Wednesday morning we talked about dreaming and expanded into discovery. I know this entire dreaming concept and even this “wide awake” is hard to grasp. I can see it in your eyes as we go through this. Some of you sit there and the look on your face tells me, “this dreaming stuff just isn’t for me”. That is the problem. That is – precisely – why we chose this book and why we are talking about dreaming, discovering, exploring, creating, etc. It is precisely because … for so many of us … it is so hard to do.
Why is that? Why is this notion of curiosity, discovery, dreaming, exploring so hard?
For many of us it is because we are listening to the wrong voices. We are going to DIVE hard into that next week. Please come next week. This is another slight deviation we will take by the Spirit’s leading but I firmly believe next week will really minister to you.
The wrong voices. You listen to the voices that say, “That’s a foolish pipe dream” or “You will never succeed in that” or “Your last venture failed, whatever you do, don’t risk it again.” Perhaps you’ve been burned by love – you gave your heart and it was crushed. You think you’ll never love again. Perhaps you have some real pain from your father and never felt like you measured up and that voice of doubt whispers in your ear.
Whatever “it” is, so many of us have lost the capacity to discover, to dream, to explore. But you need to know that desire is innate in you – you were born with it. All of you. You have incredible capacity to dream and create and discover. Man discovers new things every day – new cures, new systems, new fertilizers, new solutions to social problems, new patterns to fix manufacturing processes, etc. In fact, if all of us no longer had the capacity to dream/create/discover, the human species would cease to exist.
So what is it for you? Where are you in this? Do you believe you can still dream? If not, does your life kind of feel like it is on a dead-end street? What about this instead…
“I want to drink of the deep mystery and keep growing and learning and exploring and discovering. I want to see that which was once invisible to me. I want to begin to live that which was once unimaginable. I don’t want a dream so small that my brain can contain it. I want to pursue a dream so big, whispered into my soul by God, that it terrifies me. (i.e. a dream so big God HAS to show up for it to happen)”
Do you believe that is possible? Does it compel you? Does that statement stir something in you – some lost treasure buried under the silt of your life? It’s there and that statement gives you just a taste, just a whisper of the life that is possible in you.
And by the way, to clarify, this isn’t some prosperity gospel. We’re not talking about you becoming the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk though for some of you, perhaps that business visionary is there just waiting to be awakened. But our focus is on the spiritual side of this. I’m talking spiritually – that spiritually, you need a dream. You need to never quit discovering, pushing, dreaming, visioning. God is whispering a role, a ministry, a service into your life and for many of us, it is buried under the silt, buried under the voices that tell you “it will never work”. THAT is what we are after. We want to drown out those voices and dig into the silt to find the treasure God gave you that just now sits there awaiting your discovery of your inner purpose. The last page of David Platt’s book Radical closes with this…
“So what happens when radical obedience to Christ becomes the new normal? Are you willing to see? You have a choice. You can cling to short-term treasures that you cannot keep, or you can live for long-term treasures that you cannot lose: people coming to Christ; men, women, and children living because they now have food; unreached tribes receiving the gospel. And the all-consuming satisfaction of knowing and experiencing Christ as the treasure above all others.
You and I have an average of 70-80 years on this earth. During those years we are bombarded with the temporary. Make money. Get stuff. Be comfortable. Live well. Have fun. In the middle of it all, we get blinded to the eternal. But it’s there. You and I stand on the porch of eternity. We will stand before God to give an account for our stewardship of the time, resources, gifts and ultimately, the gospel He has entrusted to us. When that day comes, I am convinced we will not wish we had given more of ourselves to living the American dream. We will not wish we had made more money, acquired more stuff, lived more comfortably, taken more vacations, watched more TV, pursued greater retirement or been more successful in the eyes of this world. Instead we will wish we had given more of ourselves to living for the day when every nation, tribe, people and language will bow around the throne and sing the praises of the Savior who delights in radical obedience and the God who deserves eternal worship.
Are you ready to live this dream? Let’s not waiver any longer.”
And let me end with this about Mark Sivak (with his permission). I have been watching Mark and observing God doing things in his life. We had lunch a month or so ago and I heard his story and heard the stirring in his heart. I had tagged Mark as a key future leader of this community of men and in our discussion, he said essentially, “there are just some things I cannot do, like speaking in front of people.” We talked about fear and about which voices he is listening to. Mark really gravitated to the session we had on staying attached to the Vine and he dove into a season of Lent. Last week he emailed me…
“I have been spending time during this lent season seeking The Lord. He has talked to me a lot about how to live as a man and about manschool. I’ve been writing what he’s been saying down. I will walk forward in whatever capacity he calls me to in manschool. We should plan on getting together to talk in the coming weeks after he releases me from this time of “solitude”. I have unplugged almost completely for a little while, taking vacation from work, and being still before Him.”
I affirmed his time of solitude and staying attached to the Vine and encouraged him to dig deep into what God was telling him. And I reiterated that I see him as a key leader going forward and he replied back…
“He has delivered me and will continue to deliver me to show me that He is able and my all in all. I am grateful that I can do “nothing” on my own, because then I am drawn to The vine where I get the real nourishment. I’m ready and joyful to step out and let The Lord use me, and to be part of the work He is doing (in manschool). All His works are awe inspiring. He has overcome (my) fear and I must learn to walk in faith with Him in ministry as he calls me. He is worth more to me than my flesh or pain or humility. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and watch life go by, I don’t want to squander my talents and be driven by fear, there’s no life in it. But we live by faith.”
Beautiful. Simply beautiful. The Lord has overcome Mark’s fear and he is now saying, “I will step out and go where He calls me” and “I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and watch life go by.”
Mark is attached to the Vine, staying attached to the Vine and he is listening. Isn’t it sweet how the Lord has spoken truth into his heart and knocked out those voices of failure telling him, “you can’t speak in public”. Do you see how this works? Do you see how a great man can get beaten onto the bank and vow never to get back into the River, to no longer dream, imagine, envision, discover and create?
Whose voice are you listening to? That is the critical question at this juncture of our journey together and next week, something special is going to happen as we dive into this.