As followers of Jesus, we are ambassadors of heaven. We have been empowered and created to change our world, and the evidence of a Spirit-filled life is the ability to dream with God! In this message, Pastor John Stickl teaches us that dreaming with God is when we partner with Him to create a future that doesn’t exist. It’s working with God to see His kingdom come in the area of life we have been given to steward! Remember, we are made in the image and likeness of the ultimate Dreamer. So what are you dreaming about?
All right. Hey, everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek. We’re so glad that you are here with us today and what a great couple of weeks it has been around here.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, we got to celebrate baptisms and watch so many people say Jesus is Lord and they will follow. Then, last week, we had an amazing Easter service, experience, and encounter where so many people experienced the resurrected Jesus for the first time. There are so many people right now moving forward by faith, taking next steps, following God, trusting in Him. God is moving. I love the direction that we, as a church, are headed. There is something about watching other people move forward with God that creates a desire to move forward with God in my own life. And so, as all these people are moving around you, my question for you is, are you moving? Are you taking a next step? Have you moved forward by faith in some way, some shape, or some how? “For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’ Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation.”
Today is the day to get saved, to be set free, to be healed, to be delivered, to be made whole. Right now is the right time to move forward with God. Not some day. Not when I graduate. Not when the kids get out of the house. Not when I get married. Not when I get that job. Not when we get to the summer. Not when I get to next fall. Not when I get to college. No, no. Right now is the right time to move forward with God. Don’t miss what God is doing because He is moving. And for those of you who are giving and leading and serving and praying and creating culture, you’re planting and you’re watering and God is making it grow in front of your eyes. And there’s something about this season where God is moving amongst us as a people. He’s building our faith and He is teaching us that we are created for so much more. And so, we’ve been in the season just called the Hope Carrier Initiative where we’ve just been talking about what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus who lives on mission to change their world and He’s opening up our eyes and our minds.
And we’re just going to jump right back in. If you go all the way back to when Jesus started His ministry, He gets baptized. The heavens are tore open. He goes into the desert for 40 days. He comes back in the power of the Spirit, goes into the synagogue. They hand Him a scroll, and He opens it up to Isaiah, and He declares, “The spirit of the sovereign Lord is on Me because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” It’s like Jesus takes this prophecy and then He makes a declaration about Himself. He says, “This is my mission statement. This is why I’m here. The Lord has anointed Me to bring good news, to heal the brokenhearted, to bring people freedom, to release people from their darkness, to bring God’s grace into their life.”
And then, He went out and did it. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He cast out demons. He brought people into the kingdom of God, and He did this for them and He did it for you and me. And we know that this is His mission statement. We’re familiar with that, but we often forget the very next verse that it goes into. “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated. They will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” The question you have to ask is, who is the “they”? The “they,” is anyone who has been touched by Jesus. Anyone whose broken heart has been healed. Anyone who has been set free. Anyone who has had light to their darkness. Anyone who has received the grace of God. So, they – we, you – will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated. They – we, you – will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. And what this teaches us is that the moment you get touched by the life of Jesus, you become responsible for the city.
It’s not just an opportunity. It’s not just a privilege. It’s literally a responsibility that we, as the followers of Jesus, are now the rebuilders, the restorers, and the renewers of the city. And so, we’ve got to stop complaining about everything that’s happening around us and start realizing that we’re the ones who have been created and called to change it. A lot of us are just sitting around waiting for the world, for the government, for an educator, for a business to fix all the things that we see ruined and devastated around us. But while we’re waiting for the world to fix itself, the world is waiting for us to change them, because only we have been empowered with the authority to bring the restoration and the rebuilding of the places long devastated. And I get it. We look and we think, “Man, I can’t change the world.” You’re right, but you can change your world. And, “I can’t rebuild this city. It is so ruined.” You’re right. You can’t, but you can rebuild your part of the city.
