As surely as God gives a dream, the enemy will give obstacles. He will come at us the hardest in areas that will affect the dream. There are always obstacles to every dream. Jesus had obstacles. David had obstacles. Samuel had obstacles. Joseph had obstacles. If we are going to live our dreams then we must identify and overcome obstacles.
By Pastor Delbert Young
Obstacles of the Dream
Obstacles of the Dream
Scriptures: Acts 2:17, Acts 2:18, Psalms 139:13, Psalms 139:16, Psalms 139:17, Psalms 139:18, Luke 2:49, 1 Samuel 16:1, 1 Samuel 3:1, 1 Samuel 3:11, Genesis 37:10, Genesis 12:1-3, John 7:5, Genesis 13:9, Matthew 16:23, Acts 15:39, Acts 15:40, Judges 6:15, Judges 6:12
Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Acts 2:18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
God has promised to place in your heart and my heart a dream – a vision. It’s a dream to succeed and prosper and enjoy life to the full. It’s a dream to do both something specific for God and for your own self. It’s a core vision of who we are. The fulfillment of it will give us the ultimate joy of life and the maximum success. It’s the spark that gets us out of bed every morning. It’s the motivation that gets us through tough times. It’s the dream. When pursued, it will bring blessings and happiness to you beyond anything you could ask or think. It will also advance the kingdom of God.
God has a built-in plan for your life. He formed it into you when he formed you in your mother’s womb.
Psalms 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
When God created you, he wrote an ordained plan for your life for great success. It’s in your DNA.
Psalms 139:16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
God has thought it through. He thinks about you more times than there are grains of sand seeing how he can help you fulfill his plan for your life.
Psalms 139:17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Psalms 139:18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
His plan and purpose for your life is wrapped up in a dream and vision. He put it down deep inside your heart. It’s in your core. It was there when you were a born. It was there when you were a child. It’s there right now wanting to bust out.
How many believe that there is something inside of you, put there by God, to do something good in your life?
YOU WILL PROBABLY FIND YOUR DREAM IN SOME OF YOUR MOST ANCIENT MEMORIES. If your first grade teacher asked you to color a picture of what you wanted to be when you grew up, it may have been a picture of your dream. Interestingly, the first words recorded that Jesus said were when he was twelve years old showing him already pursuing – coloring – his dream.
Luke 2:49 . . . How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
The passion of Jesus was to bring a new kingdom. That was the business that the Father sent him to do. He was already focused and after it at twelve.
As a young boy, God was already filling David’s heart with the dream of being the king. The first thing spoken of concerning David shows us that fact.
1 Samuel 16:1 And the LORD said unto Samuel . . . fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
God was directing the dream of Samuel when Samuel was but a very young boy.
1 Samuel 3:1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli . . .
1 Samuel 3:11 And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.
God desires to tell us things that will make our ears tingle. I promise you that if you will get still and listen, he will talk to you about your dream.
We talked about Joseph last time. Joseph had big dreams as a young boy even though his parents and relatives rebuked his dreams.
Genesis 37:10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had?”
Each of us was created with a dream. It’s as much a part of us as is our DNA. We can’t change it. It will always be there. Your children already have a dream. You will avoid much heartache if you will help them early on to begin pursuing their dream. How do you do that? Watch them play. Some of us played doctors and some of us really played doctor. Some of us played church and some of us really played church. Watch them color. Observe in what they are interested. Listen to God for them.
