Have you ever had a day dream and have no idea where it came from? Was it God? Was it me? Was it something someone said to me? Maybe, it was the taco bell I ate late last night.. (Im sorry all you health freaks, it was a sinful mistake I know.) I have come to the realization that it can be a difficult task to figure out why you had certain dreams come into your heart.
There is a very interesting passage found in 2nd Samuel with King David, the prophet Nathan, and God. We pick up where King David is resting from war and currently has no enemies. He begins to day dream, but it doesn’t go the way he saw it happening.
2 Samuel 7:1-7 “When King David was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all the surrounding enemies, 2 the king summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of God is out there in a tent!”3 Nathan replied to the king, “Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.”4 But that same night the Lord said to Nathan, 5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has declared: Are you the one to build a house for me to live in? 6 I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. I have always moved from one place to another with a tent and a Tabernacle as my dwelling. 7 Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s tribal leaders, the shepherds of my people Israel. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house?”
This is a good thing right? This is a Godly dream right? King David, that is a man after God’s heart, the best king Israel ever had, wants to build God a beautiful place for him to dwell. To make the dream even better a very well known prophet completely agrees with the dream and tells him to go for it and says the, “LORD IS WITH YOU!” If I’m King David, I am confident this dream is of the Lord. My heart and the prophet are on the same page, this should be a good thing! But, a few verses later if you keep reading in the story, God comes back to Nathan and tells him to go back and tell the king “NO” and his dream will not happen through him. This must have been very awkward for Nathan, to initially say yes then have to go back and tell him no.
Depending on when you are reading this, today is January 1st and we are celebrating a new year. Maybe 2016 was amazing for you and your wishing it just gets better this next year. Maybe it was a rough year and your looking forward to hopefully a better near future. Most of the world over this last weekend made some new resolutions, plans, diets, even some new dreams for this next season. Here are 2 things I think we should consider from this passage…
- I want to dream GOD dreams not GOOD dreams
As I stated before there was nothing inherently wrong with this dream. There was no bad motives that we can see. It was a GOOD dream to honor God, but it wasn’t God’s dream. I think sometimes we can get distracted by the good things that we see, but God wants the best to happen not just the good. I don’t want to have good dreams and good ideas, I want to have GOD dreams and GOD ideas. It can be so easy to get distracted and focused on comfortable things that are obtainable and seem like the right thing. In this new year don’t dream comfortable dreams. Dream God-size dreams. At the end of my life I don’t want to look back and say I accomplished some good things. I want to be able to say I was apart of some God-size dreams.
Jim Collins says “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
2. Sometimes no is not REJECTION but REDIRECTION
Its a easy thing to read being us, but image King David’s emotional state. He is so excited about this new dream and all of the possibilities. The prophet has already said yes! I’m sure David started dreaming even more, writing things down, ect because he had the okay from a man of God. Then God says no. You really find out what position God has in your life when he says “NO.” But what is so powerful in this story is that God doesn’t just say no and thats it, but, he reminds David on why he called him in the first place. I think often when God is saying no we feel like its rejection. But I think at times it’s redirection back to the initial dream. Verse 8 says “Now go and say to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel.” God is essential saying “I called you to lead my people not build me houses, David remember why I called you from the pasture.”
I want my dreams to outweigh my memories. I hope this year you have dreams, desires, and aspirations. I hope it scares you a little bit to dream some of the things in your heart of hearts. But can I submit to you, surrender it to Jesus and allow him to place God-size dreams; not man-sized dreams in your heart. Secondly, be encouraged if one of your dreams gets shut down or even a big fat NO from God, its okay, its not the end. There are greater things coming and God might just be redirecting you to something bigger.