Gregory Dickow - Finding the Way, the Why, and the WOW of Life
Boy, there's something very exciting, and there's something very thrilling about knowing that your life is made by design, made for a design, made by purpose, for a purpose, on purpose. You're not an accident. You're not a mistake. No matter how you got here, you came, you came from God. You might have come through... might have... obviously you came through your parents. We all came through our parents, but we came from God. You were God's idea. Say "I was God's idea". But I can never say that enough about myself. I can never say that enough about you. It's something very reassuring when you realize you were God's idea and God's ideas work and God's ideas succeed. How many? No. Many of our ideas don't succeed. But all of God's ideas work. All of God's ideas succeed. God never has a bad idea. And you were his idea.
So you have a great purpose. You have a great destiny. You have a great you have great potential because of God's divine purpose in your life. And what I love about this verse in Jeremiah twenty nine eleven, he says, for I know God is saying to his people for I know, I know. I know now I know he's saying I know the plans that I have for you, but I like to stop with those first two words right there. When he says, I know and I've talked about this before, but I want to remind you that God knows, God knows what you've been through. God knows what you're going through. God knows what you're going to go through.
Listen to me. He knows what you've done wrong. He knows what's been done wrong to you. He knows what you're going to fail, that he knows what you're going to succeed at over the next few days, weeks, months and years. He knows what hurt you. He knows what what mystifies you. He knows what troubles you. He knows what angers you. He knows what is what has done, what has been done that is abused you. He knows the mistakes you've made. He knows everything about you. He knows. And yet him knowing those things does not stop him dead in his tracks. He said, I know the plans that I have for you. So not only does he know all that has happened to us, all that is happening to us and all that will ever happen to us, all that we've done, all that we're doing and all that we will do. Good, bad and ugly. He knows all of those things. And yet his plan goes on, his plan continues.
He doesn't say, whoa, I didn't know you're going to do that. Boy, I don't have a plan for that. He's got a plan for everything. He's got a plan for. When you make a good decision, he's got a plan for you. When you make a bad decision, he's got a plan for when somebody treats you right. He's got a plan for when somebody treats you wrong. It wasn't his will for them to treat you that way. It wasn't his will for you to make a bad decision. But he has a plan in the midst of it. I know the plans that I have for you, he says. Plans for good, for welfare, for wellbeing, plans of peace and not calamity and not fear and not evil, he says. But to give you a future and to give you a hope. How many of these are gifts today?
Your future is a gift and your hope is a gift. These are gifts from God. You have to struggle over your future. God has given you and he has a good future to give you and he has a good hope to give you. These are gifts from him. And I want you to get a hold of this, that he's got a plan. No matter what you've done, no matter where you've been, no matter how far away you are from north, no matter how far away you are from your best version of yourself, no matter how far you away you are from the path that you were once on, or no matter how far you feel like you are from God's best for your life. He has a plan to get you there. He has a plan. Say that. Say God knows and God plans and God gives.
He says all that right here, in this verse. He said," I know I plan and I give", so he knows what he's doing in your life. He's got a plan for what he's doing in your life and he gives you what you need for him to bring to pass his purpose in his will for your life. God, no. Say it again. God knows God plans and God gives. Boy, you can rest. You can have peace when you know those three things. Let's talk about that, though, because someone said people lose their way when they lose their why people lose their way when they lose their why. And I thought, wow, that's a very powerful statement that we lose our way. We end up making bad decisions. We end up going down wrong paths. We end up missing the will or purpose of God for our lives when we don't understand the why, when we don't understand that we have a purpose, we abuse our lives. When we don't understand the purpose of our lives.
See, here's the thing that really help you to to to to navigate through life. And that is that when you don't understand the purpose of something, that's when you'll abuse that thing. So when you don't understand the purpose of your body, you'll abuse your body. When you don't understand the purpose of sexual abuse, sex, when you don't understand the purpose of of marriage, you abuse your marriage. When you understand the purpose of children and the purpose of parenting, you'll abuse your kids and maybe won't hit them or hurt them physically. But you'll you will you will abuse their potential if you don't understand their purpose. And if you don't understand your purpose, you'll abuse your potential. You'll use your gifts, you'll use your talents, you'll use your all the strength and all the what's available to you in life for the wrong reason. And you miss out you miss out on your potential.
When you don't understand the purpose, then you don't you end up abusing that thing or misusing that thing. And so money is another example is that when people don't understand the purpose of money, they abuse money or they misuse or mishandle money. So if you think money is something a tool to make you happy, you'll abuse money. You'll use it to get people to do things for you and make things happen and try to find things that money was not created to give you. Money was created by God. Money is God's idea as a medium of exchange and as a way to to trust him so that he can trust you and you can be faithful with the little then faithful with much. And you can use money for powerful purposes to see souls saved, to see lives change. Do you see when you don't understand the purpose of a thing, that's when you abuse it or that's when you misuse it?
