God is looking for ordinary people to do this truth network podcast. Through improbable people to impart exceeding grace to undeserving recipients. I spent some time making that sentence up.
And since it was so wonderful, let me give it to you again because I want you to really think about what it means. It's not that God just happens to do it. God delights. There is a pleasure in the heart of God.
There's something that happens in the divine Trinity. He delights to do impossible things. Not hard things. Not difficult things.
Not what really smart people getting together with a lot of money and a lot of resources and a lot of effort could do. God delights to do impossible things. But he delights to do it not through people that everyone think it could happen. He delights to do it through improbable people.
A lot like the person that might be sitting in your chair. The person that you would think, I mean great. I mean there's other people that are great. And there's other people that I'm sure God will use and certain things will happen in the world. I mean, yeah, maybe I can help them out, but no, no. God delights to do impossible things through improbable people.
Why? To impart exceeding grace. See it's not about us.
It's not about our ambitions, our dreams, our visibility. God wants to do something impossible through someone like you and someone like me so other people get what they don't deserve to impart exceeding, overwhelming, lavishing grace to people that don't deserve it. Because when God does that, he gets the glory.
He gets the glory. When my seventh and eighth grade coach found out I was playing college ball, they had to pretty figure out somewhere that you know God must have showed up somewhere in my life because that four foot eleven kid did not have a career in basketball. God wants to do amazing things, but you know something? Nothing can ever happen until it becomes even the flicker of a thought. Nothing will ever happen in the future until that flicker of a thought becomes a desire that you would even be willing to kind of think about that desire might happen.
And I'm talking about godly, God honoring, things that would help lots of people. And then that little desire has to flicker and go into a flame to where you have a dream that is birthed in your heart and your life. And then that dream becomes the target. It becomes something that you you think about and you pray about and you your energy and your resources and your priorities and your focus. It gets around this dream that if God would so decide to do it, it would be so impossible that everyone would know God and God alone has done it.
And I want to talk about how does it happen? How does God develop birth, dreams, and people like you and people like me? Well, he invites ordinary people to dream something so great that it would be impossible if God did not do it.
He just invites you. It's not mysterious. It's not for a few special people, special time somewhere. God invites ordinary people to dream something so great that it would be impossible if God did not do it. Now at this point, you know, we're living in a world where you can go to a seminar for several hundred dollars and learn to think positively and you can go to another seminar in the bookstore and, you know, think and grow rich and there's a lot of self-help material.
It's a multi-billion dollar industry. You know, we're right on the edge of, so Chip, are you really saying that, you know, what the mind can believe, the will can conceive and, you know, all that jazz? No, I'm talking about sanctified dreaming. I'm talking about a God thing. I'm not talking about learning to think a certain way.
Now, are those very helpful tools? When people begin to think and think positively and organize their life, can you see believers or unbelievers have very successful things? I'm sure, yeah. But I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about sanctified biblical dreaming that God birthed, not so that we can become successful, visible, wealthy, affluent, famous, but so that we could be an agent of grace where God would do something first in us and then through us that both we and all that know us would say, this is the hand of God. So let me give you the biblical basis for sanctified dreaming. First, God is able.
Write that in. Now, he's able. He's able to do the impossible. Jeremiah 32 17 says, Ah Lord God, behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you.
What if we believe that? Nothing is too difficult for God. And just before you say, well, that's an Old Testament passage, and maybe that's not really operating the same way it was. Okay, let me give you a New Testament one. Luke 1 37. For nothing will be impossible with God.
Do you remember where that showed up? Mary is being told you are going to be the mother of the Messiah. Mary is being told, guess what? God is going to visit the planet. The second person of the Trinity is going to come.
And she says, I think we have a problem here. I'm a virgin. Mary, the Holy Spirit is going to come upon you. And by the way, don't worry about the scientific deal. For nothing is impossible with God.
The Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be with child. We need to first believe that God is able, but he can be able and we can say that's great. He has the power to do it. I intellectually believe that.
That's not enough. Second, God is desirous. God is desirous.
He not only has the power and the ability, but God is desirous to not just plant a dream, but to do things in you and through you that's beyond what you could even think or conceive. You say, well, where do you get that? 1 Corinthians 2 9. The Apostle Paul says, but just as it is written, things which eye is not seen and ear is not heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him. Take your pen out and and put a little line under, eye hasn't seen, ear hasn't heard.
