The Impossible Dream

Monday

By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said.  Hebrews 11:11 MSG

We are born dreamers.

As children, we see that world around us and dream about being a part of it. We dream about what our place in the world will be, what we will do, and who we might become.

The dreams revolve around us and what it will mean for us if those dreams come true.

As we grow up, there are some dreams that hold onto us more than we hold onto them.

It is those dreams that feel devastating when they shatter and remain unfulfilled.

We put them in the realm of impossible.

When the Lord told Abraham that Sarah would give birth, she overheard it and laughed (Genesis 18:11).  She laughed not because she thought it was funny but because she thought it ludicrous. The dream of having children probably died when she was in her 60s or 70s.  She had accepted her barrenness.

My friend, God often challenges what you have already accepted.

He will speak a word to you that seems impossible.

Something that seems ludicrous.

Something that you gave up on and now He is asking you to pick up again.

He is asking you to dream again but this time to dream it differently.

How? By placing your hope not in what the dream will do for you but in what God wants to do through you.

God asked Sarah to dream again. She knew she could not make it happen, she already tried. But somewhere deep inside she chose to trust God to do the impossible.

My friend, put your hope in God today.

And when He calls you to dream again, say yes.

 

Headlong Into Worship

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“I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms-I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.”
Psalm 13:5,6 MSG

Instead of being caught up in worry today, throw yourself headlong into worshipping the Lord.

Shut off the TV.

Put on your favorite Worship Playlist or create one and lose yourself in it.

When you worry, you are focused on what if’s, what’s next and what is going to happen?

The shift from worry to worship is like being transported to another world. The tightness in your chest releases and opens up, faith floods in and overflows.

When you worship, you are focused on God’s faithfulness, goodness, and love.

The things you are worried about might not change but by changing your focus from worry to worship you will dramatically change how you experience them.

When David wrote this, he was in the middle of a battle. He had not seen the rescue or seen his prayers answered yet but he had decided he was tired of looking at the battle and looked up to God instead.

He decided to celebrate the coming rescue, fill his heart with the kind of overflowing gratitude that comes when you see the answer to your prayers. David just didn’t feel like waiting until he saw it- he wanted to celebrate the victory now.

You know what I love about God? He doesn’t mind when I decide to party prematurely. He doesn’t shake his finger at you and says, “You just need to wait until you see it with your eyes then you can celebrate”.

No, that is the world’s way. God’s way is to celebrate before the battle is won, say thank you before you get the gift and worship in the jail cell before you are released.

Because the battle has been won on the cross, the gifts are on their way and
the release has already been secured by Jesus himself.

It is time to break away from worry and break into worship, my friend.

To throw yourself headlong into the arms of Jesus and worship Him for all He has done, all He will do and most of all – for who He is. He is Lord, Savior, Redeemer and the Son of God.

What is your favorite worship song or album?

When was the last time you shut out the world, pumped up the volume and surrounded yourself in worship?

Make it happen right now.

I promise, you won’t regret it. 

 

Ready to Help

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Faith is trust.

Striving is not the solution.
Stressing out is not the solution.
Surrender is the solution.

Surrender yourself to God.
Surrender your situation to God.
Surrender your fears to God.

This isn’t about giving up but it is very much about giving over of yourself into God’s hands.

Not because you understand how God can work a miracle but by believing He can work a miracle.

Surrender is about trusting Him to be who He is your loving Father.

Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you, we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what.

Who or what can get to me?”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:5-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Surrender your fears and embrace faith in your loving heavenly Father who sent His Son to die for you so that He could have you for all of eternity. 

He is faithful.

He will not fail you.

He will not abandon you.

Your Father is here, ready to help.

What do you need help with today?

 

 

 

Trust God Today

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I want to encourage you today that no matter how dark the situation may seem, to trust God to do something about it anyway.

I want to challenge you to dare to trust Him in the desert. There IS a promised land and you are on your way to it.

“When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:17-18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

My prayer is that you will decide to live your life not based on what you can’t do but on what God can do through you.

Long before he saw the fruit of the promise, Abraham believed God.

Though everything in his life seemed to indicate otherwise, He lived his life, every day, not looking at the impossibility of the promise but in the possibility of God.

Because God initiated it, Abraham believed that God would fulfill it.

I am sure that there were times that Abraham barely believed. I know that there were days that he was only holding on to a bare thread of hope…but he held on.

God can do the impossible in you and through you.

Hold on.

Hold on, my friend, you may have only had a thread of hope but in Christ, that thread is stronger than what you face and will hold against that which you fear.

