From Dreams to Reality Pt III

Dreams are a creative picture of a future that given the state of our current situation, appear completely out of reach. 

They are the birthplace of all human creativity, a creativity that’s birthed and grows in our imagination.

To understand why dreams are so very important we need to go right back to the start of the bible.

There are two things that we find in Genesis 1 that we should all be aware of and allow to impact what it is that we’re believing for in our lives.

Even though they’re staring us right in the face we tend to brush over them way too quickly. To our detriment.

The first thing that we need to note is the creation of the physical universe from nothing. Funnily enough both science and the Bible agree that that’s how the universe started. It’s just that the Bible has a little bit more information to add as to what kicked it all off.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now here’s what’s really interesting about that statement.

Before anything came into existence the thought of it had to be present in God’s mind. He had a dream about something that didn’t currently exist.

Science itself is convinced that everything that is, was created out of nothing that was. They call it the big bang. We call it God’s first public address to all of creation.

How did He kick it all off? “Then God said, . . “ He released His dream through speech.

1) So point number 1 is that the very first thing we learn about God in the Bible is that He is extraordinarily creative. Creativity is the very first behaviour we see God demonstrating. The very first thing we see God doing is he creates something that wasn’t there before. 

God is the original dreamer, the original artist, the original creator, the original author. He started everything off and it all came from His imagination. The picture He created in His mind. The dream that He so clearly saw and then spoke into being.

2) When God created humankind, what did He do? What was His goal?

Genesis 1 says,

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.”

We’ve just had God create everything there is from nothing other than a picture He had in His imagination and then He creates human beings in His image stating His intention is that we would be just like Him. Wow!

What does that tell you about you?
If you’ve been created in the image of God to be like Him then what does that actually mean?
It means that every one of us has the God given creative ability to dream of things that have yet to happen and then see those dreams come to pass.

Okay, so how do I know which Dream I should pursue? 

We looked at that last time I spoke and saw that there are 4 types of dreams, evil dreams, selfish dreams, beneficial dreams, God dreams. Obviously we don’t want to be pursuing evil or selfish dreams.

At the end of my message I gave you a hint about what I was talking about today. 

The dream that has the most potential to do good in and through your life will revolve around 3 things

The Kingdom, Other people and your strengths and passion.

The Kingdom.

At the end of the sermon on the Mount, as Jesus is wrapping things up he finishes with a command and a promise.

Matthew 6:31-33

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

What is the Kingdom of God?

Kingdom of God, also called Kingdom Of Heaven, in Christianity, is the spiritual realm over which God reigns as king, or the fulfilment on Earth of God’s will.

So to seek God’s kingdom is to seek to see His will come to pass on the earth in the lives of people. The last time I spoke we looked at Jesus and how he came to do his Father’s will and what that looked like. As we saw, it always involved doing good to others, in the process showing God’s heart for fallen humanity. For God so loved the world that he gave . . .

Which brings us to the second part – Other People, not just you. A hallmark of a God given dream is that it will seek the very best for others and not just yourself. 

God’s kingdom isn’t made up of bricks and mortar or political power. It isn’t found in the outward trappings of wealth or prestige. It’s found in the lives of the people who have given their hearts to him. Its principles are demonstrated in the actions and daily choices that his followers make in the way they treat others, the good deeds that are a way of life for them.

A God dream will be motivated by the will of God, focused on others and given legs through our individual passion and abilities.
Which brings us to our Individual Passions and Abilities.

Your dream will always play to your strengths and passion because the way you’ve been put together will determine what you can do, or as Rick Warren puts it:

Form always proceeds function. 

Take a hammer for example. Whilst it can be used as a paint stirrer, it’s best used to pound in nails. When you look at the way it’s made it becomes obvious that it’s suited for certain things and not so suited for others. It has a handle and a lump of metal on the end that is flat on one side which perfectly fits the top of nails that need driving into a piece of wood. The added weight of the metal head makes the whole process much easier and the hardness of the steel ensures many happy hours spent whacking nails in before it needs to be replaced.

So what does that have to do with your dream? 
When you understand how you’ve been put together, you’ll have a much better idea of where to focus your attention and consequently what the outworking of your dream will look like. 

A question that I always ask myself when looking at raising up new leaders is, “What is working in their lives at the moment?” We all have strengths and abilities that naturally express themselves throughout our lives. Over time you can see a pattern emerging.

