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On the Road to a Destiny 12-2-02

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On the Road to a Destiny

Aberdeen

12/21/02

Impregnated with the Dream

Started with visitation

       •      Word of Lord -- Recap Matt 1:18:25; Luke 1:26-38      

       •      In season of visitation -- encounter God -- it’s thrilling

       •      We are impregnated with a new vision for our lives

       •      A whole new season of possibility emerges

       •      When Jesus came into their life, changed EVERYTHING (expand)

              *      God had a suprise for them:  on one course -- brand new direction

              *      Nothing ever the same again

              *      Former plans ‛tossed out’ -- new vision burning

              *      Death of old -- brith of new

       •      Where are those places in your life of visitation -- when you encountered God -- begin to dream HIS dreams

       •      Need to remember these times -- they are COMPASS READINGS for our lives.

We Begin to Dream with God

       •      I would guess both Joseph/Mary began to dream

              *      Wouldn’t you?   If you were visited by an ANGEL -- told that you were to be the fulfillment of CENTURIES of prophecy -- wouldn’t you dream about it?  I bet Mary and Joseph did.

              *      Got good news: God’s been planing for millenia upon millenia the plan for our lives -- His destiny for His church in this hour.  Jermiah 29:11 ‟For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord.  ‛They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’”.

              *      Mary: to be carrying Messiah -- what an incredible honor.  I bet she ‛planned the nursery’ -- if you will in her mind. All her life dreamed of having her first baby -- and NOW to find out she was going to give birth to Messiah! -- She probably dreamed of life in a loving setting -- an easy childhood -- etc (develop).

              *      Joseph: to be called to be the stepfather.  Husbands are protectors and providers. He was a carpenter.  I bet he’d already built a new crib for the baby.

The Dream is Tested

       •      This is the stage where Joseph and Mary lived the practicals of daily life, living out the vision of the visitation.

       •      It’s always exciting and incredible when the vision and visitation comes -- but there are often tests and dreariness to walking out the vision.

       •      We see that in other parts of the bible.  Imagine Abraham and Sarah’s life?  Abraham gets a vision -- they move and live in tents for the rest of their LIVES!  The original Rvers.

Testing points for Mary and Joseph

       •      FIRST, Joseph’s test -- divorcing Mary.  Imagine how Mary felt.  Imagine how Joseph felt.

       •      Secondly, family didn’t probably ‛get it’.  Ever wonder, if Joseph’s family was from Bethlehem, why didn’t they open up their homes to them?  Maybe because they didn’t believe in the virgin birth.  Shaming of identity.

       •      That happens sometimes in our lives, when we get visitation/vision -- people closest to us don’t understand what God’s doing in our lives.  It can be lonely/challenging.

       •      So they got to live out their pregnancy in a community that didn’t get what God was doing in their lives.  Had to be tough.

       •      Add to that, there’s this anoying TAX thing that Ceaser Agustus does --- in the midst of the last trimester of Mary’s pregnancy!  Now THAT had to be fun.

       •      Wonder if there may have been a few ‛marital moments’. . .They were human . . . I know I’d have a few if I was in their shoes . . . .  I know AI’d have a few marital moments.  Think of it: New mariiage, pregnancy; in community wheer people don’t understand you -- it could create a few marital challenges

       •      0 Can you imagine, Mary’s getting ready to have her baby -- has everything all planned out -- then Joseph gets to come home and tell her, ‟Guess what, honey .. . . We get to take a road trip -- on a donkey!”      How would YOU like to tell that to your nine-month pregnant wife!  Think about it.

       •      Or when they finally showed up in Bethlehem. . . . (Ever think that Maybe they arrived after all the rooms were booked because Joseph wouldn’t stop and ask for directions!?!?   Could be, never know . . . )  I could just see it:   Mary parked on a Donkeyoutside the Village Inn after a couple of days journey -- probably in pre-labor already (how’d you like to ride a donkey for a couple of days while you’re in labor, ladies?)   And Joseph keeps going to try to get them a room, and he keeps coming up empty handed.   Husbands, how would YOU like being the one that has to break the news to YOUR wife?!  ‟Honey, I’ve got some good news, and some bad news.  The good news is that we’re sleeping under a roof tonight.  The bad news is that we get to share it with the cows!”

