Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Daydreams

This week I enjoyed the OARBC annual conference at Skyview Ranch in Millersburg. God blessed us with good weather, a beautiful setting, great attendance, wonderful fellowship, uplifting music and challenging preaching.

The speaker asked an important question. "What do you daydream about?"

Our daydreams can tell us what is in our hearts. He suggested that "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life" often reveal themselves in our daydreams. He pointed out that dreams of "success" (especially in ministry - church growth, acclaim, fame, praise...) are often a revelation of the pride of life.

He also talked about brokenness. We need to be broken before Christ and come to a place where we surrender completely to Him. If we do, we can be useful vessels. We can live to see God turn every hardship into a blessing. We can praise God at the top of our voice for a lifetime.

But what if we are not broken and surrendered to God?

We become bitter. We nurse our grudges and rehearse our wounds in a leanness of spirit that is always hungry for vindication. We are miserable as we replay our hurts blow by blow.

Our labor is not for the glory of God, but for our own validation - and there can never be enough success to satisfy us. We become grumpy and embittered. We might come to the place where we hate the work of ministry. Some are shipwrecked regarding the faith. Others are sidelined. Others cripple along, going through the motions with a grim determination but with little hope of joy.

Mercifully, God doesn't let us go unchallenged in our pride. He puts obstacles in our way to break us down. We are brought to the end of ourselves. We are presented with opportunities to put God in His right place and let go of our agenda for our own reputation. If we do that, we can get past our past hurts with joy because GOD IS GLORIFIED!

This message resonated with me. Praise God for His mercies! It is easy to think everything is about me. My success or my failure, my control, my reputation, my image, my ministry, my heritage - me, me, me. When we do this we are striving against God in the pride of life. But it is NOT about me. Everything is about God - that His name would be exalted as holy - that His kingdom would come - that His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. Glory to God in the highest!
(James 4:6-7) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

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