Do You Believe In The Impossible?

FaithImagination

The Bishop stepped to the podium with a determined stride. It was evident to all in the building that something had stirred him and they were about to hear it. With a scowl on his face, Bishop Wright, in holy indignation, boldly rebuked the College President who had just spoken.

“That is, without a doubt, one of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard,” began the Bishop, and he didn’t stop there. He continued,  “How foolish for any man, much less, an educated man to make such statements as One day in the future men may fly through the air like birds.” The Bishop went on to tell the Methodist gathering, “If God had intended for humans to fly, He would have created them with wings!”

When Bishop Wright returned to his home in Ohio, he related the foolishness of the College President to His wife. He also told her how he had set things straight and soundly rebuked him in the hearing of the entire gathering. They smirked over the preposterous idea that men would one day fly through the air. What foolishness!  Although they scoffed at this ludicrous idea unable to see it’s potential, two of their sons, Orville and Wilbur,  would one day dream the impossible dream.

“What if?” the boys asked. “Could it one day be possible that men could fly through the air? What if? True, God did not create us with wings, but did he give us the power to create wings with which to fly?”

These two young men dared to dream the impossible and through their diligence opened the door for one of the great marvels of the modern era. Flight!

Although I have taken liberties to reconstruct the conversation, the above story is factual. By all I have read, Bishop Wright and his wife were faithful Christians and wonderful parents. They just couldn’t see! This man of God could not see the jet age which we now experience. But, Orville and Wilbur dared to dream an impossible dream and birth it into reality. If we hope to make a difference in our generation, we must also dare to dream the impossible.

I love how little children dream. Have you ever watched a small boy with a toy train? He’ll make train noises as he moves it around the track, complete with whistles and bells. He’ll load the cars then chug around and around, deliver the load and start all over. How about a little girl with a doll? She’ll talk to that toy, wash it, hug it to herself, discipline it, and change its diaper, and want you to help her take care of her baby. This is not mere child’s play; it is preparation for the future.

I don’t believe God wants us to grow up and forget how to use the power of imagination. It is a God-given gift to prepare us for ever better and bigger things. Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible.” [Mark 9:23] Solomon wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” [Proverbs 29:18]

We were created to dream. Or as Walt Disney would say, “Imagineer!”

Here are three keys to dreaming God’s way:

  •  Dream big! It honors God when we believe HE is big enough for us to imagine big, ask big and act big. As Dwight L. Moody said, “If God be your partner, make your plans big.” The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us.” Eph. 3:20
  • Dream God’s dreams for your life. We must surrender our thoughts and let Him birth His ideas in us. How do you know it’s God’s vision? “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” [Ps. 37:4]
  • Hold on to the dream and don’t give up! If you hold on to the promise, the promise will hold on to you! One way to hold the dream is to write it down. God said, “Write the vision, and make it plain…” [Habakkuk 2:2]

Keep dreaming! What past generations could not even imagine, you may be the catalyst to make it a reality. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” [Luke 1:37] If you stopped dreaming, let God resurrect the Imagineer in you. Let’s become like childlike, and let God train us for the preferred future He sees. It is filled with mind-blowing possibilities! Through Jesus, we can and we will accomplish the impossible!

Hold On To The Promise

FaithPain

It is an undeniable truth: what you hold on to is what will hold on to you. One of my life passages is Psalm 105: 17-19 which reads, “He sent a man before them – Joseph – who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.” This passage speaks deeply to my soul. If anyone in history had valid reasons to carry pain with them throughout life, it was Joseph. Each of us who hear his story could easily understand if he were a bitter man. But Joseph chose to hold the promise instead of the pain.  And the promise brought him through the pit and the prison to the palace. The promise he held onto also held onto him and propelled him to his place in God’s plan.

At just seventeen years old, he experienced two vivid dreams that gave him a glimpse into destiny. He would one day be a leader. Not just a leader, but one of such significance that even his family would bow before him! He was excited about his future! Excited enough to proudly tell the dreams to his brothers, his father and anyone who would listen. He would soon learn the valuable lesson that promises most often include some pain.