Just like Nehemiah, everyone built the wall that was right in front of their house. If we all, just Valley Creek, would start rebuilding, restoring and renewing the things right in front of us, we would be amazed at the transformation we would see in this city. And this is the pattern you see all over Scripture. When Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount, the most famous sermon that’s ever been preached, He’s just talked about the kingdom of God. He has healed a bunch of sick people, set free a bunch of oppressed people. And then, He says, “Blessed are the poor, the meek, the hungry, the mourners, the persecuted.” Why? Because they now belong to the kingdom of God. And He goes right on to say, “You.” Then, who’s the “you”? Those who have been touched by Jesus, “are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.”
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.” In other words, once you get touched by the life of God, you become light to the world around you. When the life of God is in you, it literally becomes light to the world around you. The world is lost. The world is in darkness. The kingdom of darkness, it’s called. And when you’re lost and you’re in darkness, you can’t see. You don’t know who you are. You don’t know where you’re going. You don’t know what to do. You don’t know what is true, what is real, or what is good. And so, what Jesus is saying is, my life in you becomes light to them, to open their eyes so they might discover the way to go and the path to take, what is true, what is real, and what is good. And if you don’t let your light shine in the place that you go, in the spaces, your areas of life, then there is no light for those people who are in darkness.
And I love that it says, “When they see your good deeds, they will praise your Father in heaven.” Why won’t they praise you? Because it is so radically different to anything else they have ever seen that they realize it’s a divine life, not a worldly reality. Come on, “In Him,” in Jesus, “was life, and that life was the light of men.” Jesus’ life became light to you and me. Opened up our eyes that we might see in our lostness, in our darkness, the way forward, the path to take, who we are, who God was, what we were created to do, what was true, what was real, and what was good. And He has now sent you into the places you go, and the life of God within you becomes light to that lost spouse, light to that lost child, light to that lost friend or neighbor or co-worker, so they might see what is true, what is real, and what is good.
And when you start to understand this, it starts to change how you view your life. Come on, “But our citizenship is in heaven.” When you start to realize that the life of God in you is light to the world around you, you start to open up to this reality that I am a stranger in this world. I’m a foreigner. I’m an alien. I do not belong in this world. I am in it, but I am not of it. I have a different nature, a different origin, a different reality. I live in an entirely different realm than the world around me. I am a citizen of the kingdom of God. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” We’re God’s ambassadors. An ambassador is a representer, someone who has come to represent something, someone sent on behalf of someone else. And we have been sent as Jesus’ ambassadors to represent Jesus and His kingdom to the lost, lonely, and broken places around us.
In fact, if you can catch it, you’re like an undercover agent sent in behind enemy lines. That’s who you are. So, I’ve been trying to tell you on this graph for months now. You’re an undercover agent sent in behind enemy lines. Your job, your place, that’s not your identity. No, no, no. You’re a child of God, a citizen of the kingdom, an ambassador. So, your marriage might be your cover. That’s funny for some, it’s really serious for others. Your neighborhood might be your cover. Your classroom might be your cover. Your job might be your cover. Your team might be your cover. But make no mistake about it, you are an undercover agent sent in behind enemy lines as an ambassador of an entirely other realm. Now, think about this with me for a second. We’re an ambassador. Think about an ambassador. Let’s say, you are the American ambassador to North Korea.
So, you go to North Korea as a representative of America. And you live in an embassy, a place that has American sovereignty. And when you’re in North Korea as a representer of America, here’s my question for you. Are you going to live down to the North Korean way of life? Are you going to live down to their culture and their values and their language and their way of life and the way that they view things and the oppression that they live under? Are you going to live down to that oppression? No way. You’re going to live with American values and American freedom and American culture and American ideals as a way of demonstrating and declaring to the people around you that there is so much more freedom to experience. Okay. Well, if you wouldn’t live down to the North Korean way of life, then why do we, as citizens of heaven, live down to the world’s way of life?
If I’m an ambassador of heaven, then why on earth do I live down to the way the world does all this stuff? Why do I live down to the way the world does family? To the way the world does education? Why do I let the world determine the standard of what I’m going to do with my body and healthcare? Why do I live down to their way of business, their way of government, their way of arts and media? Why do I live down to how they view sports and technology? Why do I allow myself to live down to the standard of the way the world views the church when I’m actually the church? See, you have to understand that the world is an irrelevant standard in your life. I tell my kids this all the time. The world is an irrelevant standard, so don’t compare yourself to anybody else. Okay. You ready for this? Like, my kids know that I don’t care if everybody in the class gets a 100 and you get a 50 if you did your best. And I don’t care if everybody in the class got a 50 and you got a 95, but you didn’t even try.
