Monday, February 9, 2009

Keep Dreaming the Dream

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay" Habakkuk 2:3 NIV

Who among us has not believed God has promised us something but it didn't come in our timing? Was it the perfect job? The spouse we longed for? The child we seemingly would never conceive? As I was reading Habakkuk 2:3 it made me think about how I question God's faithfulness to complete what He has promised. I even begin to view His promises as impossible or past the point of being capable of fulfillment.

Think of Jacob, and the years that he believed Joseph was dead. God had promised him that 12 nations would be born from him, but then he seemingly was reduced to 11 sons. Joseph, the first-born of his beloved wife Rachel, had perished and with him the dream that the vision God had given could be fulfilled. God had forgotten him. God had not deemed him worthy to fulfill the promise given to him.

Isn't that how we feel when things don't work out the way we believe they should? Our thought process goes through a litany of questions and possibilities: 'Was the promise from God in the first place? Did I do something to lose the promise, did I prove myself unworthy? Did I miss the promise and now it's gone forever?' Then our thoughts move on to things like: 'I feel so stupid for thinking I could accomplish that. I could never be in that position. That would never happen for me.' How many times have these thoughts swirled around in your head when things didn't work out in the time frame we believed they should? I know I have gone there.

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time, it speaks of the end and will not prove false.' This verse reminds me that it is God who is faithful to the vision He has given me. Jacob waited about 22 years before finding out that Joseph was really alive and that all the time God was positioning things for the success of the vision HE had given. God was working behind the scenes, moving things into position so that success and life would flow from the fulfilled vision.

I must remind myself often that the dreams God gives are not solely dependant on my abilities. God has created me for a purpose, HE has given me dreams, HE created me to live out those dreams. When I dwell on what has not come to pass I begin to not live life to the fullest. I forget the joy that goes along with the dream. I forget that it is HIM that makes me worthy. I forget that HE plans for me to succeed.

God's vision for my life will not prove false. I must remind myself that God has plans to prosper me, plans to give me a hope and a future. I must wait on the LORD, and I must keep seeing the dreams HE has given me. When I spend time in the King's presence my hope is renewed, my strength is renewed, and I realize that waiting on His perfect plan will be worth it all.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Monday, February 2, 2009

As You Head Off to the War...

"It started out as a feeling,
Which then grew into a hope,
Which then turned into a quiet thought,
Which then turned into a quiet word

And then that word grew louder and louder
Til it was a battle cry
I'll come back when you call me
No need to say goodbye

Just because everything's changing
Doesn't mean it's never
Been this way before
All you can do is try to know
Who your friends are
As you head off to the war "
- Regina Spektor, The Call

These lyrics from "The Call" are from the movie Prince Caspian. They made me think about the call that we have as Christians and the confidence we are given in our Saviour's faithfulness. Our faith is much like the progression in these lyrics, from the birth of hope to walking that hope out. We read God's word, we spend time in His presence, we feel His hope and our lives begin to radiate that hope. As we allow that hope to grow, our thoughts form to His and He plants seeds of faith, seeds of His purpose for our lives, seeds of life. As we allow those Godly thoughts to grow, as we hope in Him, we speak words of faith. Now once we come to the point of speaking out the Word of God, speaking words of faith, we are entering into war with the enemy.

Our words are powerful, our words can shape our lives and the lives of those around us for the better or for the worse. We can build up, or we can tear down. When we speak words of faith, those planted in us from God's word, from the heart of God, we are speaking out His destiny for our lives. Does your life ever feel like it's a battle? Mine does, especially when I set out to do the thing I believe the Lord is calling me to do. But it's that hope, that faith that resonates inside and propels me to push forward.

Who is with us as we go into this battle? We have to know that God is with us, all we have to do is say the word and He is there. He never leaves us or forsakes us. The second is that there are others heading out into this war with us. God gives us relationships that we are to nurture so that we build each other up and war for each other as we walk through this life. I am so thankful for the friends God has put into my life, we build each other up, when one is weary of the battle, another encourages and keeps our focus strong. We remind each other of where our hope lies, which is something we can forget if we isolate ourselves.

The life we are living is not mere coincidence - we have a call and a purpose. Recall those that have lived lives of faith before us, those who have had great impact in this world for the Kingdom of God, they lived lives of victory, but if they had victory, it means there was a contest to be won. Many times we only hear of accomplishments that people make in this life, but we have to realize that there was a journey toward those accomplishments. God gives us the tools to use, His word, His presence, relationships with each other. We are to use them all, we are to build each other up, we are to develop relationships - with God and with people. "All you can do is try to know who your friends are as you head off to the war..."

Our God is faithful. Our purpose is sure. Our victory is already won.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up." - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10