This is the chapter about Joseph where he’s given his special coat, shares his dreams, and is sold into slavery. A lot of Joseph’s issues come from the exuberance of youth, and some from Jacob’s continued mishandling of his family LINK. But there’s one point here that is a common mistake we tend to make that I wanted to pause an highlight: that is what to do with what God downloads to you.
In verse 5 we’re told Joseph had a dream. And then Joseph does something that many of us would likely do as well: in his excitement he wants to share it. Now ultimately his sharing it leads to the events that bring it to pass, so clearly God works with Joseph’s response, but his response shows a lack of wisdom that anyone who flows in the prophetic or gets downloads from God can learn from, which is do not ASSUME you are at liberty to tell everyone about what God has shared with you, ASK Him when, how, and if He wants it shared.
I’ve seen prophetic intercessors share a download with the person it’s about only for it to cause great fear in the recipient. Is fear from God? No. His perfect love casts out all fear. In these cases I believe God gave the download so the prophetic intercessor could PRAY it through for the recipient, not so they could share it with them.
In our story here, Joseph sharing incites mockery and jealousy. He would’ve been wiser to hold it close and prayerfully wait on God’s next instruction.
Sometimes the hidden heart motivation for sharing these downloads is to give “proof” that you hear from God. That motivation is fatally flawed and will hamper your relationship with God because it means you’re holding what man thinks of you higher than what God thinks (not that we’d intend that consciously, but it is the reality of that situation). So if you have a desire to share something He’s downloaded, pause to consider your motivation.
How-to Receive What God Shares with You
If you receive a download from God, here’s steps that would be wise to take (this is similar to my How-To Receive a Prophetic Word post):
- Document it. If God thinks it’s worth sharing, it’s worth remembering. Journaling is a great way to keep track and also to watch for patterns in His interactions with you.
- See how it aligns with scripture. There may be more insight to be gained by understanding its connection to the Bible. Or if it seems in contradiction, you’ll want to pray for clarity.
- Ask God about it. Questions will help bring clarity and revelation, here’s some you might consider starting with:
- Ask Him for further insight on what it means. Dreams in particular tend to be symbolic rather than literal, so ask for interpretations.
- Ask why He’s showing you. Is it just for fellowship sake? Or is there action He wants you to take.
- Ask why He’s picked this moment to show you. Is there significance to the timing? Is it a time sensitive word?
- Ask what to do with what He’s given you (and then be obedient). Never assume it’s ok to share it, ask Him.
- Treat what you’ve been given with honor. Whatever He shares should be treated with honor. Never dismissed or treated lightly. You honor Him by taking what He gives seriously. If someone asks you for counsel and then blows off or treats lightly what you’ve said, you feel marginalized, disrespected, and unimportant. Don’t let your actions say the same to God.
Hold close what He shares with you. Relationship with Him is a gift and a blessing. His friendship is not to be taken lightly. Finding that balance of reverential awe and comfortable fellowship may not be easy, but the outcome is so worth it!