God delights to do impossible things through improbable people, to impart exceeding grace to undeserving recipients. I spent some time making that sentence up. And since it was so wonderful, let me give it to you again. ‘Cause I want you to really think about what it means. It’s not that God just happens to do it. God delights. There is a pleasure in the heart of God. There is something that happens in the divine Trinity. He delights to do impossible things. Not hard things, not difficult things, not what really smart people, getting together with a lot of money and a lot of resources and a lot of effort could do.
God delights to do impossible things. But He delights to do it, not through people that everyone think it could happen, He delights to do it through improbable people. A lot like the person that might be sitting in your chair. There are other people that I’m sure God will use. Certain things will happen in the world. Maybe I can help them out, but no. God delights to do impossible things through improbable people. Why? God wants to impart exceeding grace. See, it’s not about us. It’s not about our ambitions, our dreams, our visibility.
God wants to do something impossible through someone like you so other people can get what they don’t deserve. God wants to impart exceeding, overwhelming, lavishing grace to people that don’t deserve it. Because when God does that, He gets the glory. When my seventh and eighth grade coach found out I was playing college ball, they had to pretty figure out somewhere that, you know, God must have showed up somewhere in my life because that 4’11 kid did not have a career in basketball. God wants to do amazing things. You know something? Nothing can ever happen until it becomes even the flicker of a thought. Nothing will ever happen in the future until that flicker of a thought becomes a desire you would even be willing to think about.
I’m talking about godly, God honoring, things that would help lots of people. And then that little desire flickers and into a flame to where you have a dream that is birthed in your heart, in your life. And then that dream becomes the target. It becomes something that you think about and you pray about. Your energy and your resources and your priorities and your focus gets around this dream. That if God would so decide to do it, it would be so impossible that everyone would know God and God alone has done it. I want to talk about, how does it happen? How does God develop, birth dreams in people like you and people like me?
Well, he invites ordinary people to dream something so great that it would be impossible if God did not do it. He just invites you. It’s not mysterious. It’s not for a few special people, special times somewhere. God invites ordinary people to dream something so great that it would be impossible if God did not do it. Now at this point, we’re living in a world where you can go to a seminar for several hundred dollars and learn to think positively. You can go to another seminar or the bookstore and, you know, think and grow rich.
There’s a lot of self-help material. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry. So, Chip are you really saying what the mind can believe, the will can conceive and all that jazz? No, I’m talking about sanctified dreaming. I’m talking about a God thing. I’m not talking about learning to think a ceratin way. Now, are those very helpful tools? When people begin to think positively and organize their life, you can see - believers and unbelievers - very successful things? I’m sure. Yeah. But I’m not talking about that.
I’m talking about sanctified, biblical dreaming that God births. Not so that we can become successful, visible, wealthy, affluent, or famous. God does this so that we can be an agent of grace where God would do something first in us and then through us,and all that know us would say, this is the hand of God. So let me give you the biblical basis for sanctified dreaming.
First, God is able. Write that in. He’s able. He’s able to do the impossible. Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah, Lord God, behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you.” What if we believe that? Nothing is too difficult for God. Just before you say, well that’s an Old Testament passage, let me give you a New Testament one too. In Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Do you remember where that showed up? Mary is being told, you are going to be the mother of the Messiah. Mary is being told God is going to visit the planet - the second person of the Trinity – through you. And she says, I think we have a problem here. I’m a virgin. Mary, the Holy Spirit is going to come upon you; and by the way, don’t worry about the scientific element for nothing is impossible with God. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be with child. We need to first believe that God is able. He has the power to do it. I intellectually believe, but that’s not enough.
Second, God is desirous. He, not only, has the power and the ability but God desires to plant a dream in you and through you that’s beyond what you can even think or conceive. You say, well where do you get that? In 1 Corinthians 2:9, the Apostle Paul says, “But just as it is written, there are things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him.” Take your pen out and put a line under, eye hasn’t seen, ear hasn’t heard. The that last part is have not entered the heart of man. Now doesn’t that sound like something bigger than you have in your mind right now? What is it? God desires to do it. He stores up things that have never come into your mind; things that you’ve never seen; things that in your wildest dream, you’ve never birthed. God desires to give and He stores up for those that are his children. God wants to do things in you and through you, for his glory.
But he’s not only able and desirous, God makes a promise. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Now I think this has been widely misused. This does not mean delight yourself in the Lord and you’ll always make the great decisions in the stock market. This does not mean delight yourself in the Lord and none of your family will ever get sick, you’ll never get cancer and your life will go peachy cream, nice and smooth.
