Building a better future: Enlisting support for your dream
What dreams are you dreaming today? Maybe it seems small and insignificant, or maybe it seems so out of reach that you feel discouraged. Or maybe you are currently running after that God-given dream of yours! In this message, we talk about how you can enlist support for your dream and withstand opposition.
Something To Talk About:
- No dream is built without support: True success is never a one-man show. Anything significant that’s done in your life, any great dream will require help from others. Your dream requires the support of others because you can’t do it by yourself? You don’t know everything you need to know. You don’t have enough time or energy to do everything by yourself. Number three, you don’t have every talent that you’re going to need to get your dream done. You see, God intentionally wired us to need each other so we learn how to work together. Now, Nehemiah could have never fulfilled his dream of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem by himself alone. It would have never happened. In fact, every phase of the dream that God gave Nehemiah would require assistance. Even just traveling back to Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:7-9 says this: “I also said to the king, “If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah. And please give me a letter addressed to Asaph, the manager of the king’s forest, instructing him to give me timber. I will need it to make beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for myself.” And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me. When I came to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, I delivered the king’s letters to them. The king, I should add, had sent along army officers and horsemen to protect me.” Now, did you notice that last phrase? The King actually added an escort service of officers and soldiers on horses to help Nehemiah get escorted back to Israel. When you pray and when you ask God for help, God will provide even stuff you didn’t think of or even imagine that you would ever need.
- No dream is built without opposition: Opposition is built into every opportunity in life. Nehemiah had vocal opponents or critics who opposed Nehemiah at literally every step of rebuilding the wall. Now, their names are Sanballat and Tobiah. These two men were local leaders in Jerusalem who were not Jews. In Nehemiah 2:10 it says, “But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel.” Friends, there will always be people who don’t want things to change because it will end their unfair advantage. They want people to be kept in slavery. There will also be people who don’t want you to succeed because it will change things for them. By the way, how did Nehemiah know even before he got to Jerusalem that these guys were going to oppose him? Well, he must have sent scouts ahead in advance to uncover any opposition.
- Ignore naysayers and expect God’s help: When you finally lay out the dream and you lay it out on the line and say, “Will you help me?” There will be some naysayers. Nehemiah 2:19 says this: “But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” Can you handle that? You don’t need the approval of other people to make you happy. What other people think of you is none of your business. “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.” (Nehemiah 2:20) You are not alone. Whatever life has thrown your way, you do not have to face this alone. Whether you’re wanting to pray for family or pray for guidance in your own life, there is a way to find peace. You can cast your cares on Jesus and rest in Him through all that you are facing.
- How do we know our plans align with God’s will? How can we recognize when we are following the world’s view and not God’s?
- Why do we need support from others to fulfill our dreams? Why is it wise to prepare for opposition?
- What advice does Ecclesiastes 8:6 give about building your dream team? How can you apply that to your situation?
- We are often in a hurry to move forward with our dreams. How can waiting for God’s timing help us? What can we do while we are waiting?
- What information do you need to fulfill your dream? How much time do you think you will need to gather it?
- What words did Nehemiah use to show he was building a team, not just imposing his idea onto others? (See Nehemiah 2:17a above.) How does this approach move a dream forward?
- Share a time when you or someone else have effectively enlisted the support of others for a dream. What worked well? What didn’t?
- What action steps can you take to stay true to yourself and God when someone opposes your dream?
- Sometimes our own doubts can creep in and handicap us along the way. What can we do when this occurs?
- What did you think or find interesting about today’s message? Did anything that was said in the message particularly speak to you or surprise you? What is your biggest takeaway from the message?
Take one thing home with you:
As John Maxwell observed, “Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” Crack the Bible open and you will find account after account of individuals who made hard choices during their journey of following God and as a result, enjoyed His rich blessings. Every choice we make either moves us closer to God or tears us further away from Him and His purpose for our lives. We have a choice. We make decisions every day. We can make things happen or not happen by what we decide.
Change is intentional. What do we want to change in the next six months? What do we hope to change in the next year? Are you going to be healthier, stronger, and more mature? Are you going to be less in debt? Are you going to be more like God wants you to be? Change will only happen if you choose to change. It requires a choice.