Stare into this man’s eyes long enough and he will inspire you to believe in something much bigger than yourself. This week, we celebrate his birthday and his selfless work for ALL marginalized people. Born in Atlanta in 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King was in the prime of his life and impact when he was murdered on the balcony of a hotel at the young age of 39. He transformed the landscape of our country. We should not seek to idolize King, but we should learn from him a lesson that has eternal ramifications. Make your DREAM worth it.
“I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.” Joel 2:28
Dreaming is dangerous as well as powerful. When you dream you not only take a risk, but you will probably alienate people. Some of us don’t feel like we can dream anymore, but THERE IS HOPE. Dreaming isn’t just for the young, it is for everyone. Let this post cause you to listen for a new dream from Jesus himself.
Getting a Dream Worth Dreaming
1. Ask What Breaks God’s Heart? Dreaming starts with the Gospel of Jesus, not a self-help book. The reason Jesus came to a broken world was not to leave us where we are, but to bring His kingdom here in all its fullness. The good news is he chooses to use us through listening to HIS dream. He is coming back for us. But before he does that, there is work to do and dreams to fulfill. To find out what breaks God’s heart, here are a few simple things I am learning to do:
- Seek scripture – What has God already told us to do that we don’t have to really think about or question? I remember 7 years ago sitting on my back deck reading this scripture from Isaiah 61:1: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” This is as clear as it gets. You never have to ask Jesus if it’s okay if you visit a prison. It’s right there in black and white!
- Observe culture – Look around and see how people are suffering. It doesn’t have to be food and clothing, but it should be a problem that needs addressing. Teen suicide, slavery, teen pregnancy, child abuse, domestic violence, the fatherless, sex trafficking, education, special needs children, mental illness. There is no excuse not to have a dream and if you aren’t helping others, you aren’t living a God-dream.
2. Ask What Breaks Your Heart? – Certain people are drawn to certain causes for a variety of different reasons, but if you are willing to ask God to break your heart for something, watch out! A dream and a vision is coming that you will carry for the rest of your life that will drive you to wake up in the morning as well as keep you up at night. How do you know what your heart breaks for?
- Look at your scars – You will minister most out of the pain in your life. Maybe it is something you endured 10 years ago, but in season, God wants to redeem that pain to progress! I have seen over and over again people who have been through excruciating pain and suffering, turn it around to benefit others. DON’T WASTE YOUR SUFFERING!
- Look at your skills – God gifts you to use your talents to increase the care and compassion to a hurting world. If you are gifted at something, start now in using that gift to minister to those who are heartbroken.
- Deal with what scares you – Fears often turn into huge areas of impact and great ministry. Do you think MLK was never afraid of what might happen to him? I think not. He was no doubt at one point a bit afraid of his dream, and I wonder how long it took him to get over his own fear. My wife and I are adopting from Uganda in the next 18 months, and it took us a while to activate our faith in God’s dream simply because of fear.
3. Ask Where Is The Greatest Need? – If you have to have an event or a feel good moment to activate a dream, let these words be your permission to receive the dream God has for you. See the need and seize the moment! I want you to pick one thing and just DO SOMETHING! You need to realize that no dream is too small. It doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing for the rest of your life, but if you are willing to be faithful with a little, God will expand your influence and give you a dream worth dying for.
My Conclusion – This is room for more like Martin Luther King Jr. I believe there is a generation rising up that will activate God-sized dreams and usher in great hope for a hopeless generation.
Let these words from Martin Luther King Jr’s last speech inspire your dreams…
“And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…“
May your dream be inspired by the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus for the Lord is coming.
P.S. I would love to have you join me, as I will be speaking at the Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Thursday, January 17th at 7 PM at Faith Baptist Church in Hamilton. Directions Here