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Opportunities come in three varieties: 1) opportunities that facilitate our dream, 2) opportunities that don’t seem to lead us toward our dream, and 3) misfortunes that seem to totally derail our dream and leave us hopeless. Having a long-term dream compliments near-term opportunities. Our dream is the lens to discern whether an opportunity will lead us toward our destiny or not. The reality of pursuing the life-long dream that God wrote in our heart is that there are many ways to get there and many opportunities along the way. Discerning life’s opportunities is usually more wisdom than revelation. God expects us to own our dream and the path to get there. The definition of a poverty mentality is the inability to see opportunities. Having a dream helps us see those opportunities.
Great opportunities – Quite often we have to choose between two good opportunities. The decision may be difficult, but the reality is that both paths probably lead to the same place or dream… not to worry.
Wrong opportunities – At other times we may face a good opportunity that doesn’t lead toward our dream. Or, our dream may not be formed in our hearts well enough to guide in selecting an opportunity. There’s nothing wrong with taking a good opportunity while our dream is in the formative stage. When the opportunity is just a garden variety temptation that takes away from our assignment, we just “pass.”
Misfortunes – These are fairly common, especially for believers. Misfortunes are more nightmares than opportunities, leaving us believing that our dream will never come true. It takes a resurrection to recover! The reality is that the experience of resurrection is part of experiencing Jesus. There are both seasons of death and transition as well as resurrections and victories. The maturity that comes from the cycle of death and resurrection leaves the fragrance of humility and brokenness that is the foundation for trusting our Father and having faith to get through any battle. Misfortunes, for Christians, are resurrected into some of our best opportunities… although we would never choose them.
…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. Gen 50:20 NASU
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28 NIV
Making opportunities – We often regard opportunities as something that comes to us, and often they do. However, opportunities in the Kingdom are also “made.” God expects us ask and seek and knock. Initiative is a trademark characteristic of believers who inherit the land God has for them. They have a dream, and make it come true by seizing opportunities. We are overcomers because we know how to navigate resistance and warfare… You will not inherit your dream any other way. The enemy will fight with you over the dream that God wrote in your heart more than any other area.
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Num 13:30 NIV
the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the western sea. 25 No man will be able to stand against you. Deut 11:23-25 NIV
I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates — all the Hittite country — to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Josh 1:3-5 NIV
Dreams do come true – Without a dream, we are left to taking the best opportunities and trying to get excited about the process. Sometimes that will lead to a dream… and sometimes not. The reality is that those who seek God find Him. Those who ask the key questions of life, get answers (Who am I? Why am I here? What’s in my future?). The basis for asking such questions is knowing that God does have the answers. They are usually already written in our hearts… in our “book.”
Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Ps 139:16 NIV
Our identity is shaped around the fact that we are like our Father. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were like their father, the devil. The same is true for us. It’s in our spiritual DNA to be like Jesus. We naturally gravitate toward the dream that God wrote in our heart, and have passion for our Mountain. We naturally carry a sense of destiny, creativity, power and love that sets people free.
We are not mercenaries warring at our own expense. God provides us with the anointing, authority and provisions to fulfill our dreams – It’s His dream too. We “expect” opportunities to arise. We “expect” to resurrect from defeat. We “expect” our Father to help us to finish victoriously. Believers always float to the surface after shipwrecks. It’s normal to be the head and not the tail. God blesses and promotes us so that we’re in positions to bless nations… not just survive. Our personal dreams are always smaller than the ones God has in mind for us. He’s just that good… that far ahead of us… that much in love with us.
I always pray with joy… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:4-6 NIV
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us Eph 3:20 NIV
Podcast #5 with Tyler McCart
Podcast #3 and #4 Micro-church– The most recent interviews with Shae Bynes
Podcast #1 and Podcast #2 – fun interviews with Steve Reiter and John Ramstead