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April 23, 2021

The Gift


You may not be aware of it, but you have a dreaming nature. You inherited this part of your disposition from your Creator. He created us in His image and likeness so our hearts could relate to His and in order that His dreaming heart could find millions of expressions. You were designed to dream, and you must dream - both for yourself and for God. In fact, if you don’t dream with Him, He can’t experience all of His dreams and you’ll never achieve your destiny.


A life without dreams is like a GPS without a satellite. The GPS might operate, but it would lead you nowhere. Likewise, without God-given dreams to guide you, you will travel life’s highway searching for a destination you’ll never find. Divinely inspired dreams, on the other hand, will guide you to the destiny He intended for you.


Your Designer dreamed dreams for you before you were ever born, then skillfully wove them into your DNA as you were created, along with the ability to find and fulfill them. His destiny for you will be the sum of those dreams. The journey of life, then, is meant to be a dream quest; finding what your Maker has dreamed for you brings life’s ultimate satisfaction and should be life’s ultimate pursuit.


If you don’t discover God’s dreams, you’ll either waste your life running in wrong races and crossing wrong finish lines or, like many people, have no finish line at all. Other individuals stop running altogether, wandering through life as though it were a maze, hoping they will stumble upon the right exit. What a tragedy. Your Creator doesn’t intend for life to be such a gamble. You can find His plans and dreams for you and pursue them with confidence.


The Ultimate Gift is one of my favorite movies. It’s the story of Red Stevens, an older and extremely wealthy businessman who knew he was dying and was trying to decide where to leave his fortune. It seemed his children were money-hungry, self-indulgent, and irresponsible, as were his grandchildren.


All but one.


Jason seemed like all the rest, but Red had seen something else in him, buried under the outer layer of pain, laziness, and his party-driven lifestyle. Red knew that under this stained veneer was great strength and noble character. So Red decided to leave his fortune to Jason - if he passed a series of tests, which Red personally presented posthumously by video. These were difficult, time-consuming tests, some of which took weeks. Jason would only learn of the next challenge after finishing the previous one.


At first, Jason resisted - the old man’s money could go to charity - he wasn’t going to play the game. But after much thought he decided to give it a try, just to get the money. What he didn’t know was that each challenge was designed not only as a test but as a character builder and teaching tool - Red called them “gifts, a series of gifts.”


It is fascinating to watch the transformation in Jason. He learns the value of hard work, loyalty, giving, family, and several more important qualities needed for a successful and responsible life. Toward the end, he sits down to see the video showing him his next assignment. Grandpa, though now gone, knew when making the videos that if at this point in the process, they were still being shown to Jason by his wise and discerning business partner, Jason had passed the previous tests and could be trusted with wealth.


Almost.


When this latter video begins, Red says, “It’s time for you to learn to dream, Jason.” Like the character in the movie, I was riveted to the television. What a concept, I thought, the test of dreaming. Jason was given a very large sum of money and told to do anything he wanted with it. And just in case you decide to watch the movie, that’s where I’ll stop.


The timing of watching this movie was perfect for me. I was in a season of re-examining my life, analyzing the past and wrestling over the future. As part of this process, I planned a week alone to think and pray. I had a cabin reserved for the week, but when I arrived, it just didn’t feel right. I decided to follow my heart: This isn’t the place.


I called my wife, Ceci, and asked her to check the Internet for another place, preferably in Estes Park, Colorado. I would start driving in that direction. The place she found was more than perfect. An altar and cross out back reminded me of Moriah, a special place of dreaming mentioned in Scripture. God knew He and I would dream together in this place.


Perhaps you aren’t aware of Moriah and its rich biblical history. It is the mountain where Abraham took Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice. God stopped him, of course, He had only wanted to paint a picture of Himself offering His Son on the cross centuries later. Moriah was the actual place where this would occur! There, on that momentous mountain, Abraham and God dreamed together. Abraham envisioned the day he would have so many descendants they would be a great nation. God dreamed of the day He would recapture His dream of family.


