The Blog: Pastor Parsley's Personal Blog Pastor Rod Parsley

Instructions for Dreamers

2/25/2014 11:00:00 AM — As we’ve been talking about transformation in our individual lives at World Harvest Church, something interesting and amazing is happening – we’re becoming transformed as a body! Our altar calls have been especially fruitful, with dramatic stories of men, women and entire families coming to faith in Christ, either for the first time or as a rededication to a godly lifestyle. I think that’s a great reason to continue to talk about transformation.

Recently I have been exploring the connection between transformation and dreams. I believe God places dreams in our heart that, when fulfilled, serve to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ and make our witness irresistible to those in our circles of influence.

I don’t know what your dream is. But I do know this: the dream that God has placed in your heart is an eternal dream, carrying eternal consequences. And that’s why the adversary of your soul will do anything he can to get you to give up on that dream. And if you don’t know what fulfillment of your dream requires, he’ll succeed.

There’s a specific purpose for dreams, I believe – to get you to rely on God. That was certainly the message God had for Zerubbel in the Old Testament book of Zechariah:
“And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, ‘What do you see?’ I said, ‘I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.’And I said to the angel who talked with me, ‘What are these, my lord?’ Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ I said, ‘No, my lord.’ Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’
- Zechariah 4:1-7, ESV, emphasis added
Zerabubbel was no ordinary dreamer. He was the head of the tribe of Judah at the time of the return from the Jews’ exile in Babylon (his grandfather, Jehoiachin, was the head of Judah at the time of the exile). Zerubabbel was primarily responsible for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. He was a direct descendant of King David, and therefore an earthly ancestor of Jesus. Zechariah received heavenly advice for Zerubabbel, and it’s advice we should heed as well.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. You may have heard these words sung in a worship song before, but what do they mean - especially in relation to a dream that God has placed in your heart? I believe the answer is simply this: God will not give you a dream that will be possible to achieve without His involvement. If it’s humanly possible, it may be a good thing, but it’s not a God thing.

I know plenty of people who have might – physical prowess. Our city this weekend hosts the Arnold Sports Festival, a memorial of sorts to the actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who started out in public life as a bodybuilder and has extensive business interests here. You’ll be able to find people with might all over Columbus this weekend because of Ahh-nold.

I also have met people who have immense power – the ability to influence others. You can literally sense their presence when they enter a room. Of course, influence is a morally neutral term. Influence can be manipulated for good purposes as well as for evil.

But what the angel said to Zechariah, and what he says to you and me, is that dreams that are inspired by God can’t be accomplished by human means – not even when the dreamers have a greater measure of might and power than the average person. No, dreams that are of God require His blessing and His involvement at every step along the way.

Rebuilding the temple was something God could have accomplished without human involvement, had He been so inclined. But God chose instead to include Zerubabbel as His partner in agreement. One of God’s less-discussed qualities is humility. He does nothing alone. Instead, He works through us. We sometimes marvel that we can do nothing without God, when perhaps the greater wonder is that He will do nothing without us.

As I said before, I don’t know what your dream is. But if God put it there, it’s His dream, too. And He won’t get involved in accomplishing it without your partnership. So why try to accomplish your dream alone?