“As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.”

Genesis 28:12 NLT

We are all in the process of going somewhere. We are escaping some kind of family dysfunction. We are in pursuit of something better for ourselves. But the truth for some of us is that I might not have ever left unless I had to.

Thing that keeps us going are the dreams we have in the desert. The desert represents that dry place between where you’ve come from and where you’re headed. It’s a place of not yet.

Jacob had just fled from his father’s house because his twin brother Esau wanted to kill him.

  1. Sometimes dysfunction drives us to the desert where God gives us our dream. All of us have been through something traumatic. I was talking with a white brother from Boston who moved to Memphis four months ago. The question I had to ask him was, “What does the death of Dr. King mean to Memphis?” He said it was a trauma for the city that people still have not fully recovered.” I would say that’s an accurate assessment. But now we have to move from trauma back to the dream.
  2. Sometimes God can’t talk to you until you get somewhere by yourself. The Bible says, “he found a good place to set up camp.” What is a good place to set up camp?  A place removed from danger. A flat place without rocks so you can sleep.
  3. You have to find a rock to sleep on. That rock is Jesus. Jacob was between blessings but had already been blessed. His father had already spoken a blessing over him but it hadn’t manifested yet. He had to sleep stuck between a rock and a hard place. It reminds me of what Jesus told a young disciple that said he would follow Jesus anywhere. He had to give him a rude awakening from his false expectations. “Birds have nests, foxes have holes, but the son of man has no where to lay his head.” Before Jesus even started his ministry he began in the desert where he fasted 40 days and he got so hungry that the devil tempted him to turn stones into bread. Our temptation is always to turn tempeh challenges into permanent means of survival.
  4. God will give you a vision in the middle of the desert. Jacob saw the angels ascending and descending with God at the top of the stairway. That tells me that when you are in the will of God that God is sending angels to see about you to bring down blessings and they are in constant rotation because they have to keep going back to replenish what they just brought down. God told Jacob that the ground that he was laying on would be his.
  5. God was here and I didn’t even know it. You have to take inventory of your inconveniences to see God’s activity.
  6. You have to do something after you wake up from the dream. A dream without an action plan will never turn into a vision. Hope is not a strategy.  Jacob built a monument or an altar for worship. He anointed the place where he would come back to worship. He made a promise to God that if he kept him that he would give him a tenth of everything he owned.
  7. He pulled up camp to finish the process. He went to Paddan-aram to find his family, his job, and his wife. You are not going to fulfill the vision for your life camping out in the place of your last revelation. You have to keep it moving.


Dear God,

Thank you for showing up in the desert. When my family dysfunction drove me away from what I was used to you met me in the in-between place. God thank you for showing me greater than my present predicament. Thank you for disconnecting me from the herd so that I could hear you clearly. God see me through my process so that I can achieve the promise.

I love you Father!

In Jesus’ Name,