In ‘part 1’ of this series, I discussed why I believed the church in our day, for the most part, has the tendency to be far more passive than active in the work of the Lord. With lukewarmness and indifference to the things of God being commonplace in much of our modern, westernized church, is it any wonder we have become ineffective in addressing the issues of our time and being ambassadors of love and healing?
I am of the persuasion that the primary reason Christians are without passion and without zeal is because they have no godly vision beyond themselves and their daily routine. The Bible says that where there is no vision or prophetic revelation, the people perish – Proverbs 29:18. This means that they are unrestrained, and this lack of restraint leads to their destruction.
Living the Dream
The world we live in tells us that we should all have a dream – and that we should dream big! ‘Shoot for the stars,’ they say. They use enticing works like, ‘You too could be famous.’ I’m sure that if you ask those who have made it to fame, they will tell you that it’s really not all that its cracked up to be.
While I do believe in the power of dreams and living life to the max, I have seen too many who have shipwrecked their lives and their faith in pursuit of their dreams. At the end of the day, unless they are birthed by God, what most of these dreams amount to is selfish pursuits that ultimately lead us away from seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Am I saying that we ought not to dream? Not at all. What I am saying is that we ought to be living out God’s dreams for our lives. If we believe that we are truly fearfully and wonderfully made, uniquely woven together with purpose and destiny, discovering that intrinsic destiny and purpose should be our greatest pursuit, and living it out our greatest joy!
1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” The realization that we are not our own – or more specifically, that we actually belong to another – is one of the foundational principles of our faith. It is our departure from this truth that has led to much of the confusion and apathy we see within the church today.
Finding the Dream
Many within the church today have no clear direction for their lives. They have nothing that challenges or invigorates their faith and gives them a sense of fulfillment and purpose beyond the mundane routines of managing work and family responsibilities. Many feel trapped within church programs that fill up their time, but are often more burdensome than life-giving.
The trap that such people often fall into is to hearken to the voice of the world, come up with a dream and pursue it with great self-effort. This in turn leaves them feeling even more disheartened and worn out.
Now this does not mean that there are not legitimate, God-breathed dreams that are burning in the hearts of His people. The thing I have noticed about such dreams, however, is that if they are of God, they are seldom accomplished in isolation.
The Bigger Dream
When God gives a man or a woman a divine dream or purpose, He surrounds them with people who are willing to lay down their own personal dreams to join with them in accomplishing what God wants to do. Their gifts, talents and anointing all work together to accomplish far more than one individual could ever accomplish on their own.
The pre-requisite to this, however, is that in order to embrace God’s dream – either directly or through serving the God-given dream of another – we need to do two things. The first thing we need to do is to abandon our own dreams and personal pursuits. Often these have been heavily invested in, making it a difficult thing to do, but there is no substitute for this step. The second thing is that we need to answer the call of God and submit to His dream for our lives.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
God is wanting entrance into our hearts and lives. He longs to reveal to us what was on His mind when He created us. What wonderful dreams and plans He has for our lives. The question is, will you open the door of your heart to Him? Will you say ‘yes’ to the Lord, or will you ignore the plea and continue to go the way you have been going; without a dream, without a vision for the kingdom, and without a cause that is greater than yourself ?
Saying ‘YES’ to the Dream
Will you continue to make excuse after excuse as to why you cannot commit, or will you allow a godly vision to grip your heart and mind and birth within you a zeal and a holy fire which no one can quench, not even the fiercest attacks of the devil?
When a dream from God becomes one with you and you become one with the dream, the dream will speak to you and guide you. It will inspire you to do things you have not done before and sacrifice all sorts of things in order to see the dream come to pass.
The dream will become the catalyst and the very reason you do what you do; it will consume you and others will come and see you burn for the King and His kingdom.
I would like to share with you the story of two Moravian men who answered ‘yes’ to the dream of God for their lives.
MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERINGS
Two young Moravians heard of an island in the West Indies where an atheist British owner had 2000 to 3000 slaves. And the owner had said, “No preacher, no clergyman, will ever stay on this island. If he’s shipwrecked we’ll keep him in a separate house until he has to leave, but he’s never going to talk to any of us about God, I’m through with all that nonsense.” Three thousand slaves from the jungles of Africa brought to an island in the Atlantic and there to live and die without hearing of Christ.
Several thousand black slaves toiled in the sugar cane fields under the burning sun. 3000 slaves were doomed to live and die without hearing of Christ.
Two young Germans in their 20’s from the Moravians sect heard about their plight. They [were willing to sell themselves] to the British planter for the standard price for a male slave [if necessary.]
The Moravian community from Herrenhut came to see the two lads off, who would never return again, having freely sold themselves into a lifetime of slavery. As a member of the slave community they would witness as Christians to the love of God.
Family members were emotional, weeping. Was their extreme sacrifice wise? Was it necessary? The housings had been cast off and were curled up on the pier. As the ship slipped away with the tide and the gap widened, the young men linked arms, raised their hands and shouted across the spreading gap, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.”
This became the call of Moravian missions. And this is our only reason for being…that the Lamb that was slain may receive the reward of His suffering!