Why? Because that’s an irrelevant standard. Some of you, you just kind of like, threw up in your mouth a little bit on that one. You’re like, “Whoa.” Think about this with me for a second, though. You can have a teacher that gives you an A and requires nothing of you. Or you can have a teacher that gives you a D, but requires your absolute best. Okay. Ready? Would you rather have an A with nothing required of you, or a D from someone who’s required your best? And if your answer is the A, you’ve allowed yourself to live down to the world’s standards. Listen, I tell my kids, I don’t care if no one else is going to practice. I don’t care if no one else is doing their homework. I don’t care if no one else tries. I don’t care if everyone is going to that party. I don’t care if everyone talks like that. I don’t care if everyone has this and does that and goes here and behaves like this and thinks like that.
I don’t care, it’s an irrelevant standard. What’s the standard? To live a life worthy of your calling. To do everything with all your heart as unto the Lord and to be shaped and molded into the image and likeness of Jesus. Okay. So, what’s the standard you measure your life against? Because make no mistake about it, you have a standard that you measure yourself against. It might be conscious. It might be subconscious. But you have a reference point, a measuring stick. Somehow, you have a way of evaluating your life, your finances, your sexuality, what’s healthy, what’s good, what I should do with my time, what work should look like. You have a way of measuring all that. The question is, is that measuring stick coming from the ideas and the images of the world, or the ideas and the images of heaven?
Why would you let yourself live down to the way the world does family? Because it’s pretty broken. Why would you live down to the way they do education? Why would you live down to the way they do business, the way the world views government? Why are we letting their ideas and images determine how we view our engagement with government? I mean, these are the kinds of questions we actually have to ask ourselves, because the ideas and images you see inundating you from the world around you are totally irrelevant if you understand you’re a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. You’re an ambassador. You don’t even belong in this world. Why then, therefore, would you live down to it? And what we do is we look at the standard of the world, and then as long as we’re a little bit better, we feel pretty good about ourselves. That’s called religious pride. It’s a form of godliness, but it has no power.
And a lot of us spend our lives celebrating ourselves for winning a race God never asked us to run. Or we spend our lives defeated for losing a race God never asked us to run. There is a race that the world is running. And it doesn’t matter if you win it or lose it, because it’s an irrelevant standard. You’ve not been invited into that race. But make no mistake about it. There is a race marked out for you. Let’s throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race that’s been marked out for us. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There is a way, there is truth, and there is life. It is just not the world’s way. It’s an irrelevant standard. Are you with me on this? Hey, some of you just, here’s the thing, stop trying to win or lose a race God never asked you to run. You would be amazed at how instantly free you would become.
Some of you are still thinking, but I wanted the A for not doing anything. I know. I know. That’s the problem. In all seriousness, that’s the problem. Because if I get an A, that’s better than getting the D. Is it? I’d rather have a D from someone who actually requires my best. Why? Because what’s the standard? To live a life worthy of your calling. To do things with all your heart is unto the Lord. To be shaped and molded into the image and likeness of Jesus. In fact, this is why Peter says, “I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world,” when was the last time you just stopped, and you’re like, “Bro, the reason I don’t fit in is because I’m an alien and a stranger around here.” So, for those of you that have heartburn all the time about not fitting in at school or at work, or even with your own family, you’re an alien and a stranger. You’re different. You’re different.
Jesus was different. They didn’t get Him. They called Him Beelzebub. They thought He was crazy. They couldn’t make sense of Jesus because He was so different. But make no mistake about it, Jesus wasn’t weird, creepy, or awkward. That’s what we think. You’re like, “Yeah, that person’s an alien and stranger because they’re weird and creepy and awkward.” No, that’s religious gobbledygook. Jesus had social intelligence, relational intelligence. He was kind. He was full of joy, but He loved His enemies. And He blessed those who cursed Him. And He forgave those who came against Him. And He had humility and sacrifice and generosity and joy and peace. Oh, that’s different. My question is, are you different in any way that the world around you notices? “Abstain from the sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.” Don’t live down to the way they do it.