This isn’t delight yourself in the Lord and that new Lexus you really want – no, this is about when you delight yourself in the Lord, then you begin to take delight in what God takes delight in. Your heart begins to beat with the things that beats with God’s heart. Your concerns begin to be God’s concerns. The things that are of God; the things that bring Him to light are what you desire as well. His purposes for the world and for the planet and for people, you begin to delight yourself in. What you get is, I want to please you, Lord. I want to love you. I want to enjoy you. I want to be your man. I want to be your woman. I want to find my delight and my value and my significance and my security in you.
Not in stuff, not in people, not in success, not in fame, not in accomplishment. I thank you for those things. I want to find my delight in you. When God finds a man, and when God finds a woman whose ultimate delight is longing for Him, He says, tell me what your desires are. And you know the desires that’ll get birthed? The desires that’ll get birthed in your heart and life will be according to your background and your gifts. It’ll be according to what God has planned for your life. God will birth these desires inside of you. God will delight to fulfill those desire that will bring you exceeding joy and Him exceeding glory. God is able. God is desirous. And God has promised. See, it flows out of relationship as we delight in Him.
But finally, I love this last one. God invites us. I mean, He literally says, okay, I’m able. I’d like to plant a dream in your heart and see things happen in you and through you that you could never imagine. God has made some real promises to those kind of people, who really want His glory. And he says, “Here’s an invitation.” Psalm 2:8, “Ask of me and I will surely give the nations as your inheritance and the very ends of the earth as your possession.” Is that big or what? Is that an invitation from the almighty God?
Will you give us the nations for our inheritance? Can we be apart of what you’re doing with the body of Christ and with churches around the world? And churches and pastors here, with people who love you? Would you give us the people groups of the world? I don’t know about you but think about a ministry internationally that six years ago had 190 teachers and was in three countries. And six year later, has 40,000 plus teachers in 85 countries and being translated in over 50 languages. Now is there anyone here, if we could back up the clock six years ago.
And if someone could say, write on a sheet of paper what you where would like the international Walk Through the Bible to be. You’re in three countries and you have 190 teachers. Could we testify a great dream has been birthed? Six years later, 40,000 teachers in 85 countries have taught 10,000,000 people. Could that qualify as a great dream being birthed? I think so. At Living on the Edge it wasn’t too much more than nine years ago, and we were on one radio station praying prayers and dreaming dreams. We would like to impact the United States from one little church.
Would it be conceivable that a dream was birthed if you fast forwarded it to current day, 800 stations, 8 countries and almost 1,000,000 people every single week? See, what we want you to know is that this isn’t something that might happen someday, somehow, someway with some group, somewhere else. This is what God is doing. And he is inviting you and inviting us. And it’s not just about Walk Through the Bible. It’s not just about Living on the Edge or this ministry or your church. How did those things happen? He spoke to individual people. He was able. He was desirous. He made promises and he spoke to individual, improbable people.
And he said, and he whispered in their ear when they couldn’t even believe it. I want to do something impossible through you. And the response early on was, I’m an improbable person. You could never do that through me. Oh, I like to use improbable people. And I want to use an improbable person like you to do something impossible so I could do what? I could provide exceeding grace to undeserving people. So that when it happens, everyone will know, it’s not about you. It’s about me. Would you like to be involved in that? Would you like God to use your life in that way? In fact, if you think I’m pushing it a little again from the Old Testament, this is the very last night Jesus is on the earth.
Let’s not make this a Bible story. Let’s think about, let’s smell the smells. And the dust on the sandals and being a little bit sweaty. And having the robes on and being uptight this last week. And he’s cleared the temple. And we’re having the Passover meal. And we’ve gone out and he’s told us that this is going to be the last time together. He’s washed our feet. And then he looks in our eyes. And he says, “Truly, truly I say to you.” And we’ve been around him long enough to know that whenever he repeats that word, truly, truly, this is like underline this. This is highlight this in your mind. This is the big stuff. “Truly, truly I say to you. He who believes in me,” and we’re all sitting around that table saying, Lord, we believe in you. Lord, if we don’t believe in you we’re the dumbest guys on the face of the earth.
