Share This Episode
Insight for Living Chuck Swindoll Logo

Destination-Driven Dreams, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
January 29, 2021 7:05 am

Destination-Driven Dreams, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 856 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

January 29, 2021 7:05 am

The King's Arrival: A Study of Matthew 1‑7: A Signature Series

Running With Horses
Shirley Weaver Ministries
Alan Wright Ministries
Alan Wright
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
Fellowship in the Word
Bil Gebhardt
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Grace To You
John MacArthur

As someone who wants to honor God in every decision we make, sometimes it's difficult to know what He expects from us. It would be helpful, for instance, if God would speak to us in an audible voice. So how does God communicate with His children? And how can we truly know whether or not our dreams are selfish or motivated by Him? Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll tackles these long-standing questions about knowing and following the will of God.

We're looking at Matthew chapter 2, and Chuck titled his message, Destination Driven Dreams. It may be that you have experienced in your life a number of things that have brought a distance between you and the One who made you. And you feel ashamed.

You may be one of those haunted by your past, whatever it may have been. I have wonderful news for you. You have a shepherd who understands. One thing about a great shepherd, he never embarrasses those he leads. God will never intensify your shame or drive you deeper into guilt. He's come to bring you relief. And where there has been sin, admittedly, His grace is always greater than that sin. And you can know a relationship with the living God you've never known before by taking His Son, who will provide you all the grace you need to take care of all the guilt you've had. I'd like you to bow with me for a few moments, not very long, just a few thoughts together in prayer. Marvelous grace, marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace greater than all our sins. Today, our Father, we find comfort in that thought. We need great grace because our sin has been enormous.

There isn't a person sitting here today who can look down on anyone else, for we all have things in our lives about which we feel ashamed. Wrong words, wrong actions, stupid decisions, foolish journeys we've taken, we've hurt ourselves and others. And we've gone through it not just once, but sometimes repeatedly. It's like we'll never learn. That's why we need your grace to be greater than all our sins.

And it is. And thank you for the hope that that brings, for the relief. And the last thing we want to do is hoard it and keep it to ourselves. And so that's why we give. We give that this message might be given wings to fly. And to reach another life as it has reached ours.

To bring relief where there is now only sadness, disappointment and regret. Minister during this time, Lord, as we give our gifts. In Jesus' name, everyone said, Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living to study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his Searching the Scripture studies by going to insight world dot org slash studies. And now let's resume the message titled Destination Driven Dreams. So let's talk about for a few moments the leading of God and how it happens.

Let me give you five things you need to remember. First, remember this, you need to be a Christian if you hope to be led by God. Romans 8 14, as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God.

That was Romans 8 14. Number two, God leads us through his written word. God leads us through a careful, intelligent, diligent study of his word. We read from the Psalmist, Psalm 119 105, Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Your word. Third, God leads you through inner promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Sounds weird, but it isn't. Did you know when you came to Christ, the Spirit of God took up residence in your life? He will never leave you. Fourth, God often uses the counsel of wise, qualified, mature, trustworthy fellow Christians. Number five, God leads us by replacing a restlessness and fear with an inner peace. Colossians 3 15, let the peace of God, or the peace of Christ, rule in your life. Now, we move back to a time in which people were led by dreams and visions and voices in the night and the presence of angels and supernatural moments.

Why? Well, they didn't have a Bible. Their Bible was incomplete.

They had none of the New Testament. And many of them were familiar with only a portion of the Old Testament. Furthermore, the Spirit of God didn't live in them permanently, like he does now with us. Because the Holy Spirit would be lifted out of a life when sin was present, or sometime the Holy Spirit would be brought in when there would be the need for great power or great decisions or great courage. So in those days, things were different. In other words, God moved through supernatural manifestations.

One of the ways he did that was in dreams. Now, pull out your pen. Have it ready to mark five places in these two chapters we're in, chapters one and two of Matthew. Get your pen ready.

