Summary: The first message in a series looking at what keeps us from really dreaming great things for God.
Introduction: Mystic Seaport is filled with a variety of clippers and other sea-worthy ships. Countless voyages have been sailed by each ship. There is perhaps no greater sight to behold than that of such a sea-worthy vessel, trimming through the water under full sail. The ship is in her world. In fact, the ship is moving through her world, leaving a trail, making a wake, and carrying whatever her cargo is with her.
God wants us to be like these majestic ships. Free to carry our cargo, Him, to the rest of the world. Yet, too often we remain in the harbor, safely tucked away. Perhaps, it has been many years since we caught wind in our sails. The dreams are gone. The passion and desire are gone. Even though the water tugs at us to set sail again, we remain tied to port.
What really keeps us from venturing out again. Has there been a storm in our past, one that has assaulted us? Or perhaps, we are weighed down with barnacles. Or is it our rudder – is it tangled up to the point of uselessness? Whatever the reason – the reason has put a boundary on us, one that keeps us from setting sail for God.
Yet it is God that makes it possible for us to weather the storm, to scrape the barnacles, and to even untangle our rudder!
With God’s help – there IS more to dream about than summer.
Here is what God says
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
Literally this means – “God is able to do above and beyond that which is already above and beyond and which exceeds measure – according to the power that works within us.”
Through the next several weeks – through vacations, both yours and mine, through mission trips, and church activities, we will look together at eight obstructions that keep us back. That keep us from dreaming about more than summer. Some of you will be here for all of these. Others for most, Some for some, and a few for a few. That’s the way Summer is. Yet, if we are able to clear only a couple of obstructions, we will reap the benefit of dreaming things – things for God, that we have not attempted to dream about for years.
So let’s start.
OBSTACLE #1 – OUR PAST
ü Probably one of the best known of biblical characters is Moses. Check him out in Exodus chapters 1 and 2
o Born during a time of persecution – Egypt was trying to kill male Hebrew babies.
o Set in a basket and placed in the Nile River.
o Found by the daughter of Pharaoh.
o Raised by Royalty, yet cared for by his own mother
o Aware of his heritage
o At the age of 40 he acts irresponsibly and takes the life of an Egyptian
o Forced to flee for his life
o Exiled for 40 more years as a shepherd
o Thought his life was over
ü What Does God’s Word say…
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
o Forget means “to fail or be unable to remember something”
o I cannot be influenced by something I have forgotten
ü How Does God react to our past? God’s response to Moses is found in exodus chapter 3
When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
And Moses said, "Here I am."
So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."
o God was not intimidated by the past of Moses
o God was not finished with Moses in spite of his past
ü Probably one of the best known parables of Jesus is the Prodigal Son recorded in Luke 15
o In reality this is a parable about three different kinds of past pain.
o In context each character in the parable represents one of three different groups or people.
o The Younger Son – The Pain Of Rebellion Against His Father
§ The younger son asks for his inheritance now
· He was permitted to know what it would be, but not permitted to sell it, or gain any benefit from it until the death of the father.
· asking for it now means – “I wish you were already dead”
· selling it violated the family as a whole and was a tremendous indignity to the father.
ONE OF THE OFTEN FORGOTTEN CASUALTIES IN REBELLION IS THE OTHER PERSON. WE NEVER ACT IN A VACUUM!