Most likely, your dream can be seen back in your most ancient memories. I remember being about seven years old watching Oral Roberts on a black-and-white television on Sunday mornings. My parents didn’t take us to church, but I would sit and watch Oral Roberts on television. I didn’t watch “normal” church. I didn’t like watching normal church, but I would sit there every week and watch Oral Roberts. He would teach the Bible, then he would sit on a stool and put his hands on people and God would heal them. I remember thinking how great it would be to be able to touch someone and God heal him or her. Later, at about age 17 I became the youth leader at a church close to our house. Interestingly, it was during that experience that I met my wife of 37 years this year. (When you begin seeing God in your life, you begin seeing him do all sorts of neat things for you when you are walking in your dream. You will look back and see that it has been during the times of your walking in the dream that eternal things happened.) During that age of 17, I remember feeling like I would like to be a preacher. I wanted to be about my Father’s business. You probably have something like that in your most ancient memories. That’s the dream
AS SURELY AS THE LORD GIVES US A DREAM that will take us to happiness, fulfillment, and abundance, the enemy will come to stop, block, slow, and counterfeit the dream. If your dream happens then you fulfill God’s will for your life and the kingdom of God advances. The devil does not what your dream to happen. He will do everything he can to stop, slow, detour, or counterfeit the dream. As surely as God gives a dream, the enemy will give obstacles. He will come at us the hardest in areas that will affect the dream. There are always obstacles to every dream. Jesus had obstacles. David had obstacles. Samuel had obstacles. Joseph had obstacles.
If we are going to live our dreams then we must identify and overcome obstacles.
AS I LOOKED AT THIS, THE OBSTACLE I saw the enemy using again and again was people. More specifically, he will use relatives and friends to stop, slow, trip, or counterfeit the dream.
Genesis 12:1-3 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
God had great plans for Abraham, but notice that the passage in Genesis 12:1 said, The Lord HAD SAID to Abram. It took Abraham years to begin living the dream? Abraham is called a man of faith and the friend of God, yet it took him years to follow his dream. Do you know why? The reason was people and more specifically relatives. The enemy will use relatives and people to stop, hinder, or counterfeit the dreams of those even with great faith.
Relatives and people have a profound affect upon our chasing or not chasing our dreams. These people give us advice and are peers to us. We listen to them and God has put them in our lives to help us.
THE LORD HAD SAID TO ABRAM . . . What has the Lord said to you? How long ago did he say it? How many times has he said it? Why haven’t you done it? Let me guess? Relatives and people, right? It could be parents and siblings like with Joseph and David. It could even be your spouse as it was with Abraham years later as Sarah convinced Abraham to counterfeit with Hagar. It could be your best well-meaning friends. You must decide what has God said to you.
In 1985 I finally did what GOD HAD SAID to me. It was then that I came to this city. Something stirred that ancient dream inside me. I took a step – a mustard seed step. Surprisingly, it worked! I quit my day job and soon to be 20 years later, here we are. It’s been the adventure of my life. I am living a dream. I pray for people and preach every day. I could not be happier. I could not be more fulfilled. It’s not because God loves me more than he loves others. It’s because I refused to allow obstacles stop me.
It wasn’t easy. My family and friends were in the city I left. It was even more difficult for my wife and daughter than for my son and I, but we all know now it was God and that was our destiny.
Did the enemy use people on me as an obstacle? You know they did. My mother said, “You are not going to move are you?” Judy’s sisters cried. Judy cried. Bonnie (my daughter) pitched a fit. A boss told me it wouldn’t work and when I decide to give up on it and come back that he would find a place for me at work. Friends from my BC days said, “Delbert Young is going to pastor a church? Well, that will never work.” With all that encouragement, I had to really believe in what God had said to me. Now we have a successful life-changing ministry.
Even the brothers of Jesus discouraged him. They didn’t believe in his dream until after the resurrection.
John 7:5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
The enemy will use people, if possible, relatives and friends, to stop us from pursuing our dreams.
YOU WILL CONSTANTLY BE MEETING PEOPLE USED BY GOD WHO WILL help take you toward your dream and people used by the enemy who will take you away from your dream. Let me make certain that I say this. It’s not that those people are bad people. They may well have your best interest at heart, but they don’t understand your dream. Those I mentioned earlier who discouraged me from chasing my dream were not bad people. They simply didn’t understand the dream I have.
After last week’s lesson someone said, “Relationships are like the buttons on an elevator. Some will take you up and some will take you down.” That’s good isn’t it? If you are in the basement it’s because that is the button you pushed or you got on the elevator with people going down. If your life is going up then you pushed a higher-level button or you got on the elevator with people going up.
