“I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The year was 1963, and the month was August. Thousands gathered before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Their presence accompanied the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Among them was the famous civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Loved my many. Hated by many. In a segregated country, his message rang unpopular with thousands who did not favor breaking down long-held barriers that separated many Americans.
One hundred years had passed since Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Almost two hundred years had passed since America’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Yet, all people still did not have equal rights in America, among them women and minority groups. King still had a dream it could … and would … happen.
I wish I had been old enough to hear King’s speech in person, but I was only a three-year-old child. But I have stood where he stood when making the speech. And I have walked where thousands gathered to hear his speech.
Although I was old enough to comprehend his murder a few years later, I didn’t understand its importance. He dreamed, and some didn’t like how he tried to make his dream come true. He led, but many didn’t appreciate his style or his ideas.
The same held true with Joseph. One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever (Genesis 37:5 NLT).
God destined Joseph for greatness and revealed this greatness to him through two dreams. In one, he saw bundles of grain—representing his family—which bowed to his bundle of grain. In the other, Joseph witnessed the sun, moon, and stars bow to him.
Joseph’s father wondered what the dreams meant. Joseph’s brothers hated their brother and eventually sold him as a slave. They didn’t want to hear any more of his dreams. Just as a deluded individual thought he could silence King’s dream by ending his life with a bullet. But Joseph’s dream lived on despite his brother’s attempts—and so did King’s.
Christians debate whether or not God still speaks through dreams and visions, but the issue exceeds whether or not we can put God in a box. The greater lesson is that God does have plans for His people, regardless of how He reveals them. And He has enough power to carry out those plans when we obey—regardless of other’s attempts to squash them.
We live life at its best when we discover God’s plan and let Him use it to change others’ lives and the world through us. In some capacity, we are all leaders: at home, at work, at church, in society, in our communities.
If you don’t know God’s plan for you, ask Him. He’ll be more than happy to reveal it.