Summary: Sometimes when dreams don’t come to pass, it is for your own good.


TEXT: 2 Chronicles 6:7-8

2 Chronicles 6:7-8 -- Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:


A. General

-Show me a man who has a dream. Show me a man who has a vision. Show me a man who has desire and passion. . . . . . And I will show you a man who is going to shape his world.

-I have seen desire make up for a lack of talent. I have seen desire make up for a lack of resources. I have seen hunger make up for obstacles.

-Life really is indeed a matter of the heart. What really matters is how big the heart really is.

Donald Miller -- Ambition is the spur that makes man struggle with destiny. It is heaven=s own incentive to make purpose great and achievement greater.

J. Hawes -- Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.

1. Columbus -- Joaquin Miller

-The following poem written in tribute to the immortal Columbus for his discovery of America gives a great lesson in having a dream that comes from the heart.

Behind him lay the gray Azores,

Behind the Gates of Hercules;

Before him not only shoreless seas.

The good mate said: Now we must pray,

For lo! The very stars are gone.

Brave Adm’r’l, speak; what shall I say?

Why, say: Sail on! Sail on! And on!

My men grow mutinous day by day;

My men grow ghastly wan and weak.

The stout mate thought of home; a spray

Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.

What shall I say, brave Adm’r’l, say,

If we sight naught but seas at dawn?

Why, you shall say, at break of day:

Sail on! Sail on! Sail on! And on!

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,

Until at last the blanched mate said:

Why, now not even God would know

Should I and and all my men fall dead.

These very winds forget their way,

For God from these dread seas is gone.

Now speak, brave Adm’r’l; Speak and say

He said: Sail on! Sail on! And on!

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:

This mad sea shows his teeth tonight;

He curls his lips, he lies in wait,

With lifted teeth, as if to bite:

Brave Adm’r’l, say but one good word;

What shall we do when hope is gone?

The words leapt like a leaping sword:

Sail on! Sail on! Sail on! And on!

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck,

And peered through the darkness. Ah, that night

Of all dark nights! And then a speck--

A light! A light! A light! A light!

It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!

It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.

He gained a world; he gave that world

Its grandest lesson: On! Sail on!

-And so it is with vision, with dreams, there must be an understanding that obstacles may come but still that quiet voice within that urges, emboldens, and drives men to move on and on and on!

-One must always remember that to every man whose life submits itself to some purpose or progress will in due time experience some disappointment. But the man who overcomes is that man whose heart is filled with the steel faith that filled Caleb’s, Give me my mountain! attitude.

B. Biblical

-The Word of God is very clear about it’s concepts of men reaching for spiritual dreams and desires. A relationship with God carries over into all other aspects of men’s lives.

Colossians 1:29 -- Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Psalm 42:1 2 -- As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

Philippians 3:12 14 -- Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 11:6 -- But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Proverbs 2:3 5 -- Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Matthew 5:6 -- Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

-Created inside of men who are filled with the Spirit are the impulses of eternity. Godly men live their entire lives, not as a creature of time but rather as one who will live for eternity. Because of that men of God (not a reference to preachers) are marked by dreams and desires of allowing God to work through them.


2 Chronicles 6:7 8 -- Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:

-The construction of the Temple was the great desire of David. How his desire came into being is a great lesson that we also must consider. Why did he desire to build a great Temple for God?

1 Chronicles 17:1 2 -- Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains. Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.

-David is now the anointed king of Israel. With all of the things that God has given to him, with all of the victories that he has been a part of, David notices that his own house is in better condition than that of the Tabernacle. He lives in a house of stone and the Ark of God rests in a tent. This smites his heart.

-This construction effort became his whole ambition. It consumed him both night and day. All other efforts in his life was subordinate to the driving desire to build a Temple. It had been branded into his heart.

-However, that Temple in David’s heart never was built on solid ground. He collected all of the materials for it, he made all of the lavish preparations for the construction but he never saw it come to pass.

-His vision never became a fact. It was there but God would not allow him to accomplish the task of building the Temple.

A. The Tragedy of Incompleteness

J. D. Jones -- The tragedy of life is not it=s brevity but it’s incompleteness.

-How many unfinished jobs do we have around our houses? How many incompleted classes have we taken? How many efforts have we started and left undone? How many unfinished books do we have? How many unfinished letters have we written? How many unfulfilled dreams do we have lying about the bannisters of heart? How many times have we put off today for the sake of tomorrow?

-Very few men in life ever reach their potential. Men often live beneath the promises and privileges of what God could give to them.

-Simeon, the old elder of the Temple, who saw the infant Jesus, was one of a few men who can say that life has given him all that he desired.

Luke 2:29 32 -- Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

-Few men can ever come to grip with such a state of life. The simple reason is that most men will go to a grave not having fulfilled all that they wanted to in life.

1. Old Testament Examples

-The Old Testament is replete with examples of men who did not live up to all that they wanted to.

Abraham -- He never found his city.

Jacob -- The same tremendous hope but he died a stranger in a strange land.

