three-year-old and a one-year-old and that just creates a lot of the narrative and stories of my life and it seems like most everything is a lot more complicated than it really needs to be getting in the car is hard for whatever reason and and bedtime is the busiest time of day I don't know why this has to be this way but I like I said I'm the young adult pastor so I work with lots of young adults and a lot of them are like hey look we're we're gonna go out we're gonna have dinner why don't you come it's about eight o'clock I'm like hey that's bedtime you know much work I gotta do you gotta you got to make sure the right diapers are on the right kids you know and the right pamper you know the pull-up is on this kid and you got to brush their teeth and get the right PJs on them and then make sure that the door is cracked in a certain way and the right night light was put back in after the dog chewed it up and you know spat it out and we got a we got to make sure we do all these things and then finally we're ready for bed and then once you put them down for bed you got to put them down for bed and then you got to put them down for bed and then you put them down again hey why don't you come hang out I go home because I hate people after I try to put my kids to bed I just and the the store is this way - in a little while ago my wife and I went to Target because that's what you do when you young married couple you get a Costco card and you go to Target and Vitamix were on our way and we go to Target and we're just gonna get like some chips and some guac and whatever chip and Joanna Gaines are selling that day in that little section and Target and and and some kombucha because we live in Bend and so we grab our stuff and we're we made it we made it past all the toys that our eye level just for your three-year-old kid little bland minds in every store they put I never noticed them before I had children and now I can't get them through any aisle and and we made it past all that when we get to that we finally get to the cashier and it's like we had this vision right we're coming into Target we're going to get these things we're gonna go we're gonna end up at the cashier we're gonna get in the car so we get to the cashier and then I look back at my son has taken off and he's in the little clothing section across from the lines and and if you work at Target I just want you to know that it is not okay with me as a parent of the three-year-old for you to display a mannequin in a running fashion like this with his hand out because my son thinks he wants a high five and he doesn't think he just wants one he thinks he wants eight high fives and so he's given the mannequin high five and before you know it of course the arm falls off and I'm trying to check out my wife is identified what is going on she sees the situation she springs into action and she goes back and she begins to to grab the arm and try to put it back on and I do what any self-respecting wonderful loving husband would do and I turn away from the problem and pretend that I have more important things to do and where's my debit card before I know when I look back again and the mannequin is not in just two pieces now it is in five pieces and and the torso is stark-raving naked the shirt is off I don't know where the shirt went that was on there and and my wife is holding on to all the pieces of mannequin and at the same time trying to impress upon her child that this is not okay as I don't know you've ever been around a kid when things start falling apart they just start laughing and the books will tell you you need to discipline that immediately and so my wife was like no that's not funny that's not oh my gosh honey you okay you get alright over again and she's looking at me like you help me or die I go I signed up for a trip to target that was all I did it was simple it was a direct pathway and a lot of times in life we get to this point where we can say all I signed up for was to accomplish this goal it was simple there was a direct pathway I was gonna be in and I was gonna be out and now all of a sudden the naked mannequin of life comes out and you go how do I even deal with this there is no parenting guide for for putting the mannequin back together and telling my child is not okay nobody told me this was gonna happen and that's happened in your life I would imagine you had an idea you had a vision you had a purpose you had a set of skills or talents and abilities and you were moving in a direction you went to college for this you thought that you would be married by this time or you were gonna get married and then kids were gonna happen and then he discovered that you couldn't have kids or you were gonna go to school and then you got pregnant then you got married and then you got divorced and and life was so simple it was very direct it was very well understood and now everything has been torn and ripped apart no what do we do how does that come together and a lot of times in that space we begin to say I'm not actually sure that this is what God's plan was for me that this was God's desire for me maybe I made it up maybe I ate too much mustard and I had this weird dream and it wasn't really God after all and we begin to doubt and they begin to second-guess and we begin to find ourselves in difficult situations much like Joseph because after this Joseph prays God he's got a brother Ruben who's like no let's not kill him let's be merciful let's sell him to slavery Reuben is the nicest one of the bunch and and so Joseph gets sold into slavery and he hands up at Potter fires house and and and all the while I'm sure he's thinking about these dreams and no God said I was gonna do this and this was gonna be my direction and he's a this guy named Potter fires house and he becomes one of his right-hand man and and then things are good and he I'm sure he could see an end in sight and then all of a sudden Potiphar's wife begins to come on to Joseph and and and wants to have a sexual relationship with him and he's like no he takes off and