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Revive Your Dreams: Living the dream

You are the pilot of your life!.png

“Where is the nose of your plane?” In order to keep your dream alive, you need to ask the same question continually: Are you gaining or losing altitude in your life?

You are the pilot of your life. You have the choice to bolt full throttle and pull up the nose of the plane. God is the engine, the power, and the glory in your life. Your job is to reach out and to trust in Him. Most of us, however, get confused. We presume we are the pilot and the power. That’s where things turn terribly wrong. This is where aspirations nose-dive out of control.

When you are making progress, it can be easy to become more focused on the work than on God. It’s tragic to let results get ahead of the relationship. To prevent that from happening, keep your finger on the pulse of your relationship with God. The enemy is out to kill, steal, and destroy you and create a barrier to living out your dream by making you results-focused rather than relationship-focused.

Although you are certainly the navigator of your future, you are not the engine behind your dreams. Your relationship with God is. It connects you to the heart of God so your life can be fueled continually by God’s power. God is the source making possible the desires of your heart. First Corinthians 8:3, “But the man who loves God is wisdom. Without the Word and communication with Him, you lack true wisdom. You are a plane without an engine. If you are not listening to and looking for His direction, how can God direct your steps? Absent God’s truth, the enemy will shoot down your hopes and purpose with discouraging lies, delays, or failure.

Relationships yield results. Results do not yield relationships. There is probably not a single success in your life that was not made possible through a key relationship. Every venture you pursue will reflect the key relationships in your life.

If your heart is filled with the knowledge of who God is and who you are in Christ, there is not a lie in this world or a potshot from the enemy that can bring you down. Keep the relationship engines tuned up and the nose of your life plane will continue to soar toward your accomplishing all God has for you.

 

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
-Psalm 37:4

 

Revive Your Dreams: What is your comfort zone?

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Do you long to discover God’s miraculous power through your life? Jesus’s disciple Peter certainly experienced His crazy magnificent power! You can read about his amazing experience in Matthew 14. The disciples were on the boat when a storm came. The boat was taking a beating. The disciples were afraid.

Jesus came walking out to them on the water. Peter was the only one on the boat who asked Jesus if he could walk on the water. The other disciples probably presumed Peter was crazy! Their minds might have worried about what would happen to Peter when he stepped out of the boat. Will he sink? Will the waves take him under? Peter wasn’t considering any of those things. He was ready to walk on water! “Come,” Jesus declared. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus (Matthew 14:29).

All the other disciples were fearfully clinging to a sinking ship. Being in the ship was probably their comfort zone. Although their ship was basically drowning, they decided to embrace what they knew. They held onto the familiar when it clearly led to destruction.  Their tightly clutched grip on the sinking boat caused them to miss out on the impressive miracle Peter experienced. Their rut kept them from experiencing a life-altering miracle!

How about you? What is your comfort zone?

Jesus tells us again and again not to be afraid. It’s time to dig deep and define what limits are holding you back from God’s dreams. You can’t move out of your comfort zone if you haven’t identified it.

Now, don’t misunderstand what I am saying. God can still work in your life. He will meet you where you are. But wouldn’t you rather step out in faith and do what He wants you to do? Stop focusing on what could fail and imagine what could succeed! Focus on Philippians 4:13, I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Nothing can stand in your way because God is for you!

Get outside your comfort zone because God is worthy of you taking a risk! God is worth it! He is worthy of all you have. He is worthy of the hard labor. Remembering this will keep you motivated.

Your view of God will be strengthened as you step outside your comfort zone to live by truth and faith!

 

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
-Matthew 17:20

Revive Your Dreams: Where is your mind leading you?

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Your imagination can either work for you, or it can work against you. The mind is a powerful tool that will either lead you toward your dreams or away from them. Where is your mind leading you?

Your God-given imagination is creative, ambitious, loving, and compassionate. Your God-given dreams are inspiring, motivating, and exciting. In fact, your imagination is only being used in the way it was designed when it is surrendered to inspiration from God.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” When you compare that definition of faith to the definition of imagination, which is “forming mental images of things not present to the senses,” notice they are very similar. You might even say that our imaginations are built on faith. Your positive imagination is where hope is conceived!

So if we are going to take our hope back so that we can become dreamers of God-sized dreams, we have to surrender our imaginations to God in the same way we surrender our lives to Him in faith when we become followers of Christ.

Is your imagination surrendered to God, or is it still working against you, leading you into the wilderness?

The Bible says God can do more than we can think, ask, or imagine (Ephesians 3:20 paraphrased). But whether you realize it or not, your imagination can become suppressed when you’re only focused on the giants and huge obstacles you face. When you’re focused on the worst-case scenarios and the what-ifs, that is your imagination working against you.

Shift your focus, and cling to the promises of God. He tells us, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name” (John 14:13); “Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 30:9); and “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). God’s promises are true. Focus on what God can do. He will take care of you if you allow Him to work through your life. It’s your choice. Today, choose to surrender your imagination to God, and get ready to experience powerful miracles!

