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Destroyer of Dreams

Dreams have the power to animate us, capture our imagination, and lead us toward transformation.  Each of most likely has some buried dreams and need support in order to hope.  

Throughout the Torah, that is, the first five books of the Bible, the overall message is that the people of God must remember God and make it their mission to love and follow God.

But the people of God are not the only ones who "dream big dreams."  The book of Deuteronomy, chapter 13 verses 1-4, addresses how to respond when someone presents their own dreams when they are contradictory to the mind of God.  

Who are the schemers today who purport to be the dreamers in our community?  What is our common experience of "false prophecy?"  If your dream for your life leads you to love and glorify God more, then lean into those dreams!  But beware of dreams that fuel your vanity or merely your own comfort and pleasure.  Some (not all) aspects of the "American dream" put forth these false promises.  Listen to Pastor Aaron's message from Feb. 20, 2022, to hear the long quote from Brad Pitt about the futility of worldly success.

We might hear words like Pitt's, but we remain caught in the machinery of worldly dreams.  

Here are some temptations we all must guard against:

1) Misplaced energy.  We are not the "Energizer Bunny."  We cannot just keep going.  We must rest.  It's a commandment for a reason.  Do you ignore it?  Do you seek rest in the form of entertaining activity, which is often not actually restful?  Do you make time each week to stop being productive so you can realize that you...are...enough...?

2) Debt.  Debt limits dreams, and ultimately our freedom.  Not all debt is bad.  But debt in principle keeps us from dreaming bigger because we are under an obligation, sometimes one that cripples us financially.  We must strive as a church and as individuals to get free of debt and thus free to dream bigger about our futures as God's kingdom citizens in the world. 

3) Self-glorifying visions.  In other words, this is the idol of "Me" instead of "We."  A couple of weeks ago, the UPPC sanctuary was packed full of regional representatives from YoungLife, worshiping God and working together for the future of our young people.  Someone reached out to Pastor Aaron and said of our recent remodel: "You did such a good job!"  It is a kind and thoughtful gesture, indeed.  But the hope is that we would all be able to celebrate whatever we accomplish together as a church and say "We did such a good job!" and know that it is because of the Holy Spirit operating with and within us.  

4)  Petty idols.  Human beings have been attracted to petty things since the beginning of history.  We over-value things of little worth and undervalue things of great worth.

5) Isolation from community.  Covid exacerbated this greatly, of course.  But so does pride, bitterness, magnification of "personal preferences" in worship, and the like.  

This five things, among others to be sure, are destroyers of dreams.  Each of us must have the courage to ask ourselves if we have fallen prey to temptations like these, which have the power to stifle, dampen, or even destroy the dreams God has for us as the Body of Christ, the Church.

In response to these temptations, we must find a cause other than ourselves to give our lives for.  What cause is God calling you to give yourself for?

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