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2021 online sermons » Levi Lusko » Levi Lusko - The Danger of Living Without Dreams

Levi Lusko - The Danger of Living Without Dreams


Levi Lusko - The Danger of Living Without Dreams
TOPICS: Dream, Canary in a Coal Mine

If you have a copy of the scriptures, we are going to start out in the book of Acts, chapter 2. I want to read to you a few verses from the day the church was born. Some of you are familiar with this text, and I hope by the end of our time together all of you will be invigorated by it. I'm going to read it to you out of the King James version. I know. It is getting for real up in here. But there is a few phrases I just love in King James. And so, if you'll grant me that. Acts 2, starting in verse 1. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly", someone say, "suddenly". Suddenly. "There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance".

And at the same time as this happened, the text tells us for 5, "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven". And in the following verses, we have a chronicling of the reaction of these other people from every nation. While witnessing what God was doing in the hearts and lives of these believers, gathered together in this house that was now full of the Holy Ghost and full of people who were responding to the power now that was upon them. That Jesus had promised before he left. That made him say the shocking but incredible statement, "It's better for you that I leave. Because if I leave, my spirit cannot just be in one body with you, wherever you twelve are. But my spirit can come inside of all of you, no matter where you go, that you equally each can be filled with my spirit. And through that we will build my church. And the gates of hell will not prevail".

So that is what is happening. But to the watching world it's like, you all are drunk. You all have straight lost your mind. You're hitting Lil Wayne's sizzurp or something, because this isn't normal. You're acting a fool here filled with the Spirit. Because when people are gripped by passion, they lose their minds. Go to a football game. Watch someone get that perfect buck when rifle season starts. People who are filled with passion lose their minds and don't even care about it at all. We will go crazy for the Biebs on his tour, every stop. People are going to act crazy, because why, they're filled with passion. And when you're filled with the ultimate passion, that is the passion of the creator God, who knows you, loves you, wants to use you, has plans to fulfill in your life. When you get gripped by destiny like that, they can't, no other lesser passion on Earth can compare to that. There ain't no high like the most high, is what I'm trying to get you to see.

Verse 12. "And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying to one another, 'What meaneth this?'" It's one of my favorite phrases, OK? Don't begrudge me a good "meaneth this". "Others mocking said, these men are full of new wine. But Peter standing up with the eleven, he lifted up his voice and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day". We wouldn't even have had time to get drunk yet. None of us are morning people. "But this," he says, verse 16, "is that". Someone say, "this is that". This is that. "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel". In your notes, if you take notes in church, just write down, "this is that". This is that. "And it shall come to pass," he says, "in the last days, sayeth God. I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants, and on my handmaidens, I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy". I'm just going to give you two seconds to thank God for the power contained in his word. Because even just the reading of it is eye opening, is life changing.

So Father, we do pray. Not for anything new, just for us to see that you're still doing now what you were doing then. These are the last days. They began the moment Jesus ascended to heaven. And so God, I pray we would be quicken, and there's a good old word. To see that we are living in these epic moments. These last days. What an honor it is. What a privilege it is. It's scary, God. Because like a woman who's about to have a baby, the labor pangs of this world seem to be getting more violent and more intense. There's earthquakes, there's wars, there's pestilence, there's famine. In other words, there's everything Jesus said we would experience before his return. And so I pray, Father, as we live in wild times, we would not be disheartened by that. We would be invigorated and encouraged. That what you said was going to happen is happening and will continue to happen. And we would, more to the point, see the part we are meant to play in these violent last days. And I pray, asking for a fresh feeling of your spirit today, to be upon your bride. We ask this in Jesus's name. Amen.


I had to go to the dermatologist last week. Had to get a little piece of skin cut off my knee, not the first time this has happened in my life. Where a dermatologist had said, hey, this probably needs to go. It's a wonderful experience, like my own body betraying me. Like, what are you doing, body? And so she cuts this off and she says, "Hey, it's up to you, would you like me to send it to the lab and find out if it's cancerous"? I said, "Is that a possibility"? She says, "Of course it's a possibility". She says, "It's very, very rare". In this particular instance, it's probably not. But if it were, would you want to know? I said, "Of course I would". If there's even the slightest potential, I mean, isn't it better to know early? Isn't it better to know sooner? If I did have cancer, wouldn't I want to know about it? She said, "That's fine. We'll call you in a few weeks with the results". It's an interesting thing to be offered, what potentially could be, lifesaving information.