 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
-2 Corinthians 10:5

Revive Your Dreams: Do you know God’s view of you?

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What is your opinion of yourself? How you view yourself will determine your ability to accomplish all that God has for you.

If you believe you are a weak, barely saved sinner, then you may back down when life gets tough. It will get tough. Plowing new ground requires hard work, perseverance, and a steady trust in the Lord.

If you view yourself through God’s eyes—a forgiven, chosen, loved, blameless, saint who is filled to the full with the Holy Spirit—then when things get hard, you will not back down because you know you are a servant of Christ! You are confident that in everything you do, you represent the One True God. You know that where He guides, He provides. So when the provision isn’t present, you know and trust that it is coming.

It is critical that you know your identity in Jesus Christ! It is the beginning or the end. You are special because God molded you, and God doesn’t create mistakes! You aren’t loved because you are lovable. You are loved because God is love. You aren’t valued because you’re valuable. You’re valuable because God made you.

If we are going to defeat negativity, fear, and distractions to reclaim our hope, we must start by knowing our true identity in Christ. Lies believed can inhibit God’s powerful plan for our lives. The biggest deception preventing you from achieving your dreams is insecurity.

It will be difficult to stick with God’s view of you if you have not learned to fully trust Him. However, if you spend much time with Him at all, you will discover that your Heavenly Father is the most trustworthy aspect of your life. When you have an intimate relationship with Him, you will know for yourself that your God loves you deeply and He will never leave you or forsake you.

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
-2 Corinthians 5:17

Revive your dreams: What is keeping you from being a dream lifter?

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We consistently note that young children are dreamers! Young adults are quieter and more reserved. They are hesitant to share and seem shy or embarrassed to announce their dreams openly. Adults are a mixed bag. Sometimes, we get the ones who don’t dream at all for themselves, and other times we meet those who are still dreaming machines.

What has to occur to turn the free, young-spirited dreamer into the reserved teen / young adult, and finally the pessimistic adult? What point in our lives are our dreams suppressed? I am going to draw from the Bible to suggest three life events that often suppress our ability to dream: fear, previous failures, and loss or devastation.

  • Fear – Fear will always keep you from walking in total freedom. Harboring fear will cause you to trust in things and circumstances, rather than God.
  • Failure – Failure is a dream killer. Feelings of failure will prevent you from ever trying anything new.
  • Loss/Devastation – Devastating circumstances limit your ability to observe with faith and dream God’s dreams! Loss and devastation can prevent progress. Living in the past, prevents us from being aware of God’s work today.

 

If it’s not a past full of fear, failure, or loss that is keeping you from being a dream lifter, it could be a pessimistic pattern that prevents you from opening your life to God’s dreams for you. Sometimes we get stuck in a negative mind-set because of our own internal assessment, and other times, we are influenced by the opinions of others.

The root of a negative mind-set about your dreams is usually the desire to please other people. Man’s opinion is often more valued than God’s. When we reason our own way out of doing something that God has told us to do, we value our own discernment more than we trust God’s commands.

But if we replace negative thoughts with God’s truth, we can become filled with His dreams for us. When we partner with Him, He can achieve more than we could ever imagine. Trust that God’s wisdom is higher than your own. It’s not too late. Keep pressing through the pages. Let God stir you and help you realize you are worthy to do what He’s called you to! Release past failures, fears, and despair. Give it all to God. Today. Listen to God, and you can become a dream lifter!

 

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 3:13-14

Revive Your Dreams: Are you a dream keeper, dream killer, or dream lifter?

This week I will be starting a series of posts on how to kick start your dreams. I hope you will be inspired to freely envision your faith-filled dreams and become unstoppable in your pursuit. God is looking for those who hunger to work in His fields doing the work He designed and called them to do. By the end of this series, I pray you’ll be asking, imagining, and dreaming from the very heart of God again. God longs for His children to dream and imagine so He can use us fully to fulfill His purposes on this earth!

 

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What have you done with the dreams and gifts God has placed in your possession? Each of us has received unique gifts from God. What you do with the talents He has given you is entirely up to you.

In Matthew 25:16-30, there is the story of three servants who received gold from their master. The servant who received one bag of gold was a dream killer. He didn’t really know or trust his master. His interest was in protecting himself. Perhaps he dwelt on past failures. The dream killer makes no progress because he imagines the worst possible outcome.

I define the man who invested two bags of gold was a “dream keeper”. He saw himself with great success and was proud of the result he delivered. However, his lack of trust made him only willing to invest in a guaranteed result. The investor is oblivious to the fact that his self-preserving actions only limit his opportunity to serve the master. They have more wisdom and drive than dream killers, but they still don’t fully trust God.

The servant who received the five bags of gold was a dream lifter. He knew and trusted his master, so he was willing to risk everything to serve him. He was not concerned with himself or afraid of hard work, and most likely, his past experience with serving the master had proven successful. His hope carried his imagination. Dream lifters inspire people! Their enthusiasm rubs off on those around them and they motivate others into action without trying. They invest without fear, knowing that it is God who will bring a good return on their obedience.

