Do you have any crazy dreams about what life could be? Are you willing to let yourself think about change? Some of our dreams are naïve, some nothing more than fantasy. A few are downright wrong and deserve no more thought. There are nightmares- dreams that terrify. Then, there are those dreams that turn into vision which, when matched with action and resources, create a new reality! Most of us cannot imagine a world without a smartphone in our pocket, but a little more than a decade ago, they were just an idea.
In his most famous speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of a dream about something far more important than a tech device. He ‘saw’ a new kind of world. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. … I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” His dream, though partially fulfilled, is still yet to be fully realized in our nation.
On this final day of 2019, let me ask you again –
Do you allow yourself to dream? I say that we must dream or die.
Consider this word of God, spoken by Jeremiah to the Jews at one of the lowest points in their history. He was inspired to remind them that God calls us to hope. They are words for us! “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” (Jeremiah 33:2-3, NIV) The Message says it like this: “Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.”
Are you dreams God-sized? Are they God-honoring?
Are they worthy of prayer and investment of your precious time?
Too often our dreams are exclusively about a life of greater comfort, more money, or increased influence. We turn our dreams turn into schemes about how we can use God’s power to further our agenda.
It is not wrong to ask God for our needs, to share our heart’s desire with Him. He invites us to do that with confidence. James teaches us to “Tell God what you need.” We balance that with the fact that He is a Good Father, and He knows our need better than we do. By faith, we surrender to His will trusting that what He allows us to experience are ‘good and perfect’ gifts that shape us for His glory, which is our ultimate purpose for existence.
From personal experience I will tell you that your dreams and God’s plans do not always follow the same path. The decade that is closing today has brought me grief I could not have imagined as it began. My father, my mother, my wife, my brother, many friends – have died in this time. Ah, yes, death is a part of the life-cycle and I recognize that reality.
Then, too, in my pastoral work, I have experienced some wonderful moments with the people in my care, and I have known the worst disappointments of my entire ministry. Through it all, God has taught me to love Him and others more humbly and hopefully, with deeper faith.
The path I walked has been so far outside of my plans, I can say without exaggeration that it is beyond my wildest imagination. Most of us read that passage I quoted and we naturally think of “wondrous things” as fun, happy, and comfortable development. Disciple, God does have a plan for you and me! Our greatest joy is found in letting Him set the pace. He is a good God; not tame, not predictable, not bound to our limited perspective; but amazingly wonderful.
So, “since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25, NIV) When we invite the Spirit to take the reins, we begin to see the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy – “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” (2:28)
May our most compelling dreams be about knowing Him, loving Him, and making a difference for His kingdom as long we enjoy life on this earth.
Here’s a New Year’s blessing. Receive it as you pray for the faith to let God be God!
“I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:17-21, NLT)
Anything is possible, we were made to thrive!”
(Casting Crowns reminds us that God has good things prepared for us!)
Here in this worn and weary land
Where many a dream has died
Like a tree planted by the water
We will never run dry
So living water flowing through
God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls
With one desire
Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on high
Shine like the sun make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive
Into Your Word we’re digging deep
To know our Father’s heart
Into the world we’re reaching out
To show them who You are
Anything is possible
We were made to thrive
Mark Hall | Matthew West © 2014 Atlas Holdings (Admin. by Atlas Music Publishing)
Highly Combustible Music (Admin. by Atlas Music Publishing)
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