bails and then she freaks out he gets in trouble he gets arrested and now he's thrown in prison it's a pretty far off existence from influence and power and raining that Joseph had intended her his life to be and and maybe you find yourself in this position today and and really I think a helpful way for me to look at it is to think about it kind of like a survival situation or a survival show have you ever watched a survival show you watched a survivor man on Discovery Channel or you've watched anything with Bear Grylls which was really cool until remember a little while ago we discovered Bear girls like stayed in hotels between episodes and a lot of respect lost that day I don't trust the world the same as I used to but um or movies like lost write our television shows like lost where this group of people crash lands on this island and they got to figure out what to do or my favorite one is castaway with Tom Hanks right and I brought up castaway two young adults do you know that that movie is old now I didn't know this is my first time experiencing this oh my god yeah well everyone's seen castaway was a phenomenon they go that was made in the year 2000 I'm like yeah not that long ago they go I'm 18 huh come on some of you guys remember y2k this is my Grandpere he said somebody got rice in your cellar I know it you still got rights but I think about this situation and Tom Hanks in that movie he's a FedEx executive that crash lands with this FedEx airplane along this island and there's all these boxes and things out from the FedEx delivery guy that who was on and he finds himself out here and and he first begins to talk about well this is where I was going and you begin to wonder and that's the first question that we asked in the middle of this process had begin to wonder oh yeah where was I going again I had a plan I had an idea where was it that I was going and that's the first of three questions on a master day where was I going because it's important to evaluate and discover where you were going it's important to dream you guys and I hope that especially in the church that we can be a people that have a capacity and a desire to dream massive ridiculous world-changing defining dreams I hope that we can be a people in a space for that and by the way I hope you have some friends that can come along and they can hold you accountable to that dream and they can also encourage you in that dream and it's two of the best decisions that I made in my entire life we're number one finding good friends I decided to have good friends you know what the second-best decision was getting rid of bad friends you know if you have relationships in your life where you're trying to dream and move and God is putting purpose in a new day in your life there might be some trimming of friends in your life if you feel like they're trying to one-up you or go above you or move beyond you or keep you down the whole time and they're not encouraging you and backing you up I got to tell you we were meant to be friends so that we could encourage each other and I call it this I call grabbing each other's blessings when you have a blessing I want to get underneath that and encourage you yeah god this is cool I'm glad you're doing this for them I'm just gonna stay here and get a little bit of the run off I'm stealing some of this blessing I want to be a part we need to be a part of this because we need to be a part of the solution for each other's life so I hope that you can ask the question where was I going because you need to dream you need to think big you need to have vision for your life the Bible teaches us that without vision people perish so we need to have that where where were we going and then you got to ask yourself the second question where am I now I read some stuff from from professional survivalists which I don't know how you become a professional survivalist you need a new GPS if you're a professional survivalist and uh you keep getting lost but they say the people who can ask the question okay where was I going and then quickly move on in their mind - okay where am I now have a dramatically increased chance of survival in in horrible situations because they get past okay all I want to do is be rescued and why won't this work and and they move quickly onto okay how can I build fire how can I make shelter how can I make this a home and how can I survive because I got news for you today that while your vision and your dream is so important and it's important for God where you are now is now check this out this is gonna be crazy big theological moment where you are now is where you aren't out you are here I know you're here for the deep stuff but we'll be back soon I promise where you are now is where you are now and so I gotta ask you the question where are you I asked I asked all these three questions to my interns and I asked him the first one I said well where are you going where were you going like I said talk to me as three years ago person tell me where you thought you would be in three years and I'm telling you guys it was like a incredible experience oh man I was gonna be married and I was sure that I'd be doing this job making this much money I'd have this much influence I'd be in this ministry and all this stuff no no we talked for an hour about the vision and the direction that they were sure that they had for their life and what they would be walking into right now and I said man you guys that's beautiful okay where are you now and they go here with you single that's where I'm at right now and and where am I now is really depressing and I discovered because I've seen this in myself too we really really love the vision and we love the dreaming and that's all important and then when wherever we are is not always usually as romantic as where we hope that we will someday be and maybe a church that becomes a lot more obsessed with not that we throw up vision or we get rid of that but we become a church we become individuals become families that say right where we are now is where we are and