24 hours ago I stood in the pulpit and delivered a message that was about the gifts of the Spirit, about the ways that God, the Holy Spirit, empowers you and me. I asked a question repeatedly of the congregation – “What do you want to do for God, with God, to change one thing in your world?” I invited them to dream God-sized dreams. At a meeting that evening, I listened to Peter, the man who will be taking the position as our Head of school, talk about his vision for that place and I heard someone dreaming aloud.
Do you dream anymore? Share your dream, especially one involving significant change, and a common response will be something like this – “Get Real!” The world is full of people like Mr. Wonderful on “Shark Tank.” Ever watch that TV program? Entrepreneurs bring their dreams to the panel looking for partners and funding. Kevin O’Leary, a member of the Sharks, is frequently beyond critical, mean, making fun, predicting failure. Why does doubt, fear, and negativity come so easily to us? Why are faith, courage, and positive attitudes so scarce?
I want to take you to the story of a man with a God-sized dream- Moses. It was the divine time for the descendants of Abraham to return to Canaan, the Promised Land, after living in slavery in Egypt for 4 centuries. The tiny clan that went to Egypt to avoid starvation during a famine had grown. We are not sure but most likely their numbers exceeded a half million persons!
The Lord needed someone to lead them and he selected a man who was a former prince of Egypt, now a fugitive off ‘on the far side of the desert’ tending Jethro’s sheep. Moses had been there for 40 years. He had put his dreams away and settled down! God needed to get his attention and He did so with a desert shrub that appeared to be on fire but which was not actually burning up. When Moses went over to check it out, God spoke his name. He tells Moses that He is ready to move, that He has a plan, and then He says – “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10, NIV)
So now, go! Moses needed a lot of coaxing, offering excuses as to why he was not suited, why the task was too big, what was impossible. But, God told Him – “I will be with you.” It was the answer to all Moses’ objections. Interestingly, the Lord did not say, “All the problems are solved. The path is cleared. It’s a smooth road.” It wasn’t. Moses met opposition, disappointments, and hardships, but his anchor was the Presence of the Living God.
God is calling you, too! He says, “So now, go!” to your family, to your neighbors, to the people with whom you work, to your city, to the world. There are people to love that only you can reach. There is a something that needs to be done in a place that only you can fill. Nobody can love your kids like you do. So now, go. Let yourself dream God-sized dreams; not fantasies of escape, not silly dreams about riches or fame, but real visions of making God’s love real to others.
Stop stammering your excuses! Paul was inspired to tell us that “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!” (1 Corinthians 12:7, The Message) Decide to obey and a hundred voices will tell you why you cannot or should not do this. The enemy of God and good wants you to live an insignificant life safe on your living room couch letting day after day drift by.
I want to be all that He wants me to be, to do all He wants me to do, to risk it all for the glory of God. I know I will not always get it right. My history proves that too true. I know I am not perfect (I heard that loud “Amen!”) I know that I will fail for reasons that are sometimes my fault and sometimes beyond my comprehension. But I also know this – God is greater than my flaws, has promised to never leave me to fight alone, and has a rich reward in reserve for me when I finish the race obediently. The results are in His hands. Obedience is my responsibility!
Meditate on this passage today. Ask the Spirit to cause it to inspire you to respond with a ready, “Yes, Lord,” when He says, “So now, go!”
” Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Don’t forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I’m locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I’ll be able to make Christ plain as day to them. Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. ” (Colossians 4:2-6, The Message)
(a worship song and prayer at this link)
I’ve tried in vain a thousand ways
My fears to quell my hopes to raise
But what I need your word has said
Is ever only Jesus
You died you live you reign you plead
There’s love in all your words and deeds
This weary heart finds all it needs
In ever only Jesus
I want to know you Jesus my Lord
King of the Heavens king of my soul
I trade my treasure and all my rewards
Jesus to know you then know you more
Though some should curse me for your name
I have no fear I have no shame
You stand with me for all my days
My ever only Jesus
Like wave after wave on the ocean
Like all of the sand on the shore
Your beauty and glory are endless
O Jesus I must know you more
James Proctor | Jonny Robinson | Michael Farren | Rich Thompson© 2016 Farren Love And War Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music [DC Cook]))
Integrity’s Alleluia! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music [DC Cook]))
CCLI License # 810055