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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Getting God’s Dream for My Life

In review of Romans 12:1-2 it says, “Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him …. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God, what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.”

Bottom Line:
Because of what he has done, you should offer up your life and serve his will and his purposes. You should not just follow the world and how it thinks and acts, rather let God transform the way you think. Then you’ll know what is his will for you and what will please him.

What this means to me:
Because of his great mercy and grace toward me, I should offer up my life to Him as a living and sacrifice that is set apart for his will. In addition, I should avoid copying the behavior and customs of this world. Rather I should let God transform the way I think. Then I’ll know what is his will is for me and what pleases him. This is the most sensible way to serve him.

When it comes down to it, none of us are great people. We can only be ordinary people committed to great dreams. When I commit myself to a great dream, it draws something out of me and helps me become larger than I would become any other way.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (NIV). God’s dream for me is personal. And only I can fulfill the purpose God has planned for me. His dream for me is positive. It will give me hope!

So how do I go about getting God’s dream for my life? What I’m learning is that I’ve got to be willing to dedicate my life to God, committing in advance to do whatever he tells me to do.

Today’s verse says, “Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him …. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God, what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect” (Romans 12:1-2 GNT).

I think most miss God’s dream because they’re not looking at God; they’re watching what everybody else does. When you imitate somebody else, you’re going to be a carbon copy instead of who God made you to be. I need to be more concerned with God’s dream for my life than the American dream.

The American dream and God’s dream are two very different issues. In the past the American dream used to be pretty affordable and pretty simple. However, today, the American dream is all-consuming. It typically takes both the husband and the wife to both work to even try to keep up. This rat race becomes the total focus.

In order to get serious about discovering God’s dream for my life, I need to decide not to settle for the American dream. Will I choose the good life or God’s life? Materialism or ministry? The rat race or God’s race?

Hebrew 12:1 encourages me, “Let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back … and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us” (TLB).

I’ll need to commit myself to God’s dream and not worry about being like everybody else. Ultimately God only has good planned for me.  If I do things on my own, I’ll likely miss out on what good he had planned for me or how he would use me.

Interestingly enough, I can say that the American dream was mine many years ago. We were fortunate enough to work it out that both my wife and I did not need to work, however, we did own a home and had accumulated some debt. My wife and I have just moved and as a result have sold our home and are only renting. We had also downsized quite a bit on what we owned, knowing that we would not be able to store too much in a rented apartment.  It actually feels good to be free of extra things and expenses associated with owning a home. I guess you can say we are trying to embrace a minimalist lifestyle.  So far, so good. Now given that I don’t have these concerns or burdens of the American dream, we can try and concentrate on God’s life, ministry and God’s race instead of the worldly equivalent of those.

Today I ask God to help guide my wife and I to church community to plug now that we have moved. I ask for his help to bring your people around us that you want us to partner with. As we explore, help us to know the true hearts of people and what they value and trust in.  As we settle into a community to partner with, we can work toward fulfilling God’s dream for us.

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