When I heard that statement that that people lose their way when they lose their way, I also added to it and thought, wow, people also lose their wow. When they lose their way, we lose our way. When we lose our way and we lose our wow. When we lose our way. In other words, life's life becomes boring when you don't understand you have a purpose, when you don't understand what you're on earth for, what you're living for, life becomes boring. You lose the wow of life. You lose the excitement of life. You lose the joy of life. You lose the celebration.
You see, when you just live in the in your current situation and see that as the whole picture, then you lack perspective and you are subjected to whatever that circumstances, whatever emotions that circumstances awakening you, whatever emotions are created by that circumstance, you're under the control or you're imprisoned by that circumstance because you see that as your as the picture of your life, you've got to step back and look at the bigger picture and then each circumstance and each event in your life and each mistake in your life. And when somebody does something to you, those things don't control you because you step back and you see the bigger picture.
So when somebody wrongs you, you can look at that as the final sentence on your life, or you can look at that and say, well, this is how I'm going to look at life now. I'm going to look at it from a wounded standpoint, from a victim mentality, from a feeling like people have betrayed me and people have have hurt me and people have mistreated me. But if you step back and say, you know what, God is going to turn this thing around because my faith is not in what somebody does to me or does for me or doesn't do to me or doesn't do for me, my faith is in the God who will create a way where there is no way, who will open a door, where no man can close, who will close the door that no man can open. I'm trusting in a God who can more than make up for and more than compensate for whatever has been done to me.
So now I'm looking at the bigger picture and realizing, wait a minute, God is not limited by the things that we think limit us. God's not limited by your past. God's not limited by your pain. God's not limited by anything except what you believe. He's only limited by what you believe. That's the only thing that limits a person from getting saved is they they refuse to believe that Jesus is the way. So they reject Jesus. And guess what? They have limited God from giving them salvation because they have rejected the way that he has given them to be saved. And so when we get a hold of this, why in life, why are we here? It's the search that everybody seeks. It's what everybody seeks after their why we have an opportunity to truly change our lives and change the world when we understand the value that each of us has and when we truly understand one another's value, then we can truly walk in God's purpose for our lives.
And I can encourage you about your value, your worth that I'm not here to condone your lifestyle, but I'm not here to condemn your lifestyle. Somebody said you. Better preach against that person's sin over there. Well, what about your sin and what about that person? And if I was preaching about everybody sin, that's all we'd ever be talking about. Everybody sin and then mine would take up the most time of all. So I'm not, my philosophy is not to condone your lifestyle or to condemn your lifestyle, but to cultivate your worth and your sense of value. Because when you understand your sense of value, you will understand a higher sense of purpose. And when you live for a higher sense of purpose, life's not boring anymore. Purpose breaks the power of boredom. Purpose breaks the power of distraction. Purpose breaks the power of depression, purpose breaks the power of fear, and purpose breaks the power of our past.
I wish I could talk to you about each of those, but it breaks the power of depression because even Jesus got depressed. Depression is not a sin. There's nothing sinful about feeling feelings. There's nothing sinful about being depressed. There's nothing sinful about being anxious. Sinful, sinful sin comes from allowing those emotions to determine your decisions. And then your decisions lead you to bad behavior when it's a negative emotion. But Jesus learned, Jesus knew how to process his emotions.
So when he's in the Garden of Gethsemane, it says it says in Mark Chapter 14, he said, My soul is in anguish. One translation says, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful, equals depression. One translation even uses that word. My soul is depressed. My soul is sad. My soul is sorrowful. Jesus said that. But what he did about it was what determined the outcome of his life. And what did he do about it? He took it to God and he said, Father, I don't want to do this. If this cup can pass from me, let it pass. But what did he say? Come on, help me now. Come on, Bible scholars. But what did he say? Not my will, but thy will be done. And when he said that he was, that was his purpose. To die for our sins and to destroy the power of death and to destroy the power of the devil and destroy the power of sin. And his purpose powered him through his emotions and powered him through his depression.
So purpose broke the power of depression. What if he would have let his depression determine his decision? Then depression would have broken the power of his purpose. But but his purpose broke the power of the depression. Purpose breaks the power of fear. You know, if I took you to the top of a cliff that was 50 feet from the water and I said, why don't you just go ahead and jump off and just be bold and just take fifty feet is a long way. It's five stories and most people are going to be like, heck no, let me off of this thing. Who are you? The devil trying to push me off a cliff. But if I took you to that same top of the cliff and said your child is in the water drowning, what would you do, immediately jump and immediately save your child? Why? Because purpose breaks the power of fear and purpose breaks the power of fear.
And knowing the purpose of saving your child is greater than the limitations that you've put on yourself and the fear of the ramifications of the consequences of what might happen when you splash purpose will break the power of fear. What am I trying to say? I'm trying to say we cannot be driven by resentment and unforgiveness. We can't be driven by guilt. The third thing that we can't be driven by is we can't be driven by fear. And yet this is what drives people. The reason we make the decisions we make, the reason we live, the lifestyles we make live, the reason why we we have the boundaries we have because we're afraid we do certain things, because we're afraid of what will happen if we don't. And we constantly let fear drive us. But if you let purpose drive you, God created me on purpose for a purpose, for design, with a design, and you then will break barriers in your life.
