Last week, we began a talk entitled, “Realizing your Dream.” The intent of this study is to get you placed so as to receive the God given dream that He has specifically created for you; and once you have received that dream, to act upon it as God intended.
God never created one “purposeless” person. Everyone; that includes you was created with a purpose that you are fitly framed for!
When we were together last, we talked about how to find your dream.
The way that God transmits a dream from His heart to yours is through prayer and the knowledge of His Word. If you are not a person of God’s Presence, your dreams will never be any bigger than your own personal interests. It is through spiritual impartation that we receive a vision from God. Our hearts are enlarged to receive His vision through time spent in His presence.
After receiving a vision from God, the next step is to make petition.
You go to your authority and make the vision known so that the dream can be validated and authorized. Nehemiah went to the king after he received his vision – it is the first practical step you take.
Our final point from last week was this: after you have received the vision and have taken it to your authority for prayer and validation, you get yourself into position to see the dream fulfilled.
Is the first step to move, to get enrolled in school, to begin to minister, to go on a mission trip, to knock on someone’s door? Every journey begins with a first step. What is the first step you are to take?
Now, we talk about a certainty in dream fulfillment: opposition.
NEHEMIAH 2:19-20; 4:1-8
Nehemiah had left the comfort of the palace in Persia to go to Jerusalem to be a part of God’s dream. Upon arrival, he surveyed the situation. It was as bad as advertised – Jerusalem was a mess! But, like any good leader, Nehemiah was able to get the people of Jerusalem to take ownership of the dream and he got them all involved in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. God’s vision took precedence over their personal agendas and each person worked – in spite of their building experience – goldsmiths, perfumers, daughters, priests; each one joined in the work of the Lord!
As the work of God begins; even when it is still in vision form something else begins right along side of it – opposition!
Have you ever decided to do something in the kingdom and then heard a voice tell you that you can’t for some reason? You need to recognize that for what it is – opposition to God’s plan. During Ezra’s day, the work on the temple of God had been successfully shut down by the enemy for 15 years. It wasn’t until the prophets Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the people that the building began again. To overcome opposition, we must decide whose report we are going to believe! Will you believe the enemy’s report birthed out of lies, half-truths, and dependence on the natural or will you believe in the Word and power of the Living God?
Satan will come to you and point out every reason why you cannot do what God has said. He will remind you of past failures to convince you that God is really not on your side. He will point out your current weaknesses to convince you that you are not capable of doing what God has sent you to do. He will threaten future calamity to get you to back down from God’s directive. All of these were thrown at Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem and they will be thrown at you as well. If you are not convinced that God has purchased you and is empowering the vision Himself, you will quit at some point in the process.
Another thing that makes some people want to quit is the nature of the process itself.
Most of what we do in the ministry is rebuilding. The difference between building and rebuilding is rubble. Building means a clean slate with newly scented materials. Rebuilding means hauling useless stuff off, sorting through unruly piles looking for things to salvage.
The problem with rubble is that it hangs around well after the initial destruction. Though Jerusalem’s attack had long since passed, the rubble was still present. How can we rebuild properly without addressing our rubble?
4:10: “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”
Ministry to people includes rubbish from past lives. We are rebuilding not just building. Don’t be discouraged by the presence of rubbish.
One final point: Because of the presence of the enemy and his threats, we build while watching and providing protection. We build while carrying “bricks” in one hand and a sword or spear in another. We are not just workmen by day but guards by night.
This process seems too difficult for some people. They become discouraged because they just want to build not fight!
If you are going to be used by God, you must learn to deal with opposition from the enemy and to not be discouraged by the nature of the work!