       •      How do you think both of them felt towards God at those moments.  I can imagine the kinds of conversations I might have had in my heart.  ‟Lord, you gave me this word -- this visitation.  I thought I knew how it would all turn out.  I had the nursery decorated.  I had the cradle crafted and built.    We weren’t supposed to be HERE right now.  What are you thinking, Lord?  Have you forgotten about us?” --- Fiddler on the roof, ‟Lord, I know that we’re the chosen people.  But some time, couldn’t you choose someone else?”

       •      How many of you can relate to this phase of the picture on their journey?  There’s a testing that takes place in the midst of the challenge.

       •      Things aren’t the way it’s supposed to be.

       •      You see, when God starts a miracle in our lives, the journey to our destiny rarely looks like we imagined it.

       •      The Bible says ‟Word of the Lord tested Joseph”.  When God visits us, brings word in our life, there is a testing.

       •      Story: Nancy/Me minsitry launch.

              *      Had felt call to full-time ministry for years

              *      During first year of marriage, Nancy and I praying with pastor

              *      Sickness -- request to come serve -- unpaid position

              *      Prayed about it --- Full plan: Nancy worked, I worked part-time

              *      Three days after resignation: Pregnancy!  

              *      Would I have insurance?  But Nancy was suppose to work? What now?

              *      There was Pastor Doug, man of faith, curled up on his bed, crying out to God, ‟Oh God, Have mercy .”

              *      FORTUNATELY, I didn’t stay there.  In fact, God provided INCREDIBLY For us.  What turned the ship for us in our hearts?  Brings me to the next stage of development

The Dream is Surrendered

       •      Coming to the cross, and laying it down.

       •      I’m not going to try to manipulate it -- not going to force it -- but surrender it to You and trust You.  Phil 1:6 ‟You who have begun the good work in me . .”

       •      Lay down your own agenda (this isn’t how I thought it would be) -- TRUST.

       •      Mary/Joseph certainly weren’t planning on birthing the son of God in a barn in Bethlehem.  When they heard the dream of God for their lives, they never expected that moment.

       •      That’s not unlike us, when we face the testing place of the dream in our hearts.  We have to surrender the dream to Him -- lay it at the feet the cross -- and let HIM resurrect to be what HE wants it to be.

       •      You know what’s exciting, He changes the dream, and it always becomes more beautiful and profound in His hands.

       •      And when He gives it back to us, it’s infused with His resurrection power -- His redeeming grace.  Isn’t that powerful?

The Dream is Protected

       How do we get through to the other side?

       •      Holding on to the CHARACTER of God -- His promise -- HIS powerful breakthrough.

       •      Finish story

              *      Character of God

              *      Dad’s testimony -- encouragement.

              *      God provided incredibly -- everything covered -- down to the baby nursery.

              *      In fact, during that season we saw such release, that Nancy and I bought our first house while we were still working part time jobs !  He is so faithful!

       •      Tell your story -- each generation can put their hope: Ps 78:4-8 ‟We will not hide thse truths from our children but will tell the nest generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord.  We will tell of His power and the Mighty miracles he did . . . .He commanded our ancestors to tgeach them to their children, so the next generation might know them -- even the children not yet born -- that they in turn might teach their children.  So each generation can set its hope anew on God, rmemnbering his glroious miracles and obeying His commands.  They will NOT be like their ancestors -- stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful , refusing to give their hearts to God.”

       •      My parents -- Kari now telling me the story.  Growing up with heritage.

       •      Ps 27:13 ‟I would have fainted unles I had believed I woul see the GOODNESS         of the Lord”.

       •      Remembering His CHARACTER

       •      Mary/Joseph application -- I’m sure there were times -- on the road to Bethlehem -- on the road to their destiny --- when they remembered the visitation -- the dream.  I be they encouraged each other.  God has been with us -- He will be there.

       •      Remembering the visitation.

       •      What’s the last thing that God said/did

Dream is realized

       •      Jesus was born.

       •      At the time that everything was happening around them, Jospeh and Mary may not have been able to ‛take it all in’ -- they were just living it.  But in the midst of the miracle God was painting a bigger picture.

       •      You see as the dream was realized, God was wanting to make a statement to the whole world about WHO He is, and how He feels about each and everyone of us.