Through a Prison

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“In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel

Ephesians‬ ‭4:1‭ MSG‬‬

In light of this: God can do more than you can ask or imagine. 

In light of God’s ability, not your ability.

In light of God’s worthiness, not your worthiness.

In light of God’s power, not your power – RUN on the road God has called you to travel.

God has not called you to run on someone else’s road but your road. 

This is your journey, your family, your school, your job, your road. 

The road God has called you to travel has more to do with your character than your career- who He wants you to be rather than what he wants you to do for a living.

Paul’s road led him through prison but he did not see it as God’s failure but as an opportunity for God to use him where he was. He saw it as a part of his path.

Paul went to prison but did not stop there nor was he defined by it.

Paul’s identity was defined by his relationship to God through Jesus and by his passion to share that truth with everyone that crossed his path: guards, fellow prisoners, politicians and anyone else who God brought to him.

This is how you are to do it: anchor your identity in Jesus and share the good news of the gospel with every person who crosses your path. 

Who are the people you are surrounded by in your everyday life? 

This is who God wants to reach through you. This is who God wants to use you to encourage, love, and share the good news of the gospel with today.

Set your heart to love, your hands to serve and your feet to run your road empowered by God’s amazing grace. 

Take the Plunge

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“He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭MSG

There comes a point in life that your faith becomes stronger by facing the facts.  The facts being that human effort can not achieve the fulfillment of God’s promise. 

That thing that God has called you to? You can’t make it happen. You never could.

Once you really grasp this your faith is set free to rest in God alone.

To be who Jesus has created you to be you are going to have to let go of  “doing your best” and embrace “depending on God”.

This sets you free to shift your focus from yourself and your works to God and His works.

It shifts from giving yourself the glory of “today, I did a good job” or depression of ”I totally missed it” to giving God all the glory for all He has done and will do, instead.

God chose you. 

God chose you to be a partner in the promise but the lion’s share of strength, inspiration, motivation, and miracle is all God’s.

Your part is to receive, rest, wait, and give glory to God.

Your part is to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. 

My friend, don’t tiptoe around God’s promises today, dive into them.  Take the plunge and live fully persuaded. 

Take Possession​

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“See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”  ‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God keeps His promises.

It may take longer than you expect and look vastly different than you imagine but nonetheless, God keeps His promises.

God said, “See, I have given you this land.” Past Tense. Already Yours. Deed signed over.

This is your land. He gave it to the children of Isreal but He didn’t clear it of giants and opposition. He didn’t flatten the mountains or clear the forests.

Talk about a fixer-upper.

God didn’t remove the obstacles but He empowered His children to overcome them.

Sometimes we want the Lord to lead us to the promised land like we want to be chosen for “Dream Home” TV Show. We want God to come in, get a vision, tell us to take a vacation for a week and then come back and move into a brand new life.

We want Him to do all the work and give us the keys.

Jesus will lead you to your promised land. He will show it to you and give you a glimpse of what it could be.

He will tell you the truth- that it’s already yours, he paid for it on the cross.

But you are going to have to do the work, fight the battles and clear the land.

He will walk with you, renovate with you, fight with you, clear the land with you.

Jesus will empower you to do what you need to do when you need to do it.

Don’t hold back.
God keeps his promises.

New

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I like New Years. I like a day set aside to mark the ending of a time and the beginning of a another one. I am not as revved up by it as I usually am though and to tell the truth, I’m not sure why. I’m not going to make any New Years resolutions, or even unresolutions (things I want to stop doing). I am just going to keep on keeping on. Instead of adding new things to my list, I’m going to try to continue to finish the ones already there. I don’t want to add new things to my list, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a few He wants to add.

In fact, when I think about how God set up this world, I realize that He likes new things. He likes to create new things, inspire new things partner in new things, do new things. Just look around at the bare branches of the trees. The old is gone, the new will come in about four months. The winter vines of the vineyards that flank the freeways here are another reminder. They are bare, pruned and resting now. Soon new life will begin to grow. Grapes that never existed before will be brought into the world. On New Years Day , I went to visit a good friend of mine who just had a new baby. He is one month old and when I held him, I marveled in the miracle of a new life.

God has some new things he wants to do in me and through me this year. God has some new things He wants to do in you and through you too.

But don’t worry, it doesn’t start with a new thing to do. It starts with a new thing to receive. God’s mercy. God is faithful. He is your portion and the most important thing you need to do this year (before you do anything) is wait on Him (which looks a lot like resting in Him). Receive from God. Drink in His mercies, His compassion, His faithfulness like you drink your coffee (or tea) in the morning.

“Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are NEW every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV)

How are you feeling about this new year?