we choose to embrace this as best as we can I've got a three-year-old and a one-year-old and don't think that most every single day I cannot wait until like I just don't change a diaper and then I have to stop and slow down and go but where am I now where am i right now I got to stay in this moment so we're you know and then finally the third question and this is the most important question what do you have what do you have Joseph is a perfect example of this he enters into Potiphar's house and he works his way up to be Potiphar his right-hand man and then he gets thrown into prison and then he becomes the jailers right-hand man he begins to have authority over other prisoners in the prison now Joseph never once and and maybe he did and I'm sure there's a lot more humanity in the story of Joseph than is actually written down because he's kind of a hero at this point when his story is actually written but there's not a point in there where it says that Joseph was just like man if only I had these other resources and these other things would I be able to accomplish the goals that I think that God has me to accomplish but instead I'm here Joseph instead he doesn't just see a prison and cells he sees people that he has influence with now again to get back to the Castaway thing for those of you haven't seen castaway Tom Hanks finds two things in those boxes those FedEx boxes he finds a volleyball which becomes his best friend I'll just let you watch that I know it sounds weird if you haven't seen it and and the second thing he finds is ice skate on a desert island the ice skates become one of the most important things he has he uses him to open coconuts and he turns one of the blades into like an axe so he can cut things and and he actually removes one of his teeth with these ice skates and and he begins to look at things and you you would say men in this climate in this area ice skates aren't super relevant but he looks at these things and he says look I would like a dentist I would like an axe but what I have are ice skates now some of you might be in life today going I have gifts and I have abilities and none of them seem to work with exactly where I'm at it might be the case that you have some ice skates on your hand but the thing is when we put ourselves into a survival situation when we know God has got us wherever we are and just so you know that if God needed you born into a different situation if he needed you born on the other side of the tracks if he needed you raised by a different set of parents God would have made that happen so we can be confident in knowing that everything that we need is immediately in front of us even though it doesn't always fit the bill or look proper because I want to tell you something that that vision does not necessarily determine what you have but what you have can always fulfill the vision that God has for you your vision does not always determine what you have but what you have can fulfill the vision and so maybe it's time in your life to stop again in the survival situation if tom hanks were to stop and he were to go man if I only had a Trager smoker grill right now my light if I had a boat if I had fishing gear that's all fine but what you have is what you have and so we ask ourself this question so so what do we have and I asked this question the interns too I said well what do you have in your life and they looked at me and they were like Jesus and I was like good job good answer that's always the right answer in church um or hell or Satan one of the other Anna love that's another one but I was like what do you have what do you have in your life I'm like well what are you looking for what are you talking about what do you mean what do I have said anything gifts abilities do you have one I was like well I have a car I said yes a car and I began to share stories with them about how when I was a kid I played a lot of sports and the people that would just open their car and drive me somewhere have become just second fathers and mothers to me because they had conversations with me they let me into their car they let me into their home they bought me food and they helped to raise me people with working cars can change the world I had a story I had a time recently where my wife and I bought kind of this fixer-upper house and we we were hanging out with some friends as we have a decent backyard now and we were setting up the yard game cornhole some of those cornhole boards and I had been setting them out and my neighbor comes walking toward me and he starts a conversation and he says you know whatever one of these things I've seen people playing but I don't know how the game works I was like well it's corn Holtz this to that five minutes later we're talking about the nature of Jesus and who he is and how he has changed my life I didn't make it happen I didn't force it I didn't call my neighbor over I didn't leave him any of those fake $100 bill tracts that we used to when I was a kid to get his attention I simply had what did I have I had cornhole boards and I was evangelizing I was talking to this man about who Jesus was I think sometimes we get so caught up and I want the thing if I had the thing then I could accomplish the vision when God is saying you have everything that you need and I've done this in ministry I want to be a person and I don't know if it's ever good that you totally share this from the platform but I've done it twice today so I'm gonna make it three times I believe that God has put on my heart from time I was a small child to be a person of influence that I'm I'm to use an ability to communicate and to tell jokes and be funny to help change the world for the kingdom of God I believe that I'm supposed to write a book or something like that I believe that this is a part of my life but sometimes that vision and that big picture that I have gives me the ability to ignore the person that sits in the front row that is in desperate need of Jesus and you'll walk past the opportunity you'll walk past the coffee cup in front of you