Dreams that Shape the City / Day 8

BIBLE READING

Eph 2: 10 (MSG)

He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

2 Sam 7: 1-3

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.’  Nathan replied to the king, ‘Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.’

2 Chron 6: 7-9

‘My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David, “You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood – he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.”

Luke 1: 1-4

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us.... With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

REFLECTION

Christians who deeply desire to please God often get obsessed with knowing “God’s will”.  I have sat through countless sermons and seminars about ‘being in the centre of God’s will’, ‘not missing God’s perfect plan for my life’ and ‘aiming for the bulls-eye of God’s will’.  While I genuinely appreciate the sentiment behind such teaching, sadly it has often promoted an unhealthy fear of failure and has inhibited the freedom to dream within the people of God.  We are so terrified of ‘stepping out of God’s will’ that we become paralysed and passive, using prayer as an excuse for inactivity. 

In the Old Testament we read that one day David was sitting, admiring his magnificent new palace, when he had a thought: ‘Why should I have such an awesome house while the Ark of the Covenant is housed in a tent.   I’d love to build a temple where God can be properly honoured.’ 

While the actual construction of the temple took place under Solomon’s reign, it’s incredible to think that this magnificent structure never originated in a command from God, but it emerged from the desire and dream in the heart of a man.   God was so pleased that David would express his devotion in such a creative and tangible way.  The over-spill of the dream in David’s heart was a stunning house of worship which was central to the people of God drawing close to Him for over 400 years.

We see exactly the same thing in the prologue Luke writes at the beginning of his Gospel.  He simply states that while others had already documented the life and works of Jesus, he did his own research and says: “I too decided to write an orderly account for you.”  Or as the KJV says: "It seemed good to me...."

Again, we see no hint whatsoever of Luke following a divine command, there’s no specific word from God, no angel showing up, no prophet speaking.  Luke was a trained medical doctor who liked to record important details and write case histories.  He simply thought it would be a good idea to employ these gifts and skills to document this incredible, informative, inspiring biography of the Son of God which still changes lives and shapes our thinking 2000 years later.  I’m so glad Luke listened to the desire and dream in his heart.

Often we think that if it’s our idea then it can’t be God’s idea.  Yet, throughout Scripture and history, we see that when God wants to do something on earth, often He doesn’t start with something or somewhere.  He starts with someone.  He forms and shapes individuals, each one with unique desires and dreams in their hearts which, once expressed, will build or create something which will impact others and will bring Him glory and pleasure.

We hear a lot today about ‘outpourings’ of God’s Spirit and many are praying for a ‘move of God’.  I love all of that.  But what if God is actually waiting for an outpouring of what’s inside you?  Could you be the move of God in your generation?  Nathan told David: “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.” Might the Spirit be whispering this same encouragement to you today?