I listened to a message today about dreaming with God. It was incredibly thought provoking and something I had never seriously considered before. I believe it is way more simple and way more profound all at the same time. I wanted to share this message with you today in a way that builds bridges rather than forces my own faith on you because I believe it is something that we really need to think about and it is something helps us focus on common ground.
Here's Pastor John Stickl's message about dreaming with God on YouTube.
Common ground is about finding what unites us and focusing on that rather than focusing on the things that divide us. But there's a serious problem that we face and that is eventually we end up getting bogged down into the implementation details. It's easy to talk about things at a high level. It's easy to say love they neighbor as thyself or put another way follow the golden rule.
Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself.
My grandfather Arnie had a tremendous sense of humor. He liked to say it this way:
When I say implementation details, I'm really speaking about the issues that seem to divide us.
The concept of dreaming with God is a way to find common ground in the midst of divisive issues. It's a call to imagine a world where we treat each other with the same respect, compassion, and dignity that we hope to receive. While it's easy to get bogged down in the implementation details of issues like abortion, climate change, and racial justice, we can all agree on the importance of treating others the way we want to be treated. My grandfather Arnie's humorous take on the golden rule - "Do unto others before they get a chance to do it unto you" - reminds us that we have agency in creating a better world. By focusing on the values that unite us, rather than the issues that divide us, we can build bridges and work towards a brighter future together.
The message about dreaming with God invites us to shift our focus from divisive issues towards the values that unite us. But what does it mean to dream with God? According to Pastor John Stickl, it's about having a heart that is captivated by God and filled with dreams. In this post, I want to share with you my personal take on some of the key principles from his message that resonated with me. These principles remind us that our relationship with God is the foundation of our dreams, and that our ultimate dream is to become more like Jesus. So, if you're ready to be inspired and challenged, let's dive into the world of dreaming with God!
In the following sections, I want to clarify that my belief in God as the embodiment of the highest good is not necessarily an idea that came from Pastor John Stickl's message. While his sermon inspired me to dive deeper into this concept, the following ideas are my own interpretations and takeaways.
Seeing God as the Embodiment of the Highest Good
In this section, we will explore the importance of viewing God as the embodiment of the highest good, and how this affects our understanding of God's judgement.
As mentioned earlier, seeing God as the embodiment of the highest good means recognizing that some things are not good. Thinking this way helps you recognize that the highest good is now an established baseline we can comprehend. It implies a certain level of quality. While this can create a sense of pressure or expectations to meet it, this pressure is not coming from God, but from within ourselves. The desire to measure up to the standard comes from the fact that we are made in the image of God, who is the embodiment of the highest good. We are drawn towards this standard because it is a part of our nature. However, it's important to remember that God is not mad at us for not measuring up to the standard. His mere existence as the highest good does not impose His will on us, but rather invites us to align our lives with His standard of goodness. By recognizing this, we can be free from the burden of striving to measure up to an unattainable standard and instead focus on growing and aligning ourselves with God's will.
When Jesus said, "Not my will but Your will be done," I believe he was saying that he wanted to be the best version of himself in that particular situation and to act accordingly. We can call this God's plan. His plan is to become the best version of yourself in every situation.
This can be challenging in our world today, where people often prioritize their own group's interests over those of others. For example, some people may favor their own race, religion, or nationality over others, which can lead to division and conflict. However, it's important to remember that God's desires for us are always in line with what is best for everyone and for the world as a whole. Therefore, our own aspirations and dreams should also align with this highest good, rather than being solely focused on our own interests or those of a particular group. When we seek to act in ways that promote the greatest good for all, we can experience true fulfillment and live out the purpose that God has for us.
Another practical example of aligning our dreams with God's is in the area of relationships. If our dream is to find a romantic partner, but we compromise our values or mistreat others in order to pursue that dream, we may experience temporary happiness but ultimately end up feeling empty and unfulfilled. However, if we seek a partner who shares our values and treats others with respect and kindness, we are aligning our dream with the standards of the highest good and are more likely to experience a fulfilling and lasting relationship.
