We had an interesting conversation this week, Wednesday, at our early morning prayer meeting. The topic was: How are we to think about those times in our lives when we believe God is leading us in a particular direction, but then we seem to hit a dead end. When a dream like this dies, it can be a very disillusioning time in our walk with God.
Here are some insights, that came out of the discussion, about how to approach these times:
· It is possible that we got God’s guidance wrong. We should always check out this possibility with godly friends. Our painful experience can make us wiser about how to discern God’s will in the future.
· The fact that God called us to a step of faith doesn’t guarantee that our path will be easy or lead to the exact outcome we had envisioned. When God calls us to obedience, we are to be faithful. The results are up to Him. I remember once trying to get an outreach ministry off the ground. The outcome fell significantly below all my hopes and expectations. It was a disappointing experience since I believed God was guiding me to start the ministry. I took some comfort from believing that God had used the effort in some small way in people’s lives. (Who knows, maybe He may even planted a seed that will grow in the future.) But ultimately, we humans cannot know God’s sovereign plans. At these times, we must trust and obey and leave the results to God.
· Sometimes the death of a dream is God’s way of growing and preparing us. He uses the experience to move our confidence off of ourselves and on to Him. Someone illustrated this by using the picture of an old fashion dynamite wick. Once ignited, the flame burning on the wick like this would sputter and spark as it inched slowly toward the explosive. Some times the flame would seem to die altogether. Then after a few moments it would spring suddenly to life again before continuing along the line to cause the big bang. Our God-birthed dreams can be like that. God lets them die only to resurrect them again. When He does, we realize that we have seen Him do something only He can do, and our motives become purer and our faith becomes greater.
In our current series of messages, UNLEASHED, we have been learning to live in closer harmony with the Holy Spirit. Doing so leads to a wonderful adventure, but it can be mysterious at times. This is because we are dealing with a real being - our Heavenly Father who is also the sovereign of the universe - and with a dynamic situation filled with spiritual realities. God is honored when we have faith that He can do big things in this world. But we must always remember that God remains in charge. It is God we must ultimately hold on to, not our dreams.
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