Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gifts makes room for him, And brings him before great men.”
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Especially for us writers. It’s our prayer that our gifts be used for something great, that the publishing industry will make room for us, bring us to awesome things and there is nothing wrong with those dreams.
The Bible is telling us that it can happen and that it’s okay to dream, to want amazing things. Joseph had a great dream, a God-given dream; it included being powerful, and his brothers bowing at his feet. His gifts made room for him and brought him before great men.
BUT the key to verse 16 lies in the verses before it. It isn’t placed randomly, although sometimes it feels like a chapter in Proverbs is just a string of random sayings tossed together to make it up, but it’s not. Every word, every sentence is strategically placed.
So let’s look at some of verses before it. I want to hit on 7 things.
There are 7 things that we have to be molded into, before we hit verse 16.
Remember, we’re talking about righteous people, not Hollywood! We want peace when we make it to the place Joseph made it to. And we’re not talking perfection, we’re talking about consistent living. Chances are, we’re gonna slip up from time to time. We are but dust.
The Lord is all about preparing His people to house His fame.
Verse 8: “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”
The KJV says, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” The Hebrew word for “wounds” isn’t hurt. I thought it would be because we all know gossip hurts, but it isn’t.
The word is “laham” and it means “to gulp, swallow greedily” Oh my!
We gulp gossip down, swallow it greedily, and yet the word is wounds. Ironic, who would ever want to gulp down pain? Yet we do.
1. We cannot be talebearers, and we cannot gulp it down when gossip is presented on shiny plates and served fresh.
Some people have no problems with gossiping or shutting it down, but for others, it’s tough. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been on both ends at one time or another in our adult life.
Verse 9. “He who is slothful in his work, is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.”
The word in Hebrew for “slothful” “raphah” and it means “to relax, be disheartened, let drop, withdraw, abandon, forsake.”
The KJV says, “He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.”
The word for “great” is noun of relationship used to characterize “master of dreams”
2.You cannot let your dreams and your work decay. Don’t be disheartened or withdraw. Write, write, work! Don’t stop. Don’t give it up, don’t abandon it!
Verse 10-11: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his own esteem.
You must know where your safety lies.
You cannot run to wealth or any high wall you build as a show-piece, even if it’s just your built up imagination that you can handle things on your own.
3.When it’s time to run, know Who you are running to.
Verse: 12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.
It’s easy to slip into a prideful state. Sometimes, we’re unaware. It takes constant prayer and allowing God to search your heart daily to walk with humility, and expect obstacles to come that will knock you down a peg or two.
Even Paul had a thorn in his side he wished removed, but it kept him humble. Some people are sick with talent. Some of them are prideful and generally fall miserably. A tragedy. And some remember to have their hearts searched!
4. Walk in humility, pride will get you nowhere fast.
Verse: 13: “He who answers a matter before he hears it; It is folly and shame to him.”
The Hebrew word for “hears” is “shama” and it means, “to listen, to obey, to perceive, to understand”
The word “matter” is “dabar” in Hebrew and it does mean, “speech, word, speaking” but it also can mean, “business or occupation”
5.Listen and obey God before jumping in with an answer concerning your words, answers, and business affairs.
God gives you the words to say and they may not always be “yes” even if it sounds good. This can also save you time and energy on some unnecessary steps, had you took time to really understand and then obey.
Verse 14: “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit”
Even today, doctors who claim no faith, believe that a positive attitude can go a long way with sick patients, but those who give up, generally die sooner. But I don’t want to talk about physical sickness.
I want to talk about this verse: “Hope deferred makes a heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12.
How many of you are still waiting on your dream to come to pass? It can feel sickening, that hope put on hold, can’t it? But don’t let your spirit be troubled!
The Hebrew word for “spirit” is also “mind”
6. Don’t let the thoughts of never making it overcrowd what you know in your heart to be true, even when your heart feels sick over deferred hope!
Romans 5:5 says, “Hope does not disappoint…” God does not deceive or disappoint. (Habakkuk 2:3) He is right on time, and His words do not return void! (Isaiah 55:11)
Verse 15: “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
7. Be smart. Always study. Always learn.
That brings us to our main verse. Righteous one, if you want to have room made for you and be brought before great men, there is much preparation to be done.