Joseph’s brothers began to call him, “The Dreamer.” And they weren’t complimenting him. They held him in contempt and one day seized on the opportunity to be rid of him once and for all. Little did they know as they beat him, mocked him, threw him in the pit and later sold him as a slave they were setting him up for greatness. The painful set back was, in reality, a set up for destiny. Joseph later said, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” [Genesis 50:20]

Joseph endured the humiliation of slavery and the injustice of prison with such a firm grip on the promise that in both Potiphar’s house and prison the blessing was at work. The anointing for leadership elevated him to positions of trust with his peers and his superiors in both arenas. God was setting him up for the future. Set back after set back came, but he consistently refused to let go of the promise. Joseph learned that the promise demands preparation.

“Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.” The word translated tested means to try, refine, to purify, to fuse together, to prove the quality. The very promise God gives us works in us to bring us to the place of fulfillment. The great teacher Oswald Chambers said it this way, “God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience.”  In the process of the promise, God purifies us. He gets us into the shape of the vision. Stop praying for what you are unwilling to prepare for! When the time comes for the promise to become a reality, we must be ready!

The process of the promise prepares us! Joseph’s motivation was purified until the dream was no longer about him but others. Those who know why will always lead those who know what and how. Joseph’s associations changed. He was removed from his comfortable place and put into a place of continual discomfort physically, mentally and emotionally. It seemed that his dreams were only the prideful wishes of a spoiled brat laying on his mat wrapped in his special coat of many colors. But God was holding onto to Joseph in the damp prison when all he possessed was a worn-out blanket. When it felt like the night would never let him go, God was holding him.

Joseph tapped into three keys that enabled him to thrive in captivity and endure to experience His destiny! First, he consistently chose to hold the promise and not the pain.  I know the pain is real, but the promise is of a greater reality. In Jesus, the promises are ”Yes,” and in Him “Amen,” to the glory of God through us.” [2 Corinthians 1:20] He is faithful! Second, Joseph consistently chose to believe the promise even when the facts screamed, “No way!” Like his great grandfather Abraham, Joseph did not consider the current circumstances to the be the final word. He believed the word of the Lord. Third, he persevered through the power of patience. He refused to be distracted by pain or pleasure from the promise God gave him.

Joseph held onto the promise and the promise held on to him! If Joseph can do it then so can you! In fact, you possess a distinct advantage over Joseph. You have his story! Hebrews 6:12 instructs us to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises! If you are born again, you have the DNA of Jesus! You Holy Spirit of God is dwelling inside you! Make a choice to hold on to the promise regardless of how the process looks! Don’t give up on the future because of failure in the past or weakness in your present. Let the promise shape you and make you!  Your world needs you! The time is here for you to be a blessing to your generation! Hold on to the promise, because what you hold on to – will hold onto you!

 

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Stretch Your Faith

BreakthroughFaithHealing

Weakened to the point of exhaustion by years of loss, she sat hoping to regain strength. Few in the crowd glanced at her as they passed. Those who saw her either looked at her with pity or disgust. As she stood and began to shuffle forward, the words of the last doctor rung in her ears, “We have tried everything and with no improvement. Sorry, but you don’t have a month left to live.” The words had relieved her. For the past twelve years, she had spent her fortune searching for a cure. The things they had done to her and prescribed for her were more dreadful than the horrid disease that drained her of her blood. At least, now she knew. Weakened by illness and now by the pronounced death certificate, she headed for home. It was a long journey back to Cesarea Phillippi, but she determined to make it. She refused to die along the way. No! If she must die now, it will be in her home.

Though she kept to herself as she traveled, she could not miss the buzz of excited talk about “the Jesus.” This was the term given to distinguish Jesus of Nazareth from a multiple of other men with the same name. They said this Jesus was a rabbi with extraordinary power. He taught as one with actual authority, and He exercised that authority over demons and diseases. She felt strangely warm on the inside as she listened from the edge of the crowd. One by one they spoke of the things they saw and the words they heard from Jesus. Someone loudly declared, “He is certainly a prophet! Like Elijah and Elisha of old.” Most in the crowd nodded their agreement. Others shook their heads in disbelief, but then another voice cut through the cacophony, “I am not sure who He is but this I know, I once was blind, but now I see!” Something leaped inside of her and as she listened hope gave birth to faith!

She began to speak to herself in a soft whisper what her heart was now saying, “If I can just touch His robe, I will be whole.” In her mind, she questioned the reality of such an idea. But she somehow believed it to be true! “If I can touch the symbol of the promise, the promise of Jehovah Rapha will become real in me!” The idea took root in her, and she began making her way to Capernaum where the crowd said Jesus made His home.