“Live such good lives,” be so different, “among the world,” you’re supposed to be in the world but not of it, “that though they accuse you of doing wrong,” they’re not going to get it. They’re not all going to like it. Peter goes on to tell us later, if you’re going to live a godly life in this world, you’re going to be persecuted. He says it’s just part of the reality. Why? Because you’re an alien and a stranger and people don’t like things that they can’t control. People are afraid of things that don’t fit into their box. And if you have a divine nature as an ambassador of another realm, you don’t fit into their box and they can’t control you. But they will see your good deeds, and there it is again, glorify God, not you. Are you with me on this? I mean, do you know when Jesus calls the 12 disciples, He designates them, “apostles” is the word He uses. Heard that term, the 12 apostles of Jesus? Well, He picks a really interesting word. It was a Roman word in the day and it literally means “sent ones.”
And what would happen is the Roman emperor would take these people, and He would bring them in and He would commission them and send them to go and conquer a new space and then culturize it. And their job was to make it literally look and feel like Rome. Roman culture, Roman values, Roman language, Roman architecture, Roman creativity, Roman design, Roman way of life, so that if anyone came into that new place, they would literally think that they were in Rome. So, when He designates them apostles, “sent ones,” He’s saying, go and establish the kingdom wherever you are. So that when people get into the atmosphere or the aura of your life, they literally think they’re in heaven. Now, some of you are like, “I’m not one of the 12 apostles.” You’re right, but you’ve been sent by Jesus, “as the Father has sent Me, so, I am sending you to go and do the very things that I have been doing with the keys of the kingdom, with power and authority.”
But it’s really hard to go and speak a language you’re unfamiliar with. And it’s hard to represent someone you don’t have a relationship with. And it’s hard to be an ambassador of something that isn’t deeply in your own soul, which is why we keep saying you have to be a disciple before you can change your world. Are you with me on this? And when you get this, and it starts awakening in you, the very first thing that starts happening is you start dreaming with God about what His kingdom would look like in your space. The moment I awaken to the fact that I’m an alien, a stranger, a foreigner in this world, sent as a sent one to represent the kingdom of heaven, I start dreaming about what God’s kingdom would look like in my space, in the garden that He has invited me to tend. In fact, the first thing that really happens when you get saved is you start to dream.
“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.” Listen to me. People in bondage don’t dream. Slaves don’t dream. Captives don’t dream. You know who dreams? People who are free. People who are free, they dream with God. Think about Adam in the Garden. Oh, he dreamed. He dreamed about what him and God were going to do, what they were going to build and create and design and engineer and what they were going to call things and what was beyond the horizon and what the cities were going to look like and what the generations after him were going to be like. He dreamed about creating the future with God. And the reason he dreamed is because he was made in the image and likeness of the Dreamer. Do you realize everything good you have ever experienced in your life is God’s dream?
It’s all come from him. He’s a great dreamer, man. Giraffes, zebras, narwhals. Man, He can dream. Mountains, forests, oceans, the sun, the moon, the stars, the plants, the animals, you. He’s an amazing dreamer. And He put us in a garden. “And God blessed them, and said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it using all its vast resources in the service of God and men.'” God creates Adam and Eve, puts them in the Garden, and He says, “Dream.” This is how I want you to remember this verse. God says, “Dream.” He tells us what to do, “be fruitful and multiply,” but He doesn’t tell them how to do it. He says, “Look at all these resources I’ve given you. Dream with me. Dream with me. Let’s create the future together. Dream about what you’re going to create and design and engineer and build and look at this garden that I’ve entrusted you with.”
