Keeping the Sabbath?

In the midst of ten life rules – we call them the Ten Commandments – we read about “keeping the sabbath.” Let’s read it…

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Many have made this commandment into a legalistic nightmare. When I was growing up in a traditional, non-born again, church family we had separate rules for Sunday. Special clothes we wore to church. Special and fancy lunch in the dining room (only time we ate there), and no friends over to play and definitely no cards. 

A bit legalistic? Perhaps, but you should have known the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. They actually crunched the numbers on legalism, and came up with 1,521 things you couldn’t do on the Sabbath Day. That sounds like the title of a book no one would want to read.

Among the 1,521: no rescuing of drowning people; no wearing of false teeth (reinserting them, should they slip, would be work); no looking in the mirror (plucking a white hair, also work). If your friend grew ill, you could do certain things to forestall the illness, but actually trying to cure him — too much like work. At the beginning of a famous revolt, many Jews stood and let themselves be killed rather than risking work by defending themselves (1 Maccabees 2:29-38).

Men made a bureaucratic nightmare out of Sabbath-keeping, but it wasn’t what God wanted. This commandment shows a deep affection for us. The word sabbath means “rest.” God knows we grow weary in the cycle of work, so He established a day for us to regularly disengage from toil and refresh ourselves. God cares about both our labour and our leisure.

The Sabbath was also to be a day to turn from the material to the spiritual, to connect in a deeper way with God. Before Christ, people worked toward the Sabbath, resting on the last day of the week (Saturday). Since the Resurrection, we work from the Sabbath (Sunday), living in the power of the risen Christ. 

The early Christians began to worship on the first day of the week because that was the day on which Jesus rose from the dead (Mark 16:9). By the time we get to Act 20:7, we see the disciples coming together on “the first day of the week” to pray, break bread, and listen to the teaching of the Word of God. By the beginning of the second century, Christians universally understood that the Lord’s Day was to be on Sunday, the day after the Jewish Sabbath. And in AD 321, the Roman emperor Constantine, by royal edict, proclaimed Sunday a special day of worship throughout the entire Roman world. It is remarkable to realize that every Sunday from the day of Christ’s resurrection until today, somewhere in the world the church of Jesus Christ has come together to worship.

When I was growing up, Sunday was a special day. And, back then, even those who chose not to attend church still reserved a certain respect for Sunday and how the day should be treated.

We need to accept the wonderful gift of God’s day. We can do this by recognizing its special purpose: to honour Him by resting and reflecting on His goodness. As we do that, we’ll want to find ways to return the gift to Him with gratitude — through ministry, through worship, and through avoiding anything that makes Sunday just another day.

The two command here are to remember it and to keep it holy.

The story goes that when Africa was first being explored, native guides were taking their visitors through the region. After six days of pushing through the jungle, the natives refused to walk. They explained, “We need a day to let our souls catch up with our bodies.”

God has given you a gift to get your soul back in alignment. Will you accept it?

Consumed By Heaven 

Have you noticed that Christians do not talk about heaven anymore? We used to preach about it and sing about it in our churches. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I spoke about heaven. I do remember the last time I was asked a question about what heaven is going to be like and it was almost a decade ago.

Perhaps today we focus more on the present life because we are self-indulgent and lack vision. Just a thought. Or perhaps we are self-indulgent and lack vision because we don’t focus enough on heaven. Either way there’s a reason the Scriptures instruct, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). Our citizenship is in heaven, and our hearts should yearn for our true homeland. 

Some people don’t talk about heaven because they don’t like to think about death.Philosopher and theologian Dallas Willard tells the story of a woman who refused to take about life beyond death because she didn’t want her children to be disappointed if it turned out no afterlife existed. As Willard points out, if no afterlife exists, no one will have any consciousness with which to feel disappointment! On the other hand, if there is an afterlife, whoever enters that life unprepared may experience far worse than mere disappointment.

In an article in the Lakeland Ledger, Cary McMullen mulls over the abandonment of heaven by the contemporary pulpit: “Among mainline Protestants,” McMullen writes, “it was thought that speculation about the nature of a personal afterlife was anti-intellectual and belonged to the realm of red-faced, sawdust-floor evangelists. And too much talk of the next world might distract from efforts to relieve suffering in the present.” And it’s not only mainline Protestants; we hear little of heaven from Roman Catholics or evangelical preachers. Interestingly enough, the subject is more popular than ever with novelists and filmmakers. 

Most preachers have been approached by members of their church who questioned the point of focusing on heaven in this life. “We’ll have all of eternity to think about that,” they say. “Shouldn’t our focus be on making this life better?” And we have all heard people say, “If you’re too heavenly minded, you’re of no earthly good.” They figure that you can be so consumed with heaven’s golden streets that you neglect to fix the potholes on Main Street.

A. W. Tozer would beg to differ. He wrote that Christians of the mid-twentieth century had become so comfortable, so well-situated, that heaven held little appeal for them. Why live in hope of eternity, when you’ve got everything just the way you want it now?

In his book The Wonder of It All, seminary president and author Bryan Chapell tells the story of a young African seminary student who preached a sermon in a preaching class. His subject was the joy Christians will experience when Christ returns and ushers them into heaven. He, too, wondered if prosperity has caused us to neglect the reality of heaven:

“I have been in the United States for several months now. I have seen the great wealth that is here — the fine homes and cars and clothes. I have listened to many sermons in churches here, too. But I have yet to hear one sermon about heaven. Because everyone has so much in this country, no one preaches about heaven. People here do not seem to need it. In my country most people have very little, so we preach on heaven all the time. We know how much we need it.”

It seems that the more consumed we are with the love of the world, the less we will be consumed with the love of God represented by heaven. In his classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis explained: “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next … It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”

God’s love stirs my heart to care deeply about heaven — and yes, the thought of heaven energizes me to live in the current moment with deeper joy, as someone for whom the best is yet to come. The bottom line is this: God love you, and He wants to share all eternity with you. Christ has gone to prepare a special and lovely place where you can come and live with Him forever. It’s called heaven and we need to know as much about our future home so we can make our present home here on earth better than it is. 

Hyper-conquerors

God’s love is so amazing. It is constant and unfailing. And, amazingly, it is also triumphant. Not only will it endure all circumstance, it will overcome all circumstances: “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). We are not merely conquerors; we are more than conquerors. What can this mean?

The Greek word for “conquer” is hypernikao, a compound word made up of ‘hyper’ (“more, above, beyond”) and niko (“to conquer or prevail”). The term is a unique one, occurring nowhere in the Bible but this particular verse. It has no single-word counterpart in English, so we must cobble together two or three words to get the sense of what it means. Scholars have tried such phrases as “overwhelmingly conquerors” and “beyond conquering,” but my favourite by far is “more than conquerors.” Many of the more recent translations contain that familiar phrase. 

But let’s try another one: “hyper-conquerors.” If has a modern ring to it and suggests the idea of a new league of superheroes — “The Hyper-Conquerors”! I think I like it. Let’s try it out on what Paul is telling us:

    • In the midst of all these things that try to bring us down (tribulation, distress, persecution, you name it), we are hyper-conquerors.
    • When facing any problems that life can dish out — you are a hyper-conqueror.
    • In struggling with that problem you’re worrying about this very day, which is ____________ (fill in the blank), you are a hyper-conqueror.

The very term lifts our spirits and seems to infuse us with a ray of hope. But there’s more to being a hyper-conqueror than just emotional hype. If we were merely conquerors, we would have nothing to complain about. We would neutralize the forces that opposed us. We would prevail. But as more than conquerors, whatever comes against us actually ends up working in our favour. Every difficulty that challenges us finally serves to prove the love of God, from which nothing can separate us. When those evils lie in chaotic rubble, God’s love stands high and unfazed like an immoveable monolith.

How does this work in real life? Here’s a story that gives us the answer.

During his reign of terror, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini turned his war machine on Ethiopia and expelled all the Christian missionary there. Christians everywhere began praying immediately. The answer came in two waves: first, in the protection of the expelled missionaries; and second, in reopening the doors of Ethiopia to the Gospel after the military pride of Italy lay broken in the dust and Mussolini was executed by his own countrymen. 

But during the missionaries’ absence, the Word of God multiplied in Ethiopia, and the returning missionaries found a larger, stronger church than the one they left. One group, the United Presbyterian Mission, had only sixty believers when the missionaries were expelled. On their return, the sixty had grown to thirty churches with a membership of sixteen hundred! These believers were more than conquerors.

With God’s love holding us when evils attack, we don’t merely prevail; we turn every dramatic event to our advantage. We feed on adversity and grow stronger. The greater the problem, the more we gain wisdom, spiritual power, and maturity. That’s what it means to be a hyper-conqueror. 

Nothing is meaningless in the world of the believer. Everything has a purpose; and in a world ruled by a loving God, the purpose is always to use every encounter to shape us into the perfect image of our Lord. Every difficulty will be turned to our favour and help us to become “perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4). Or, in Paul’s words, to become more than conquerors. 

God Is At Work In Us and Sometimes It Hurts

Our loving Father’s ultimate goal for us is that we share in His holiness. This is not just holiness, mind you; this is God’s holiness. The Lord wants us to “be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). As the apostle Paul said, “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness” (I Thessalonians 4:7). The writer of the book of Hebrews states, “That we may be partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). 

To be holy means to be set apart for a special purpose. The story goes that Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo chose a block of marble and set it aside to sculpt an angel from it. His hammer and chisel pounded and scraped away until out of that dull cube of rock emerged a beautiful angel for the tomb of the pope. “My task,” he told his admirers, “is to look at a block of stone and see an angel. Then I carve away everything that is not the angel.”

That’s what God does with us. Since we are not insentient stone, the hammering and chiseling may hurt. But we are in the hands of the Master Artist, and we are His masterpiece. If we submit to His sculpting, we will see holiness emerge from the dullness of ordinary living as we are transformed chip by chip into the image of Christ.

For fallen creatures bent on going their our own way, hardship and holiness are inextricably linked. There are no shortcuts; it’s a slow and painful process. God chips and chips until an unworthy attitude crumbles away. He scrapes incessantly until a bad habit disappears. All the while He sees beyond these imperfections to the beauty He intends for us.

Not only do we see the old, sorry attributes falling away, we begin to know God as only discipline can reveal Him. You see, sculpting is a close, detailed, intimate process through which we can develop a fellowship with Him that makes any conceivable discomfort more than worth it. 

What is God chipping away in your life right now? 

Are you fighting Him and refusing to change and alter a part of your lifestyle (attitude, action, thought, approach to life) or are you submitting and allowing to do what only God can do regardless of the discomfort?

Where Is God? 

Same old story: Mom had two sons who were driving her crazy. She had read all the parenting books. She had tried every disciplinary strategy imaginable. Her kids weren’t children; they were uncontrollable force of nature.

One day she was bemoaning the situation in an over-the-fence conversation with a neighbour. Her friend said, “I took my son to the pastor, and he hasn’t given me a problem since.”

It didn’t should like much reason to get her hopes up, but Mom had tried everything else — what did she have to lose? She marched her two sons to the car and drove them to the church, where they had an appointment in the pastor’s office.

The clergyman worked like a good police detective: He separated the two suspects for interrogation. The younger one waited outside while the older one faced the somber, robed minister alone. Without so much as introducing himself, the pastor stared into the eyes of the frightened boy and began his interrogation with this thundering question: “Where is God?”

The boy was speechless.

The pastor repeated, “Where is God?”

The young lad looked away, searching the room as if the answer might be found on the shelves or in the framed picture. He still kept silent. The thunder sounded closer as the minister demanded for a third time, “Where is God?”

This time the boy leapt to his feet and fled the office. In the waiting room, he grabbed his brother and shouted, “Let’s get out of here! They’ve lost God and they’re trying to pin it on us!”

Have you ever lost God? Have you ever felt as if the folks at church have lost God somewhere? In my household, when something is lost, someone usually asks, “Where was the last place you had it? For many of us, maybe that’s the right question. Where was God when I lost Him? Where did I leave Him?

