From the Pastor From the Pastor: Dreaming God-Ordained Dreams

From the Pastor: Dreaming God-Ordained Dreams

As we begin our 2024 faith journey together, I want to talk briefly about the power of dreams—big, exciting, God-ordained dreams. So take a minute to think about what your dreams are:

  • A way of helping others?
  • Making a difference in our community?
  • A better job?
  • Peace and prosperity for your family?
  • More money?
  • A new ministry?

Now ask yourself—how does the way you see God affect the way you perceive your dreams?

The first point to get straight is in our theology—God’s grace is the foundation of our actions, not vice-versa. It’s not what we do and how well we do it that creates God’s favor toward us. No, it’s his favor toward us that enables us to live life to its full potential!

Of course, this is the exact opposite of what the world teaches us—it’s all up to us. We make things happen, and if we don’t, it’s because we aren’t doing well enough or working hard enough.

But this is what makes biblical faith different from what others believe and what makes Christian life the unique, beautiful thing that it is. By sheer grace and mercy, God transforms our lives—including our ambitions, hopes, and dreams—and turns them toward his will.

God baptizes our life ambitions. He doesn’t simply wash them up or scrub them a bit and then leave them the way he found them, but he baptizes them. Baptism means death. He allows them to die as they are (full of ourselves and our self-exalting plans), then brings them back to life in a resurrected form in line with his perfect will, and finally, he fulfills them (and us) according to his purpose and timing.

God has worked his plan for thousands of years and millions of people who came before us. It was as true for Moses as for Paul. It was true for St. Augustine, Martin Luther, C.S. Lewis, Mr. Rogers, Charles Colson, and many others we could name. We start out thinking that our plans and dreams are perfect and suitable for us; later, we find that even our best intentions can lead us astray, even to something wrong and degraded.

Since God wants to be intimately involved with our dreams and ambitions, we need to bring them to him first, asking him to transform them and fulfill them within his eternal purpose. What he doesn’t want from us is our cheesy, paltry little dreams that barely extend our borders. He wants our biggest, most comprehensive, and farthest-reaching ambitions that match his.

He wants these great dreams from all of us, young and old. No one ever really retires from God’s work. God expects us to start dreaming as early as possible and to keep dreaming and imagining what he could do through us up to the very day we depart from this world.

So dream recklessly.

Then, turn those dreams all over to God so that he can inspect, transform, and magnify them to match the size of his imagination.

And let’s not forget, thank God, it’s not totally up to us. What God intends to fulfill in our lives, he brings to pass in his own time and way. And what he commands, he gives.

I’ll leave you with one of our family’s favorite verses of the Bible:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21

Photo by Sven Haiges on Unsplash

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