Now, how do you steward it? You steward something by dreaming about it. By dreaming about expanding it, and what it can be, and using it to its fullest potential. In fact, the parable of the talents where one guy gets one, one guy gets two, one guy gets five. The one guy with one was so afraid, he buried it in the ground. And what would have been the best way to steward it? Just dream about it. Dream about what God wants to do in the space that He has entrusted to you with His creativity and His passion and His vibrancy. Come on, are you with me on this? But Adam lost it. When he sinned, he lost the ability to dream, but then Jesus got it back for us. When the Holy Spirit is poured out in Acts 2, “In the last days,” right now, your life, “God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.'”
The evidence of a Spirit-filled life is dreaming dreams. If you want to know, am I really filled with the Holy Spirit? Just ask yourself this question. “I will pour out my Spirit, and you will dream dreams.” Evidence of a Spirit-filled life is the ability to dream with God. “Sons, daughters, young, old, all people,” that includes you. So, my question for you is, what are you dreaming about? Are you dreaming at all? What are you pondering and meditating on and thinking in your heart? What are you pursuing with your life’s energy? Because you were created to create the future with God. Now, let me define dream for you, so we don’t get lost. Here’s what dreaming with God is. Dreaming is the ability to see what can be in the midst of what is. Dreaming is the belief that there is more.
Dreaming is reaching into the future and pulling it into the present. It’s divine ideation, divine imagination, divine inspiration. Dreaming is creating a future that doesn’t currently exist. And here’s the most important, too. Dreaming is looking with the eyes of your heart at what God is doing, what God can do, and what God wants to do, and then aligning your life with it. Dreaming is seeing God’s kingdom come where His will is not currently done, and then using the gifts, passions, talents, and resources of your life to make that happen. Let me say that again. Dreaming is looking with the eyes of your heart, not your physical eyes, the eyes of your heart, at what God is doing, what God can do, and what God wants to do, and then aligning your life with it. Dreaming is the ability to see God’s kingdom come where His will is not currently done, and then using all the gifts, passions, talents, resources of your life to make that happen.
That’s dreaming. It’s literally looking at a walnut and being able to see a beautiful piece of furniture in it. Putting the walnut in the ground, it’s going to grow out over years, then we can harvest the tree and turn it into something. Dreaming is the ability to look at a little child and see the next generation of hope carriers through discipleship, shaping, forming, investment, development. Dreaming is the ability to look at a lost person and see the next generation of kingdom leader. Dreaming is having an idea and then turning it into a business. Dreaming is seeing a problem and then seeing the divine solution and going after it with everything that you’ve got. That’s what it looks like to dream. In fact, every person at every campus right now, if you’re engaging this in any way, you’re currently living in someone else’s dream. Every seat at every physical campus, including online, is someone else’s dream.
Why? Because someone else saw God’s kingdom come where His will wasn’t currently being done and they used the gifts, the passions, the talents, the resources of their life to make that happen. So, are you dreaming in a way that blesses other people? You with me on this? See, it’s really hard to dream when you’ve got chaos in here. It’s hard to dream about things out there when there’s chaos in here. I’ve got to be a disciple before I can change the world. And it’s really hard to dream out there when I’ve currently got unrepentant sin in here. Why? Because it’s hard to see God’s kingdom come out there when I don’t really want it to come in here. And it’s really hard to dream about out there when I’m not willing to steward what’s right in front of me. Why? Because I can’t dream about more if I won’t do what’s in front of me. The way we get access to what’s beyond us is by stewarding that which is right in front of us. You with me on this?
I know I’m going through like passion and then teaching and passion and teaching. So, just track with me on this because I want you to have an awakening. I asked a young man recently, I said, “Hey, tell me what you’re dreaming about.” He didn’t even hesitate, he looked back at me so fast and he said, “Oh, my dream is to own my own time.” I just sat there and I looked at that young adult and I thought, how sad. How sad. What a small dream. You see, if your dream is about you, if your dream is about owning your own time, your money, your vacation house, your hobby, your job, your success, your influence, your convenience, your way of life, I’m not telling you, you have a bad dream or a wrong dream. I’m telling you, you have a small dream. Why? Because you were made in the image and likeness of God, to rule and reign on this earth with Him.