I'm going to show you something. Five times we're going to read in a dream. How did I know that? I observed the text.

I read it over and over and suddenly the words came off the page. Look at chapter one, verse 20. The he is Joseph. As Joseph considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.

Underline, in a dream. Joseph, son of David, the angel said, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife. Up until then, he didn't know where the child came from. She told him the child was from the Holy Spirit, and then she left town for three months. The angel appears in a dream and says, it's a good decision. It's of the Lord, in a dream. Verse 12 of chapter two. Look at that. When it was time to leave, they, this would be the magi, the wise men, returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream.

Mark that. Not to return to Herod. How would they have known otherwise? God could have spoken, but he chose to reveal it while they were asleep. In the middle of a dream, they get the will of God revealed to them. Look at verse 20, or verse 13 it is again. After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Underline that.

Get up and flee to Egypt with the child. We'll read about that in a few moments. Look at verse 19. When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream.

Mark that. He appeared to Joseph in a dream while they were in Egypt. One more, verse 22 at the end.

Then after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee. Mark that. Five times in two chapters.

Any time you run across the repetition of a phrase or word that many times, it's telling you something. God is leading them into his will through dreams. Now, hold on. This is not now. This is then. I had a fellow come to me after the first service and say, you mean God doesn't lead me in dreams today? I said, no. Now God can do anything he wants to, but it's rare.

It's very rare that God would do that. He said, man, am I relieved. Well, I know how he felt because I dreamed last night that Cynthia and I were on a little boat and a guy with a turbine was in charge of the boat and he was big on Cynthia.

So he's hitting on my wife right there in this little boat and we're in the middle of the ocean and I can't get away and I can't fight him off and I'm in a real predicament. And then I woke up. Oh, it was so great. It had nothing to do with my ministering to people who wear turbans or going on a boat with someone.

It has nothing to do with the will of God. It was a weird dream. Two nights earlier, I dreamed that we had all the animals of a zoo in our home. I woke up fully expecting a zebra to be looking down on me or a hippo in the kitchen getting a snack. I mean, I got weird dreams and they're all in Technicolor. And sometime I wake up and I go, oh, I'm so glad that was a dream. Oh, and then Cynthia will tell me one of hers and they are hilarious. Her dreams are often predicament. No, I'm not going to tell.

But they are hilarious. Oh, I'm so tempted to tell, but I don't want to do that. Now, let's go here. Let's go here.

Look at 13 to 15. This is going to be really interesting as you see it unfold now that you've got this in the background. The wise men have been there. They brought their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

What do they do? Because Herod said, come on back through here. I want to find out where the child is because I want to worship him too. They don't know Herod.

They've lived all their lives in the east. They've come, quick visit, and now they're leaving. After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph. And now it's in a dream. Earlier they were told in a dream, don't go back to Herod.

Go another way. So that saved them from their lives being hindered or hurt or maybe even taken. And Herod quickly going without a warning to take the life of the child. So Herod is threatened by the presence of some other king.

Now, after the wise men are gone, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream. Get up. Flee.

The word is fugo in Greek and it means the same word for fugitive. You're going to become a fugitive in Egypt. Get out. Get away from Bethlehem.

Be on your way. So it's in the middle of the night. That's when you get dreams. And he says, get up, get up, Joseph. Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother. The angel said, stay there until I tell you to return because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. Middle of the night, Joseph is awakened and he hears something he'd never, sort of say he never dreamed he would hear before. He never imagined. And now he's told, get up, get out.

That night, you haven't respected Joseph maybe until now, but look at this. Here's a man who's married a woman who is pregnant and he can never fully explain it to anyone else. How God did that.

To this day, we can't explain it. It's a miracle, that baby in her womb. They marry her while she's three months pregnant and then they go all the way to term.