       •      And I bet as they looked back, they could see God’s finger-prints everywhere.

       •      Message that he dwells with the lowly.  Jesus didn’t come for the pompous and overconfident -- but came for the needy.

River of Life Application

       •      This is not a season you expected bo be in transition -=- But God knew == He isn’t caught off guard.  He has a plan for you

       •      So appreciated Rick’s word of encouragement las week.

       •      Speak Peace.

       •      One of the things you need to do is Individually and corporately remember -- recount -- where did God visit us?  What did HE Say?

       •      Known visitation -- heard the promises -- seen the presence of God.

       •      Where you are isn’t what you planned.  Didn’t anticipate.  Inconvenience.

       •      But GOD knew. 

       •      His Character -- His ways.

       •      You are on the Road to your destiny -- on the road to a miracle -- from the outside it might be tough to understand at moments -- but HE is in control.  Author/Finisher.  In the midst of miracle.

       •      TRUST in Him --hope in His character Protect Vision -- Surrender Vision

**************

Aberdeen version (edited at home, e-mailed to office computer). May contain ‛final edits’ that didn’t make above text:

On the Road to a Destiny

 River Of Life, Aberdeen

 12/21/02

 Last week/ldr/Kari

 Impregnated with His Dream for our lives

 Started with visitation

         •        Word of Lord -- Recap Mary’s visitation: Matt

 1:18:25; Joseph had his OWN

 visitation -- Isn’t it neat -- we all need our own visitation?   

 Luke 1:26-38        

         •        In season of visitation -- encounter God -- it’s

 thrilling

         •        We are impregnated with a new vision for our lives

         •        A whole new season of possibility emerges

         •        When Jesus came into their life, changed EVERYTHING

 (expand)

                 *        God had a suprise for them:  on one course

 -- brand new direction

                 *        Nothing ever the same again

                 *                Former plans ‘tossed out’ -- new

 vision burning

                 *        Death of old -- brith of new

         •        Where are those places in your life of visitation

 -- when you encountered

 God -- begin to dream HIS dreams

         •        Need to remember these times -- they are COMPASS

 READINGS for our lives.

 We Begin to Dream with God

         •        I would guess both Joseph/Mary began to dream

                 *        Wouldn’t you?   If you were visited by an

 ANGEL -- told that you were to be

 the fulfillment of CENTURIES of prophecy -- wouldn’t you dream about

 it?  I bet

 Mary and Joseph did.

                 *        Got good news: God’s been planing for

 millenia upon millenia the plan for

 our lives -- His destiny for His church in this hour.  Jermiah 29:11

 “For I

 know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord.  ‘They are plans for

 good and

 not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’”.        

                 *        We need to dream with God.    THEY began to

 dream with God.

                 *        Mary: to be carrying Messiah -- what an

 incredible honor.  I bet she

 ‘planned the nursery’ -- if you will in her mind. All her life

 dreamed of

 having her first baby -- and NOW to find out she was going to give

 birth to

 Messiah! -- She probably dreamed of life in a loving setting -- an

 easy

 childhood -- etc (develop).

                 *        Joseph: to be called to be the stepfather.

  Husbands are protectors and

 providers. He was a carpenter.  I bet he’d already built a new crib

 for the

 baby.

 The Dream is Tested

         •        This is the stage where Joseph and Mary lived the

 practicals of daily life,

 living out the vision of the visitation.

         •        It’s always exciting and incredible when the vision

 and visitation comes --

 but there are often tests and dreariness to walking out the vision.

         •        We see that in other parts of the bible.  Imagine

 Abraham and Sarah’s life?  

 Abraham gets a vision -- they move and live in tents for the rest of

 their

 LIVES!  The original Rvers.

 Testing points for Mary and Joseph

         •        FIRST, Joseph’s test -- divorcing Mary.  Imagine

 how Mary felt.  Imagine how

 Joseph felt.

         •        Secondly, family didn’t probably ‘get it’.  Ever

 wonder, if Joseph’s family

 was from Bethlehem, why didn’t they open up their homes to them?

  Maybe because

 they didn’t believe in the virgin birth.  Shaming of identity.