Are you ready for this? And then that last part, have not entered the heart of man. Now doesn't that sound like something a little bit bigger than you have in your mind right now?
And what is it? God desires to do. He stores up things that have never come into your mind, things that you've never seen, things that in your wildest dream you've never birthed. God desires to give and has stored up for those that are his children to do things in you and through you for his glory. But he's not only able and desirous.
He's made a promise. Psalm 37 4 says, delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Now I think this has been widely misused. You know, this does not mean delight yourself in the Lord and you always make the great decisions in the stock market. This does not mean delight yourself in the Lord and none of your family will ever get sick.
You'll never get cancer and your life will go, you know, peachy cream nice and smooth. This isn't delight yourself in the Lord and that new Lexus that you really want but No, this is about when you delight yourself in the Lord then you begin to take delight in what God takes delight in. Your heart begins to beat with the things that beats with God's heart. Your concerns begin to be God's concerns.
The things that are of God, the things that bring him to light, his purposes for the world and for the planet and for people. You begin to delight yourself in your special relationship with him and what you get is, I want to please you Lord. I want to love you. I want to enjoy you. I want to be your man. I want to be your woman. I want to find my delight and my value and my significance and my security in you. Not in stuff, not in people, not in success, not in fame, not an accomplishment.
I thank you for those things. I want to find my delight in you and when God finds a man and when God finds a woman like that whose ultimate delight is longing for him, he says, tell me what your desires are. And you know the desires that will get birthed? The desires that will get birthed in your heart and life will be according to your background and your gifts.
They'll be according to what God has planned for your life and you'll birth desires inside of you and God will delight to fulfill those desires that will bring you exceeding joy in him exceeding glory. God is able, God is desirous and here God has promised that as we delight in him, see it flows out of relationship. But finally, I love this last one, God invites us.
I mean, he literally says, okay, I'm able. I'd like to, I'd like to plant a dream in your heart and see things happen in you and through you that you could never imagine. And I've made some real promises to those kind of people who really want my glory. And then he says, here's an invitation, Psalm 2 8. Ask of me and I will surely give the nations as your inheritance and the very ends of the earth as your possession.
Is that big or what? Is that an invitation from the Almighty God? Have you picked up, Lord, will you give us the nations? Will you give us the nations for our inheritance? Could we be a part of what you're doing with the body of Christ and with churches around the world and churches and pastors here and with people who love you?
Would you give us the people groups of the world? See, what we want you to know is that this isn't something that might happen someday, somehow, someway, with some group somewhere else. This is what God is doing and he is inviting you and inviting us. How did those things happen? He spoke to individual people. He was able, he was desirous, he made promises and he spoke to individual improbable people and he said, and he whispered in their ear when they couldn't even believe it, I want to do something impossible through you. And the response early on was, I'm an improbable person. You could never do that through me. Oh, I like to use improbable people and I want to use an improbable person like you to do something impossible so I could do what? I could provide exceeding grace to undeserving people so that when it happens everyone will know it's not about you.
It's about me. Would you like to be involved in that? Would you like God to use your life in that way? In fact, if you think I'm pushing it a little again from the Old Testament, this is the very last night Jesus is on the earth.
I mean, let's get there. Okay, let's not make this a Bible story. Let's think about, let's smell the smells and the dust on the sandals and being a little bit sweaty and having the robes on and, you know, being uptight this last week and he's cleared the temple and, you know, we're having the Passover meal and we've gone out and he's told us that this is going to be the last time together. He's washed our feet. And then he looks in our eyes and he says, truly, truly, I say to you, and we've been around him long enough to know that whenever he repeats that word, truly, truly, this is like, underline this, this is highlight this in your mind.
This is the big stuff. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me, and we're all sitting around that table saying, Lord, we believe in you. Lord, if we don't believe in you, we're the dumbest guys on the face of the earth because it looks like the way things are gonna go and you're gonna get killed and so are we. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also. The works that I do, think of what Jesus did, raise people from the dead, fed 5,000 on a, you know, few fish and a couple pieces of bread. The works that I do, greater works than these he will do. Why? Because I go to the Father and here's the invitation, whatever you ask in my name, that will I do so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything, I will do it.
Do you believe that? Or have we over time been so unconsciously and unwittingly dumbed down that the basic question we unconsciously ask is, how do I make it through this week? How can I get my kids through college? How can we take the business to the next level?
