Monday, June 4, 2012

To Encourage and Pursue Your God Given Dreams Part 1.

I believe that God gives us dreams so that we will accomplish what He wants us to do. He gives us certain abilities, equipping us and planting within us a dream He wants us to pursue.
"Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes." Ephesians 3:20 (LB)
Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. What does it mean to ‘delight ourselves in the Lord’? It means to find our happiness in the Lord. We live to please Him and we want to follow His instructions. When we live with Him in mind He will be pleased and will give us the desires of our heart. That may sound overly simplistic but it’s the truth.
When I was seven or eight years old I watched my first National Geographic special and began looking at National Geographic magazines and I longed to see Africa. It wasn’t just the animals that intrigued me but it was the Masai warriors that captured my attention. They were so statuesque standing with their red robes wrapped around their bodies, looking out over the Masai Mara. When they danced, they jumped straight up in the air with their beaded necklaces bouncing off their chests. I knew then that I wanted to someday see them in person.
Over the years I never really thought about making a trip to Africa a reality. I had been many places and done many things and it was ok that I could enjoy Africa through books and National Geographic specials. But that wasn’t ok with God. He doesn’t deal in second best. He wants only the best for His children and He has promised in His Word that He will give us the desires of our hearts even when we have let the desire die.
Last year I was approached by a woman in our church and asked if I would let my name stand to be a chaperone for her daughter’s school trip to Africa. I thought there would never be a chance that I would be chosen since none of our kids had ever attended public school, so I said ‘oh sure as long as Alannah, (my daughter), can go too’.
Needless to say I was blown away when both of us were asked to go as chaperones to Africa to build a school. God had opened a door. In March I stood on African soil and because we serve a God of details, I stood with the warriors of the Masai tribe. How awesome is that?
Over the years God had been preparing me for this trip because He knew I would be making it even when I didn’t. He has given me leadership skills and organizational skills which helped me in the role of chaperone, but even more than those skills He has helped me learn to rely on Him and that is the greatest skill I will ever need no matter what I face.
I have studied His Word and I rely on verses and chapters such as Psalm 91 when I am afraid and when I am facing uncertainty I hold to Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” There is a verse in the Bible for every single thing you will ever face in your life so let me encourage you to prepare for your future now, for whatever door God may open for you, by reading the Word and standing on it.
What dreams do you have? What talents do you have? What things do you enjoy doing? What skills do you have to offer? Are you spending all these gifts on yourself or are you finding ways to use them for God, the One who gave them to you?
We can’t be a hoarder when it comes to what the Lord has blessed us with. Whatever talent or gift we have needs to be given over to the Lord for His use.
Elijah, the man of God, had been living by a brook and was being fed by ravens. Then the brook dried up and God told him to go to a city called Zarapeth and to find a widow woman who would feed him. Elijah found the widow woman and told her what God had said.

But when she looked at what was in her hand, it didn’t seem to be enough.

1 Kings 17:12-13  And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 
 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

Elijah said, "Do that which God said." The widow obeyed God .

I Kings 17:16 says " And the barrel of meal did not waste, neither did the cruse fail, according to the word of the Lord." 
Sometimes we feel like what we have to offer the Lord isn’t good enough or glamorous enough. Maybe we compare our talent or gift with someone else’s and we think we lack in comparison. Sometimes we know we have a gift but we refuse to use it. What would have happened if the widow  had hoarded that which was in her hand? 

They would have starved. But when they gave it to God, He multiplied it over and over.
God gave you your gift and your dream for a reason: to be used for Him. If you will give them for His service, He will bless you and help you achieve your dreams. 

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