Summary: However, in order for God to be free to work, you need to be dreaming the right dream. You need to be envisioning the right plan. Not just any plan will do for God. You need a divine plan to build your home. That plan is God’s written word.
I love to look at building plans – especially of houses and churches. Whether it’s a floor plan or a full blueprint, I love it.
My love for plans began when I was in fifth or sixth grade and my parents were planning to build their house. Mom and dad involved me in the plan selection process, and once we had selected our favorite, Dad ordered a set of plans. For several weeks Dad worked to personalize the plans. When he finished we were excited about what was to be. Then we waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. For several years the house plans laid rolled up beside dad’s recliner. I can remember climbing into that recliner, straining over to pick up the plans, unrolling the plans, and slowly looking through every detail of this new dream house. I studied those plans. I knew those plans. I was just a fifth grader, but I dreamed of what every year would be like in that house. I imagined living there and walking through the rooms. I imagined going in and out to play. I imagined having friends over. I even imagined being a teenager and dating a girl on the front porch. I imagined my life fitting into those plans opened before me.
As we move through this sermon series, perhaps you’re imagining your dream family. You’re imagining what that might look like, wondering if it can ever happen. I want to encourage you to continue to dream, remembering that God can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
However, in order for God to be free to work, you need to be dreaming the right dream. You need to be envisioning the right plan. Not just any plan will do for God. You need a divine plan to build your home. That plan is God’s written word.
We need to climb into our chairs, open the Bible, God’s plan regularly, and imagine. We need to imagine our family lives being lived out according to this book. We need to imagine every year of our lives, every challenge of family life, lived according to the dream home shared throughout this book. We need to imagine our life fitting into these plans opened before us.
Does that sound ridiculous to you? To some it may. Someone once wrote on one of their old history textbooks, “In case of famine, eat this book; it’s full of baloney! In case of flood, stand on this book; it’s dry!” Some people see the Bible in much the same way. They don’t see the relevance within it. They see at as just another history book or philosophy book. For it to be an exciting plan for a home makeover seems utterly ridiculous. The problem is they’ve never opened up the plan to see the exciting things God has there.
I read of a minister who was visiting one of his members. The lady of the house was trying to impress him about how devout she was by pointing out the large Bible on the bookshelf and talking in a very reverential way of it as “the Lord’s book.” Her young son interrupted the conversation, “Well, if that’s God’s book we better send it back to Him because we never read it!”
You’ve got to open the plans in order to know what your dream should look like. If you never study the plans, you can’t dream. If you never study the plans, you won’t know what to build. This morning, we’re going to get some help from James, the brother of Jesus, in learning how to study the plans.
In James 1:21-25 we can see a three-step plan for developing as followers of Christ. I think this three-step plan can also be applied to helping us make over our homes. James writes:
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.
Let us consider the process James outlines, and let’s learn how to dream the right dream and then envision our lives fitting into that dream.
Step One: Gut your house (v. 21a)
This step was the point of the whole previous message in this series. The first step is gutting your home of the junk that is in it. You have to sledge that junk right out. You have to pray for the Lord to take that stuff away. Some of it is moral filth. Some of it is related to a bad attitude or a bad habit. Some of it is just pure evil. But you must sledge it out of your life and then scoop it into God’s wheelbarrow and say, “Take it. I’m through with it.”