The Order and Favor of God
When someone shares a dream, it is an exercise in prophecy. According to 1 Corinthians 14:3, prophecy is for the edification, exhortation, and consolation or building up of the body of Christ.
The other week I had an interesting dream I would like to share with you in hopes that it will build up your spirit and your confidence in Christ.
I dreamt about Jacob, the patriarch from the Old Testament who wrestled with God and was renamed Israel. In the dream I was watching as he blessed his grandsons, Joseph’s children.
This is a story from Scripture. In Genesis 48 Joseph brings his two sons to Jacob to be blessed. But Jacob, who is now an old man, does something odd as the boys stand before him: he crosses his arms, so his right hand sits upon the head of the younger son.
But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands, although Manasseh was the firstborn. (Gen. 48:14)
That is what I saw in my dream. The two boys were left wondering what had just happened.
The right hand and left hand have meaning in Scripture. Knowledgeable teachers and students of the Bible suggest that the right hand means power or authority while the left hand means weakness or darkness. It doesn’t mean “evil” but it is weaker, less than, or second place. The right hand can be seen as God’s effort, and the left hand can be seen as our effort.
What could this dream mean for us as Prosperous Souls? I’m going to take a shot at interpreting it and then leave the interpretation in your hands, so you can do with it as you see fit.
Here at the beginning of 2019, I think God is talking to us about blessing and a way to position ourselves for this coming year.
Some of us may be applying our power (the right hand) to an area that is good, but it is meant to be secondary. God will still bless the things we’re focused on, but if they aren’t producing fruit, if they aren’t creating strength in our lives and feeding us—perhaps it is time for us to cross our arms, as Jacob did, and readjust our focus.
Manasseh, as the older son, should have been on the right and Ephraim on the left. Manasseh was expected to carry the favor, to be the one more greatly blessed. Certain rabbis have concluded that when Jacob reversed his hands, he was not cursing his grandson, but he was adjusting the order—he was making Manasseh second.
Favor and the Economics of God
I believe all of us have favor because we live in a time when the Holy Spirit is on the planet. Some of us have higher favor than others, but this isn’t injustice—it’s the economics God has built around us. We can move in and out of favor, higher and lower in favor.
I feel like God is inviting me—and now I am inviting you—to the idea that we can be “promoted” in favor, and this promotion is tied to the proper alignment of strategy.
Whatever receives the “right hand” of our energy, dreams, strength, and finances needs to agree with God’s best for us. We want to make sure the strategies we’re focused on are His strategies: what He has blessed and led us to do.
Some of us feel pressure because our cultural surroundings are trying to tell us what to do, but we don’t need to worry about those voices. We don’t have to be “afraid” of anyone but God. Do what He is telling you because you are part of His economy. As a follower of Christ, you are a citizen of heaven first and secondly a citizen of your nation.
With this dream in mind, I am reevaluating my strategies for 2019 and asking God, “What do You want me to do? What have I been putting my strength to, and did I cross my arms in a way you did not intend? If I did, help me to straighten them out. Or if circumstances, coaches, and other people who are not You have led me to believe something, do You have a better way for me?”
Prayer for Proper Alignment
Setting our hands in a backward or reversed position is not a curse, but it does make one thing fall behind another. It can take something that is meant to be primary and make it secondary instead.
If you sense your hands may be in a “reversed” position, I invite you to pray this prayer:
Father, it is in my heart to do Your will. I want to do good, to co-labor with You, and to succeed. Would You give me wisdom in all these things? I ask that I would really come to understand what true riches are—the ability to hear You and place my strength and authority on the primary thing You would have me do. Please bless what You have given me to accomplish, and help me to have Your perspective as I place my hands according to Your Holy Spirit’s leading. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.