Summary: This sermon is part of our series, "A Faith That Works," and it looks at those things we can do to enhance being able to live God's dream and purpose.
A Faith That Works
“Living God’s Dream”
God put us upon this earth for a reason. God has a plan and a dream for our lives. God wants to use us for a great purpose beyond what any of us could every possibly imagine.
However, we have a problem when it comes to God’s purpose for our lives. It involves the barriers we put up in our minds and hearts. Barriers that say, “How could God ever use someone like me?”
But for God to use us we have to change the way we think. The Bible says as a person things in their heart, that is who they’re going to be, Proverbs 23:7.
Therefore, since God has a dream, purpose, and plan for our lives, what we need to do is find out what that is, because if we’re not being used by God then what are we doing with our lives.
The Bible says,
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)
The Apostle Paul is saying that God’s plan and dream is mind-boggling. It’s so fantastic that we can’t even imagine it.
Through Jeremiah the Lord says,
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you … thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)
Paul tells us that God is able to do abundantly more for us than what we could ever possible ask or imagine, Ephesians 2:30.
We are made in the image and likeness of God, and seeing that God is the Creator, He has made us to be creative as well, and in that creativity He’s given us the ability to imagine. So, imagine what God can do in and through your life?
Unfortunately, many people have no imagination when it comes to what God wants to do. Even though we can marvel at man’s imagination, we still can’t imagine God using us.
But God wants to use us in great and mighty ways. Therefore we need to employ that imagination. Where is our imagination for God’s kingdom? Can we dream God’s dream for our lives? And then when God starts revealing it, we need to start living it.
Tonight I’d like to continue looking at the life of Joshua, and from his life there are four things we need to do if we desire to be used by God. And know this, that God has done remarkable things through ordinary people who imagined their lives as something more.
1. Dump the Doubts
One of the biggest imagination busters is doubt. We must let go of doubt to move into the dreams, plans, and purposes of God.
Doubt limits our potential. It causes procrastination and we miss out on God’s best. We see this doubt in our words. We say, “I doubt that God could use me.” We doubt God by coming up with all these excuses.
The Apostle James says that if anyone lacks wisdom they need to ask God, and God will liberally supply whatever wisdom is needed. But then he adds,
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt…That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:6-7 NIV)
Before God can use us we’ve go to deal with this doubt issue.
Joshua had a problem with doubt as well, in the military it would have been said that he had a confidence problem. And who wouldn’t. Look who he was following, Moses.
Who of us would like to be the follow up act to Moses? Moses was like Johnny Carson with Joshua being Ed McMahon.
And then there’s the assignment. He was to lead the children of Israel into the Promise Land, something Moses failed to do.
Joshua had his doubts. Why do I know this, because right before the campaign God had to give Joshua a pep talk, and three times He tells Joshua to be strong and courageous.
“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NKJV)
The Lord was telling Joshua to dump his doubts because God was going to be with him.
Doubt is a choice. People choose to doubt, rather than live by faith. What’s even sadder is that people believe their doubts and doubt their beliefs. Instead let’s begin to doubt our doubts and believe in what we say we believe in, and that God wants to use us and give us great and precious promises.
There are two basic things that cause doubts
a. Comparing Ourselves
Instead of looking to God, we start looking at everybody else. We say they have more talent, better abilities, more education and experience. Or they may be like me, better looking. Maybe I should doubt my belief in that one!