Joseph -- He lived with this same dream and ambition but his history ends with a coffin in Egypt.@

Moses -- Inherited the same purpose and he gave his life to establish Israel. He trained with forty years worth of discipline in Midian. He found that the hard wilderness could transform a bunch of slaves into a nation of God. He brought them to the edge of promise. . . . yet died in Moab in disappointment and failure.

David -- He died also.

-All men will ultimately die in Moab. . . . except for One, Jesus Christ.

-Often achievement never answers to intention.

B. The Blessing of Unfulfilled Dreams

-David’s failure to build the Temple was the greatest disappointment of his life. Yet it is a fact that David was a richer and nobler man for cherishing this dream that was never fulfilled.

-The bitterness of life is it’s incompleteness and usually our greatest disappointments come from the dashing of high hopes that never are fulfilled. The hope exists, the dreams lives, the vision moves and breathes but it never takes flight.

-If this is the case, then some would argue that the way to save ourselves from disappointment and discouragement would be to never cherish great ideas and dreams.

Alfred Tennyson -- Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have dreamed at all.

-You must understand that our walk with God can exist without any dreams but it also mars our spiritual walk with God. It reduces men to feeble efforts on behalf of God and forces them into a state of lukewarmness.

-The very instant that the dream dies within the heart of a man, he will lose his feeling for self-sacrifice, hunger, desire, faith, hope, and love of God. This is the key to some men whose service to God I have watched. They are constantly on the rise, growing, because there is a purpose within them that pushes and drives them and will not die, despite obstacles, despite trouble, they refuse to lay down. That is one of the keys to maintaining the fire of the anointing.

-When a man’s imagination is denied it’s proper function in our walk with God the result will be to limit a life to becoming almost non-existent. Little aims make little men. Great aims make great men.

-Lukewarm men are those who profess a relationship with God, appear to have some work of the Spirit, but they lack a dream or any aspirations of doing anything in the Kingdom of God.


1. A Blessing to David.

-However, no matter how one will look at it, David’s unfulfilled dream became a blessing to him. Perhaps his dream caused him to miscalculate his strength or maybe there were some vestiges of pride mingled with his ideas. Sometimes God can hold back the dream from being fulfilled until a time in the future that the strength is bolstered or until pride is eliminated or until our faith has grown.

-Still David’s whole desire was to build a Temple for the Lord.

-Life will never get any happier by giving up great ambitions on the idea that they cannot be fulfilled. A dreamless life is a sad life.

-Joel, that Old Testament prophet, prophesied that one of the marks of the Spirit would be that dreams would be dreamed and visions would be seen.

-The secret to Paul’s greatness:

Acts 26:19 -- Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

-Paul was made by his vision. The vision of Christ, no matter how one may perceive it, demands obedience. Visions that do not demand obedience and discipline will never influence anything, it is too weak. Obedience to the vision demands the submission of self to God.

-The power of vision not only affected Paul, but as he talked about it to Agrippa, the vision began to wield a strange power of its own. His words, Almost thou persuadest me. . . . The world is looking for a man with a vision.

-Paul would be quick to add that he had not attained but that he was seeking Christlikeness. What a powerful thought to be obedient to the vision that God has placed before us.

2. A Blessing to Those Who Came After David.

-Not only did David receive a personal blessing but those who came after him were also blessed. Solomon would have never built a Temple if David would not have had the Temple engraved in his heart.

The materials Solomon used, David had collected.

The dream of the father, became the task of the son.

-Men do well to cherish a great purpose in their hearts.

Every triumph springs out of seeming failure.

Every success is built upon a foundation of baffled and disappointed efforts.

-Because someone dreams, someone else will catch the vision. Seek out those great purposes of life.

Strive for revival.

Seek for holiness.

Search the Book.

Make time for God.

Strive to make a difference.

Seek to be an encouragement.

-Although the full scope of the vision may never be accomplished, the world is a better place for it.

-Disappointment and sacrifice are the price tags of success. Involving ourselves with both disappointment and sacrifice causes us to be enrolled with a group of pioneers, martyrs, and apostles.


-How does God look at the unfulfilled dreams in the lives of men?

-God takes will for deed and he rewards honest efforts for achievement. How do I know? Thou didst well that it was in thine heart.

-David would have built the Temple if he could have.

Romans 4:3 -- For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:6 -- Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

James 2:23 -- And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

-Abraham offered God faith and it is accounted as righteousness. He is credited with complete obedience despite the fact that he did not see the city.

The man who strives for purity.

The man who seeks to win men.

The man who seeks to be Christlike.

-Although he may never entirely reach it, it will be accounted to him.


-What is heaven? It is a place where our greatest visions are fulfilled and our greatest purposes come to pass. It is the place where all high failures are marked as successes.

-Seek the high mark of excellence.

-What proof is there that the Temple was in the heart of David?

The stores he collected.

The preparations that he made.

-Faith always proves itself by works. We must work at it. For there is a day coming . . . . . .

I John 3:1 3 -- Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Philip Harrelson