What’s Your Dream?
What’s Your Dream?
Brandon: I readjusted this layout to better fit the formatting needed when I print. If you will just keep all your text within the blue margin lines on this page, I shouldn’t have any more issues ☺. Thanks! Dr. Brandon Park | January 8, 2017 Every one of us was created by God to have a dream, a destiny, and a reason for living. When God created you, He needed something done on earth that nobody else could do, so He designed you to do it better than anyone else. Like a spiritual DNA, your purpose in life and your reason for living are wrapped up tightly in the dreams and desires that God has put in your heart. Dreams are the key to finding _____________________ in life. Without a dream, a person will be frustrated in the present and will miss out on their future. It’s been said, “No individual has the right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.” Nehemiah was a man who changed the world for his generation. He became radically disturbed and decided to do something about it. BACKGROUND TO BOOK OF NEHEMIAH: God had a dream for His people Israel. He had provided them with the Promised Land. They had 80 prosperous years under King David and Solomon’s leadership. Then the kingdom became divided under Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. NEHEMIAH BACKGROUND: God had a dream for his beloved people, Israel. He had provided a land for them and turned over heaven and earth to see his dream become a reality. But after a great stint of about 80 prosperous years under David’s and Solomon’s leadership, the kingdom divided under the egotistical rule of Solomon’s only son, Rehoboam. After that division, God’s people spiraled out of control. They drifted further away from God. God sent 17 prophets to get their attention, but they ignored Him. Israel, the Northern Tribe, was destroyed first in 722 BC by the Assyrians. You would think that would result in a wakeup call for the Southern Kingdom (Judah), but it did not. In 586 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, demolished the temple, burned their city walls, and those who survived the attack were forced to walk 900 miles and live in captivity in Babylon. But just as Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied, at the end of 70 years, the Persians (led by Cyrus) would conquer the Babylonians and they would be set free to return to their hometown. Although 2 million Israelites lived in Babylon, only 50,000 took Cyrus’ decree to make the journey back. They were able to rebuild the Temple and restore worship, but the city walls were still in ruins. WHY WERE WALLS SO IMPORTANT IN ANCIENT TIMES? Ancient cities prized themselves in their walls. Their national identity was contained within those walls. They were also able to protect themselves from outside invasions. The larger and stronger the walls, the safer the city stood. Walls around a city meant everything from protection to peace of mind. Nehemiah 1:3, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” When God gives us a dream, it usually follows a fairly predictable sequence of events. We see each aspect of this within Nehemiah’s life.
1. God-inspired dreams begin as a ___________________.
Nehemiah 1:4, “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” • “When I heard these words…” He was actively listening. He was genuinely concerned. Maybe the reason you haven’t been disturbed about something is because you haven’t taken the time to actually listen to the world around you. • “I sat down…” Are you willing to pause your “busy” life and allow the Lord to disturb you? • “And wept, and mourned…fasted and prayed…” When’s the last time that you wept over someone else’s condition? Bill Hybels said, “Still today, what wrecks the heart of someone who