This Sunday, October 23rd, 2016, our guest speaker Pastor Jay Pike, from The Gate Church in Oklahoma City, unpacked an amazing message to continue our series REthink at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.
REthinking Church: Embracing the Dreams of God
“Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel.” (Genesis 35:1-2)
Where God’s Spirit is poured out, his dreams and visions are released.
To be a Spirit-filled people is to be a people who are engaging in and participating in the dreams of God. Jesus had a phrase he used to describe the dreams of God, he called it the Kingdom of Heaven.
The disciples had their own dreams about what the Messiah was going to do and how he was going to do it. The outpouring of the Spirit is the releasing of God’s dreams and the grace to exchange our selfish dreams for God’s bigger dreams.
The intention of the Spirit’s work in your life is to shift your focus from your dreams to God’s dreams. If you are walking with God and still dreaming your old dreams you have missed a dimension of the Spirit’s work.
There are three ways that people view God’s opinion on dreaming:
- Legalistic Christianity sees God as a dream destroyer.
- Consumer Christianity sees God as a dream fulfiller.
- Authentic Christianity sees God as a dream exchanger.
In Genesis 28, Jacob first meets God and engages in a transactional relationship with God. Much of American Christianity today is transactional. It’s like saying, “get God to join my team and he will help me accomplish my goals.”
God is not interested in a transactional relationship with you, especially when you have nothing to offer him. God desires to move you from a transactional relationship to a transformational relationship.
“God says: Go back to Bethel and this time, don’t set up a pillar to remember where I appeared to you, build an altar . . . where I will continually meet with you.” (Genesis 35)
Transactional Christianity sets up pillars to pay homage to God. Transformational Christianity builds altars to encounter a living God.
God doesn’t want to hear your twenty year plan; God wants to change your name. Christians are people who have gotten a glimpse of God’s preferred future, and who live now as if that future has fully come. You may not be able to determine what happens in the world, but you can determine what happens in your community.
Prophets declared the dreams of God and invited God’s people to participate in and live those dreams out in their present lives. The dreams of the prophets are always the nightmares of the empire. Empires have a history of taking their nightmares and calling them dreams. What empires call dreams, God calls a nightmare.
Could it be that what we call the American Dream, God calls a nightmare? What we see as a noble endeavor, God sees as a rat race of greed, materialism and discontentment. The American dream is a pursuit. Any pursuit other than the Kingdom is not a dream, it’s a nightmare.
God wants to deliver you from the thing you are pursuing, because what you don’t realize is that you have become a slave to that thing.
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C. S. Lewis
When you are caught up with the dreams of the present world, it’s proof that you have not been captured by the dreams of heaven.
If you buy into the lies of the empire you will never see or enter the dreams of God.
God’s people are called to live right now as if God’s promised future has already arrived. People have always thought God was looking for prophetic people who can prophesy, but God is really looking for a prophetic community that embodies in the presence of His dreams about the future
You cannot access the realities of God’s future world if you still believe the lies of the present world.
The message of Jesus was that the dreams of God which had been in the future were now crashing into the present, and he called these dreams “The Kingdom of God.”
Here are three things to remember about God’s dreams:
- God’s dreams are too big for one person. They are accomplished by communities not by individuals. American individualism robs us of participating in God’s dream.
- God’s dreams are too big for one nation. Nationalism robs us of engaging God’s dream.
- God’s dreams are too big for one generation. They are multigenerational. A perpetual belief that we are the ‘last generation’ robs us of engaging in God’s dream.
When you have glimpsed the dream of God, you won’t care how outrageous it sounds. Your life becomes obsessed with embodying as much of that dream in the present as you can.
How will you choose to dream?
Watch the full message here:
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