You won't live behind a wall of fear. You will live in faith. You will live. And coming up out of the water, getting out of the boat. Jeez, Peter said, Lord, is that you command me to come. Everybody else was afraid. Thank God for Peter. At least he got out of the boat. People think of Peter and they say, Oh, but he sank in the water, but at least he walked out there. At least he gave it a whirl. At least he gave it a college try better than a college. He walked on water. He took a few steps, but then he became afraid. But the point is, is he got out of his fear by getting out of the water and knowing that there was a purpose. I'm going to meet Jesus there in the middle of the water. I'm going to see him. Lord, if it's you come at me to come. Jesus said come.
And so what did Peter do? He got out of the boat and walked and he broke out of the barrier of fear because he decided fear is not driving me. Faith is driving me. I'm living by faith, not by fear. You start living that way, living by faith, by these three faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. This is how we live. This is what should drive us. This is what should motivate us. And this is what will change the world. It starts by changing the way you think. It starts by changing the way you look at things. It starts by changing the way you look at life. The why the reason why I'm here. Oh, let me just let me just tell you something about about how we sometimes think that our mistakes will limit us from God's great purpose for our lives.
Let me remind you, because this is why we allow these other things to drive us, whether it's guilt, resentment, fear, money or the need for approval. The reason why we allow these things to drive us is because we feel disqualified. From a life of greatness, our mistakes disqualify us as long as we're doing good, we're qualified. But as soon as we make a mistake or as soon as we blow it, we're disqualified. And God wants you to know your mistakes do not disqualify you and cannot dis and cannot derail God's purpose for your life. Consider for a moment some of the great men and women in the Bible and what they did. That could have or should have derailed them, but didn't.
Abraham lied, tried to give away his wife twice. Anybody try that if it doesn't work? He slept with his wife, maidservant. These are the things that Abraham did, yet Abraham became the father of many nations. Sarah laughed when God said, you're going to be you're going to have a child. Sarah doubted she was suspicious. She was angry. She became bitter. And Hagar and Hagar's child that she allowed to happen. Ishmael. And yet she became the mother of many nations, a woman of faith as God defines her in Hebrews 11. Elijah suffered depression and was suicidal. Yet he called down fire from heaven, outran a chariot and became one of the greatest prophets that ever lived until John the Baptist Joseph in the Bible became boastful when he had his dream, he was abused by his brothers, betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery by his brothers. And yet he became the prime minister of Egypt and over the entire world and saved the world from starvation.
Job lost his family and his fortunes when he lived in fear, said, saying, What I have feared has come upon me. My children are going to curse God and die. My children are going to curse God and die. And he lived in fear and he lost everything he had. And yet he became the man that we know as a person that was blessed double for his trouble and God bless him. And God restored all of his lost fortunes and all of his lost family and gave him a better family, a better fortune, a better future, a better life in a period of nine months when everybody looks at the Book of Job and says, I'm going through a job period of my life. How long you've been going through that? Oh, about last forty years or so.
Job only went through it for nine months because it just takes nine months to give birth to anything. And what we need to realize is that God, with all these mistakes these people made and all these misfortunes that came upon them. It didn't stop God's purpose for their life, Moses was a stutterer. He suffered social anxiety, yet he became the great deliverer of the people of God. Gideon was fearful. He felt inferior, and yet he became a mighty man of valor and saved Israel. Samson was driven and controlled by lust, yet he took out more enemies in his death than in his entire life. Rehab was a prostitute, yet rescued Joshua and Caleb and hid them and saved the nation of Israel. The woman at the well had been divorced five times. Yet became the first woman evangelist in history.
What's stopping you? What's holding you back, I'm telling you, there's one thing and one thing only, it's your limiting beliefs. It's your limiting belief about your value. It's your limiting belief about your potential. It's your limiting belief about the power, the beauty and the value of your soul. Remember, your soul is so valuable. That God didn't replace it, he renewed it and he is renewing it still, your soul is so valuable we're made up of spirit, soul and body, and yet God gives us a new spirit. So he considered that our old spirit was replaceable. He's going to give us a new body when we get to heaven.
So he considers our body to be replaceable. But the one thing he's not going to give us a new one of and he's not going to replace is our soul. Why? Because he considers it so valuable. It contains your memories. It contains your mind to think, your heart to feel and your will to choose. It contains your personality, contains your resilience. It contains your ability to bounce back inside of your soul, contains your ability to make good decisions or to rebound from bad ones.
Inside of your soul contains the ability to bounce back from the worst failures, to bounce back from the worst mistakes, to bounce back from the times that people have thrown down on you, pushed you down, held you down, kept you down. And yet God says greater is he that is in you than he is in the world. You have a living soul that is durable. You have a living soul that is on design by design, that has the duration of eternity. It will never die. Your soul will live forever. Your soul will never die. It will not die in heaven. It will not die in hell. It will not die on this earth. It will live forever. It will live forever in heaven. If you accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, it will live forever in hell if you reject him. But you have so much value, you have so much worth that your soul is going to last forever and ever, and ever and ever.