Summary: Every leader knows that there will be challenges to the dreams God has given. Sometimes the attack is so great we live in danger of the dream dying. This message deals with this issue.
LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP – PART THREE
“DON’T LET YOUR DREAMS DIE”
©Larry L. Thompson (2003
Illustration of Frederick Nolan. Nolan was fleeing from his enemies during a time of persecution in North Africa. One night he fell exhausted, into a wayside cave, fully expecting his enemies to find him very soon. Resigned to face his death with dignity he sat down in a cave that was less than six feet in depth. As he sat against the back of the cave he saw a spider weaving a web. Within minutes the little arachnid had woven a beautiful lacework across the entire mouth of the cave. The pursuers arrived within the hour and stopped at the opening of the cave and wondered if Nolan might be hiding inside. However, the captain, upon seeing the unbroken spider’s web, informed the soldiers that it would be impossible for him to have entered without having destroyed it. So they left and Frederick Nolan escaped. Later, Nolan wrote these words in his journal:
"WHERE GOD IS, A SPIDER’S WEB IS LIKE A WALL,
WHERE GOD IS NOT, THE WALL IS BUT A SPIDER’S WEB." (Frederick Nolan)
In my research of this message I discovered scores of ways in which Joseph was a type (or parallel) of Jesus Christ. Yet, as much as I believe Joseph was a picture of the Christ to be revealed, I now know he is also the portrait of a spiritual leader that God is looking for in these last-days! Leaders God is preparing to help people survive a spiritual famine and live in victory feasting on His truth and His word! A spiritual leader that refuses to let his or her God directed dreams die!
CHARACTERISTICS OF SPIRITUAL LEADERS WHO REFUSE TO LET THEIR DREAMS DIE
• Wholly committed to the Lord
• Daily commitment to intimate fellowship with Christ
• Seeks the Spirit’s leadership in every detail of their lives
• Experiences great difficulties, tremendous trials, persecution, and testing
• Displays great faith to persevere in difficulty
• Complete trust in God’s protection and provision
• Continually maturing in His word
• Will be used mightily for the Glory of God
The time is coming when God will bring their dreams to reality and HE will call upon these equipped spiritual leaders just as He did in the life of Joseph!
As I told you in the first message in this series, America is suffering from a leadership crisis. This leadership vacuum has created a spiritual famine in our land and in our churches. This is made obvious by the mounting evidence that His church is growing increasingly worldly, sensual, wicked, powerless, faithless and cold. I have preached at two national pastor’s conferences in the past couple of years and I hear the same complaint over and over again. “People don’t want to hear the word of God; they want to be massaged with a 30 minute message that gives them this false feel good emotion that covers the pain and rebellion in their life.” The tragedy is that many ministries have surrendered to providing what the “People want” instead of what “God expects.” SPIRITUAL FAMINE IS THE END RESULT OF SUCH A DECISION.
Understand this truth…We do still have powerful, uncompromising "God-honoring" churches in America who are faithfully proclaiming His truth and calling His people to the cross and to a holy life. The ministers in these churches are spiritual leaders, being prepared by the Spirit of God, filled with His fire, committed to preaching righteousness and God is starting to move mightily among that remnant. The DREAM THAT APPEARED DEAD WAS ONLY DORMANT and now His Spirit is breathing LIFE into His work.
Tragically however, we can not escape the fact that most of our houses of worship today are experiencing widespread spiritual famine: shallow sermons preached to spiritually dull or dead ears, camouflaged at times by a talented "lively" worship where the emphasis is on the talent of the individual with little or no regard for personal purity or holiness. The spiritual famine has been in the making for the past 25-30 years as gradually we have witnessed the blindness which Christ speaks about in the Laodicean church fall like a cloud over the eyes of multitudes, people once who were on fire for God. Many true ministers of God are becoming discouraged and defeated by the constant battles as they hear the demands of ungodly leaders say, “Either you conform to what we believe our church needs or be fired.” So these men of God are heartbroken, defeated, discouraged and yet if they are true spiritual leaders with a God given dream they are faithfully waiting in this spiritual famine for God’s promise of fullness to be fulfilled.
WHAT IS GOD’S SOLUTION TO SUCH THE SPIRITUAL CRISIS & FAMINE IN OUR WORLD?