This day, we begin, a series of messages that we've called Canary in a Coal Mine. And it goes back to the 1890s, when a Scottish scientist by the name of John Scott Haldane - that's a good Scottish name. He's got Scott as his middle name. Great Scott! John Scott Haldane, he was an expert in birds. And he was obsessed with oxygen. They called him the father of oxygen consumption, the father of modern oxygen. And so he loved to study and to focus on oxygen therapy. Specifically, when scuba divers go deep, deep, deep, deep down. Why is it they get really sick if they come up really, really, really, really, really fast? We know it's because of something called the bends. Nitrogen builds up in the blood. And he devised the crudest, earliest version of a diver's decompression table. Which tells a diver, and those of you who scuba dive, you forever know how deep down you go. How slowly you have to come up so it doesn't kill you. You'll come up bleeding out of your ears and out of your nose if you come up too fast.

And there's something called narcosis, that when you dive really, really deep down, that happens, where you start to a little bit go crazy. And so sometimes in that moment, they'll turn on each other as divers and then burst up to the surface. And it tragically has killed many. Many actually died building the Brooklyn Bridge because of bends. Because they were deep down putting the pilings in to build the Brooklyn Bridge and didn't know about the bends. And so Scott, John Scott Haldane, was obsessed with that stuff. And he figured out that birds, specifically canaries, were more susceptible to death by carbon monoxide poisoning than other creatures. And that's because they fly.

Now of course, flying isn't easy. If it was, anybody would do it, everybody would do it. To fly, one of the things you need, in addition to wings and really light bones, is a crap ton of oxygen. That's not a scientific term, I came up with that all by myself. But basically, he discovered that birds, this is crazy, listen to this, birds absorb oxygen or whatever else they're breathing, as they're inhaling and exhaling. Try it sometime. Not particularly easy. To do this, they don't just have lungs, they also have these extra air bags. And the air bags are filled with air or oxygen as well. And so, when they breathe in, of course, they're taking oxygen to the lungs. But even as they're exhaling, these bellows push additional oxygen, reserve oxygen, into their lungs. So they're getting oxygen as they fly, on every flap, both as they breathe in and as they breathe out. But part of the downside of that, is if they're breathing anything dangerous or damaging, they get twice as much of it as other creatures do with every single breath.

What was interesting to him about that, and specifically in England at that time, which had so many coal mines. As coal has been a mainstay of power and electricity and light. Is that there were so many coal mines where miners were dying due to carbon monoxide build ups. And explosions when methane gases would build up, and then someone would start a spark somehow, and big explosion. And so they needed to figure out how to know when a mine was safe versus when a mine was unsafe. And what he realized is that a canary in a coal mine could save a lot of lives. Because all you had to do was watch the canary, and the canary would suffer the effects of the carbon monoxide long before a human being would. And if the miners kept their eyes on the canary, and anything happened to it, they knew to get the heck out of Dodge. Because either there was an imminent explosion or a dangerous deficit of oxygen.

And that is, of course, how we have in our lexicon in Western civilization, this curious phrase, "like a canary in a coal mine", to speak of anything that tells you of a greater problem that's on the horizons. In my research, of course, I fell in love with these little birds and the miners who took care of them. Because they were a continual presence throughout coal mines around the world until 1986. John Scott Haldane postulated that canaries could be used in this way as early as 1890. And for 100 years, you had Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy, Doc, Bashful - all the Seven Dwarves were all buddies with these canaries around the world. And it is shocking to think it was until 1986. I was born in '82, so when I was born there were still miners, and here's a photo of a miner with a canary. With the canary that he... look at that guy. So awesome. And just to think of this. But what I love about it, is that they would become more than just tools. They would become pets. And miners talk about how they often couldn't see the canary because they were working in very dark mines.

And so what they would do is they would constantly be whistling back and forth to the canary. And as long as the canary was responding through song, they knew everything was going to be OK. They did, however, have to declaw all the canaries because they found out one of the tragic side effects of death through carbon monoxide poisoning was the canary would latch on to their stoop. And so they would still oftentimes look alive even when they weren't. And so, they had to have their talons removed so they would actually fall off the swing. Now you all should see some of your faces. You're like, bro, that's cold. That's cold, that's straight cold. Well, don't fear. Because the canaries almost always lived. Because they developed this special box, look at this right here. This is a canary re pressurization device. And this was how they could rehabilitate, this is amazing, this is all true. Don't you love history? This is how, the canary that fell over, the miners all ran out of there. Run, Forrest, Run! Then they would get little Petey, it's OK Petey, and they'd put him back.

