God\'s Big Deam
God has a big dream to change this world, and He’s got a unique, significant role for you to play in it. Your role is more significant than the one you are living right now and more significant than the dream you have for your life. I am not sure what God’s biggest and best plans are for you, but I believe that scripture reveals some of their elements.
In Mark 16:9-20, we learn several things about the plans that God wants to birth in and through you, and all of them involve you playing your part in God’s “Pentecost Project,” the huge missionary desire that He calls each of His followers to engage in. Listed below are a few things that you need to know about how you can think bigger about the missionary call that God has upon your life:
Jesus wants to restore dreams that you once held dear! (Verse 9-14)
Notice how in verses 9-14, Jesus meets with three groups of people, all suffering from a chronic condition that I call “Dream Deflation.” A lady called Mary Magdalene was able to start dreaming once Jesus had come into her life and released her from captivity to several demons. He walked with two men on a road to Emmaus who had been energized by the life of Jesus, and then He met with His closest twelve companions who had willingly and freely given up everything they had to follow Him. Then as Jesus died on that dark cross, their dreams started to deflate. These people were consumed with fear, confusion, and disbelief. BUT…, death did not have the final say, and Jesus' resurrection and visit with these groups of people allowed them to start dreaming again. It’s as if He says, “Don’t worry, because I am alive, so can your dreams be also.”
Did you know that the resurrection of Christ can restore your dreams? He restores everything that has died within you—your hopes, longings, plans, relationships, opportunities, etc.
Once He has revealed Himself to these people, He casts a huge vision, incorporating some components of God's dream for us. He doesn’t give specifics, but He provides some parameters that will be a part of your role in God’s big, redemptive dream.
God’s dream for you involves you preaching! (Verse 15)
I know your objections to this statement and will respond to them with three statements:
Yes, you are a preacher. We all are. 1 Peter 2:9 talks about how the Church is a “royal priesthood” where each of us is responsible for preaching.
Yes, you do stand behind a pulpit. Your desk, your computer, the water cooler, your coaching of your kids' sports team, and your place at the table in family dinners are all kinds of pulpits from which your voice represents Christ.
No, you don’t need to write a sermon. Your attitude, action, and example are your sermon. St Augustine said, “Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.”
God’s dream for you includes increasing belief! (Verse 16)
As we preach, we don’t preach some wishy-washy hope. We preach Jesus Christ. It is He alone and belief in Him alone that offers us access to the fullness of life. I used to believe that the more I grew in my understanding and relationship with God, the less I would need Jesus because wisdom, understanding, and insight would begin to take His place. While this seems to be the course some take, my experience is entirely different. The more I grow, my immense need for more of Jesus does.
God’s dream for you includes increasing expectations! (Verse 17 & 18)
The miracles that accompanied the disciples as Jesus commissioned them to His big dream reveal God’s desire to do whatever it takes to accomplish His missionary goal. I believe that as we passionately follow God’s dream for us, we will increasingly see God at work doing miraculous things. Why? Because if we are faithfully following God’s dream and not ours, then we will need a resource beyond anything that we could develop, conjure or create on our own. As you seek to understand your role in God’s plans, one thing that needs to increase is our expectation that God will do only what God can do!
God’s dream for you begins (and ends) with obedience! (Verse 20)
I love this verse tucked in at the end of Mark’s gospel. It shows us that the disciples started to obey God’s dream for them. This is the first place for us when we decide that we want to live God’s big dream. We start by doing something. It’s doesn’t matter how big or small the first step, but what’s essential is an obedient move forward. Change a habit, meet a new friend, cut down on 30 minutes of TV, or don’t order the extra desert. Whatever it is, do something. God’s significant role for you in His big missionary dream begins with a first, faithful step of obedience.
God has such a big dream for the redemption of this world, and because He loves us so much, He wants to engage us in it. While I don’t know what your part in that dream is, I do know that it will include you preaching, believing, expecting, and obeying.