God is always willing to give us new dreams, new visions, a new sense of purpose and direction when we have been faithful to see the last fulfilled. He is always speaking giving direction. As we learned a few weeks ago we can hear from the Lord. As we listen, as he speaks we get direction that he wants to fulfill in us.
As I shared last week…
And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
There are things we all dream about, we hope for. From the big stuff…. house, happy marriage, kid’s college, happy kids, retirement, good health, new car, greater relationship with the Lord, changing the world….to the small stuff like… will I find the best price for gas, when will the next marvel movie come out, will I get a deer, (turkey, bear) this year, will I find shoes to match this????
God gives us dreams and visions so that we will not lose hope…. Solomon the second wisest man to ever live said this…
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
Last week we talked about Jacob and how sometimes people feel their dreams will not come about because they failed, they sinned, they blew it with God and/or man but when God gives a dream, he wants to see it fulfilled and his kindness will lead us to repentance.
How Joseph believed the dream despite his circumstances. God used the most unusual events and situations to fulfill his dream and train Joseph so he might be able to fulfill the dream
Maybe you aren’t in either of these situations with your dream. Maybe your dream is a hope deferred that is making your heart sick
Zechariah and Elizabeth – the deferred dream
A little Background Zechariah and Elizabeth were both of the priestly line, both descendants of Aaron. They were godly people but were old she was probably 25 – 30 and he was 45-50, very old for this day and age and pass the time of being able to have children (the life span was about 55). Every priestly order serves in the temple for two weeks out of the year and only a small portion of each order is chosen to serve, around 56, and of those only one is chosen to go into the holy of holies to offer incense….Zechariah was chosen
Luke 1: 6,7
Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
Some times when we are following the Lord, we believe we are doing everything right but still aren’t seeing the fulfillment of our dream. These two were the kindest, most loving, God-like people, yet the one dream they had was unfulfilled. To the community they looked as if they were a failure, something had to be wrong. Instead of whining, complaining, or giving up, instead of turning away from God, they kept turning to Him. They kept praying, asking, and thanking God for the fulfillment of their dream, their hearts desire, a child! How do we know?
Let’s take a look…
Luke 1: 11-13
While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.
The role of the priest in the temple was to intercede for the nation. To go to God on behalf of the people asking for forgiveness, guidance, protection and His presence. An angel appearing to the priest in his duties was unheard of. There are times you may put your dream aside to be there for others, to bring them love, help them understand the Father’s heart, minister to them physically. Zechariah was a righteous man so he took his service in the temple seriously. God honored that and his word..
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
Many times, when we are waiting on the Lord there may seem like a delay but there really isn’t. We must always remember if something is on our heart, know that it is on the Lord’s heart as well. He places the dreams in us and he will never let us down. The challenge for us is always trusting, His perfect timing and keeping a hopeful, loving heart.
God choose these two godly people for a very special gift…
14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his (John’s) birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
400 hundred years earlier, the Lord spoke through the prophet Malachi that a forerunner with the spirit of Elijah, would be born to lay the foundation for the Lord. Jesus was about to be born as well so God had prepared this godly couple. The wait was about Mary being old enough, the nation being ready, the Roman government being in the right position and the people’s hearts ready to receive God’s heart through this baby, John.
God gives dreams and he will fulfill them….how do we know it is a God dream? We learned how to listen to the Lord a couple weeks ago and we must also recognize, if you are a child of God you have the Holy Spirit leading you and He will lead you to keep pursuing God’s dream.
What happens if we see God’s dream fulfilled do we have any role in it from there?
Jacob and Joseph had to walk it out and look for the Lord’s leading every day. Zechariah and Elizabeth received their dream but they had to raise the child…King Solomon had a dream and it was a promise.
Solomon – a dream kept and lost
Back story – Solomon the second son of Bathsheba and David became King after the death of David. He was about 20 years old. He did not immediately make the changes in the culture God had wanted him to, but his heart was right in the sight of God, wanting to serve the Lord the best way he could. He went to a place to sacrifice, which is what the King did in order to hear from the Lord and align his heart with Him. This was beyond the tithe and regular offerings, and alms giving but something more as a sacrifice to the Lord.
1 Kings 3: 3-15
Solomon loved the LORD and followed all the decrees of his father, David, except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local places of worship. 4 The most important of these places of worship was at Gibeon, so the king went there and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings. 5 That night the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
6 Solomon replied, “You showed great and faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued to show this great and faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne.
7 “Now, O LORD my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. 8 And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! 9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—12 I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! 13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! 14 And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”
15 Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, where he sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings.
God Blessed Solomon in every way we could imagine. Because of Solomon’s dream, God’s promise, the nation, all of the people, and even the surrounding nations were blessed. God’s dream for Solomon as it was for Jacob, Joseph, Zachariah and Elizabeth was a promise. God gives dreams to bless us, use all of our gifts, bless all around us, and bless Him but if we choose to walk away from Him he can not continue to bless….
Solomon left the influence of godly men and women and went for the wisdom of the world. He began to worship at the feet of other God’s and follow their ways.
I hear people talk about God punishing them but what is really happening is we choose to walk out of the blessings of God. The most dangerous is when we make God into our image and when we choose to do things our way. People say God is restrictive but if he is he is restrictive in the same way a traffic light is restrictive only there to protect so we can be blessed. When we choose to say God will bless me and we are choosing to do things, live a lifestyle that we know is wrong we cant expect God’s blessing people say God wants me to pray, to read his word, attend church, to give, to use my talents and skills to serve him and touch the lives of others…no I can still serve God and not do those things…..it doesn’t take long until we find ourselves walking away from the Lord and then the blessings fall away.
God’s grace sustains us when we begin to fall and that can give a false hope. Thinking it is ok to not do things God’s way but it is only his grace and during that time, as he did with Solomon His kindness tries to lead us to repentance and if we repent, he pours out his love and strengthens us but if we continue to walk away He has no choice but to stop blessing us….as he had to do with Solomon.
1 Kings 11:9-11
The LORD was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the LORD’s command. 11 So now the LORD said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants.
God gives us all dreams to lead us to a place of blessing! He gives us dreams to fulfill us, and use all the gifts he has given us. He gives us dreams to bless those around us and to change the world.
God is not slow, His timing is always perfect and he will bless us all with dreams and the fulfillment of those dreams just because he loves us.
Please if you feel God is delayed, pray and ask him….As you are fulfilling the dream and God is blessing, stay close to God, remain in prayer, in the word, in fellowship…..God will fulfill His dream for you and it will bless you and those around you more than you could ever imagine.
Daniel 11:32b “…. but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits!”
Let’s start believing for the dream…..Let’s start dreaming…. Let’s start blessing others, the world around us and being blessed…..and we’ll start doing some great exploits!
Come and let us pray for you!