Look Petey was not going to be OK. Petey's head was off. But this little bird would sing again. Come on, let's give it up for the canaries that served in the coal mines. What is crazy about all this, is the fact that it was, it's a relatively modern phenomenon. Within my lifetime, perhaps some of yours, this was a thing. Why is that? Because it wasn't until 1993 that the modern battery powered carbon monoxide detector became readily available. Public service announcement, check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors. Because hundreds of people, every single year in the United States, still die due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Most of them in their sleep. Proverbs 22:3 says, "A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton", on the other hand, "goes blindly on and suffers the consequences"

Back to my earlier question. If there was something that puts you in great danger, would you want to know about it? Detection is always preferable to cure. I believe God asked us to focus on this, for these weeks of this collection of messages, Canary in a Coal Mine. Because the Lord does not want you to have a flat life. He does not want you to have a life where you're barely coping. He does not want you to be hanging on by a thread or working for the weekend. Church, you were meant to thrive. You were meant to flourish. You were set free for freedom. Your eyes were meant to sparkle with life. And the enemy wants to smother you in your sleep. Or to smother you with sleep. And I believe that God has us in these days to focus on how to protect our passion. For as I said, protection is better than cure. Prevention is better than cure. Protection comes best when it serves through early detection.

And here's the big question of these weeks. And I invite you back, for four Sundays, we'll be focusing on this. And in between our small groups, we'll be talking about it. The big question we're asking is, is your canary singing? Is your canary singing? Is there something in life to tell you that you are in trouble? And what can you look for, to know that you are? Today, we're going to begin with a message that I'm calling The Danger of Living Without Dreams. The Danger of Living Without Dreams. For the absence of dreams should be a sign that you should be concerned. The absence of dreams in your life should be a cause for concern. It should be a warning light. That you would live a life free from the passion that would come through dreams, should be to you a warning light on the dashboard. A sign that you are in grave danger. That your canary is not whistling back, and minutes are hours.

Proverbs 29:18, and here's a theme verse for this message today. "Where there is no vision, the people perish. But he that keepeth the law, happy is he". Without vision, our eyes grow flat. Our eyes grow dull. We grow listless and have no purpose. But to be focused like a laser on God's law, his plan, his words, his son, happy is he. The blessing that comes, the vitality that comes, the vivaciousness that comes. The lust for life in a good way. The waking up every day with your feet hitting the ground. And being able to spring out of bed, knowing that you are divinely arranged by God to be on mission today. That it counts. That he cares. I hope that by the end of this message, you have a greater passion, a greater dream. I hope that God helps you to see that there are dreams for you to dream for your marriage. God's got a dream for your home. He's got a dream for your children. He's got a dream for your company, for your calling, for your church, for your city.

I hope you get bit by a rabid dog called a dream. I hope you get infected. Too soon? Can we start using infected analogies? Is it still? Because where there is no vision, if you don't have a vision for your home, there will be despair. There will be a perishing. You're like, what will perish? What's the danger? What's at risk here? The miners leave, it's a pretty drastic analogy, they're going to die of carbon monoxide poisoning or explode. What am I at risk of losing? Here's the great danger. You are in danger, not necessarily of losing your life, but wasting it. If you don't find your heart racing with God's dream for it, you are at risk of wasting your life. The devil doesn't just destroy, he also distracts. And if he can get us to settle for average, if his proven tricks of bread and circuses can anesthetize us. If we can just accept comfort, and status quo, and this is how everyone lives, and why dream of something better or bigger, when I would probably be disappointed.

So I'll just settle for this. I'll just watch the football. Just eat the TV dinner. I'll just accept that no one from my family ever has done this. Or gone to college, or done this, or this company probably wouldn't work, and why should I? I'll just get disappointed. If the enemy can get you just to settle for average. I just hope you'll see that it's a tragedy to settle for average when you were destined for impact. And you, ladies and gentlemen, were destined, are destined for impact. You make your mark and God has some apple carts he wants you to knock over. And God has, God has some things for you to do. To build, to dream, to fight for, to invent, to speak into life. Your chosen generation, you're a royal priesthood. The blood of the most important person who ever lived was shed to purchase you from slavery to sin.

So you please explain to me, how you should just settle for something. You know, it is what it is. And then just grin, and bear it, and get through it. And life is to be endured, and not enjoyed, I'm just telling you, there's more in store. God wants you to dream again. God wants you to fight. You are meant to be a conduit of God's power and prophetic vision into the world. And my whole sermon in a sentence is that, if God's spirit is on you, his dreams will radiate through you. That's what Peter said. In response to the birth of the church, which we are still very much a part of, which Jesus is very much still building. Which the gates of hell very much still cannot prevail against it. There is no "PS: unless COVID". There is no, "but in the event of a plague", because that's how the church was born. In the midst of a plague worse than this one. And the church radiated in the glory with which she has always been intended to shine. In the midst of the worst times.

