The Death of a Dream

Well, this day started out glorious then life happened. Fighting the urge to run away screaming and crying, so I thought I’d take a minute to rejoice in the Lord and think about what is good. You all can join me if you want. Here we go….. and okay, I feel a lot better and I am ready to continue on.

Over the last week or so we have been discussing Lysa TerKeurst’s book “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith,” and her 5 phases of a dream. Now, as I stated before I have only read the first 4 chapters, but I felt compelled to share the story of Abraham how these phases apply to his life as well as our own.

Yesterday, we took a look at the belief stage and how Abraham and Sarah were able to survive the famine and hold on to God’s promises. That is not to say that they did things perfectly. Somewhere during the belief stage Abraham and Sarah got impatient and decided to help God out. Ishmael was a product of this disobedience and impatience. As we will later see, this brought heaps of troubles they did not need. Nevertheless, God still honored His promise because of Abraham’s belief and faith.

I think it is important to point on the length of each phase varies for everyone. Abraham was in the belief stage for at least 14 years. { Genesis 15-Abraham believed; Gen. 16-Slept with Hagar and Conceived Ishmael; Gen. 17-God establishes a covenant with Abraham and soon-to-be Isaac when Abraham was 99 and Ishmael was 13; Genesis 18-three visitors come and tell Sarah she will have a baby next year; Gen 21-Isaac was born.} Wow! This is a long time waiting, and this doesn’t even take in account the time before he believed. Just think, I’ve been getting frustrated waiting 8 months. Well, I guess it doesn’t seem like that long now in comparison to Abraham.

So, here we are: the long-awaited arrival of Abraham’s son Isaac, and the first solid step of God’s promise to Abraham. It is easy breezy from here, right? Well, of course not. Where’s the growth opportunity in that? Nope, this just leads us to the next phase, Death. Sounds promising, huh?

Genesis 22: 1-18 (NIV): Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of theLORD it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”

Did God ask this of Abraham to test Abraham’s belief? I don’t think so. I think it was to test Abraham’s love of God. I think it was done to determine who was number one in Abraham’s life.

Lysa TerKeurst: “I fully believe that God had Abraham walk through this shocking test of obedience to see which came first-his dream or his God.

In other words, did Abraham want the promise God was offering (to be the father of a great nation-to be a father at all) or did he want only God?

Have you ever thought about that in regards to your own dream or calling? Are we willing to do anything or go anywhere in order to glorify God or do we want to do it on our own terms? Do we want it for what we can get from it? Will it be for God’s glory or our own? I’m serious. As much as we all think we are doing it for God, a good majority of us still have some selfishness going on. I know I am in that majority and that is why I am still here in limbo between the belief and death phases. God still has a lot of work to do in me before I am ready to receive my full calling.

Let’s think about this for a minute. Recall from Genesis 17 that God made a covenant with Abraham that Isaac would be the son to which all his blessings would come. Now, God is asking Abraham to sacrifice him. I can’t even begin to imagine how Abraham felt at that moment. Not only is God asking him to sacrifice his son, but all future descendents; therefore, signaling the death of a dream or promise. Did Abraham get mad and stomp his feet? Did Abraham throw a pity party? Did Abraham have a shouting match with God demanding his promise and reminding God of His covenant? No, he simply obeyed.

Where are you in regards to your dream? Are you like a selfish two-year old, clenching your fist so tightly around your God-given dream, screaming, “mine, mine?” Or do you carry your dream in your open palm, shouting, “Yours God, all Yours?”

God may have given you a dream, but remember he knows what he is doing. Sometimes, God gives us a dream for one thing to lead us somewhere else. He knows us better than we know us. We must trust in Him. Period.

Until next time, stay safe and God bless,
Missy

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One thought on “The Death of a Dream

  1. Dear Missy,

    I loved, loved, LOVED this post! Thank you for sharing it.

    For a while I have struggled with dead and dying dreams, worshiping them, instead of just surrendering to God. Your words have been good encouragement to focus on pleasing God instead of myself.

    Let us pray for each other!

    Hugs,

    Gwennon

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