My point is that to chase your dream, your relationships will change unless those relationships are going up with you. This is true be it relatives, friends, or acquaintances. Sometimes it is necessary to separate from relationships if we want to pursue our dream. Abraham came to a place where he had to separate from his nephew Lot.
Genesis 13:9 “Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”
Lot’s life was heading in a different direction than was Abraham. Lot was heading toward Sodom. Abraham’s dream was heading up. Lot’s was heading down. It wasn’t that Abraham didn’t love Lot, but Abraham was not going to allow that relationship to stop his dream.
Jesus would not allow his relationship with Peter to hold him back.
Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Jesus loved Peter, but that relationship would not become a stumbling block for the dream that Jesus pursued. In other words, Jesus said, “Peter, if that is the direction you are going, then we will part company now. I love you, but you will not be an obstacle of my pursuing my dream.”
Paul would not allow his relationships with Barnabas or John Mark hold him back from pursuing his dream.
Acts 15:39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,
Acts 15:40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.
God will send you people who are going up. Get on the elevator with them. Ride with them as high as you can.
FAMILY MINDSETS – God does not want you to live a status quo life. God’s plan is that you take the level of the family into which you were born to a higher level that will advance the kingdom, your own life, and your personal family.
Do you remember Gideon? Gideon was raised on the wrong side of the tracks in a poverty mindset because of his family. The angel came to stir the dream.
(TLB) Judges 6:15 But Gideon replied, “Sir, how can I save Israel? My family is the poorest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least thought of in the entire family!”
Gideon’s family had created a mindset in Gideon. How could Gideon do anything great with his life? The enemy wanted to use that mindset to stop Gideon’s dream. His family was poor and they were “nobodies.” Gideon had to break that family mindset to live his dream.
Judges 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
Gideon saw himself as weak and poor. God saw Gideon as more than a conqueror. To break family mindsets, you must begin to see yourself as God sees you. As Gideon began to do that, he began to live his dream. He went beyond the family mindset and Gideon chased and lived his dream.
I could have easily gotten trapped there. My family was poor. We didn’t have indoor plumbing until I was in high school. I had one pair of pants and two shirts to wear to school. Neither of my parents graduated high school. But I broke that mindset. I went to college. I married the correct woman. Even in that, I still saw myself as unsuccessful and I hated my job. In 1978, I gave my life to Jesus and received him as Lord and savior. God was no longer a good idea. God became real. Like Gideon, the angel of the Lord was standing in front of me telling me who God said I was. It took some time, but when I began to see myself that way, I began to live my dream.
My point is that it’s not only people and relatives that the enemy will use. He will greatly use family mindsets.
My son-in-law has big dreams. He thinks big. He is not small-minded when it comes to life. I have learned to recognize that ‘bigness’ as God’s working in him. A few years ago he and my daughter were entertaining the idea of leaving our area, moving to Atlanta, and, of course, taking our two grandsons with them. None of us grandparents liked the idea. One evening Jody (my son-in-law) called me and asked me as his pastor, not as his father-in-law, what I really thought about the move. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to say. I told him that he was wired that way. God had made him that way. I said you will do it now, or you will do it later, but you will do it. Probably inside I was hoping they would do it later, but knew it would most likely be now. Of course they did move and continue to chase their dream.
I must applaud him and my daughter. They refuse to allow anyone – people or relatives – to stop the dream they have.
Lance, my son, and his wife dream big right here at Life Gate. It’s sort of like Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. God uniquely linked their hearts together to take life to a different level together. God has done something in our hearts to labor together on this ark. However, as large as I dream, my son dreams larger. I pray that when the ark settles, he doesn’t go off and begin his own nation, but it could happen and I have to be smart enough to not hold him back from his dream.
I’m out of time and must stop. I want to encourage you today. God has put a dream into your heart. It’s a part of you. It’s in your DNA. It’s always been there and it will always be there. God wants you to chase it. It’s his perfect will for your life. Don’t allow anyone to talk you out of your dream. Don’t allow family mindsets to stop you. Allow it to be a vision for your life. Look back and see if you are living it. If you will chase it, God will give you the abundant life that is rightfully yours. How many dream chasers are here today?
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