This church, this church, this church, the Church of Jesus Christ that will go marching on was born out of death and blood. And it will always rise like a Phoenix from the ashes as Christ's resurrected body did. And so we get to be a part of it. What? The dream. The original. Dream the dream of dreamers. The dream of dreams. And that, Peter says, is now upon us. And in so doing, he was indicating that it wasn't always the case, that everyone gets to dream. That you are now free to move about the country dreaming. You see, he was suggesting and insinuating, as everybody was full of dreams and full of passions and like, dude, what's up in that church? What's in the communion, do you see all right? He thought they were getting crunk. They were just worshiping. He was saying no, it's here. The thing Joel talked about is here. The thing Moses talked about is here. The thing that God's amazing people dreamed about is now here. What are you talking about?

Let's go back to the Numbers, chapter 11. A young man comes running to tell Moses, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp. That's Numbers, chapter 11. These are two guys, just random dudes. We don't know the names. We don't know their bios. You don't have a baseball card with Eldad and Medad on them. No one knows who those guys are. Did they go to Billings? I don't know them. And someone runs to tell Moses, two dudes seem to be filled with the Spirit but they're not authorized. So Joshua runs in, verse 28, and he says, Moses, let's tell them to stop. Let's forbid them. Let's tell them they are not sanctioned. They do not have the proper pedigree or training. Did they see a burning bush? I think not. Moses, we've got to shut this down, bro. This is unauthorized preaching. And Moses said, are you crazy? Are you crazy, he says. Joshua, do you think I'm going to like that kind of talk? He said, are you zealous for my sake? Do you think I'm in this for me? Do you think I'm building this kingdom? He said, are you kidding me?

And then he said a prayer. He said, "Oh," and this is the prayer answer to Pentecost. "Oh, that all the Lord's people could prophesy. Oh, that the Lord would put his spirit upon each of them". Do you realize, Moses and Joshua only got to see it happen when God freaked, broke out in Eldad and Medad's life. Normal people didn't get to dream like that. Only prophets and priests and kings did. It wasn't like everyone could just expect the spirit of God to come upon them, back in the day. That's why Jesus told the disciples, don't take for granted that you get to be a part of this point in history. He said better men than you dreamt of this day, but didn't get to see it. He said, lots of people live their lives and die. And never got what you're getting. So we today are in the accentuation, the continuation of that moment. Joel said, is the day coming? Don't you worry. There's a day coming when everybody, a maid servant and a man servant, a old person and a young person. Could all expect, regardless of age, or station, or race, or class, or rank of life, and just expect that God equally upon each of us would pour out his spirit and use us.

Guys, guys, guys, Peter said, "this is that". This is that. We are now here. This is the moment in history. We are in that moment. The day that Moses and Joshua didn't get to see. And Joel didn't get to see. And Elijah didn't get to see. And John the Baptist, even though he heralded it, did not get to experience it because he lost his head. But it's now here. The time God dreamed about is now here. He dreamed about it from before the foundation of the world was laid. So I say to you, ladies and gentlemen, start your dreaming. This is the moment to dream. This is the time to dream. And I loved that throughout history, so many phenomenal things have come in dreams. Not even just biblical history.

What has been widely considered the greatest song ever written, Yesterday by Paul McCartney. He says, I did not write that. That came to me completely in a dream. He was dreaming and he woke up and the unmistakable melody was in his head. And he rushed to the piano to capture "Yesterday. All my troubles seemed so far away". Except he didn't have lyrics yet. So he just substituted gibberish. The way he actually sang it that morning was, "Scrambled eggs. Oh my lady, how I love your legs. Not as much as I love scrambled eggs". Came to him in a dream.

Winston Churchill, constantly dreaming as a boy, as a little boy, about soldiers. And his cousin writes that he would come into his bedroom, and he would have spread out all over the dresser, hundreds of little toy soldiers. Every boy plays with little soldiers, not like this. He would have battalions of them and he would have them, you're flanking from this side. And he was inventing war strategy that he literally would execute upon decades later as the prime minister of Great Britain. During one of the darkest moments in history. But that destiny, it was visible as a dream as a little boy. While he was a student at Harrow College, he had a dream one night. And in his dream, he saw a great evil darkening over Europe. He saw it all concentrating as he was put into a place of leadership, and influence, and power, at a time when he would have to mobilize people to stop that great evil.

And he woke up describing it to those who would listen. Who later have confirmed that this happened exactly as he said it did. That there was bombs being rained down upon Britain. That London itself was being attacked, all of course, a dream that came to pass during World War II. When the evils of Nazi controlled Europe were ravaging and threatening to take Great Britain. And the Spitfire and all the rest, that glorious period that we've had much to say about. The periodic table, those of you in chemistry and in school, was literally a dream. The chemist came up with the entire idea of how it was all going to be arranged, it all came to him in a dream. He woke up and wrote it down quickly. And with only two minor changes, that is exactly as it sits in your chemistry class today. It all came in a dream.

I think about my own life and how there were many dreams. And many, almost visions, that I can almost see still. I saw a dream of an empty sanctuary. I was a little boy nine, ten years old. And I stood in an empty church building. And there was not a single person in the room. And I saw my life. I saw my life that God put me on this Earth to stand on. The little nine, ten years old, I'm standing looking at an empty room. And God just gripped me with this crushing reality of, you're going to preach to people. You're going to, people are going to be in rooms and you're going to preach to them. I think about another dream I had, where I was fishing with a little Mickey Mouse fishing rod. And I was just trying my absolute hardest. I was on a chairlift of all things. You don't fish on chairlifts. And I'm fishing with this Mickey Mouse fishing pole on a chairlift, and I am trying to reel in this enormous killer whale. It is so big and I am so scared and it does not make any sense.

I shared that dream with the church I was pastoring in Southern California before we moved to start Fresh Life. And someone from the congregation later on wrote me a long letter about how they saw the things coming together. And I'm going to be in the mountains, preaching, and chairlift, and I will feel foolish, and none of it's going to make any sense. But God's going to do something that nothing can explain from a human perspective. And as I look back on the dreams and God's call, and all of it just encourages me to tell you, don't be afraid to dream. For this reason, not even spiritually just pragmatically, creativity always functions best in the most relaxed state. So if there's a business plan you're working on, business women, business men; if there's some song you're trying to write or something you just can't figure out, take a quick nap. It is something that seems to be a reality. That when you're, you can get a hemorrhoid if you push so hard, but you're not going to push out any great idea.

It's not going to happen. But when you work while you can work, and maybe take a little walk, then take a little nap, oftentimes you will wake up in that lucid state with just the perfect breakthrough idea. And then spiritually as well. We have a great credibility in making this statement, that God moves things forward throughout history through dreams. The dreamers, the crazy ones, the wild eyed. It seems to be that's how God works. In fact, I compiled just a little list and this was by no means exhaustive. Though I have spent this last week looking at every dream in scripture. Which is considerable. But I noted this seven item list, that is some of the things that we see throughout biblical history, that dreams do. You can grab a photo of it if you want to. But revelation, of course, this idea of something new being disclosed. Of the future being opened up. I mean, hello? We have an entire book of the Bible called Revelation that is all, literally, a vision that God gave to someone named John where he just had this vision, this idea, this dream, that God gave him of what's going to happen in the future.

We, of course, even in the first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis. We have Jacob and the whole idea of the church was given to him through a dream of a ladder. That this is how people are going to get to heaven. A ladder that God puts down, not you building your way up through the Tower of Babel. That all came to him in a dream. Dreams also worked for preparation. God uses dreams to get people ready for things. I think about Joseph and the dream that he interpreted for Pharaoh. What was that dream? Seven skinny cows, seven fat cows. The seven fat cows came first, the seven skinny cows came later. You need to prepare for hardship coming tomorrow. Dreams oftentimes do that. God gave Ananias a dream about Paul, and God gave Paul a dream about Ananias preparing him for the hardship that awaited him and the way he would need to preach around the world. Dreams are useful for navigation. If someone's trying to figure out a hard decision, God oftentimes, as you read scripture, helps them figure out what to do through dreams. Like when Paul couldn't get into Asia, none of it made any sense. And he had a dream, and in a dream a dude from Macedonia was like, well, come here. He's like, dang it, Samsonite, I was way off. He was, I wasn't supposed to go to Asia, I was supposed to go to Macedonia. The dream helped.

Number four, correction. God corrects us through dreams when we're about to make a mistake. There's a man named Abimelech, and he was about to do something with Abraham's wife that he would have regretted. And God warned him in a dream. He woke up in a panic, he woke up in a cold sweat. God was like, don't you do that. Ain't your wife, bro. And the dream corrected him. I've been having a dream lately, that I keep waking up, that I feel like God's been correcting me. This is just a small thing but from my life, and I'm gonna share it in case it helps anybody else.