The altar and cross were behind the cabin, thirty or so yards from the deck. The altar was well-built, made of rock-and-mortar, situated at the base of a rugged but sturdy wooden cross. There was a beautiful stream just off the deck that forked several yards upstream, then came back together a few yards downstream, forming a small island directly behind the cabin. Someone had gotten onto the island and built the altar and cross - just for me (it seemed).


Hmm, I thought as I stood gazing at it. There it is, the place where God recaptured His dream. I wonder what He has in mind for me this week? I would not be disappointed.


As the week progressed, I found myself being drawn into a thoughtful analysis of my life. What had I accomplished? Which of these accomplishments were truly worth the time and effort? How many would stand the test of eternity? As painful as some of it was, I was trying to be brutally and utterly honest. What dreams had I pursued under the banner of “for the Lord,” when my heart had deceived me and they had actually been “for me”? Many dreams passed the test, some failed. It was painful, but it was good.


Finally, Holy Spirit shifted my focus from my past to the future. As clearly as though He was in the recliner next to me - He was most definitely present - the Lord began speaking to me about dreaming, just as Red did to Jason. “What are your dreams for the future?” He asked, pulling my innermost thoughts from my heart to my conscious mind.


I thought. I journaled. Hopefully, with a little more clarity of heart and a few decades of added perspective, I dreamed with greater depth and less selfish ambition than I had years earlier. Over the past four decades, climbing the ladder of success had gradually been replaced by plumbing the depths of His heart. Accomplishments are now measured more by heaven’s approval than by earth’s applause, making a name has given way to making a difference. At least I believe so.


Eventually, the Lord steered the conversation in a direction that caught me off guard. “Now I’d like to dream a little,” I heard clearly. “Would you like to hear some of My dreams?” I listened and I wept. God was trusting me with His dreaming heart. That day remains one of the holiest of my life. I built an altar that day. Not made of rocks and mortar - this one was in my heart.


You, too, can connect with the dreaming heart of God. If you enlist in His dream program and connect to His dreaming heart, you’ll never again be satisfied with the abnormal existence of a nondreamer or the mundane life of an earthbound one. You were created to dream, and doing so in partnership with God is one of His greatest gifts to us.


“God’s promise to Joseph purged his character until it was time for his dreams to come true.” (Psalm 105:19 TPT)


Pray with me:


Father, we are often challenged to dream big dreams and pursue them with rigor and determination. Rarely, however, are we encouraged to dream with You. Most of Your kids have no idea that they were created to partner with You and Your dreams. What a tragedy!


Father, help us to step out of our small world of dreaming only for ourselves and connect with Your dreaming heart. Your dreams are about people, about rescuing them from a life of pain, purposelessness, and separation from You. You dream of healing broken hearts, freeing those oppressed, feeding hungry bodies, and liberating captives. Give us hearts that are willing to dream Your dreams.


And in this season, Father, we are dreaming with You of the great revival that has begun but is only in its infancy. We dream of and cry out for this - not so we can enjoy exciting church services, expand a religion or watch You perform powerful miracles. It is so You can rescue, deliver, and save a billion souls. It is so Your family can expand and become the multi-ethnic, multi-generational family You dream of.


And Father, I pray now for all who are listening to me or reading this, that they will find and fulfill Your dreams for them. I pray for those who have stopped dreaming because of pain or disillusionment. I pray that You heal them of all hope-deferred and renew in them a dreaming heart. I pray for those who have been wounded, abused, or cast aside. I pray for those whose life has been dealt painful or debilitating blows. I pray for their healing now. Touch them by the power of Holy Spirit and transform them. And if they need help in receiving this healing I pray that they find the person who can guide them into it. And I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Our decree:


I decree an awakening is coming to our dreaming nature so we will once again, dream His dreams.



Today’s post was taken from my book DREAM.