There is a gentleman where I work who is about to retire. I remember when I first met him, almost seventeen years ago. We ran into each other in the restroom. I imagine that he could tell I was new. We were a bit smaller of a company back then. He asked what I was doing there and I told him. Feeling pretty spunky, I asked him the same question. He told me he was the Executive Vice-President for the division I worked for. I might have felt a bit sheepish at that point.
Some time later he was made the president of this division and has worked to the point of retirement. Someone told me recently that he was taking welding lessons so that he can create art. Think about that for a minute. He has been an executive in a business for close to two decades. He is going to retire within weeks and what does he want to do?
I have had a thought for a while. A question really. It’s been sitting there simmering. Baking. Basting in the slow cooker of my mind for a few weeks. I’ve been wondering for a while.
Is it a sin to not pursue your dream.
Now, we have to define our dreams a bit. I’m not talking about what you have on your bucket list. I’m not talking about working for thirty years until you gain the gold watch and retire to a life of ease. What I mean is this:
A dream is the desire to use the talents you have been given for the betterment of man and the glory of God.
We recently had a sermon series at church. It was called The Follower and was about being a follower of Christ.
On the first Sunday of the series, our pastor displayed a piece of driftwood on stage. It was nothing remarkable. Just a piece of plain, gray driftwood.
The next Sunday, it looked a little different. A gentleman in our church had begun to carve a face into the driftwood. Each Sunday throughout the series it change. The detail to the face grew. This man had taken a his tools that he was skilled at. He made something beautiful out of something that was ugly. He used his talents to do something.
Jon Acuff recently wrote this post about the artists of Israel. You can read the story in Exodus 31 and 36. God gave the wisdom and talents to create art to some of the Israelites. All who were willing were summoned to work on the ark and all of the items for the tabernacle.
The skill of those skillful to create art was put into these people by God. What were they given the skill to do?
God gave talent to certain people and then those who were willing created the ark and instruments of the tabernacle. The artists were heavily involved in the corporate worship of the Lord.
Some, it seems, may have sat on their talent and not used it for the betterment of the nation and the glory of God
You may think that you aren’t an artist. I disagree. You may not be a musician. You may not be someone who can carve driftwood into something beautiful or weld metal into art. You may not be someone who writes a blog.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have talent or don’t create art.
I know a man who has been a hunter all of his life. The Lord has given him incredible talent and ability. He leads hunter safety classes and shares his faith through this. Do you know what he does?
He creates art.
I want to challenge you today. Do an self-inventory. Find your talents. Use them to share your faith. Give them to your church to aid in corporate worship. Display them so that God’s glory can be further displayed.
What talents do you have that can create art for the Lord?
Is it wrong for a Christian to dream?
Or to put it another way, is it wrong for a Christian to pursue their dream?
The easy answer to this would be to say no and move on. Of course it isn’t wrong for a Christian to dream. Where would we be without being able to dream. The problem we face is that it isn’t really a yes or no question. Here’s why.
First, we have to determine our ultimate dream.
Jesus told us to see the kingdom first. If I am pursuing my dream at the expense of seeking His kingdom, then it’s really in vain, right? It doesn’t matter what I do here on earth. It doesn’t matter what we accomplish. The kingdom should come first for all of us. Our dreams should move us further in our seeking the kingdom of God.
Second, whatever we do, we should do for God’s glory.
Obviously our dreams cannot conflict with this. If our dream does not bring God glory, then perhaps we need to reevaluate our dream. Our dream may be going in the opposite direction of what it should be. Our dream must be measured against this. Our dreams should bring God glory as much, if not more, than any other area of our life.
So the answer is yes, we should dream as long as our dreams are in alignment with what God wants in this world and brings Him praise and glory. The answer is no if our dreams are in conflict with the life we profess and the Lord we claim.
Do you have a dream? Does it conflict with the Lord’s purpose for you?
The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, “By the grace of God, I am what I am”.
I am a follower of Christ.
I am a husband.
I am a father.
I am loved by multitudes (if you an believe that blurb I wrote about myself for Twitter.)
Jeff Goins recently wrote a book called You Are A Writer. In it he details how that he became a writer when he declared himself a writer. He also has challenged a good many people to declare themselves a writer.
I’ve been many things in life.
I’ve been a runner.
I’ve been a banker.
I’ve been a collector.
I’ve been, and still am, a manager.
I’ve told people that I would love to be a writer. I’ve been writing various blogs for almost four years now.
Never have I called myself a writer.
Now I do.
I am a writer.
Because I love it.
Because I want to do it.
Because I want to give God glory.
I am a writer.
What are you?
Evidently, according to all the kids these days, it’s not considered complimentary to be referred to as a tool.
According to Urban Dictionary, a person called a tool is “someone who lack the mental capacity to know they are being used.” Basically, they are being manipulated for someone else’s purpose.
I certainly don’t want to be anyone’s tool.
God is often called the potter. We are the clay. What is He molding us into? What is He making us into?
A tool for His glory?
In Romans, Paul says that some are who are vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath.
In other words, we are tools.
Tools for His glory.
The difference is that we know that we are a tool for Him.
How do you feel about being a tool for the Lord?
More than likely, if you are a follower of Christ, you know the story that Jesus told of the man who discovered a treasure in a field. The man hid it again in the field. Then he sold everything he had and bought the field so he could have the treasure.
The kingdom of heaven is valuable, isn’t it? Based on what Jesus is saying, it is supremely valuable. So valuable that you will give everything else up to have it. Nothing else compares to it.
The question we have to ask ourselves is this: Is Christ our supreme treasure?
That is the heart of much of what Jesus talks about in the Gospels.
A man wants to follow him. He tells the man to sell everything and follow him.
The bottom line is Christ is so valuable that nothing else compares to Him.
Israel faced a similar decision. Moses was up on the mountain getting the Law. He was up there for forty days. The Israelites got antsy. They hadn’t heard from God or Moses in a while. So, what did they do? They told Aaron to make them a golden calf. They began to worship it. They declared that it was the god who had led them out of Egypt.
Here is how Psalm 106 describes the scene: Thus they exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that eats grass.
Do you see what they did? They did the exact opposite of the story Jesus told and what He demanded of the rich young man.
Jesus says give everything up for me.
Israel gave up their glory, GOD, for something else.
How about you and me?
Do we give up everything for Christ? Or do we give up Christ for everything else?