July 6, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Sharon Jaynes, Vice President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author and conference speaker
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD" (Psalm 27:14 NIV).
Some of us have had shattered dreams. Some of us have had restored dreams. But I dare say there are many of us in between - waiting for God to move or tell us where to move. Oh, I've been there, my friend. Like a long intermission before the final act of a play, I've sat in the dark waiting for the curtain to rise and for God to show me the next act. At times, I've felt as though life has come to a halt - interrupted by some invisible force. Moses, in the Bible, experienced the same when his dream was interrupted.
Moses was born during a time when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. All day long they were under the whip of task masters who forced them to make bricks from mud and straw. Instead of breaking them, the work made them stronger. The Pharaoh began to be concerned that the Israelites were becoming too numerous and would potentially try to take over the country, so He made a decree that all the Hebrew boy babies had to be thrown into the Nile. But Moses mother, Jochebed, had a dream for her son. It was very simple really. She had a dream that her son would live.
After Moses was born, his mother placed him in a wicker basket, set him afloat in the Nile, and prayed that someone would come and rescue her child. As God would have it, someone did come along. Well, not just someone, but the only one in the entire kingdom who could do whatever she wanted - the Pharaoh's daughter.
We don't know how, but sometime before age forty, Moses discovered that he was not an Egyptian after all, but a Hebrew. At that point Moses devised a dream for his life. He decided that he was going to be the deliverer of the Hebrew nation. Now this is crucial. Moses decided what to do. Moses decided when. Moses decided how. He planned a work and then set out to work the plan. It was all his doing.
Moses' plan failed terribly and he ended up running for his life as the Pharaoh sought to kill him for murdering an Egyptian. He settled in a land called Midian and went from riches to rags in one day. For the next forty years, Moses, the Pharaoh's adopted son, tended dirty smelly sheep.
Moses had a dream. It was a good and noble dream. It was a dream to save the Hebrew nation from slavery and bondage. However, he ran ahead of God and tried to make his dream a reality in his own way, in his own time, and in his own strength. The result was disastrous, and God had to interrupt his life to stop him. After a while, he forgot his dream altogether. But God is a God who restores our dreams.
Moses' mother had placed him in the river to save his life. God had placed him in the desert to save his soul. Now, God had him right where He wanted. Moses had come to the end of himself, and when he had, God was waiting there to embrace him.
From the midst of the burning bush, God told Moses that he had a dream for his life. He had heard the cry of the Hebrews in Egypt and He was going to use Moses to deliver them. I hope you'll go back and read the rest of the story. I want to stop right here and make a few observations. Did you notice that God's dream for Moses was the same dream Moses had for his life forty years earlier? Yet, Moses had forgotten the flame that burned in his heart so many years before - to free the Hebrew people. He had forgotten his passion, his purpose, and his preordained preparation for the task. However, God had not forgotten. He was simply waiting for Moses to get ready.
Where did Moses go wrong? He went ahead of God. "Moses wasn't wrong in his vision or in his goal. He was wrong in his method. His perception of how God worked and of God's ways was wrong. Moses didn't really know what God wanted him to be, and it took another 40 long years for God to build new patterns into Moses and bring him to that understanding. God wanted a man who was aware of his inadequacies; a man who, of necessity, would draw from God's strength, wisdom, and power; a man who would recognize God's ability through his own weakness."
So many times, when we think we are ready, we aren't. Then when we think we aren't ready, we are. So what does it mean to be ready to fulfill God's dreams for our lives? We are ready when....
- We are willing to pray for God to accomplish His dreams for our lives rather than our own.
- We realize that we can accomplish nothing on our own strength, talents, and abilities, but are totally dependent on Him to work in and though us.
- We understand that God wants to accomplish God sized dreams in our lives.
- We are willing to accomplish God's dreams in God's ways and by His leading.
Lord, I know Your Word promises that you have plans for each of Your children. Forgive me when I run ahead of You or when I lag behind. I am so glad that You have dreams and plans for my life. I pray that I will have the courage to do what You call me to do...in Your time and in Your way.
Is there some dream in your own life that you feel was interrupted?
Can you think of any reason that God would want you to take an intermission in pursuing your dreams?
Have you put a stop sign where God put a yield?
If you feel that you are in an "intermission" period for God fulfilling your dream, stop and ask God to show you the reason you are not moving forward.
Read Acts 7:22. What do you learn about Moses?
Read Numbers 12:3 How was he described in this verse?
What made the difference in the Moses we see at age 40 and the Moses we see at age 80?
Which Moses did God choose to use?
What does that tell you about the attitude God desires in those that He chooses to use to accomplish great feats for Him?
(The first three power verses were God's response to Moses when he argued with God's call.)
"And God said, 'I will be with you" (Exodus 3:12 NIV).
"God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'" (Exodus 3:14).
"The LORD said to him, 'Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say'" (Exodus 4:11, 12 NIV).
"I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go" (Isaiah 48:17 NIV).
Dreams of a Woman - God's Plan for Fulfilling Your Dreams by Sharon Jaynes