Joseph spent years learning these things. He started out as a arrogant, foolish, brat. Spouting off when he shouldn’t, thinking of himself above his brothers. Remember his story. He learned how to be all of the above things through trials. And guess what?
He ruled Egypt. And his dreams, oh they did come true.
Care to share? Which step are you working through at the moment?
I’m hosting at Living by Grace today! Come on by and let’s talk. I’d post my LBG picture but it must be on my other computer. Boo!
21 thoughts on “7 Steps to Fulfill Your Dream”
Sigh. Still on #2 up in here!
I have really admired the time you've spent perfecting your craft. You are serious about fulfilling this this dream, and it's paid off!
There's a lot in this post, Jess! Whew. The one that spoke to me the most today was #5. I often jump straight into issues of my own accord, and then I stop later and realize, "Oh, no, I really should have spoken to God about this first." Sorry, Jesus.
Great post! Just what I needed to read today.
Awesome list, Jessica! I'm with Heather…#5 was especially convicting for me today.
Super post, Jess. LOVE reading your stuff.
Totally need to print this list out and hang it up in my writing room!
At my day job, its #5 all the way for me. I really need to work on clamming up and listening to God before jumping in with my thoughts!
In my "other career" – writing – I want to be working on #3…wait, make that my whole life! I do want Christ to be my focus, I want to be running to and for him…(um, that'd be figurative…no literal running here…)
Love this post, Jess! I think the one I've finally mastered (at least for right now) is 6. Don’t let the thoughts of never making it overcrowd what you know in your heart to be true, even when your heart feels sick over deferred hope!
Things have gone differently in my writing journey this year than I anticipated, but I feel at peace with it, which is the best place to be! 🙂
What an encouraging post! I'm intrigued by that hebrew word for Wounds. How interesting, and I love how you broke it down.
Such an inspiring post, Jess.
I needed to read this today.
Thank you…thank you!
So encouraging, Jessica. God has certainly given you the gift to inspire others.
Number 6 spoke to me. I'm only human, and it's so easy to get impatient when the slightest thing doesn't seem to be happening fast enough. The Scriptures you provided are the key to combatting these thought patterns.
It's so important to look at a verse in its context! Appreciate you sharing these 7 things we need to remember/practice in order for our God-given dreams to follow. Happy Wednesday!
Thank God for His messengers! I needed this today!
Awesome, awesome steps! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this post up. I think you are going to touch a lot of hearts today.
Thanks for the words and verses of encouragement! I always keep in mind that God may not WANT me in a certain place, so I have to be flexible about what happens. Like, maybe I'm only writing to connect to others, not get a book published. Sobering, but I have to keep that in mind. We'll see what happens! 🙂
Hi Jessica –
Wonderful study! I've become a Follower here.
Thanks for your comment on Jill's blog. 🙂
Hey everyone! So glad you came by and were encouraged.
Susan: I'm glad you decided to hang out with us. Feel welcome!
This is a fabulous post, Jessica, and came at just the right time for me. Your words are truly a blessing and your points are all wonderfully stated and Biblically sound!
Right now, I'm feeling torn about the waiting. God seems quiet, and it's been a long, long period of quiet. We're told "never give up", but sometimes I wonder if we should reassess our position, where God wants us to be. I dearly wish He would release me from a situation that is a drain on our entire family, but right now that's not in the cards, it would seem. So I plug along, day by day, hoping to stay encouraged. Very difficult.
Thank you for this encouragement today!
Oh I needed your encouragement today, Jessica! I keep writing, but days, like this one, I wonder if anything will come of it. My sweet hubby is so good. He reminds me that what I'm doing is following. If it leads to publishing, awesome. But ultimately, it will lead to completing the plan God has for me.
Wonderful post, Jessica! How many times have I "dreamed" of something in the past and forgotten to follow "the giver of dreams?"
Thanks for your insight and the reminders!
Great post. I saw it this morning, but didn't have time to read all of it and wanted to be sure and focus on the verses. So I came back tonight.
I love your Wednesday post. They are such and inspiration and blessing to so many people. And sometimes, I really wonder how you know exactly what I need to hear.
I am on #6 completely and totally without question.
right now, not being disheartened, as i work through a mass of editing. Lifting prayers for strength here.