And only after six months she has the baby and all the neighbors are talking. We've all talked about that. We've imagined that. He's willing to go through that. And now they're finally in a place where the child is beginning to grow and the Lord says, get up, go to Egypt. I take it that he's never been to Egypt before. The Lord often leads us to places we've never been before. He says, go to Egypt, take the child and his mother.

By the way, Matthew's very careful. It's never your child with your wife. It's her with her son and you. Because he has nothing to do with the child, biologically. So it says, take the child and his mother and stay there until I tell you to return. Here's the reason why.

Look at this. That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary his mother. His wife hadn't had the dream.

He had the dream. Mary, Mary, get up. Get up. Get the baby. We've got to get out of here.

What? Get up. She gets up.

She prepares the baby for travel. I take it they left some things in a hurry and they're on their way. You know how far it is to Egypt? To the edge, the very closest border is 100 miles from Bethlehem.

You can track it yourself. If you go all the way to Alexandria, where Alexander the Great had set aside a section of that vast city as a refuge for Jews, there were a million Jews there at that time. It would be a great place to hide away from Herod. That's 320 miles from Bethlehem. Think. They don't own animals. Maybe the one that she rode there when she came to have the baby. Maybe it was a donkey. So that's 100 to 300 miles of rough travel.

To a people whose language they don't know, to a culture they're unfamiliar with. And it was God's will. And they're to do it now. While you may be impressed with Mary for getting up right away and trusting her husband and going, I'm impressed with Joseph. He got it. There's not a resistance. There's not an argument.

There's not any wrestling. Let's go. God says this. Let's go. He's a fine man.

Not enough has ever been said about Joseph. And what a tough journey. There's an old hymn that has these words. In shady green pastures so rich and so sweet, God leads his dear children along. Where the water's cool flow bathes the weary one's feet, God leads his dear children along.

Not always. Sometime it isn't shady green pastures. Sometime it's the desert of Judea going into the desert of Egypt. Sometime it's leaving the familiar, at least quasi-familiar in Bethlehem to go to a place in the middle of Alexandria.

How could they do that? Because they had one great goal in life, and that was to please their Heavenly Father. How easy for us to live selfish lives and to have the brakes on.

We like it here because our family is here, or we like the climate, or we like our house, or we like that we finally got things paid off, or we finally got settled. Hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it. You don't know. A fellow stopped me today as the end of the line came following the first service. He had waited to speak to me and he said, I've been here for years. I want you to know I'm on my way to Pennsylvania. I said, really? How wonderful.

Tell me about it. He said, you know, the Lord's made it clear to me, and he didn't describe it, but he threw several of the ways you described that I need to leave, I need to go, teach in high school, and encourage some of those students back at the place of my roots. He's going to go back. He has no idea the details of what he's going to be facing. He has a position, and he's going to go work with high schoolers. He spent his life in the movie industry.

Figure that one out. But he has such peace. I embraced him, and I said, let me give you a little tidbit from the words of a missionary who wrote in his journal shortly before his martyrdom, Jim Elliott. Wherever you are, be all there.

Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God. Good advice. Thanks, Jim.

He smiled, and I think he walked over to the side, sat down, and wrote that down. I said, when you go to Pennsylvania, be all there. Don't look back. Don't waste time looking like it used to be.

Look where it is and where God is leading you. They didn't go to Egypt licking their wounds. They went to Egypt trusting God, even though it was a sudden, quick decision and a big one. So that night they left.

They stayed there. In fact, it fulfilled what Hosea has written in chapter 11, verse 1. You'll see the words, I called my son out of Egypt. Matthew lifts that verse out of Hosea 11.1 and says that fulfilled that prediction.

But he's not through. So they're in Egypt. We don't know how long. We don't know what they did. Probably they used the gold from the wiseman's gift to finance the trip.

They would need money for food. Maybe he was able to buy another beast to ride on so they could make the travel on four legs instead of their own. And they made their way to Egypt. I should add that Herod threw a fit, verse 16. He was furious when he realized wise men had outwitted him and he sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under based on the wise men's report of the star's first appearance.