Which are you: a dream keeper, dream killer, or dream lifter? Commit to obtaining God’s truth. If you are a dream killer, what is suppressing your ability to dream? Is it fear? Failure? Hopelessness? Negative influences? Are you a dream keeper with big dreams and little action? Ask God to reveal where you might not fully know his love and power in your life.

If you are a dream lifter who trusts God and you are executing on your dreams if only in small ways— celebrate! God is able to do more than you can think, ask, imagine, or dream. But what is it that you are you contemplating, dreaming, and imagining? Is it big enough for God?

 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
-Ephesians 3:20-21

the Sin of Familiarity… do you have it?

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Have you ever had a friend that can encourage someone and help the person be changed forever? Do you know someone who can pray over a complete stranger and healing happens immediately? Ever griped and moaned about your church while others envy your pastor? Do you have Biblically grounded friends, but seek Biblical counsel from unknown others?

Continue reading “the Sin of Familiarity… do you have it?”

Next Generation, What Will You Do?

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When I was growing up, the topic of “What will you do with your life?” included a strong emphasis on “You must make enough money to support yourself.” 

Our family didn’t have a lot growing up. I think my parents genuinely didn’t want me to spend my life struggling from paycheck to paycheck, in debt up to my eyeballs, or unable to vacation with my family.

 

I recently enjoyed a conversation with the next generation, a recent graduate of the Class of 2017, in fact.

 

I was stunned by the words she spoke:

 

“Money is a thing of this world, so spend it and give it away.
If you run out, make some more.”

 

Although she has lived a life of above-average wealth, she doesn’t value money the way my generation once did.

 

However, she does hope to become a millionaire in the next five years, but money is not the highest thing she values. She values life, time, people, and doing what she loves.

 

My generation is confused by this generation because we roll up our sleeves and do whatever is necessary to provide for our families.

 

Maybe this next generation understands money better than I did—or still do. Ahem.

 

I have spent the majority of my adulthood uncovering and healing from a “poverty mindset.” I am frugal to the extreme. It makes me reluctant to purchase, toss, give, etc. This is full-blown bondage.

 

I love that money isn’t her source. She said, “The thing you hold at the highest place is what you truly worship. I just don’t hold money in that place.”

 

While I believe her thoughts are biblical, how in the world does work ethic fit into this? The verse that comes to mind is Proverbs 6:6: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” (NIV).

 

The next generation fully believes that when God is in His rightful place, you will fully live for Him and He will add everything unto you.

 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
— Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

 

Could the hand of the Lord alone bring all the prosperity they’ll ever need? And do we have the faith in the next generation to let them try?

 

Take a look at these verses with me:

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
— 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

 

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
— Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

 

“If you love me, keep my commands.”
— John 14:15 (NIV) 

 

If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in obedience to him. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
— Deuteronomy 28:1–14 (NIV)

 

I am curious about your thoughts on this subject. What books have you read on the next generation? Do share. Let’s pray together for our Next Gen.

 

Father, give them dreams and visions. Guide them. Let them know You more personally. Help them to know how much You love them! Father, reveal their identity and how special and unique they are to Your sacrificial love. In Jesus’ name.

 

Love,
Sheri

I Am Rich!

I am rich.

No, I don’t own the nicest home in the world. My car is fourteen years old. But I am one of the wealthiest people on the planet—not just financially, but in peace. Peace is a bank that you cannot accrue deposits in with the accumulation of things. The wealth that I have comes in my relationship with my husband and relationships with my kids. We have true, deep, meaningful, intimate relationships. It comes in the form of relationships with my closest siblings, my closest friends, and my long-term friends that I have been friends with for twenty to thirty years. Regardless of the time, the intimacy never waned and never shattered.

I am wealthy.

I am one of the wealthiest people I know because I walk in complete and utter understanding of the forgiveness that I have obtained. I don’t live in condemnation. I don’t live in guilt. I have no more shame. Sure, I used to live in shame, defined by what was done to me and defined by the sins that I committed and the people I have hurt. That was the poorest I have ever been.

I used to hide what I was to be approved by man. I am rich because I do not care. I’m no longer bound by the chains of the approval of people.

I am free. I am free to choose life. I’m free to choose death.

I am filled with the Holy Spirit, who comforts me, guides me, and loves me. He helps me love myself. It’s only when I began truly to love myself that I could truly begin to love others. Before that, I loved others because of what they could do for me. When you are filled with the richest love there is, you are able to love without strings attached and to give freely without expecting anything in return.

I am the richest person I know. How about you? Are you rich, or are you poor?

Love, 
Sheri 

Becoming the True You

The struggle is real, and it can be daily. 

What if you knew who you truly are and what you were called to do? Becoming My True Identity leads you through a study of the transforming power of knowing your authentic identity in Christ. When you know whose you are, then you know who you are. When you know who you are, you know what you were called to do. Join us as we learn how to become who we truly are in Christ.

Will you give only eight days to encourage you in your identity in Christ?

http://bit.ly/Identityreadingplan

Love, 
Sheri