Summary: Dreams happen when we let our imagination run wild, when we choose to think outside the box, when we throw off all of the constraints of the way things are and imagine the way things could be. So what is a dream? A dream is God’s picture, vision or bluepr
In our Scripture today, Joseph, one of 12 sons of Jacob had a dream where he would rise up in authority over his brothers and they would bow down to him. He told his brothers about this dream and from that point on, his life and his family’s life was never the same. Zarius Silva writes, “The capacity to dream always was the great secret of those who changed the world. Dreams feed the soul and give wings to the intelligence (and) make a great difference in our existence.” Dreams can change your life and change the world. George W. Bush decided to run for president because of a dream. Ben Franklin encouraged the other founding fathers to push for independence for the colonies after he had a dream. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity was inspired by a dream. George Frederic Handel heard the last movement of his cantata, “The Messiah” in a dream. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech was inspired from an actual dream which moved him to the point of talking about it in his speech on the Washington Mall. Frederich Kekule discovered the chemical structure of benzene, one of the 20 most widely used chemicals in the United States, in a dream. He went on to say: "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, and then we may perhaps find the truth." It is in our dreams that God not only speaks truth but where we can discover God’s purpose for our life.
But dreams don’t just happen when we’re asleep. Dreams can occur while we’re awake. Dreams happen when we let our imagination run wild, when we choose to think outside the box, when we throw off all of the constraints of the way things are and imagine the way things could be. So what is a dream? A dream is God’s picture, vision or blueprint for a preferred future that helps you fulfill your purpose in life. At age 16, Matthew Barnett dreamed of a church that would be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year serving the inner-city’s physical and spiritual needs and bringing a message of hope to the hopeless. In 1994 at the age of 20, he moved from Phoenix to Los Angeles to pastor a small church of 18 people. One night, God woke him from his sleep and told him to walk to Echo Park. There, he was surrounded by crime, gangs, prostitutes, and the many homeless who made the park their home. It was then he heard God say, “I did not bring you here to build a great church but to build people-these people. You build the people. I’ll build the church. I don’t ever want you to think about success again. Think about being a blessing. Success is obedience to your calling. I have called you to bless people. Love them. Heal them. Help them. Serve them.” He started an outreach ministry to the people in the neighborhood and started to change lives. Seven years later an old 400,000 sq. ft. hospital with 9 buildings, only a few blocks from Echo Park, was put on the market for $10 million. He bought it for 3 ½. Today, it’s a 24-hour hospital and sanctuary, providing free help, counseling, food, clothing and medical services to those in need. Thousands of people who were addicted, abused, prostituted, abandoned, and disabled have been helped through their more than 200 need-based ministries, reaching 50,000 people each week in Los Angeles alone. The name of this ministry? The Dream Center. But it didn’t stop there. Currently, there are over 85 dream centers established throughout the world based on Matthew Barnett’s dream.
And then he writes, “God birthed a cause in me that has not only transformed my life over these years but millions have been reached as a result. God has called us all for a great cause that he wants us to embrace….to make a positive impact on others. If you live for a cause greater than yourself, you will live a life of peace, joy, passion, and lasting meaning.”
Indeed, God has placed in each of us a dream for a specific cause which transforms lives and builds His kingdom. And I’m not talking about a dream to win the lottery. I’m talking about a dream or vision that changes the status quo. I’m talking about a dream or vision that speaks to the very depths of your soul. God created us for a purpose and our purpose is directly linked to the dream or vision God gives us of a preferred life and future that impacts and transforms the lives of others for the sake of the kingdom. Listen very closely: The day you lose sight of your dream or your vision is the day that you stop moving forward with purpose. Some of you stopped moving forward and pursuing your dreams because it seemed too impossible. Others of you just said no to God. And others of you haven’t discovered God’s dream for your life. Yet all of us have been given a dream placed in your heart to pursue a purpose greater than you.