This is my last message when I spent time on verse 7. He wanted to know specifically when the star first appeared because Herod is doing the math. He's figuring how old the child is now. So that's why he kills them two years old and younger. He had figured the baby Jesus, the savior, the king of the Jews must be that age so he kills all the boys that age and younger.

You might think, would anybody be that brutal if you think that you're a pretty naive individual? Herod was a brute. I call him a monster. He slaughtered the last remnant of the Hasmonean dynasty, who knows how many hundreds. He executed more than half the Sanhedrin during his reign. He killed 300 court officers out of hand.

That means for no cause. He executed his own Hasmonean wife, Mary Amne, her mother, Alexandra, and his sons, Aristobulus, Alexander, and Antipater. This man, Herod, the murderer. Finally, as he lay dying, he arranged for all the notable men of Jerusalem to be assembled in the Hippodrome and to be killed as soon as his own death was announced, a man of ruthless cruelty with a fanatical neurosis about any threat to his kingdom.

Caesar once said of Herod, it's better to be Herod's sow than Herod's son, for the sow had a better chance of life. Wicked man. In case I speak to some of you today who have not awakened in the real world, I don't mean that to be insulting, but some people live in a dream world as if everyone can be trusted.

Some people cannot. Some are wicked to the core, brutal. That's what the Nazis were at the end of the 1930s and early 40s.

That's what ISIS is, is it makes its way savagely through countries, beheading, killing, slaughtering without unconscionable acts. Wicked to the core. Wicked men.

You think I'm too harsh? Check out Genesis 6-5. God saw the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

That's why he brought about the flood. You're raising children, you better protect them, for there are predators who live to hurt your child. There are monsters who become serial killers and they will take your daughter if you don't train her to protect herself and not make foolish decisions. They will rape her. They will murder her. As much as we love our Lord and as deeply as we desire to please him and serve him and be as good a citizen as we can possibly be, I'm surrounded by all people like that. Never forget that. Train your children to be streetwise and they will thank you for the rest of their lives. Otherwise, they'll be taken advantage of and many of them will be hurt.

None of us wants that. This is one of the abiding principles we draw from Matthew's account. And there's much more to come. Chuck Swindoll titled today's message, Destination Driven Dreams. To learn more about this ministry, visit us online at

Chuck's comprehensive study in Matthew has never been shared on Insight for Life. And over the next few months, we're confident you'll gain a whole new understanding of the King's arrival by joining us for this fascinating study. It begins with the birth of our King and crescendos with his great commission. At Insight for Living Ministries, it's our hope you'll resolve to listen every day. Matthew's unique perspective provides a magnificent view of our Lord's life.

And when we truly engage with King Jesus, our love and affection for Him grows immensely. Concurrent with Chuck's new teaching series on Matthew, he's just recently completed a practical commentary as well. It's titled Swindoll's Living Insights Commentary on Matthew and it comes in two hard-bound volumes. And we encourage you to request your copies now in order to make the most of this interesting study. To purchase Swindoll's Living Insights Commentary on Matthew, call us.

If you're listening in the U.S., dial 1-800-772-8888 or go to slash store. And then here's another resource for the entire family. Many of us are making every effort to understand our changing times and we're learning how to communicate truth with the world. Well, Chuck has been impressed with the insight in a new book he's recommending to you. It's called A Practical Guide to Culture.

The authors, John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkel, provide a biblical view on key issues in our culture that all of us face, such as sexual orientation, gender identity, racial tension, and more. You can purchase a copy right now by going to slash store. The book is titled A Practical Guide to Culture. And there's a similar book targeted for younger readers titled A Student's Guide to Culture. Just call us. If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888 or go online to slash store.

Join us again Monday when Chuck Swindoll continues our study in the book of Matthew, right here on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Destination Driven Dreams, was copyrighted in 2014 and 2021. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-30 10:27:54 / 2023-12-30 10:37:25 / 10

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime