Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Allowing Yourself to Dream

by Donna L. Watkins

Do you allow yourself to dream or have you given up hope? Without hope there is no way to have faith to bring dreams to pass. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." So if there is no hope, we can build no confidence in it for faith to bring it to pass. We need to get things from the mind realm deep within the heart where hope and faith operate. "For with the heart one believes" (Romans 10:10). To believe is faith.

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Otter Sculpture - 
Azalea Park, Summerville, SC
We need to put visual images to our God-given dreams. God's Word paints pictures in our imagination so that as we see and hope in them we begin to believe them. We have to believe that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him and add faith to our hearts, since without it, it is impossible to please our Father (Hebrews 11:6).

Consider Abraham. In Genesis 15, the Word of the Lord comes to Abram in a dream to make a covenant with him. God says, "Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." Abram doesn't sound very hopeful as he replies, "Oh Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, .... You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir." God tells him he is wrong, that his servant will not be his heir and that "no one but your very own issue shall be your heir."

Then God brings him out of the tent and says, "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them .... So shall your descendants be." He paints a picture for Abram to hold in his mind so that he can believe in his heart for this seemingly impossible promise. Later in Genesis 22, God tells him that he will make his offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven AND as the sand that is on the seashore. And we know that "if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29), so that promise has certainly come to pass.

What do we want to pass down to the generations after us? We can pass down blessings (hope and faith are two good ones), or we can pass down curses. Having no hope or faith to walk in daily would certainly be a curse to ourself and the generations after us. What kind of heritage do we want to establish? We may have all kinds of curses and generational sins in our family tree, but we can place the Cross of Christ between that and our own heritage because Christ's blood shed for us provides us with all spiritual blessings when we come under His covenant in Jesus.

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Hop To It by Kim Shaklee
53" bronze Southern Leopard Frog
Azalea Park, Summerville, SC

So, you don't believe what you believe or do is passed into the future generations? Consider Deuteronomy 30:19 where God tells us, "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." What we choose affects our children, our children's children and so on.

Do you remember the story of Gehazi, Elisha's servant? Elisha had just healed Naaman of leprosy and refused any and all gifts offered to him by Naaman. After Naaman left, greed entered into Gehazi who now had a chance to choose life or death. Gehazi made the wrong choice by chasing after Naaman with a lie that Elisha had changed his mind and wanted some of the money and clothes for two guests that had just arrived. He received even more than what he requested and returned to lie again to Elisha when questioned about where he had been. The consequences were that Gehazi ended up with leprosy that would affect all of his descendants forever.

We are designed to dream beautiful dreams that will bless us, others and all the generations in our family tree after us. I'm not talking about dreams of being rich, having a mansion filled with all the worldly delights, or being somebody important with a title that commands attention. Matthew 6:33 in basic English says to "let your first care be for His Kingdom and His righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition." Human nature is to slant our mind's focus toward the "all these other things." Tip: If you focus on that part of the verse when you meditate on this, your "first care" is not towards the Kingdom and righteousness.

Consider some of Henry David Thoreau's thoughts on riches, life and dreams:

• "That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest."
• "The cost of a thing is the amount, of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run."
• "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone."
• "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler."

If we are amongst the group of people who imagine a life of riches, ease and a multitude of things, the last statement will perplex us greatly. Thoreau says to go confidently in the direction of your dreams and to live the life you imagine .... but then for those who think the grandest dreams are about money and stuff, he finishes the statement by saying that as we simplify our life, the entire universe will be simpler.

Therein is something to ponder, as to what is truly important in this life and what types of dreams we should have. Jesus told us in Luke 12:15 to "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." After the parable of the rich man who built more barns to store up his abundance (think of Scrooge in The Christmas Carol), Jesus says he died and left it all behind. He adds, "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

So, if your dreams tend to focus on only you and you wonder why they are not coming true or your prayers are not being answered, maybe God is keeping you from a worse fate. We need to ask the Lord what He wants our dreams to be since as a Christian we are to have laid our own life down, desiring only to do His will as a disciple of Christ.

What are the dreams of God? That would be a great study for your daily time with God. We are all gifted differently and God created and designed us each on purpose to fulfill the plan He had for our lives before He even created the foundations of this world. Nothing else but that plan will truly fulfill our hearts and souls, and nothing else in the world will produce the true rewards of Heaven that we desire in knowing Him.

What will it cost you to not consider these things? Look again to one of Thoreau's quotes:  "The cost of a thing is the amount, of what I call life, which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run."

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1 comment:

Pet Urns said...

The post is really inspiring. It actually makes you think about your dreams and try to fill colors in it. Living life frugally is what I believe in more so whenever I reach a stage of stagnation, I live it to god to look after it.

Anna Taylor

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