How can my marriage be a little bit better than it was last year? Well, let's kind of help out the church and, you know, let's teach a class here and do something there. All those things are good things. But you know what happens is we get so close, so close, so close, we're living in this tiny little box and the God of heaven is shouting, hey, hey, wake up! I want to put a God-sized dream in your heart. I want to do an impossible thing through an improbable person like you to provide exceeding grace to undeserving people. Ask of me.
Greater works than I have done, you will do. Ask! Ask me anything from the Father and I will do it. Of course, the the code, the condition is you're asking things that honor Him. You're asking things that align with the Word of God. You're asking things that will bring glory and praise to Jesus. God births dreams in His people.
How does it work functionally? I mean, I don't know about you, but when I go through this biblical basis of sanctified dreaming, I always start thinking, man, I think so small. I just, God, I'm thinking, I'm thinking about life in terms and I don't mean to do it about what I could accomplish in my strength, in my time, doing it my way for your glory. And what you want to do is say, Chip, that's not what I want in your life.
I want you to start asking what I could do through you, not what you can do. Let me give you a little stroll through sort of a biblical lane, if you will, about how God bursts dreams in His people. You ever wonder how this works? Yeah, so one of the things about me, I never opened this book until I was 18, but what I love, it's so earthy.
It's so real. I mean, you know, we make these people like they're so out there and, you know, we put them in stained glass and, oh, Peter, founder, rock, loudmouth, betrayer, loser, went back to fishing, Abraham, the great man of the faith, liar, she's my sister, please don't kill me. I mean, you know, Rahab, former prostitute. I mean, I read this book and I'm thinking, I don't know about you, I qualify.
I mean, this is a book about very improbable people. In fact, some of you may be too good for God to use in a very significant way, you know? You just may have too much going for you, because the people that God uses here, man, they've got, boy, they got baggage, they got struggles, they got sin. You know, you know, I think about the great men that God has used, the great people God has used. Do you have to commit murder to be greatly used of God? Moses, David, Paul. Moses, David, Paul, each, for different reasons, for different reasons, succumbed to the flesh, and did the most hideous of things that a human being can do to another human being. And they were forgiven, and they were restored, and God planted not just a dream, but he changed the course of history and fulfilled his purpose through an improbable person. How about you? Could it be that God brought you here on this day to sort of pull the veil off your eyes and get you thinking God-sized dreams and saying, Lord, you know, Dawson Trotman was a guy with a high school education.
Cameron Townsend was, you know, some guy that didn't have a lot going for him, but he dreamed a dream. And now all those languages are being translated from the Bible. Well, let's let's talk about how it works.
I mean, I want to get down to the very nitty gritty. And the way I've done this is I just did a little survey of some Bible characters. And I think there's a principle from each one, how God burst dreams in his people.
Let's take Abraham first. He commands us to step out of our comfort zone. By the way, most dreams are done right here. If you are not willing to step out of your comfort zone, forget the dream stuff. You know, just listen to the first part of this and give it to a friend.
Say, you might like this. It's not for me, unless you are willing to step out of your comfort zone, unless you are willing to take a risk, unless you're willing to do something where you step out and you're thinking, oh, God, if you don't help me, forget dreams. Because without faith, it's impossible to please him. And those who come to God must always believe two things.
We always emphasize one, but not the other. Those who come to God must believe that he is who he really is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Do you believe he's a rewarder? Do you believe that when you step out with your time, when you step out with your money, when you risk in relationship and get out there on the edge, that God is waiting, leaning over the throne of heaven, wanting to reward you and help you and bless you. So that's a part of what faith is. Genesis Chapter 12, here's Abraham, all of his family's right around him.
He gets a word from God. Abraham, I want you to leave everything. Here's I want you to go. Where do you want me to go? I'll let you know later. Could we go over that again?
Yeah. I want you to leave all the security, all the people and all this land with all its evil. I've got a whole brand new plan. And what I want you to do is just follow where I say, and it's go out of town that direction on that road and no destination.
No, no map. No, you just take the first steps of where I'm showing you. And as you keep walking, my word to you will be a light into your path and a lamp that will show you where one step of the way. The first step in a birthing process of God's dream in your life will be the same one with Abraham.
You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Second, from the life of Joseph, we learn he puts a dream within our hearts. Within our hearts, this isn't something you have to go out somewhere and say, what's some great, wonderful thing? What are your passions? What are the things that every time you see it without understanding your emotions start to well up?
What is it that when you hear about or you think about, you know, your blood pressure goes up, your heart beats a little bit faster and you catch yourself going. Oh, see, see, God, he just Joseph was just dreaming and God put a dream in his heart because he had a plan for his life. And you remember the dream that he gave him was Joseph.
I'm going to have you in a position where, you know what, your brothers, in fact, your folks, they're going to bow down to you. And now he wasn't very mature. We're often not very mature with our dreams.
He blabbed and was kind of arrogant, had some character issues to deal with. But, you know, a few times in prison and a little bit of neglect, that'll get your character, you know, where it needs to be. And, you know, that's what God does. He puts the dream in your heart. And often as you move toward the dream, life does not get better at all. It gets worse.
It gets worse. It gets worse because when God entrusts a great dream to a man or a woman, the greatest danger is they will get swallowed by the dream and get caught up in their role in the dream. And so he usually has to take you through painful, difficult times so you always know who the dream's about. And so Joseph's character got to the point where when he was the ruler of all the land of Egypt, he understood who God was. And he understood he's just a steward. And he was put in this role. And in this role, it was how, God, do I answer to you?
And what do we know? He preserved the entire nation. He saved God's agenda, humanly speaking. But God will give you a promise. God will birth a dream. What's yours?
What's yours? I was pastoring in Santa Cruz. And I'm the most ordinary guy you're going to meet. And I didn't grow up in a Christian home.
My grandfather wasn't a pastor. And, you know, I've kind of shared my story. And I'm a coach, you know, and I still in my mind's eye just think I'm a coach, just a different team. And what coaches know is players win games. You know, I've never seen a coach get out on the floor and say, hey, scored 40 tonight.
What do you think? You know, coaches find the right players, get the right people in the right spots and cast a vision. And then they help those players become all that they can become. And I've always been a coach. And but I never dreamed I'd be a pastor coach. And so this church began to grow. And then, you know, the thing got on the radio and that started to happen.
And then some people wanted to take some stuff and put it in the form of a book. And this dream, I didn't know. All I knew is God used my life. And if you've never done this, I did something I'd never done. I said, God, you know, I'm I'm hitting this this window of the 40s and the pull of the church and the growth of the radio. And people want me to write these books. And you know what?
This is I'm an improbable person. I don't know how to handle this. Will you show me how it all fits together? I'll do whatever you want me to do. But right now, I just feel like my heart and my emotions are just getting jacked around and I feel pulled here and pulled here. And and I can see all the temptations and it looks like a slippery slope.
I could see how you could really use my life or I could see I could be one of those statistics and get caught up with myself. I need to hear from you. We went on a retreat, 1996, up to a little camp called Koinonia, and we were reading another Collins book as a staff. And each staff member came up with big, hairy, audacious. We called them dreams instead of goals because we figure men can achieve goals. Only God can fulfill dreams. And every staff member would would come up with this is the dream for my area of ministry and and then begin to pray and have a strategic plan to get there. And we were ready to pull all the staff together and each person was going to share.
This is this is my big, hairy, audacious dream for the glory of God. And I thought, well, OK, great. And a buddy I worked with, I told you about him, Steve, I said, well, this will be good. And he said, yeah, well, what's yours? I said, what do you mean? What's mine?
Well, mine is that all these guys and gals fulfill theirs. And then that's my dream. And, you know, in classic X football coach to coach, you guys will understand this. He kind of looked at me and went and hit me right in the chest. I mean, not real hard, but hard enough that it wasn't all that fun, you know, kind of boom like that. And he said, come on, Ingram.
He said, you don't get away with that. Go out there. We got a half hour sit in the field. Ask God what your personal dream is. Everyone else has a dream.
You're the coach, but you got to have one for yourself. And, you know, it was just a divine push from God. And I can still remember I went out, sat cross legs, opened my Bible, and we'd have two or three days of great worship and great teaching. And, you know, we were all close to God. And I said, Lord, I've been asking about this. Will you just will you just tell me what you what you want to do with my life?
It's all got to come together. And I sat quietly. And I don't come from an overly mystical background, OK? But this was one of those times and I heard the Spirit of God prompt me and say as clearly as an audible voice, Chip, I want you to be a catalyst to transform how America thinks about God, how pastors think about preaching, how churches think about their communities, and how everyday believers live out their faith at home and at work. Do you want me to go slower? Write that down. Write that down.
And literally, I mean, I pulled I pulled out a pen and it said, literally, could you go slower? I want you to be a catalyst. You don't need to be a big somebody.
