Summary: Here's how to keep your God-given dreams alive, like Caleb!
INTRO: Dreams, we all have them; falling, unprepared, being chased, flying, etc. What dreams did you have growing up? Fireman, Baseball player, famous actress, President? Here’s how to keep your God-given dreams alive.
1. BELIEVE GOD’S PROMISES
Your God-given dreams will be kept alive as you believe the promises of God. “You know the word of the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-Barnea.” 45 years previously, God promised Caleb the promised land. Caleb and Joshua were among the 12 spies to first spy on the land; Numbers 13:27-14:2, 6-9; Caleb believed God would be faithful to His Word. 600,000 would die in the wilderness; 2 men (Josh and Caleb) entered in. 1. Look to God’s Standard – His Word never fails. Recall the faithfulness of God in your life. Do you do that? How about recalling the day you asked Jesus to come into your life? 2. Avoid Apathy – start making excuses for disobedience – start putting other people or things before God. What difference does it make in having God’s promises? 3. Practice the promises of God. Every time Satan tries to discourage you, quote the truth of the Word of God. He says, “You have no hope.” God says, “I know the plans I have for you.” “You are not saved,” Romans 10:9-10; Practice the promise of God! Ex. "Three little girls were talking about their dads. One said, 'My father is a doctor, and he practices medicine.' Another said, 'My dad's an attorney, and he practices law.' The third said, 'My father is a Christian, but he doesn't practice any more.' "There are a lot of Christians like that today." 4. Satan would love for you to doubt the promise of God because then he can keep you weighed down by fear, worry, guilt. 5. He has said, so we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper.” God’s promises will always line up with His Word. * Sometimes Christians say, “I feel like God is leading me to date or marry an unbeliever. I’ll turn him around.” God has already stated his will, 2 Cor. 6:14. Ex. Fact - Faith – Feeling illustration – all moving ahead nicely, suddenly faith began to look at feeling and couldn’t find him anywhere – faith fell back and crashed as did feeling. You don’t live by feelings but by faith in the promises of God! 7. Do you pray just when you feel like it? Worship just when you feel like it? Be like Caleb and build your life on God’s promises. 8. Beth Moore encourages everyone to make a five statement pledge of faith: "1) God is who He says He is, 2) God can do what He says He can do, 3) I am who God says I am, 4) I can do all things through Christ, and 5) God's Word is alive and active in me." 9. Caleb = full of faith in God his whole life!
2. FOLLOW GOD WHOLEHEARTEDLY
If you want to keep your dreams alive, you must wholly follow the Lord your God. Quote – “Enthusiasm is contagious, and so is the lack of it.” What are you excited about today? What motivates you to get up and get going? If you want to keep your dream alive, make sure God is at the center of your life! God said about Caleb and Joshua (Parprharse), “You two men are going to receive my promise because you have a different spirit…the spirit of faith.” 6 times we find in God’s Word the secret to Caleb’s life is mentioned, “he wholly followed the Lord.” Ex. Football season is coming up, I’m excited about that, but football is like a roller coaster…you are up if your team is up and down if your team is down. Praise God in Jesus Christ, I don’t have to look at the standings to see if I’m victorious, just need to look to the Cross! Caleb didn’t let his family background stop him from following God; Kenizzite, not a part of the promised line; somewhere his family had joined the Israelites. You can’t let your family keep you from following God first. Caleb didn’t let the faithlessness of others stop him from follow God; Caleb didn’t let negative feelings stop him from following God. God selected Joshua to be Moses’ successor. Caleb could have said, “OK, God. I see.” Instead, he said, “God, you know best. You are God, I’m following You!” When everyone else was complaining, Caleb was consistent in his walk and worship of the Lord. “Whiners never win and winners never whine” (Larry Wynn). Quote – “Those who beef too much often land in the stew.” Complain about grocery line, at least you have $$$ to eat; Complain about traffic, at least you have a car; complain about boss, you have a job; complain about waiter, should be thankful for food. Paul and Silas in prison, praised and thanked God, do you think jailer would have been saved if they would have been pouting? To keep your God given dream alive, your attitude is critical. Do you believe God still has a dream for this church? 20 years ago the dream was to be salt and light for Jesus in this community. To be a place of worship, fellowship, witness. Times have changed, there are new people in the community, churches are learning you can’t do things like you did 25 years ago, we are in the 21st century. What could keep us as a church family from moving forward with God? (1) Do it our way, not God’s way. (2) Let fear of change replace faith in God. (3) Keep the attitude of “we’ve always done it like this before.” (4) Turn more inward to self than outside to serve others. What enabled Caleb to keep his dream alive? He wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. Bryan Nowak of the GA Baptist Convention did a demographic study of this area for me recently. Did you know that 80% of this area is un-reached for Jesus or un-churched. 4 out of 5 people you see today in your neighborhood are not involved in any way with the church. Does that discourage or encourage you? IT all depends on your perspective. Ex. 2 shoe salesmen were sent to a remote part of the world to sell shoes. One salesman said, “Take me home. No one around here wears shoes.” The other salesman said, “Send me a boatload of shoes! There are thousands of people here who are in need of shoes.” Is your attitude? Bring me on home, no one goes to church. Or, send me out Lord, the field is white to harvest!”