‘Cause it looks like the way things are going to go, you’re going to get killed and so are we. “Truly, truly I say to you. He who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also.” The works that I do. Think of what Jesus did. Raise people from the dead. Fed 5,000 on a few fish and a couple pieces of bread. “The works that I do, greater works than these he will do.” Why? “Because I go to the Father.” And here’s the invitation. “Whatever you ask in my name, that will I do so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything, I will do it.” Do you believe that?
Or have we over time been so unconsciously and unwittingly dumbed down that the basic question we unconsciously ask is, how do I make it through this week? How can I get my kids through college? How can we take the business to the next level? How can my marriage be a little bit better than it was last year? Well, let’s kind of help out the church. Let’s teach a class here and do something there. All those things are good thing, but you know what happens? We just get so close. We’re living in this tiny little box and the God of heaven is shouting. Hey, hey, wake up. I want to put a God sized dream in your heart.
I want to do an impossible thing through an improbable person like you. I want to provide exceeding grace to undeserving people. Ask of me. Greater works than I have done, you will do. Ask. Ask me anything from the Father and I will do it. And, of course, the code, the condition is you’re asking things that honor Him. You’re asking things that align with the word of God. You’re asking things that will bring glory and praise to Jesus. God births dreams in his people. How does it work? I mean, I don’t know about you but when I go through this biblical basis of sanctified dreaming, I always start thinking.
God, I’m thinking about life in terms about what I can accomplish in my strength, in my time, doing it my way…not for your glory. I want you to start asking what can I do through you, God Not what you can do for me, God. Let me give you a stroll through a biblical lane, if you will, about how God births dreams in His people. You ever wonder how this works? So one of the things about me, I never opened this book until I was 18. But what I love about it, it’s so earthy. It’s so real. I mean, you know, we make these people like they’re so out there. We put them in stained glass.
Peter who is known as the Founder of the Church was a loud mouth, betrayer, loser who went back to fishing. Abraham, the great man of the faith, was a liar. Rahab was a former prostitute. I mean, I read this book and I’m thinking, I don’t know about you, I qualify. I mean, this is a book about very improbable people. In fact, some of you may be too good for God to use in a very significant way. You know? You just may have too much going for you. ‘Cause the people that God uses here, they’ve got baggage. They got struggles. They got sin.
You know, I think about the great men that God has used. Do you have to commit murder to be greatly used of God? Moses. David. Paul Each for different reasons, succumbed to the flesh and did the most hideous of things that a human being can do to another human being. And they were forgiven and they were restored. And God planted, not just a dream, but he changed the course of history and fulfilled his purpose through an improbable person. How about you?
Could it be that God brought you here on this day to sort of pull the veil off your eyes and get you thinking God sized dreams? And saying, Lord, you know, Dawson Trotman was a guy with a high school education. Cameron Townsend was some guy that didn’t have a lot going for him but he dreamed a dream and now all those languages are being translated from the Bible.
Well, let’s talk about how it works. I want to get down to the very nitty gritty. The way I’ve done this is I just did a little survey of some Bible characters. I think there’s a principle from each one. How God births dreams in His people. Let’s take Abraham. First, He commands us to step out of our comfort zone. By the way, most dreams are done right here. If you are not willing to step out of your comfort zone, forget the dream stuff. Just listen to the first part of this and give it to a friend and say, you might like this. It’s not for me. Unless you are willing to step out of your comfort zone; unless you are willing to take a risk; unless you are willing to do something where you step out; unless you’re thinking, oh, God, if you don’t help me, forget dreams., because without faith, it’s impossible to please Him.
Those who come to God most always believe two things. We always emphasize one but not the other. Those who come to God must believe that He is who He really is. And that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Do you believe He’s a rewarder? Do you believe that when you step out with your time; when you step out with your money; when you risk in relationship and get out there on the edge that God is waiting, leaning over the throne of heaven wanting to reward you and help you and bless you? See, that’s a part of what faith is. Genesis, Chapter 12, here’s Abraham. All of his family’s right around him. He gets a word from God.
Abraham, I want you to leave everything. Here’s where I want you to go. Where do you want me to go? I’ll let you know later. Can we go over that again? Yeah, I want you to leave all the security, all the people and all this land with all its evil. I’ve got a whole brand new plan. What I want you to do is just follow where I say. And it’s go out of town, that direction, on that road with no destination and with no map. You just take the first steps of where I’m showing you. And as you keep walking, my word to you will be a light unto your path and a lamp that will show you where, one step of the way. The first step in a birthing process of God’s dream in your life will be the same one with Abraham. You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone.