When I was a young school girl and we were living downstate, the arrival of the Message was always accompanied by some excitement. Who could get their hands on it first!
This particular day it was I, because it was not a school day. And I still remember a short article called “Keep Alive the Dream in Your Heart.”
That title struck and STUCK. I liked the idea of a dream. A heart-dream. Something to keep alive.
I was dreaming then, and I still am—aren’t you? I’m not talking about pipe dreams, or day dreaming, or building air castles. I’m talking about realities we can anticipate, something that touches our heart, that gives us genuine hope and vision—because it is in the plan of God, because God is behind it.
This is where we say, Feed it! Keep it alive!
As I was reading a current article on the web today, I thought of that Message article from 50+ years ago. The author of today’s article was talking about dreaming as a part of sound sleep, and was noting our need for really good sleep—REM sleep—as a help to maintaining our mental and physical strength, as well as increasing our immunity during this difficult time. He went from that to the thought of a dream, a hope of better days to come.
Underneath, he said, keep dreaming—of the time when life will be better and—maybe even “normal”?
God has given us a dream, a forward-looking vision, that has genuine “While We Wait” benefit. For those who know God through His Word, that dream
(1) lifts us out of the PRESENT dilemma
(2) places us in another world, the NEW world God has PROMISED.
That NEW world is not sheer optimism—it is seeing what God’s prophets have foretold with clear sighted vision. The book of Proverbs tells us how VITAL this vision is, even to survival:
Proverbs 29:18 18Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
The NKJV puts even more meaning on the value of the divine “vision” –it is a restraint to wrongdoing, a genuine reason to apply and live by the Law of God.
Proverbs 29:18 18Where there is no revelation [knowledge revealed by God], the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
Our reason to keep or live by the law of God is the result of having “vision,” the surety of the future God has promised.
Paul talked about “SEEING” this promised world. How do we see it? We need special eyes:
Ephesians 1:18 18the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Think what that “understanding” is—
understanding the plan of God,
understanding what God HAS done
understanding what God IS doing even NOW during the present dilemma.
God isn’t stopped by any problems we experience. His work is going straight forward.
When we understand this, what a difference it makes in our lives! Think about all we can see when this dream—this vision—captures our heart. It is the sure destiny of Planet Earth! Never forget the words of Isaiah the prophet,
Isaiah 45:17–18 17Israel shall be saved in the Lord [a solid promise] with an everlasting salvation [EVERLASTING!]: Ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
Here is another picture of EVERLASTING—never to be ashamed or confounded or put down or conquered or hurt or harmed… how long? “WORLD WITHOUT END.”
Continuing with verse 18:
18For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens [doesn’t He have the authority to declare?]; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, He created it not in vain , he formed it to be inhabited [a solid promise, real purpose]: I am the Lord; and there is none else.
No wonder the Lord told his prophet Jeremiah during a very difficult time:
Jeremiah 23:28–29 28“The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.
God is comparing—chaff against wheat. Chaff—lies, falsehoods—is all the false prophets could deliver, chaff that has no nutrient value, no power to give life or true hope or vision of the future. God’s prophets had genuine, life sustaining wheat.
Then He changed it to even a more powerful simile. God said His word was like fire and a sledge hammer.
29“Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Heat the rock with fire and then strike it with a sledge hammer, and what happens? It BREAKS!
Such is the power of the dream, the vision, the sure promise of the Lord. So bright must be this vision that it is a constantly energizing force in our lives.
Here is a thought from the first article in the Message.
“Hold the dream at the focal point of your mind and heart until it takes over your thinking process, until you at last become the living embodiment of your dream.”
Becoming the embodiment of your dream? This is the reality of fulfillment, not an empty hope but a solid prospect of experiencing what God has promised.
Didn’t Paul say it?
2 Corinthians 4:18 18while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Peter 3:11–14 11Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
All figurative description of the removal of the old, and bringing in the NEW. Everything of this present arrangement will be dissolved. Gone. And then, going forward:
13Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for [Eagerly expect] new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Both the new heavens and earth will be RIGHTEOUS! This shows the figurative meaning of the terms.
Because of this hope, this dream, this lively expectation…
14Therefore … beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
There is the standard for these new elements, without spot and blameless. And can we wonder why, in prospect of all God has promised? When there will be:
new heavens – new ruling powers worldwide, and
new earth—new people everywhere serving God and living for the good of one another.
Let your imagination expand to take it in. Just imagine belonging to that NEW WORLD, that WORLD WITHOUT END, as an immortal being:
These HANDS to become the unmarred, incorruptible hands of a glorified immortal being!
This MIND to be expanded and empowered by God to take in more and more of the wonders of His vast creation.
This BODY to be changed in substance, no longer flesh and blood but made like the angels of heaven, no fear of sickness or death, to go with the freedom of the wind, without limitation or restriction through the infinite realms beyond, visiting the residents of God’s different “mansions” through the universe.
Keep dreaming with the vision of the prophets of God, the divine vision given in God’s Word, the vision shared by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Elijah, and all the rest.
It is not a vain hope but a real prospect we can share with them. As we keep reading His Word and thinking about all He has promised and His grand plan for the earth, these realities get more and more VIVID in our mind’s eye until the vision is with us all the time, all day, EVERY day.
Nothing is so important as meeting the standard God has set for us so we can experience the reality of that ETERNAL GLORY! Never have any people been so close to its reality as we are this very moment.