And as we reflect over these questions, we usually come to the conclusion that the last time we had God, there was a certain something in the air. There  was a feeling. There was an energy. Perhaps the right word is passion. Somewhere in the course of doing life, we lost the art of feeling God. The passion drained away, and the emptiness became palpable.

The idea of losing God is a terrible one. As a young believer, I was given a copy of a remarkable book called Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. I remember writing out the statement that seemed to be the very secret promised by the title. Hudson Taylor wrote: “I saw Him, and I sought Him, and I had Him, and I wanted Him.”

Those fifteen words carry the whole story. All the ingredients of the conquest of life are held in those four clauses — to see, to seek, to have, and to want. That last part addresses this issue of losing God — will we keep wanting Him once we’ve found Him?

Isn’t that what losing our spiritual passion is all about: losing our desire for God? And, how can we explain the idea of not wanting God? How can we acknowledge such an awful truth?

A.W. Tozer wrote that the great people of the Bible and Christian history have had an insatiable hunger for God. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with so many of us He waits so very long in vain.”

Here’s my point: Desire for God is that spark that can ignite into flame (passion) or, when untended, fizzle into ashes. As we grow in the Christian life, we understand more and more that it’s a fire that must be fed. Coming to know God and realizing that He wants to be wanted does make the flames (passion) leap within us. Think about the first time you fell in love and the object of your affection loved you back. There were two elements: your wanting and the other person’s wanting to be wanted by you. It makes a world of difference, doesn’t it? If you find that your feelings are not cherished, neither will your love last.

In the same way, we come to a place where we not only desire God but feel His pleasure. His yearning for us. Every one of us wants to be wanted by someone. As a result, there is no heart in this world that will not be touched by the realization of being wanted and cherished by the Creator of the universe. It feeds the fire of our passion, and we want him all the more.

If you have lost God, turn around as He is right there. He wants to be wanted! Ask Him to rekindle your love and your passion for Him. That, is a prayer that He will answer immediately. Guaranteed. 

McDonald’s in Cardiff, Wales

You might say that Luke Pittard relished his job at McDonal’s in Cardiff, Wales. But he walked away from it after winning the UK National Lottery. After all, he was an overnight millionaire.

Luke celebrated his good fortune by marrying his girlfriend, Emma, also a McDonald’s employee. They bought a house and took a long holiday in the Canary Islands. But after returning to Wales, Luke was bored. “To be honest,” he said, “there’s only so much relaxing you can do. I’m … young, and a bit of hard work never did anyone any harm.”

Luke asked for his old job back, and now you can find him flipping hamburgers again at McDonald’s. He makes more money from the interest on his winnings than at the restaurant, but he feels a natural need to work and to be with friends and coworkers. “They all think I’m a bit mad but I tell them there’s more to life than money,” he says. 

Emma added, “I can totally understand it. We both really enjoyed working at McDonald’s and still have good friends there. So it was very familiar for him and something for him to look forward to.”

We all need a break now and then, but we don’t need an endless holiday. Instead, what we need is meaningful work, close friends, and something to look forward to. Those facts will never change, not in this life and not in heaven!

When you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, you’re wealthier than the winner of the richest lottery. Remember — much of our treasure is ahead of us in heaven. But many people are afraid they’ll be bored there. It’s remarkable how many people — even Christians —  harbour mixed feelings along these lines. They ask: “What if I get to heaven and I’m bored? After all, there’s only so much relaxing I can do. What if I miss my friends? What if I long for the kind of activity that enriched my life on earth?”

Don’t worry, God is not boring!

Heaven won’t bore you; it will bring fulfillment and celebration! All your dreaming, praying, focusing, risk-taking, and investing — all your growth and maturing that you went through on earth, all your forward momentum — is a prelude to greater service, happier work, and richer fulfillment in your heavenly home. God’s children are always moving forward, even as they depart earth. 

We need to be looking forward to our new home in heaven. The apostle Peter said something important about this. Notice the words in italics, for they reveal the attitude we should have about heaven:

“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”

Three times Peter told us to look forward, to anticipate what God has for us in the future: the return of Christ, the creation of the new heaven and the new earth, and our eternal home in heaven. Our anticipation empowers us to live holy, godly, and purposeful lives in this present age. 

