What does God use to speak His dream into your life?
- A Crisis: As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him… Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. (Acts 9:3,8)
This can be, like Paul, a crisis of faith; it can also be a crisis of health or conviction. It is usually unexpected, unwanted, and overwhelming.
How do I respond? In quietness, wait to hear from God and trusted counsel. I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)
- A Need: I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” (Nehemiah 1:1-3)
To find a need, like Nehemiah, ask questions and care.
How do I respond? Pray, fast, and mourn. Wait for the LORD to answer. When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:4)
- Training: “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them… Many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:10-11,17)
The Disciples spent 3 years with Christ.
First there is the CALL, then the TRAINING, requiring commitment, and maybe even sacrifice.
How do I respond? After the training…go. Go and make disciples of all the nations… Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Burning Bush: And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” (Exodus 3:2-3)
Moses’ was out pasturing his father-in-law’s flock, but the burning bush got his attention. God didn’t speak until Moses turned from what he was doing, to see what God was doing.
How do I respond? Make sure God introduces Himself from the burning bush experience. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. (Hebrews 12:2)
- Family Legacy: Do what the Lord your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses…If you do, he will keep the solemn promise he made to me that someone from our family will always be king of Israel. (1 Kings 2:3,4)
A Dream from the family Legacy can be a heavy responsibility.
How do I respond? Make sure of your own calling. A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. (Mathew 21-22)
- Personal Relationships: “My daughters, why don’t you return home? What good will it do you to go with me? Do you think I could have more sons for you to marry? (Ruth 1:11)
When relationships fade, the dream can fade.
For Naomi and her two daughters-in-law, all three had lost their husbands. Yet Ruth was sure her dream was inseparable from her relationship with Naomi. Ruth joined the lineage of Christ.
How do I respond? If you’re in a relationship with someone, and are looking to develop a dream with them, do everything you possibly can to ensure this is God’s intention. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. (Ruth 1:16)
- Cause: Come to see me as soon as you can. Demas loves the things of this world so much that he left me. (2 Timothy 4:9-10)
People who follow a cause can run hot and cold; come and go; and oftentimes leave when things get hard.
How do I respond? Consider the good and bad realities of: people; hard work; discouragement. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9)
- Other Peoples’ Actions: Jacob loved Joseph more than he did any of his other sons, and so Joseph’s brothers hated him and would not be friendly to him. (Genesis 37:3-4)
The result of this hatred was Joseph being thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, and being hauled off to Egypt. Sometimes life takes a turn for the worse, through no fault of your own. But it Is not what happens TO you, it’s what happens IN you.
How do I respond? Return love for hate. Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:19-20)
- Influence: Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die. (Esther 4:18)
Esther was willing to risk her life for the lives of her people. She knew she couldn’t do it alone, nor could she do it without God’s help.
How do I respond? Fast, pray, and act. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)
- Called: Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. (Mark 1:17-18)
As he walked along, he saw a tax collector, named Matthew, sitting in his office. He said to him, “Follow me.” Matthew got up and followed him. (Matthew 9:9)
How do I respond? We all have a calling from God. Do you know what it is? Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. (2 Peter 1:10)
© 2016 by Randy Carlson