A catalyst is a small little something put in a certain environment that causes a chain reaction. Chip, I want you to be a part of of lifting my name so there's a high view of God. I want I want America to be transformed in how they think about me. I want pastors to get back into preaching through the text, but in relevant, applicational ways. I want churches that dream dreams for their community and get off building their own little kingdoms and would team in their whole communities and love each other and pray and worship together and reach their communities.
And I want the days God has come where every day at 11 o'clock, people live exactly the same way as they do 11 o'clock on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday. And how you drive the carpool and how you do business deals is exactly how you do it when you're worshiping God. And I wrote that down and I went back and I shared the dream that got birthed in my heart and I was so embarrassed.
I mean, does that sound audacious or not? You're in one church on the left coast, as some people would call it, and, you know, you're on, you know, we're on four radio stations. So, yeah, we ought to be able to transform how the nation thinks about God. And you're in the process of writing one book that you don't even know if it's going to be any good or maybe no one will ever buy it. And you hear this dream.
Here's what you got to understand. Abraham going to move out your comfort zone. Joseph, he'll birth the dream. And as he births it, if it is impossible, you'll just you'll say to yourself, how could this be?
How could this be? Eight years later, what I realized was it wasn't just about helping America be transformed and teaming with other pastors and other organizations in the church. It's about what God wants to do in the world. But that birth of that dream, that became, I will tell you, that vision statement became the grid.
Every decision that I've made from 1996 till now has been based on that vision. You've been listening to part one of Chip's message, Dream Great Dreams. He'll be right back with his application for this teaching from his series, Good to Great in God's Eyes.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus said, whoever wants to become great among you must what? Through this series, Chip explores what greatness means to God by highlighting 10 crucial practices he says are vital. Now, if you're looking to dive deeper into the subject, let me encourage you to check out Chip's book or our small group study. These are perfect tools to help jumpstart your faith.
To learn more about these resources, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org, the Chip Engram app, or call 888-333-6003. I'll be right back with some final thoughts on today's message. But before I do, I just have to tell you, it is so exciting as people order their small group resources, and we see people getting connected in small groups and growing. And then you guys tell us some amazing things that are happening in your relationships. And the only way that we can do this is by the faithful, generous support of what we call partners. It's like a partnership together where we're really making a difference.
And sometimes you don't realize the impact that you're making. And the fact of the matter is, we can say, you know something, here's what we're doing here, here's the tools, and now people are forming small groups, and God is multiplying real disciples because of your generosity and your partnership. So, I just wanted, before we go on, to just stop, for those of you that have partnered, say thank you very, very much. Well, as Chip said, if you're already supporting us financially, we appreciate you. With your help, Living on the Edge is ministering to more people than ever before. But if you're benefiting from this ministry in some way and haven't yet taken that step, now would be a great time to join us. To send a gift or to become a monthly partner, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or text the word DONATE to 74141. That's DONATE to 74141, or visit LivingOnTheEdge.org.
App listeners, tap DONATE. Thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, now here's Chip with some final application. As we close today's program, what I want you to know is that yes, great Christians. I mean, great Christians in God's eyes, they do think great thoughts, and they pursue great people, and they read great books. And as we're learning now, they dream great dreams.
But I just have to tell you that you've got to ask yourself, how in the world are ordinary people like you and me really going to pull this off? And this study has been one of the most exciting. In fact, I was in Columbus, Ohio, and they had a whole series of men's groups. I mean, around the city, they were all going to go through good to great in God's eyes. And they were reading the book and watching the small group DVD and sitting around saying, okay, what's it mean to read great books and holding each other accountable and encouraging one another? And I read this or pursuing great people. And I mean, it's a dynamic that happens in a group, and it's kind of like a team moving together.
It's the grace of God and the Spirit of God, and it happens in community. You have to have a plan, you need encouragement, and I'm convinced you have to study together to make this happen. That's a great reminder, Chip. Well, to help you get into a meaningful community, let me encourage you to check out our small group resources.
They're so easy to use. Chip provides the teaching, then you'll have time to discuss what you've heard alongside our helpful study guides. So if you're not in a small group yet, or you aren't sure what to study next, check out our resources today. And for a limited time, we've discounted all of our small group's tools for you. To learn more, go to livingontheedge.org or call us at 888-333-6003. App listeners, tap special offers. Well, until next time, for everyone here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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