“Oh my! Heaven is smiling on me today!” She whispered to herself as slipped into the large crowd following the Rabbi. So many people pushing to keep up with Jesus made her feel like she would suffocate! Weakness washed over her like an unwelcome yet familiar guest. She said again and again to herself, and anyone who happened to hear, “If I can just touch him, I will be healed.” It would be so easy to give up. Only turn around and vanish into the day. Voices of reason, voices of religion, voices of doubt, voices of self-pity jumbled together in her mind until she almost stopped and sat down. But she kept talking to herself, “If I can just touch Jesus, I will be whole! She knew she must stretch for the change. She must stretch for her miracle, and so she determined to stretch to touch Jesus or die in the process!

She said again and again to herself, and anyone who happened to hear, “If I can just touch him, I will be healed.” Click To Tweet

A lady whose name we do not know identified to us only by the issue she struggled with in life. By an incredible act of faith, she becomes known to us by her miracle! She chose to believe and stretch her faith to touch Jesus. BOOM! Her faith released His power and His power rewrote her story! He is the same today as He was then. [Hebrews 13:8] When we touch Him in faith, He gladly helps us rewrite our story. To touch him we need to do what she did!

STRETCH BEYOND SCIENCE!

She had gone to “many physicians” and tried all they prescribed for her. In fact, the treatment proved to be more painful than the disease. She spent all the money she had, which must have been substantial since it lasted twelve years. She didn’t improve at all but only grew worse. The best of the best told her there was no medical cure for her. They sadly but “matter of factly” instructed her to go home and prepare to die. But when she heard the things concerning “the Jesus,” faith rose in her spirit to go beyond the scientific community and reach out in faith. While we are thankful for science and are not ignorant of it place in our lives, we must stretch our faith beyond the limits of science and dare to believe that God is greater and in the name of Jesus, “All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:23]

...we must stretch our faith beyond the limits of science and dare to believe that God is greater and in the name of Jesus... Click To Tweet

STRETCH BEYOND RELIGION!

To get her breakthrough, she had to break with the traditional understanding of the religious protocol. It was risky to stretch beyond the confines, and she knew it might result in harsh punishment but what did she have to lose? She is one of the few people in history who tried to steal a miracle from God. We must let God stretch us out of the box of our religious understanding. He will never move us beyond the boundaries of His truth, but far too often we confuse His truth with our flawed understanding. JESUS is the word of God made flesh. So although she seemed to be breaking the law, she did so reaching out to the One who fulfilled every letter of the law. When Jesus is truly your target, you won’t go wrong.

STRETCH BEYOND ISSUES!

Perhaps the most difficult thing she did was to stretch beyond her issue. To say she was weak would be a massive understatement! Twelve long years of blood loss plus the painful treatments had taken a tremendous toll on her body, her mind, and her emotions. All of her money gone in the process and not one little improvement to show for it all. If anyone ever had a valid reason to “sit this one out,” she did. If anyone could ever feel justified in thinking it must not be God’s will to heal her, she could. If anyone’s excuses were valid, her’s were. She chose to stretch beyond her issue and stretch her faith. STOP making excuses and STRETCH! If this unnamed lady can do it, so can we!

She chose to stretch beyond her issue and stretch her faith. STOP making excuses and STRETCH! Click To Tweet

STRETCH TO JESUS!

Our stretching is good but futile if the goal is anything or anyone less than Jesus! He must be the object of our faith! “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” [I John 5:4-5] She refused to stop short of Jesus. She pressed her way through the suffocating crowd. She pushed past everyone, including the great disciples, to touch the garment of Jesus. When her faith touched His character, the explosive power of God flowed out of Him and into her.  HEALED! FREE! WHOLE! Whatever you are facing today, stretch your faith to Jesus and receive Heaven’s best for your life!

Our stretching is good but futile if the goal is anything or anyone less than Jesus! Click To Tweet

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We Will Not Grow Weary! Building Update!

Faith

Dear Friends,

Like you, we have been tempted to grow wearywhile doing the good we are called by God to do.  For us the words the Holy Spirit spoke in Galatians 6:9 have been vital, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” The day of fulfillment is coming and it is sooner than ever!

As you know, we are believing for a “BIG” thing. In fact, it is so big that there is no way we can accomplish it without God! And when it happens all will know that it is HE who has made it happen! To God be the glory! Keep reading

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