Just a thought!

Just Do Something!

Did you know that showing compassion has measurable therapeutic value for our lives? Doing good for others does good for us. One of the benefits of showing compassion to others is that it reverses the destructive process of self-absorption, moves us into the healthy arena of seeing the need of others, and ultimately opens us up to the reality of God and His destiny for us.

William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, was passionate about showing compassion, especially for the downtrodden of the London slums. One day his son Bramwell entered the room early and found his father furiously brushing his hair, brushes in both hands, as he frantically finished dressing for the day. No time for “Good Morning”; Booth looked at his son and cried, “Bramwell! Did you know there are men sleeping outdoors all night under the bridges?” He’d been in London late the preceding night, and this had been a shocking sight on his way home.

“Well, yes,” said Bramwell. “A lot of poor fellows, I suppose.”

“Then you ought to be ashamed of yourself for having known it and done nothing for them,” answered William Booth,

Bramwell began constructing elaborate excuses. He could never add such a complex project to all the things he had going on in his life, which he now began to name. His plate was full.

His father simply barked, “Go and do something!”

That moment of resolve and compassion was the beginning of the Salvation Army Shelters, a special ministry that changed the lives of hundreds of homeless men during the early days of the Salvation Army work in London.

Have you ever had a Booth moment, when suddenly you saw some person or situation through God’s eyes and developed a fiery determination to see it change?

That is almost always the start of an amazing adventure with the Lord as you move forward out of self-centredness and begin to respond with compassion and meet the needs of others. Reminds me of an old saying I heard when first saved: “Find a need and meet it!” 

So many believers sit and wonder what the Lord has called them to do. They want to know what their ministry is. It’s simple: “Find a need and meet it.” In doing so the Lord can then direct you and reveal to you your unique calling and personal ministry. Just sitting and waiting for a revelation does not work. It is much easier to steer a moving car than a car that is parked. So, “find a need and meet it” will get you moving and then God will steer and reveal. 

Good advice: “Go and do something!”

In the Middle Of Adversity

A certain tribe of Native Americans had a special rite of passage for training young braves. On one boy’s thirteenth birthday he was blindfolded and taken deep into the forest, where he was left to fend off the terrors of the night.

The young man had never been apart from his family until now. He had learned of all the dangerous creatures and of the danger of becoming lost forever in the labyrinth of untamed vegetation. But now it was his role to show his courage.

When he took off his blindfold, he found himself alone under the moon and the stars. The darkness and solitude magnified every sound, infusing every snap of a twig with foreboding possibilities. Could a wolf be stealthily drawing near? Or maybe a poisonous snake, coiling itself in the branches above? He wondered in the privileges of adulthood were worth such a trial.

After a moonlit eternity the first rays of sunlight broke through the thick green canopy above him. He began to see flowers, trees, and finally a forest pathway. Looking a bit farther, he was jolted by the sight of a fierce warrior only a few feet away, bow and arrow at the ready. It was his father. He had silently kept watch through the night.

A reminder that when you are having a hard time and traveling through adversity and rough waters that your heavenly Father is right there with you. You might not see Him or even feel His presence but He is there nonetheless. He promised He would never leave us not forsake us. And, I believe that. He is there in the midst of the storm to protect us and see that we get through whatever it is we are facing.

Life can bring us to dark and foreboding places — lonely places in which we feel isolated and maybe desolate. Yet there is always Someone keeping watch. Why doesn’t He speak? Why doesn’t He disclose His presence so that we might relax? He keeps His slience because otherwise we would not learn the lessons we need to learn from the test or trial. And, we would not learn to be courageous. We would not build trust.

The trials and the dark tough times that bring us into maturity are often terrifying or even painful. But who wants to remain a child forever? Not me! I want to be a fully grown, mature disciple of the Lord. I want the traits He wishes to install in me through His perfect love — traits that will be evident only if I trust Him, even when I can neither see Him nor feel His loving hand. 

Do You Really Believe God Loves You?

In his book With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God, Skye Jethani tells of his meetings with college students from the House of Despair, an “underground safehouse” for those struggling with the difficult issues of life and faith.
 
