The writer of Hebrews starts out verse 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died.
LIVING BY FAITH
“By faith” is listed in every verse in our reading today. I think this is one of the most important actions we can take–living by faith. But what does that mean? Does that mean being a big story guy like Moses…no I don’t think so. He did small things throughout his life that were guided by his faith in God. But he always kept his eyes focused on the eternal.
I love verse 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one.
In Chapter 3 Jennie quoted John 12:24-25:
I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
That is Jesus speaking to us. He is telling us to keep our eyes on the eternal. That we have to die to this life to move to the next. I hope our hearts are where they should be–because when they are that next step is the daily surrender. Chapter 3 was a gut check chapter for me, it might have been for you as well.
But until you are all in, you will be capable of dreaming only your own inadequate and small dreams. Because we are never free until we let go.
When she talks about her friend Sarah my heart clenches. We all have our deep pain that cuts us right to the heart. The things we have had to go through, overcome and persevere.
You see a God who tells oceans where to stop and a God who tells evil where to stop. You see a God who bleeds out for those you hurt for. You see a God who suffered first. I AM with you. And I have a plan here.
He gave everything for us. So I will entrust my entire life to no one else. We surrender to a God who surrendered everything for us.
So can we pray this Anything prayer together as we do this? Are you guys ready for that? It makes me sweaty…but I’m ready.
So lets dream! God’s vision and dream for our world is so beautiful. He is creative, he is aw inspiring. And I think he is a dreamer. So what did you used to dream about? Our dreams have died, and in our pursuit of maturity, we have lost ourselves and even lost more of God. We miss how creatively he pursued each of us until we believed. We miss his vision for his church: one body, many unique parts coming together to make a difference with their small moments…some of us have deep needs that we don’t even have words for.
We talked a little bit about dreaming at our Monday bible study and a few words that came up were: fear and busy. We all get so distracted in the day to day. I had a friend message me a few days ago and she said, “Pray for us, we are trying to see the will of God.” I told her I would, and that I understand that feeling. I think we all do, we have probably all been there at some point, maybe even after a dream or an idea has been planted. And we stop dead in our tracks and wait for the will of God. I saw a quote the other day that said, “Don’t plant a fork in the path, just keep moving.” In Lysa Terkeurst’s book the best yes she tells us:
The fear of making a wrong decision shouldn’t strip the faith right out of our faith. The only way our faith will ever strengthen is for us to use it. We need to apply thought and prayer to our decisions and then trust God for the outcome. We need to set our sights on growing in faith, not shrinking back for fear of failure.
I just love that. So many times we let our fear of so many different things hold us back from dreaming. We are going to dig in more to what these will look like, but the whole idea is to start somewhere. I’ll give you an example, I read Jen Hatmaker’s book 7 a while back…and she talks in the book about how on Easter they moved their church outside to an overpass in Austin where a large amount of homeless people live. They held church outside and fed the homeless. I have dreamed about doing something like that ever since. Will it happen, maybe not….but maybe so. The whole idea here is just to start dreaming so that God can speak through his word to us, through our relationships, but most importantly through the spirit. Jennie talks about how the spirit rushed in and verses started flooding her and I can totally relate. When we open our minds and surrender at the same time, God moves in and we are filled up, and he moves into our small and does amazing things.
Lets talk: What do you hope happens in these few weeks together?