         •        That happens sometimes in our lives, when we get

 visitation/vision -- people

 closest to us don’t understand what God’s doing in our lives.  It

 can be

 lonely/challenging.

         •        So they got to live out their pregnancy in a

 community that didn’t get what

 God was doing in their lives.  Had to be tough.

         •        Add to that, there’s this anoying TAX thing that

 Ceaser Agustus does --- in

 the midst of the last trimester of Mary’s pregnancy!  Now THAT had

 to be fun.

         •        Wonder if there may have been a few ‘marital

 moments’. . .They were human .

 . . I know I’d have a few if I was in their shoes . . . .  I know

 AI’d have a

 few marital moments.  Think of it: New mariiage, pregnancy; in

 community wheer

 people don’t understand you -- it could create a few marital

 challenges

         •        0 Can you imagine, Mary’s getting ready to have her

 baby -- has everything

 all planned out -- then Joseph gets to come home and tell her,

 “Guess what,

 honey .. . . We get to take a road trip -- on a donkey!”      How

 would YOU

 like to tell that to your nine-month pregnant wife!  Think about it.

         •        Or when they finally showed up in Bethlehem. . . .

 (Ever think that Maybe

 they arrived after all the rooms were booked because Joseph wouldn’t

 stop and

 ask for directions!?!?   Could be, never know . . . )  I could just

 see it:  

 Mary parked on a Donkeyoutside the Village Inn after a couple of

 days journey -

 - probably in pre-labor already (how’d you like to ride a donkey for

 a couple

 of days while you’re in labor, ladies?)   And Joseph keeps going to

 try to get

 them a room, and he keeps coming up empty handed.   Husbands, how

 would YOU

 like being the one that has to break the news to YOUR wife?!

  “Honey, I’ve got

 some good news, and some bad news.  The good news is that we’re

 sleeping under

 a roof tonight.  The bad news is that we get to share it with the

 cows!”

         •        How do you think both of them felt towards God at

 those moments.  I can

 imagine the kinds of conversations I might have had in my heart.

  “Lord, you

 gave me this word -- this visitation.  I thought I knew how it would

 all turn

 out.  I had the nursery decorated.  I had the cradle crafted and

 built.    We

 weren’t supposed to be HERE right now.  What are you thinking, Lord?

  Have you

 forgotten about us?” --- Fiddler on the roof, “Lord, I know that

 we’re the

 chosen people.  But some time, couldn’t you choose someone else?”

         •        How many of you can relate to this phase of the

 picture on their journey?  

 There’s a testing that takes place in the midst of the challenge.

         •        Things aren’t the way it’s supposed to be.

         •        You see, when God starts a miracle in our lives,

 the journey to our destiny

 rarely looks like we imagined it.

         •        The Bible says “Word of the Lord tested Joseph”.

  When God visits us, brings

 word in our life, there is a testing.

         •        Story: Nancy/Me minsitry launch.

                 *        Had felt call to full-time ministry for

 years

                 *        During first year of marriage, Nancy and I

 praying with pastor

                 *        Sickness -- request to come serve -- unpaid

 position

                 *        Prayed about it --- Full plan: Nancy

 worked, I worked part-time

                 *        Three days after resignation: Pregnancy!  

                 *        Would I have insurance?  But Nancy was

 suppose to work? What now?

                 *        There was Pastor Doug, man of faith, curled

 up on his bed, crying out to

 God, “Oh God, Have mercy .”

                 *        FORTUNATELY, I didn’t stay there.  In fact,

 God provided INCREDIBLY For us.  

 What turned the ship for us in our hearts?  Brings me to the next

 stage of

 development

 The Dream is Surrendered

         •        Coming to the cross, and laying it down.

         •        I’m not going to try to manipulate it -- not going

 to force it -- but

 surrender it to You and trust You.  Phil 1:6 “You who have begun the

 good work

 in me . .”

         •        Lay down your own agenda (this isn’t how I thought

 it would be) -- TRUST.

         •        Mary/Joseph certainly weren’t planning on birthing

 the son of God in a barn

 in Bethlehem.  When they heard the dream of God for their lives,

 they never

 expected that moment.

         •        That’s not unlike us, when we face the testing

 place of the dream in our

 hearts. CAN’T hold on to it CAN’T Force it.   We have to surrender

 the dream to

 Him -- lay it at the feet the cross -- and let HIM resurrect to be

 what HE

 wants it to be.