Around their Christian campus, these students were known for numbing their pain with alcohol, drugs, sex, and, most curiously, raw conversation. When they met with Jethani, he insisted that they recognize only three rules: be honest, be gracious, and be present. Their range of subjects had no limits. One week it might be the doctrine of hell; the next about the pressure to find a spouse.
 
One night the subject was destructive habits. One student told his story, which turned out to be typical of many: “My parents were students at a Christian college in the early 90’s when a revival broke out … A bunch of grads that year became missionaries and pastors. They were on fire for God. And here I am consumed by sin day after day. I don’t feel like I’m suppose to be here. I know I’m not who God wants me to be.” Other students shared similar stories, often through tears, about how disappointed God must be with them.
 
After listening to these stories, Jethani asked, “How many of you were raised in a Christian home?
 
They all raised their hands.
 
“How many of you grew up in a Bible-centered church?”
 
All hands stayed up.
 
“This in incredible!” Jethani said, shaking his head in disbelief. “You’ve all spent eighteen or twenty years in the church. You’ve been taught the Bible from the time you could crawl … but not one of you … said that in the midst of your sin God still loves you.”
 
Jethani concluded: “I did not blame the students for this failure. Somewhere in their spiritual formation they were taught, either explicitly or implicitly, that what mattered was not God’s love for them, but how much they could accomplish for Him. That night I finally understood why they called it the House of Despair.”
 
The real issue for you today: How deeply do you believe that God loves you? And that is love for you is unconditional – not dependent on what you have done, are doing, or who you have become at this point in your life?

Walt Disney’s Dreams

When you think of great dreamers, we think of people like George Lucas, Elon Musk, or Walt Disney. Anyone who’s seen a Star Wars movie, read about electric cars, or visited Disney World knows that great accomplishments begin with one person’s larger-than-life imagination.

Walt Disney’s dream began with cartoon sketches, two failed companies, and a borrowed book on animation. In time, he brought beloved characters to life, created classic films, and built Disney World, Disneyland, and Epcot. He created “the happiest place on earth” and because known as the man who made dreams come true.

Disney’s public persona was “Uncle Walt,” a smiling man who kindly signed autographs in a tweed jacket while puttering down Main Street in a fringe-topped car driven by Mickey Mouse. But behind the scenes, the real Walt Disney was a demanding, hard-charging man of a million ideas who exasperated family and colleagues. His life was a whirlwind of visionary projects that exhausted his associates and changed our world.

When Disney was diagnosed with lung cancer, he was still planning movies, developing theme parks, and mulling over his newest idea — an “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” or EPCOT. As he lay on his deathbed with his brother Roy sitting nearby, Walt looked up at the hospital ceiling tiles, raised his finger, and traced his plans for Epcot by pointing to them. Every fourth tile represented a square mile, he told his brother. Using that mental map, he suggested routes for his envisioned highways and monorails.

Having said al that, I believe Walt Disney’s dreams were too small. Believe it or not, you and I can dream bigger dreams than Disney ever conceived. It’s one thing to invest one’s life in a magic kingdom but quite another to play a part in the Kingdom of God. As followers of Christ, we can cultivate a dream for our lives that outlasts the world, transforms time, changes eternity, and advances His cause and His Kingdom for His glory. 

In fact, that’s the story of the Bible. The Bible is filled with people who saw what life could look like in God’s Kingdom and then moved forward in faith. Abraham dreamed of a great nation when he was yet childless. Moses envisioned a free people when the Israelites were still making bricks without straw. Joshua envisioned an occupied land, Samson, a defeated enemy; David, a temple on a hill. Nehemiah built miles of reconstructed walls in his prayers before a single stone was laid. Daniel glimpsed a future kingdom; Peter, an established church; Paul, a global mission. 

All these stories — the dreams of men and women of God thousands of years ago — still inspire, guide, and affect us more than we know. And they remind us God wants to do the same with you and me. The Lord’s dreams for us are just as real and all we have to do is ask Him to reveal His plan and purpose for our life, grab hold of the dream, and then step out in faith believing.