right now you'll walk past the children the influences the friendships the thing that you do have right now for the sake of simply waiting for the other thing to show up and to change your life I've got to tell you today not to be the church that God is calling us to be and for you to be the family that God is calling you to be in the individual that God is calling you to be we must embrace and take stock of everything that we have and leverage it for that vision and that dream that God is giving us amen so what does that mean again let's get real deep in theological leverage your backyard talk to your neighbors use your cars tip well take advantage of conversations when they come up comfort the hurting and the broken and the lonely this isn't rocket science but when we grasp a hold of everything that we have we never ever miss out on what God ultimately wants to bring us to I'll finish up with this I was talking to an older lady she said she was 79 after the first service and she said thank you so much for sharing about that and she's crying and I was like oh wow like appreciate you saying that and she said no I've gotten to the point in my life where I feel like I'm too old to matter anymore and I was like oh that's not true and she said and you've encouraged me God has encouraged me in this moment to dream again and to take a hold of everything that I do have so that I can be everything that He is calling me to be she said because otherwise I'm just waiting to die and you know you can live a life as a 30 year old that's essentially just waiting to die you can live a life as a 15 year old that's essentially just waiting to die but instead when we when we find ourselves in the ways of God and this is what we do when we take stock of what we have of what we actually possess and we leverage it for love and grace and for the gospel of Jesus Christ we will always find ourselves in the ways of God and when you find yourself in the ways of God where do you always always find yourself in the will of God and so if you're somebody in the house that's worrying today man am i doing God's will did I take the right exit at the right time and I am i teaching am i teaching the right grade I thought I was gonna be teaching freshman in high school and I'm teaching juniors in high school and I'm not sure I'm walking down the will of God if you find yourself taking a stock of what you have and using it to leverage the kingdom of God and loving people along the way I've got news for you God's not interested in what grade you're teaching but instead you are in the ways of God which means you are always walking down the path of his incredible and glorious will amen where were you going where are you now what do you have let's we'll pay off the story of Joseph here and then we'll close it says and this is after Joseph is he interpreted some dreams of Pharaohs and he became Pharaoh's right-hand man and then he a great famine came and now his brothers who don't know that Joseph is alive have come to get food and Joseph says to his brothers please come closer to me and they came closer and he said to them I'm your brother Joseph whom you sold into Egypt don't be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here for God sent me before you to preserve life the famine has been in this land these two years and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting and God sent me before you to preserve you for a remnant in the earth and to keep you alive by great deliverance now therefore it was not you who sent me here but God he has made me a father to Pharaoh and the Lord of all this house holding the ruler over all the land of Egypt hurry and go to my father and say to him thus says your son Joseph God has made me Lord of all Egypt come to me and don't delay when we are faithful with exactly what we have in front of us God will fulfill the vision that he put in our hearts in the first place Amen father God we thank you for this morning we thank you for this group again this church so we pray I just pray for encouragement for people so that we can walk in confidence and saying man I don't know I don't know how all of this is gonna shake out I don't know where this fits in my story there's honestly God so many of us are at a point where we're going man this doesn't make a whole lot of sense I was supposed to be five steps ahead of this by now and I'm still here I pray that we would walk forward in confidence and sing but I'm gonna stay in your ways I'm gonna love as you loved I'm gonna be as you were and Lord we know that we cannot fail if we simply remain in your waist Jesus so I pray that we would be a people that take inventory of what we have and we would use everything that we have for your glory in your great name we pray and everybody said amen a couple things real quick if you are unfamiliar maybe with maybe I'm starting way ahead of you and you're like well God dream I don't even know who God or Jesus is all crazy to me I'm new around here and that's awesome I hope you feel so welcome a couple things you could talk to any one of us up here if you have any additional questions there's begin packets at all the exits grab one of those on your way out secondly if you are a person that's like man I would love some encouragement or or I would like to start dreaming again or I gave up on this but man God is stirring something up in me the prayer wall is perfect for this you don't always have to go over and say yes would you bow your head and close your eyes and lay your hands on me and then you could print that's an incredible way to do it that's a biblical way to do it but if even if you just need to go over and say look can you just encourage me this is my dream can you tell me that I can do it they will do that for you they will be that encouragement they will be that person for you that sometimes you need to just get started so please visit the prayer wall other than that we'll see you next week you're now free to roam about the cabin

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