Tuesday, April 10, 2012
As a child, you thought long and hard about the sort of life you would have. You envisioned a near paradise on earth, with you as the hero, and life passing in series of months and years of joy and jubilation. Now, as you continue through your adult life, you remember those ideals and that spry imagination that contributed to the other you, which never actually existed. It is time to defy your dreams.
Who says your fairy tale was the best of all possible worlds? Why embrace a reality that clearly does not exist? Why bow an internal head in shame when others surpass the accomplishments you only dreamed would be attained by you? Are you actually the master of your dreams, the manipulator of your circumstances, the maintainer of each of your personal desires? It is time to defy your dreams.
As a boy of seventeen, the biblical Joseph walked for miles in obedience to his father but was kidnapped and sold to the Ishmaelites by his own family members. Away from his home, absent from his dad and brother whom he loved, he worked as a slave in Egypt. Above reproach, he was falsely accused of indecent conduct and imprisoned for two years. And yet, he had dreamed of twelve sheaths falling down before him, bowing in obeisance to him. Had those dreams stimulated his imagination with thoughts of ruling sometime in the future? At the end of his life, Joseph was able to say, “God meant it for good.”
One girl of fifteen pictured herself as a mother of five, home schooling the eager minds of her skillful children, taking walks in the woods with them to examine nature, grateful for their musical accomplishments by the age of twelve, and thankful with their mastery of three languages upon their high school graduation. Now in her mid-thirties, she was still barren. When news of yet another young woman’s pregnancy reached her ears, she would need to learn to defy her dreams.
Another seventeen-year-old envisioned herself translating the Bible from her African hut, where she would work as a single missionary. Now, gazing at the upturned faces of her two beautiful children, who made her days of struggling with cancer worth every effort, she thanked God for the reality He had given her. Every day was a priceless treasure, a gift from the Giver of all good things. She was learning to defy her dreams.
If God desired us to know every next step, He would have planned a life that saw from beginning to end, as He does. But then, what need would we have to trust Him for the future? The fact that God is Master of tomorrow forces us, His children, to look to Him for guidance and wisdom each step of the way. We are required, not to look back a decade or two at the pathway of life we traveled compared to the one we imagined we’d travel, but rather to walk each day in His ways.
Deuteronomy 5:33 states, “Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.” Daily, we must focus upon our task to follow God’s pathway rather than mulling over what “might have been” or dreaming about what could be.
By what means can we walk in God’s ways? Deuteronomy 8:6 makes it clear: by obeying God's commands: “Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.” Following—not fretting about the past or future nor fumbling with the present—is a major responsibility of life and one that God requires.
And Deuteronomy 10:12 beautifully summarizes it this way: “. . . What doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul [?]” Promises galore are guaranteed to those who embrace God’s requirements.
Note at last the amazing promises connected to such obedience: “For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him, Then the Lord..” (Deut. 11:22-23a)Ah, yes! What a precious phrase—“Then the Lord!” How God will drop fatness upon the way of His saints! How He will bless--eternally--those who yield in submission to His perfect way.
So the time is now. To defy your dreams and trade your plans for God's perfect, masterful design.