The kingdom of heaven is within you. The Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead is in you. You have the mind of Christ, the Spirit of counsel, power, and authority. You have been given the responsibility for the city, and your dream is about owning your own time? What the world calls dreaming, the Bible would call selfishness. And this is the difference between dreaming and dreaming with God. Dreaming is: my good, my glory. Dreaming with God: the good of others and the glory of God. Now, don’t mishear me. If your dream is to have this big retirement account, great. So long as it’s attached to a bigger dream, like, I want to fund the kingdom and have time to make disciples. If your dream is to have this big social media following, that’s great. Just make sure it’s tied to a bigger dream, like, I want to use my voice to bring hope to people that don’t have it. If your dream is to build this big successful business, just make sure it’s not about you and your significance.
Make sure it’s tied to a bigger dream, like, I want to create a kingdom greenhouse in the city so people can experience the atmosphere of heaven. It’s got to be bigger than you. What kind of dream you got? And the question we have to ask ourselves then is, why do so few people dream with God? Because a lot of people dream. Why do so few people dream with God? Well, one is, I think we’ve been disappointed. Every person in this room, you’ve dreamed of something at some point in your life that hasn’t come to pass. And then, what we do is we let yesterday’s disappointments become tomorrow’s expectations. Listen, don’t let a disappointment of the past keep you from dreaming about the future. If dreaming is seeing God’s kingdom come where His will isn’t currently done, then maybe what you were dreaming about wasn’t God’s will. Maybe it wouldn’t have been good for you. Maybe you weren’t ready for it, or maybe God says it just wasn’t the time and it’s still to come.
So, if that’s you and it’s disappointment, take that to the Lord and let Him do some deep heart work within you. The second reason I think we don’t dream is because we think like the world. If we’re honest, we think like the world. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,” don’t think like them, “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Think like the kingdom. “Then,” and only then, “will you be able to test and approve what God’s will is.” It says, hey, we think like the world. And when you think like the world, you can’t see what God’s will is. Another translation says, “see and discern.” It is impossible to dream with God if I think like the world. Why? Because His ways and His thoughts and His word is so different than the world that I can’t see God’s will. I can’t see His kingdom come where His will is not currently done because what I see is the world’s will. And I’m looking for where the world’s will or my will isn’t done, and that’s what I go after. Well, that’s not dreaming with God. That’s dreaming with the world.
And so, you have to ask yourself this question again. If you think like the world, what ideas and images are you putting in your head? Listen to me. No one just sits around and like, meditates, like, humm, and then boom! There’s my dream. It’s ideas and images that get in our mind, in our heart, in our spirit, and then we start to think about them. We start to dwell on them. We then start to pursue them. Why? Because you don’t know what to dream about if you haven’t seen anything worthwhile of dreaming. And if you look at all of the devastation in this generation, I don’t have time to get into it, think about this. Why does it feel like it’s accelerating? Because the amount of ideas and images they’re seeing every single day that are of the world, so they start to think like the world, now they’re going to start to dream like the world. So, the question is, are you able to put that away and have the ideas and images of the kingdom?
So I can start to dream kingdom thoughts. Because I can’t dream with God if I think like the world. Okay? And then the last reason we don’t dream with God, I think, is because dreaming is hard. We hide apathy behind impossibility. We hide our spirit of apathy behind perceived impossibility. We look at something, we say, “That’s impossible. That’ll never happen. No one could ever do that.” When what we’re really saying is, “That’s a lot of hard work, and I’m not so sure I want to do it.” Listen, I know Disney says, “Wish upon a star and your dreams will come true.” Sad that we all know that, right? Okay, but the kingdom says, dream it, and then you got to go do it. There’s like, a hard work to it. Think of Noah. He dreamed with God about saving the world. He didn’t just wish upon a star and boom, there was a boat full of animals.
He spent decades cutting down trees, turning them into boards, assembling them together, wrangling up all these animals, and bringing them in. I mean, that’s a lot of hard work. Listen to me, dreaming without doing is fantasy. We dream with God and then we do it with God. This is why it says, “Now to him who is able to carry out his purpose and do superabundantly more than all we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us.” God wants to take you even beyond your best dream, but through “His power that is at work within us.” Which means you can’t do it without God and He won’t do it without you. I can’t do it without God. I need His grace and His power and His strength and He won’t do it without me. Why?