I feel like I've been having dreams about how bad it could be to use my phone while I've been driving. And I just have this dream, 2 AM, fully panicked. Like something terrible could happen to someone else or someone I love if I don't stop using my phone while I'm driving. And so I finally, dang it, called a family meeting. Jennie and Olivia. Life360 has this feature, I didn't want to pay for it because it can tell us each if we're using our phone while we're driving. And I have specifically avoided it because I don't want my daughter to text and drive, but I also don't want her to know that I do. And so I was, look, shared accountability. We're going to have three drivers in this household soon. There's going to be three report cards, all of us are going to be able to see each others. And we're going to have a family meeting every single week and we're going to look at how each other are texting or not texting while we're driving. Because I want to receive God's correction. If that's God speaking to me, I don't want to miss out on what he's saying because I was too foolish, or too stubborn, or too stupid to just listen. I believe that God can and does speak through dreams.

Number five, I believe the dreams are meant to prompt intercession. Intercession is another fancy word for praying for somebody. Intercessory prayer is a spiritual gift that God gives to some people in a unique measure, in a heavy measure. Some of you have a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit. You are prayer warriors, and we honor, and recognize that gift. Just like you were a worship leader, or a preacher, or a creative web designer. There's people that can intercede in a unique way, but all of us are called to intercede as the spirit prompts us. And I believe God at times will wake us up. You've had it happen haven't you? With someone just randomly on your mind, what should you do? You should pray for them. And then when the time is right, you should tell them about it. Because who doesn't like to be told, I was praying for you. You came to my mind and I prayed for you. And I dare you. I dare you to do that. And I'm just going to tell you how it's going to happen. You're going to get some cool stories back about someone saying, you have no idea. You have no idea. What that meant to me. When you reached out at the perfect time. And the way you will confirm to people that God is real, and he is love, and that he tapped one of his kids on the shoulder when one of his other kids needed a hug. I'm just telling you. Just get ready for some beautiful God encounters.

Number six, dreams are used for motivation. God will use dreams to encourage us, to keep us to keep going as we run a race that's hard. As we run a race that's exhausting. I believe God can and will use dreams to motivate us. Several times in the Book of Acts, Paul will be in a crazy storm, or in a crazy moment. And he'll just have some random dream where God just stands by him and through the dream says, it's going to be OK, bro. It's going to be OK. This isn't going to kill you. This is not going to end you. And I just dare you to believe that through dreams you have, through dreams that God gives you, he's saying to you, no one's going to hurt you. And you're going to get through this. And you are unstoppable. And I am a shield about you. I am a fortress for you to run to. And then, lastly, God confirms things he's doing through dreams. He confirms things that at times, he's hinting at us, and we sense happening, but then a dream will be, no, I really am saying this.

I think about how God was trying to get the Jewish people to quit being so selfish with the gospel. And how none of them wanted to share it. And everyone wanted to think it was just for Israel. And God's like, no, I'm doing something bigger than you know. I'm doing something wider than you know. It ain't just about you. It ain't just about this little thing. It's about the whole thing. It's about eyes on the horizon. It's about other nations. It's about people that don't have it as good as we do. We got to get the gospel out. We got to get the gospel out, and none of them are getting it. So God gives Peter the weirdest dream ever. And he knew he needed to get a hold of him, so he used bacon. That's how you get a hold of a man's heart. And that's what he did, he gave him this awesome dream about food. And Peter kept arguing with God so the dream had to come numerous times to Peter before he finally got the memo. He was like, dang it, I'll preach the gospel to the Gentiles also. It's a very funny story. But that's just a little list of some of the ways that dreams play a part. And some of the biggest moments in biblical history. But a couple of words of caution. I will give this to you.

Number one, not all dreams happen at night. Because some of you are, I can see it, are really discouraged. You're like, dang it Levi, I never have dreams or they never make any sense. I would just say to you that, welcome to the club. Not all dreams happen at night though. The scripture didn't just say dreams, it also said visions. Visions are dreams that happen at day. You can dream without sleeping, it's something called a daydream. And this message isn't as much a prescription for you to go to bed every night, putting enormous pressure on what happens when you're lying on the pillow, as it is an invitation for the Holy Spirit to speak to you whether you're sleeping or you're awake. You're saying God, you want to give me a daydream? I'm willing to daydream. I'm not going to get on Instagram. I'm not going to sit on Netflix on this airplane. I'm going to sometimes just look out the window. Sometimes I'm just going to doodle in my notebook. I'm just going to wander in a meadow. I'm just going to stand here by this dream. God you can and should, I spoke this morning to God as I was watching the sunrise. And I said, God, how majestic is your name in all the Earth. If you want to give me vision today. If you'll give me a dream today. I'm going to continue to fight for the dreams you've already given me, but God, I am yours. You wanted to do something, let's roll. You see what I'm saying. Dreams and visions. Not all dreams happen at night. A lot of the significant dreams in scripture happened during the daytime. They're daydreams.

Secondly, not all dreams come from God. So let me just caution you with that one too. Sometimes they come from Mexican food. Sometimes they come from too much chocolate right before bedtime. Sometimes they come from bad decisions and unwise media consumption choices. We can invite terrible, terrible, terrible things into our dreams because psychologists do tell us that dreams are all, a lot of times, material that your brain's filing and sorting away. You have a little librarian who walks through the tables of your mind, putting things away. What goes into long term storage? What's going to be deleted because it's unhelpful? What gets grooved, because it's a repeated thing that you've pulled up a lot of times? And so that's why we always have to be careful what books we leave open, because that librarian is going to put some stuff into permanent storage, and you might not like it when it gets there. And the rumination that will come as a result of us being unwise. So some dreams come from God, some dreams don't.

Number three, not all dreams are for now. God has a funny way of depositing time delayed dreams. Again, my dream of preaching would not be fulfilled for, well, it would be about 10 years before I would be asked. And I didn't invite myself, I got asked to preach. I was standing in Budapest, Hungary, and someone asked me to get up and preach. And I was terrified. I almost wet my pants. And it didn't go very well from what I remember. Or so I thought. I was standing there preaching and a translator was translating what I said. And I tried to do my best to tell the story of the gospel, and asked people to raise up their hands. There was a couple hundred people standing there, and no one raised their hand. And I was like, dang it. I was like, oh, it's OK. E for effort. And walked away. And then someone approached us and rushed up to us. And was, through the translator, telling us that he had raised his hand. But no, I couldn't see it, because of where I was at in the perspective in the crowd. And he had raised his hand that day.

And then as I was talking to him and trying to encourage him, someone came rushing up to him, and had a bunch of shopping bags. And apparently he was so excited to come up and tell us that he had given his life to Jesus, he had just left literally everything where he was and had come up. And that was the first time I ever got to preach and see that dream fulfilled. But I believe that dreams aren't always for now. We just have to, at times, do what Mary did and hold on to the dreams in our heart. I also want you to know that not every dream you have is going to look like its final version, the first time you get a glimpse of it. Many things in Revelation, John used the phrase, I think it was like, to a man it would look like, I mean it was his first time ever seeing it. So he's just doing the best he could to describe it.

So I don't want you to put the pressure on yourself, the first time you get a vision. The second time you get it, even if it's just as God begins to just bring things sharper and sharper into focus like a telescope. That you're just fine tuning it to think that, you know for sure based on the first glimpse of a dream, what it's finally and fully going to look like in its exhausted state. Because does not Ephesians 3:20 say, "now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us". Did you get it? He can do more than we imagine. What's imagination? A daydream. So as you're imagining God's will for your family, his vision for your home, what it could look like in your calling at work. What you're going to see at times is not fully what God wants to see. So sometimes he has to say no to things we want to do now. But God, my dream! And that's because he wants to do more than you imagined. It just doesn't... so when God says no to what you thought was a dream, just remember he's doing more than we imagine. So he has to say no to this, because maybe it's not big enough.

And I want to encourage you with that. I also want to tell you that not all dreams are for you. Not all dreams you have, are for you. This is where we're going to close today. Joseph had a dream, the adopted father of Jesus Christ. And in his dream, what did God tell him? He told him, support Mary's dream. In his, he had a dream. And his dream was get behind Mary's dream. Because Mary's dream is my dream. So Joseph, I have a dream for you. It's to fight for, and give your life for, a dream that wasn't yours. There's freedom in this sentence. You don't have to have had the dream, to have a dream. A million people got behind a guy, said once, "I have a dream". That was their dream too. So the pressure is not on us to have a dream. Sometimes God will ignite our hearts with a dream not ours.

I think oftentimes about my friend Kevin Gerald. He's a pastor in Tacoma, Washington. And God has blessed the writing of books in our home, and Through the Eyes of a Lion has gone out around the world. But I always think about Pastor Kevin. Because God called Pastor Kevin one day to call me, he didn't know this, three days before Eyes of a Lion came out. And he said to me, Levi, are you doing anything right now? Because God told me to do whatever I can to make your life louder. So, bro, I'm about to release a book. Maybe you could tweet about it. Again, what I thought was smaller than what he thought. In my dream, I pictured, I said, tweet about it. What I said, "Could you tweet about it? If someone could see on Twitter, you know"? He said, I'm going to do more than that. I want to bring you to Tacoma. And get you up in front of the conference we're having. And at this conference, you're going to get to tell everybody, I want you to tell everybody there about the book.