Now I just want to point out something that I believe needs to be said right about now. Whilst it’s important that we don’t undersell ourselves, it’s also important that we don’t over sell ourselves which is why the question, what’s working in my life right now is so important. I think we’ve all watched an audition for a singing show where the person auditioning thought they had a skill that they obviously didn’t. Over projecting can set us up for major disappointment in life and in some cases, cause us to doubt God’s care and love for us.

God will never expect from you something you were never created to deliver. So neither should you. It’s why comparison is such a deadly disease. We can go our entire lives feeling like a failure because we think we should be able to climb a tree as quickly as a monkey, failing to realise that fins and gills are best suited for moving through water. We’re all different and the only person you should be comparing yourself with, is yourself. That said, as you grow through life you may very well find yourself doing things in the future that right now, you couldn’t imagine yourself even attempting.

In Matthew 25 Jesus tells a story which illustrates a couple of points that I’d like to highlight this morning.

In verses 14 and 15 we pick the story up

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

Straightaway we notice something about the master. He knew his servants extremely well and gave them different levels of responsibility according to their ability. Remember what I said about comparison? It would be cruel of the master to require the same results from each of his servants when they were all at different levels, ability wise.

Now the first two servants immediately went and put their money to work and doubled it but the 3rd servant didn’t. He just went and dug a hole and buried it. We don’t know why he did that although he tried to come up with an excuse when his master asked him upon returning from his trip. 

But before that fateful conversation was had, the master called his first two servants to see what they’d been up to whilst he’d been away. Both of them had doubled the money they’d been given. Now remember, they’d been given different amounts at the start but listen to the masters words.

To the first he said,

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

And then to the second he said,

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

Do you notice something similar between the two statements of the master? They are exactly the same. 

Now this is a really important point. 

We can be deceived into thinking that unless the dream that I have is spectacular it won’t rate very highly in the eyes of God. 

Literature, movies, social media always seem to sing the praises of those who have achieved far more than their peers and we can be sucked into a false way of viewing how God measures our lives if we’re not careful. 

God doesn’t compare you with anyone else other than yourself. He knows what you’re capable of and He knows that when you pursue a dream that’s motivated by His expressed will, focused on others and given legs through your individual abilities and passion, you will live up to your potential every single time. 

But what about the 3rd servant? What response did he receive from the master after burying his silver in the ground and not putting it to work?

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

Those are words that none of us ever want to hear. Hidden in them though is a truth that many skip over. 

I have to admit that there’s a part of me that at times has felt a bit sorry for the 3rd servant. We don’t know much about him and he doesn’t come across particularly well when he tells his boss that he was a harsh man who had it easy, making others work for him. 

Hi statement flies in the face of what we know of the master. To understand the strengths of his servants so well as to be able to divide up his resources according to their ability tells us that he was invested in their success.

Now the bit that I find really interesting though is when the master said

“Why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.”

I find this interesting because it shows us a path forward when we don’t know what to do initially as we’re working through what it is we’re meant to do with our lives.

When you put money in the bank the bank takes your money and puts it to work and you receive some interest on it. Obviously the bank benefits more from the transaction but you do receive a kick back along the way.

How do you do that with your talent? 

You find someone who’s already doing something that resonates with you, and you help them do what they’re doing. You in effect make a deposit in their bank and whilst they’re enjoying the fruit of your talent you’re also gaining interest which you can lay at the feet of Jesus and in the interim you’re finding out what works best for you.

I didn’t become a Christian and then straight away become Senior Pastor of a church. I served others who were pastoring churches and running youth ministries for a total of 14 years. I sowed into their dream and gained some interest on my efforts and in the process worked out what it was that worked for me and also the things that didn’t. And it’s grown from there.

Let’s look at the last thought from Matthew 25

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

It doesn’t matter how much you start with. What matters is that you start. As you faithfully pursue your dream you will grow as God adds more and more to you. Every expert started off knowing nothing. Every dream starts off completely hidden from view – and then we speak it out, and then we live it out – and then the world sees it.

The tragedy is when we have seed in our hands that we never plant. 

When we do that we’re robbing the world and those closest to us of the good that only we can do.

Final thought.

Ephesians 2:10

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do.

God is on your side, He’s given you everything you need to grow. However you need to take the first step. No matter how much a parent wants their child to walk, there is nothing they can do except encourage their child to try because the child is the only one who can walk for themselves. You might think that God isn’t interested in you because He hasn’t worked in your life the way you think He should. But the truth of the matter is, there are times where He can’t do any more than he already has. He created you to be like Him, but if you don’t dream and then step out you’ll always be wondering what could have happened if you had.

Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
Published On: August 31st, 2021 / Categories: Sunday Sermon /