Because He’s given me a garden to rule and reign over and He won’t infringe upon my will that He’s entrusted me to rule and reign in this space. He’s waiting for me to dream with Him and submit and surrender it to Him and then use my body, my voice, my gifts, my resources to bring that thing to pass. Are you with me on this? See, I think a lot of us, we like the idea of a dream more than the dream itself. We like the idea of having a dream and talking about it, but we don’t like the dream itself, because the dream is very costly and it takes our time, our energies and our efforts to go and create something, to create a future that does not exist. That’s what dreaming with God looks like. And if you look throughout Scripture, you will find that the people of God dreamed with God, and then they did it with God. Moses dreamed about setting the people free, but then he went and confronted Pharaoh and led them for 40 years to get to The Promised Land.
Nehemiah dreamed about rebuilding a city, and then he traveled hundreds of miles and rebuilt, brick-by-brick, the entire wall around the city. Paul dreamed about the gospel to the ends of the earth, and then He got on boats and got shipwrecked and beaten and persecuted, like, he did it. Jesus dreamed about this, you. He didn’t wish upon a star and it happened. He took on humanity and He came to earth and He walked through everything and went to a cross and He did it, because His dream for you captivated His life. What’s the dream in your heart that’s captivating your life? See, I think if we’re honest, most of us aren’t even inspired by our own dream.
If your dream is about you, it might feel good, but I can promise you it’s not inspiring to you. Which is why so many of us get to this place in life where we just kind of settle and resign to the realities around us and complain about everything that shouldn’t be because we don’t have a dream that captivates our own life. And God is like, waiting for you. He’s like, whispering to you. He’s like, “Hey, like, I created you to dream.” What space are you in? What’s the garden that you steward? Where has God placed you? He’s like, “Let’s dream about that. Let’s just start there. We can dream beyond that in a minute, but let’s make sure we just start there and let’s create a better future together.” We have to learn how to dream in our spaces if we’re ever going to be hope carriers that change the world around us, and this is what hope carriers do. They’re disciples of Jesus. So they let Him shape and mold the standard and the realities of their life.
And then, they dream with Him about what His kingdom would look like in the spaces that He has placed them. I think God wants to awaken you and our church to a whole new dream, to a whole new way of being able to see God’s kingdom come where His will is not currently done and then using your life force, energy, thoughts, voice, resources to see His kingdom come and His will be done in that place where it’s not currently happening. And so, we’re about halfway through the dreaming talk.
Next week, we’ll finish the rest of it. And we’ll just trust and believe that in some way, God is trying to stir up an awakening in you. And maybe next week as we gather, come in with a little bit more thought, now that we’ve framed some perspective, about what is your dream? And what are you dreaming about? And what is the standard that you’ve aligned your life with? Because it’s impossible to be a hope carrier if you’re not dreaming about what God’s kingdom would look like flowing through your life into the world around you. So, close your eyes with me. What’s God want to say to you today?
I think the Holy Spirit wants to say, “Hey, I’ve been poured out and you can have as much of me as you want. And I will empower you to dream dreams. I will awaken you to a dream that’s worth having, to a dream that’s worth living.” And it is all centered around Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, the light of the world, the way, the truth and the life, the one who sets us free and empowers us to live as aliens and strangers, as ambassadors, as representatives of another realm in the world around us. You have a divine origin, a divine nature, a divine reality when you’re included in Christ.
And that should look so radically different than just being like everybody else, talking like everybody else, living like everybody else. In fact, I just declare over you today that your home is a kingdom embassy. I just want to speak that over some of you today. That your home, it hasn’t felt like it, but I just declare over you that your home is a kingdom embassy. It is a place that has the sovereignty of the rule and reign of God in that space where things are done in that home as they are in heaven. And it is a place where there are dreams and visions released over you and your family in Jesus’ name. So, Holy Spirit, awaken us to the more, to the beyond we can all hope or imagine, to Your power that is at work within us. We can’t do it without You, and You won’t do it without us.
That’s how much You believe in us and have empowered us. So, Lord, awaken us to that reality. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.