Similarly, if we have a dream of success in our career, but we pursue it at the expense of our own health, relationships, or integrity, we may achieve some level of success but ultimately sacrifice our own well-being and sense of purpose. However, if we pursue success in a way that aligns with the highest good, such as through serving others or using our skills to make a positive impact in the world, we are more likely to experience true fulfillment and a sense of purpose.
Ultimately, aligning our dreams with God's means seeking to live a life that is guided by love, compassion, and justice. This may require sacrificing some of our individual desires and preferences in order to pursue what is truly good and fulfilling.
The Loving Mother Who Challenges Us to Grow
In this section, we will explore the idea of how the character of Christ aligns with those of a loving mother who nurtures and cares for us while also challenging us to become our best selves. Just as a mother wants the best for her child, God's dreams for us are rooted in His love for us and His desire to see us thrive and grow.
It may seem unconventional to compare Christ to a mother, but I believe this analogy can help us better understand His loving and nurturing nature. It's important to acknowledge that many people, including atheists, Jews, Muslims, and many others do not see Jesus as the son of God. By using a motherly analogy, I hope to make the message more relatable to all readers, regardless of their beliefs or background. After all, effective communication is often about being helpful rather than being entirely accurate in every detail.
The love and compassion that Christ embodies are rooted in His role as a loving mother. This can be seen in the way that He cares for us, as a mother would for her children. As a motherly figure, Christ is willing to confront the establishment, just as a mamma bear would protect her cubs. We can see this in the way that He flipped tables of the money changers in the temple.
However, even in the midst of His righteous anger, Christ remains forgiving and merciful. He does not enable us by shielding us from the consequences of our actions but allows us to face them and learn from them. Like a loving mother, Christ understands our pain, struggles, and even knows we lie, but still believes in us and encourages us to grow and become our best selves. Through His love and compassion, Christ challenges us to grow and become more like Him, ultimately leading us towards a life of fulfillment and purpose.
When we see Christ in this way, we can understand that God's dreams for us are not just arbitrary goals to achieve but rather a reflection of His desire to see us grow and become the best version of ourselves. His dreams for us are not just about what we can accomplish, but about who we can become.
As we dream with God, we must remember that our dreams should be aligned with His character as the embodiment of the highest good. We must seek to become more like Christ in our thoughts, words, and actions. This means putting God at the center of our lives and allowing His love to guide us towards our dreams.
When we allow Christ to be the loving mother who challenges us to grow, we can find the strength and courage to pursue our dreams with purpose and passion. We can trust in His love for us and His desire to see us thrive and grow, knowing that His dreams for us are rooted in His ultimate plan for our lives.
So, thinking of Christ as the ultimate loving mother that challenges us allows that kind of love to guide us as we dream with God. Let us dream to become the best version of ourselves individually and collectively and trust that aiming for the highest good will align us all one with another.
Living as Undercover Agents of God's Kingdom
Living as undercover agents of God's kingdom means that we are called to align ourselves with the rule and reign of the embodiment of the highest good as we go about our daily lives. This requires us to be constantly aware of the ways in which the world's values and standards can lead us astray from God's plan for our lives. Or said another way, they lead us away from the greatest good we might otherwise aim at. We must be vigilant in resisting the temptation to conform to the world around us, less than the best, and instead strive to live out the values of what it means to aim at the highest good in all that we do.
This means that we must prioritize things like love, justice, and mercy above personal gain or comfort. It means that we must be willing to take risks and step out of our comfort zones in order to bring about the highest good in tangible ways. It means that we must be willing to speak out against injustice and to stand up for what is right, even when it is unpopular or uncomfortable.
Living as undercover agents of God's kingdom is not always easy, and it may require us to make sacrifices or face opposition. But as we work towards bringing the highest good to every situation, we can trust that we are not alone. We have the guidance and support of the embodiment of the highest good, who empowers us to live out our dreams and aspirations in ways that honor the highest good in each of us and bring celebration to our holy aim.
In 2 Corinthians 5:20, we are described as ambassadors for Christ, representing a kingdom that is not of this world. As ambassadors, we live according to the standards and values of our home kingdom, rather than the foreign land in which we currently reside. This means that we operate from a different perspective, seeking to bring God's love, justice, and peace into every situation we encounter.
Jesus taught us to pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). This prayer is a reminder that God's dreams for us are rooted in His desire to see His kingdom come on earth. It's a call to action, to work towards bringing God's kingdom into every aspect of our lives and the world around us.
Living as undercover agents of God's kingdom also means that we must be careful not to conform to the patterns of this world. Romans 12:2 instructs us to "not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." This means that we must continually renew our minds and hearts with truth and values that align with the highest good, rather than the values of some lesser aim.
We are called to be co-laborers with God, using our gifts and talents to bring about His kingdom on earth. It's not about accomplishing a goal or achieving success, but about enjoying a relationship with our Father and working together to bring about His will. To me this means we are working together, using our individual gifts and talents to bring about the highest good on earth.
In conclusion, as undercover agents of God's kingdom, we are called to live according to a different set of rules and values, seeking to bring God's kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. We must continually renew our minds and hearts with God's truth and values, using our gifts and talents to co-labor with Him in bringing about His will.
Reflecting on Our Dreams and Aspirations
As we consider the importance of dreaming with God, it's essential to take a step back and reflect on our own dreams and aspirations. In this section, we'll explore some thought-provoking questions that can help us examine our hearts and minds in light of the highest good.
Why do we accept a lesser standard, or allow anything less than the highest good to set the standard for our lives? This is an important question to ask ourselves, as it challenges us to consider where we place our trust and what we value most in life. Are we seeking approval from our friends, or are we seeking the approval of God, the embodiment of the highest good?
Another important question to ask ourselves is whether we want to feel good or become good. It's easy to pursue short-term pleasures or temporary highs, but true fulfillment and joy come from becoming the best version of ourselves and aligning our dreams with the highest good.
We must also consider who sets the standard for us, both individually and collectively. Are we allowing the world or society to dictate our dreams and aspirations, or are we seeking the highest good as guidance and direction in all areas of our lives?
When it comes to training and learning, are we being trained by the right someone or something? It's important to evaluate the sources of our knowledge and wisdom and ensure that they align with God's truth and values.
We can also reflect on the trophies and accomplishments we've accumulated throughout our lives. Are they merely lesser aim accolades that sit on a shelf, or do they serve a higher purpose aligned with the highest good?
Finally, we must consider whether we're running the world's race or God's race. Are we chasing after lesser success and achievement, or are we pursuing God's plan and purpose for our lives to aim much higher?
As we reflect on these questions, we can gain clarity on our own dreams and aspirations and ensure that they align with God's. We can ask God for guidance and direction and trust that He will lead us on the path that is best for us all.
Dreaming Big with God
The Bible is full of examples of people who dreamed big with God and saw incredible things happen. Psalm 126:1 speaks of dreaming to get out of captivity, and Acts 2:17 speaks of dreaming beyond our ability to accomplish in one lifetime. These passages remind us that God's dreams for us are not limited by our own abilities or circumstances. When we dream with God, we can trust that His dreams for us are bigger than we could ever imagine.
Joseph is a great example of someone who dreamed big with God. Despite facing many setbacks and obstacles, he never gave up on his dreams. He trusted in God's plan for his life and remained faithful even when things looked impossible. In the end, his dreams came true and he was able to use his position of power to help others.
Believing in something greater than ourselves means trusting in a plan for our lives that is bigger than we can imagine. The story of Joseph reminds us that we should not give up on our dreams, even when they seem impossible. By having faith and remaining true to our values, we can overcome setbacks and achieve our goals.
To dream big, we must take risks and step outside of our comfort zones. We must aim for something greater than ourselves and believe that our actions can make a positive impact in the world. We should seek to align our dreams with the values of kindness, compassion, and justice, recognizing that our dreams are not just for ourselves but for the benefit of all.
As we dream big, we are working towards a greater purpose that extends beyond ourselves. We can find meaning and fulfillment in contributing to the well-being of others and the world around us. We must remain faithful to our beliefs and values, even in the face of adversity.
Ultimately, dreaming big means trusting in something greater than ourselves and seeking to align our actions with a higher purpose. When we do so, we can achieve great things and make a positive impact in the world, just as Joseph did in his own life.
So, let's dream big with God and trust in His plan for our lives. Let's be willing to take risks and step out in faith, knowing that His dreams for us are bigger than we could ever imagine. And let's remember that our dreams are part of a larger plan to bring God's kingdom to earth.
Putting God Back in the Center
We all have dreams and aspirations for our lives, but how often do we stop and ask ourselves whether those dreams are truly aligned with the highest good? The truth is, it's easy to get caught up in our own desires and lose sight of a higher aim for our lives. In this section, we will explore the importance of putting God back in the center and aligning our dreams with His.
Psalm 37:4 reminds us to "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." This does not mean that God will simply give us whatever we want, but rather that as we delight ourselves in aiming for the highest good, our desires will begin to align with that aim. As we seek a higher aim for our lives, we will begin to see that His dreams for us are much bigger and better than we could ever imagine.
It's all too easy to lose sight of a higher purpose when we become preoccupied with worldly desires. We may start off with good intentions, but soon our focus shifts and we may compromise our values or neglect important aspects of our lives.
For example, you may dream of achieving great success in your career, but in pursuit of this dream, you may compromise your values or neglect other important areas of your life, such as your family or your health. Alternatively, you may dream of finding the perfect romantic partner, but in your quest for love, you may settle for someone who does not share your faith or who does not treat you with the respect and love that you deserve. These dreams, which started off with good intentions, can quickly turn into nightmares if they are not aligned with God's highest good. Therefore, it's important to continually examine our dreams and desires, to ensure that they are in line with a highest good plan for our lives.
This is why it's so important to put God back in the center of our lives. When we make Him our top priority, everything else falls into place. Our dreams become aligned with His dreams, and we begin to see our lives and the world around us in a whole new way.
So how can we put God back in the center? It starts with a daily commitment to seek Him first. We must make time talk about it, think about it, and surround ourselves with others who believe like we do. We must also be willing to surrender our own desires and submit ourselves to this aim.
As we do this, we will begin to see our dreams and aspirations take on a whole new meaning. Instead of chasing after things that are not aligned with the highest good, we will be free to dream big and to trust that His dreams for us are bigger and better than we could ever imagine.
In conclusion, putting God back in the center of our lives is essential if we want to live a life that is truly fulfilling and aligned with His plan. As we commit ourselves to seeking Him first, we will begin to see our dreams and aspirations fall into place, and we will be free to dream big and to trust that His dreams for us are bigger and better for everyone than we could ever imagine.
Seeking God's Guidance in Dreaming with Him
As we seek to align our dreams with God, it's essential to ask ourselves some critical questions. One powerful question to consider is, "If Jesus had my cover, what would it look like when he encountered the things I encounter every day in my life?" This question challenges us to think about how we can align our daily actions and decisions with God's will and purpose for our lives.
Another question to ask ourselves is, "What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail?" This question can help us break free from our fears and limitations and dream big with God. It reminds us that with God, all things are possible, and we can trust Him to guide us on the path to realizing our dreams.
As we seek to align our dreams with God's, we might want to consider spending time in prayer and reading the Bible. God speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit, and by spending time in His presence, we can gain clarity and direction for our lives. We can also seek out wise counsel from trusted friends and mentors who share our values and are committed to helping us grow in our faith.
In conclusion, aligning our dreams with God is a lifelong journey that requires intentionality, reflection, and seeking wisdom. By asking ourselves critical questions, spending time in prayer and the Word, and seeking wise counsel, we can trust God to lead us on the path to realizing our dreams and becoming the people He created us to be. So let us continue to dream with God, knowing that His dreams for us are bigger and better for everyone than we could ever imagine.
In conclusion, the concept of dreaming with God is a powerful and transformative way to find common ground amidst divisive issues. It invites us to focus on the values that unite us rather than the issues that divide us. When we make our relationship with God the foundation of our dreams, we align our desires with His will and purpose for our lives. As we strive to become more like Jesus, we become agents of change in creating a better world for ourselves and those around us. This message reminds us that no matter our differences, we can all agree on the importance of treating others with respect, compassion, and dignity. By dreaming with God and focusing on the values that unite us, we can build bridges and work towards a brighter future together.
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