And I had a long dream, a long time before that. I had, just a random dream. This idea, this vision, this thought, man, I sure would love to be friends with Louie Giglio. And I had no idea of how and why God would make that happen, or make me think that. But I was sure not going to try and show up where he was and be weird about it. Wasn't going to write him a letter and say, "I want to be your friend". Because that is a guaranteed way to not begin a friendship. God told me, oh, even worse. God told me we were supposed to be together. Run from that man, women. If it happens, God, if God is in it he's going to do it, has always been my thought on that. And so, Kevin says, "Come to this conference in Tacoma, you're going to talk about your book, I'm supposed to make your dream louder. That's my dream, it's your dream".

So I don't even have a dream, man. I just wrote a book. I'm just exhausted from the book. Could you tweet about it? He goes, no, you've got to come to the conference. You got to talk about it. I said OK, cool. What's happening? He goes, you'll be talking about your book. Then Louie is going to get up and talk. And I was like, well, crap. Now I've got my man crush moment. There's a lot of pressure on this. Louie and I met, it was awesome. We hung out till two in the morning that night. We went our separate ways. A few days later, a few weeks later, it was the anniversary of our daughter Lenya going to heaven. And before that was her birthday. And it was her birthday that Louie texted us, and said, "Would you come to this Passion event we're having, and talk about your book"?

That was in 2016 and it just is amazing to look back at what God was doing. And what God was writing. And how God would take this message to the people who needed it. And he had no idea that as we were receiving that text message, while driving, my wife read it to me. We were pulling into the cemetery to stand and lay flowers at Lenya's grave as Louie texted me, "I want to use our platform to tell the story of Lenya and what Jesus is doing". And the point is, I just see great freedom in looking back and seeing how God gives dreams to people. And he gives dreams to other people. And I want to live my life filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Helping other people's dreams come to life. And finding and taking as much satisfaction and joy, like my friend Pastor Kevin, like Pastor Louie, in helping your dreams come true. And leaning into what the Holy Spirit is doing, and the people in our lives, as God gives dreams and God causes people to have as much passion for other people's dreams as he does for our own.

So to close, and we're going to end our time together. I wonder if you would be willing, as you pray with me, just as a gesture of openness. Just to say to God, I want to receive whatever dreams you have for me. I want to be open to your leading. So if you're comfortable with that as we pray, maybe just raise your hands. They could be low at your side, it could be high in the air. But if you're open to God's leading through dreams and visions and signs and wonders. And we'll talk more and I hope you come back next week. Because we talk about how to figure out what dreams are what. That's going to be next week. So do come back.

But Father, we are here to hear from you. And we believe that you are speaking and we want to listen. We want to be open to what you're doing in the world as you build your church. As you draw people to yourself. So I pray now for the people of Fresh Life Church. For your spirit to supernaturally do what only you can do. Come upon them like that mighty, rushing wind. Like fire that falls from heaven. Whether we're sleeping or whether we're awake, I pray we would have ears to hear what you are saying to your people. And we pray this.

You can put your hands down in Jesus's name. If you're here today and you've never yet said "Yes" to Jesus. Invited him into your heart to be your Lord and Savior. We wouldn't want this worship experience to end without giving you an opportunity to make that decision the best decision you could ever make. And I pray that as we're praying, if you sense God's spirit tugging at your heart. You know it if you feel it. It's something you can't shake, it's something you can't ignore. It's just that little conviction. It's that little, well, Jesus called it knocking. Knocking at the door. If Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart, it's real. It's him. He loves you. That's not your imagination, that's not the devil, it's Jesus. If you let him in, he'll come into your heart. He'll make you new, he'll save you. It's called the Second Birth. We can't conjure it up, it's not a religious thing. It's a Holy Spirit thing. And it's the only way we can have confidence of heaven. I'm going to say something hard.

You don't automatically go to heaven. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". Which automatically means that if we reject Jesus, we reject heaven. We reject God. But Jesus loves you enough to be, even now, pleading with you. Drawing you to him. Draw near to him and he will draw near to you. With our heads bowed and eyes closed, I'm going to say a prayer. Giving language to a confession of a need for salvation. And putting our confidence in the hope of the Resurrection. To save us from death, and sin, and hell. And if you would receive this as your salvation, Jesus, God's man, come into your heart. Who's coming again to this world. And in these last days, nothing is more important than salvation. I want you to pray this prayer out loud after me. God will hear it and save you. Church, say it with us, no one praying alone:

Dear God. I know that I'm a sinner. I recognize my inability to help myself and I put all my confidence in Jesus. Through his cross, the Resurrection, I find salvation. Come into my heart. Make me new. I give myself to you in Jesus's name.

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