         •        You know what’s exciting, He changes the dream, and

 it always becomes more

 beautiful and profound in His hands.

         •        And when He gives it back to us, it’s infused with

 His resurrection power --

 His redeeming grace.  Isn’t that powerful?

 As the dream is the surrendered, THE

 The Dream is Protected

         •        NOTICE: the dream isn’t protected until after the

 dream is surrendered.

         •        Jesus said, if you hold on to your life you will

 lose it, if you lose it for

 His sake you will gain it.

         How do we get through to the other side?

         •        Holding on to the CHARACTER of God -- His promise

 -- HIS powerful

 breakthrough.

         •        Finish story

                 *        Character of God

                 *                Dad’s testimony -- encouragement.

                 *        God provided incredibly -- everything

 covered -- down to the baby nursery.

                 *        In fact, during that season we saw such

 release, that Nancy and I bought

 our first house while we were still working part time jobs !  He is

 so

 faithful!

         •        Tell your story -- each generation can put their

 hope: Ps 78:4-8 “We will

 not hide thse truths from our children but will tell the nest

 generation about

 the glorious deeds of the Lord.  We will tell of His power and the

 Mighty

 miracles he did . . . .He commanded our ancestors to tgeach them to

 their

 children, so the next generation might know them -- even the

 children not yet

 born -- that they in turn might teach their children.  So each

 generation can

 set its hope anew on God, rmemnbering his glroious miracles and

 obeying His

 commands.  They will NOT be like their ancestors -- stubborn,

 rebellious, and

 unfaithful , refusing to give their hearts to God.”

         •        My parents -- Kari now telling me the story.

  Growing up with heritage.

         •        Ps 27:13 “I would have fainted unles I had believed

 I woul see the GOODNESS                

 of the Lord”.

         •        Remembering His CHARACTER

         •        Mary/Joseph application -- I’m sure there were

 times -- on the road to

 Bethlehem -- on the road to their destiny --- when they remembered

 the

 visitation -- the dream.  I be they encouraged each other.  God has

 been with

 us -- He will be there.

         •        Remembering the visitation.

         •        What’s the last thing that God said/did

 Dream is realized

         •        Jesus was born.  God birthed the new thing in their

 lives.

         •        At the time that everything was happening around

 them, Jospeh and Mary may

 not have been able to ‘take it all in’ -- they were just living it.

  But in the

 midst of the miracle God was painting a bigger picture.

         •        You see as the dream was realized, God was wanting

 to make a statement to

 the whole world about WHO He is, and how He feels about each and

 everyone of

 us.

         •        And I bet as they looked back, they could see God’s

 finger-prints

 everywhere.

         •        They probably had a plan of how the birth was to be

 -- had it all ‘figured

 out’; but when their plan unraveled God’s plan took over.

         •        God wanted to make a much biggerstatement to all of

 man.

         •         You see, God’ s main purpose from Genesis on was

 to reveal who He is to man

 -- so that we might know Him -- love Him.

         •        Could have been born in a palace with roayal decree

         •        instead in a stable with an angelic decree to

 shepherds . . . . .

         •        Message that he dwells with the lowly.  Jesus

 didn’t come for the pompous

 and overconfident -- but came for the needy.

 You here, at River of Life are on a road to your destiny in God

         •        This is not a season you expected bo be in

 transition -=- But God knew == He

 isn’t caught off guard.  His a plan for your lives hasn’t changed

         •        So appreciated Rick’s word of encouragement las

 week.

         •        Speak Peace.

         •        One of the things you need to do is Individually

 and corporately remember --

 recount -- where did God visit us?  What did HE Say?

         •        Known visitation -- heard the promises -- seen the

 presence of God.

         •        Where you are isn’t what you planned.  Didn’t

 anticipate.  Inconvenience.

         •        But GOD knew.  

         •        His Character -- His ways.

         •        You are on the Road to your destiny -- on the road

 to a miracle -- from the

 outside it might be tough to understand at moments -- but HE is in

 control.  

 Author/Finisher.  In the midst of miracle.

         •        TRUST in Him --hope in His character Protect Vision

 -- Surrender Vision

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