Heavenís Dream or Hellís
Toddler Survives Almost Three Weeks Alone
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A 2-year-old left alone for nearly three weeks
while her mother was behind bars survived by eating mustard, ketchup, rice
and raw pasta, police said.
The toddler was watching cartoons when found by her father, police said
Monday. She was suffering from malnutrition and was being treated at Wolfson
Children's Hospital, police said.
Dakeysha Lee, 22, was charged Monday with child abuse because she didn't let
anyone know that her daughter was alone in her apartment, police said. She
was jailed Sept. 10 on unrelated charges.
Ogden Lee, who is separated from the girl's mother, said he talked to her by
telephone at the jail Sunday and she said their daughter was with neighbors.
When he got
into the apartment, the youngster had dragged food and toys into her
mother's bedroom and was lying in a baby's bathtub. She was covered with
dried ketchup, Lee said.
me and wouldn't let go of me,'' Lee said. ``It is really a miracle how good
a shape my daughter is in. I don't know how she did it.''
believe that this story fulfills the dream God intended for us in his
creation? Really this story is about humanity pursuing its own
selfish dream. This woman was jailed for an unrelated charge. I donít know
the entire story, but I have a fanciful imagination as to what probably
happened. She decided to go out, I donít know where, she may have been going
to churches services. But she decided to leave her baby alone; the baby was
probably asleep when she left. Of course, she probably in tended to be back
before the baby woke up. But she was arrested on her way to wherever she was
ďNaturalismísĒ law of self-preservation kicked in. After all,
evolutionís law of Naturalism is what our world has embraced. Out of a great
desire to conceal what she had doneóto preserve her selfóshe dared not tell
anyone that her baby was home alone. Or per chance, her babysitter got tired
of waiting on her to come homeóso he/she walked out on her.
has lost sight of Godís dream. This world is becoming an
increasingly dark place to live. We think that it is the enemy without that
poses the greatest threat, but it is what lies within our hearts that
endangers us most.
really has a dreamóitís actually a nightmare for us to grab on to, but
initially it doesnít feel like a nightmare. Initially it seems like the
dream God intended for us to pursue, but it is a dream that will cause us to
be eaten up by our own selfish desires.
nightmare is brought about through pursuit of our own selfish agendas.
He brings it about when he destroys our commitment to God and one another.
Sadly, the kids are usually the ones who suffer the most.
Godís Glorious Dream for Your
donít believe that God speaks to us through dreams and visions today.
Of course, I realize that Godís final word comes to us through his Son,
Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1) From Genesis 12 to the last chapter of Revelation
God holds out his ultimate dream for each of us. However, the Bible seeks to
inspire us through the great visions it gives us of our possibilities in
Christ. The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ seeks to give us Godís
ultimate dream for our lives to inspire us. It inspired first century
Christians to courageously stand for Godís dream through death. It is
designed to have the same affect upon your life.
envisions his faithful followers attending a great marriage supper on that
last great day. He envisions a voice from the throne of God crying,
ďíHallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has
made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.í
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel
said to me, Ďwrite: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper
of the Lamb!' And he added, ĎThese are the true words of God.íĒ (NIV
something more profound here than just being invited to the marriage feast.
We really will not be there as mere guests of the bride or
bridegroom, for we will be Christ bride. "Hallelujah! For our Lord God
Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the
wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine
linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the
righteous acts of the saints.) Saints are the ones robed in wedding
garmentsóthatís us. Those who have made themselves ready for the marriage
feast of the Lamb are Christians.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ
loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing
her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to
himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish,
but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their
wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After
all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as
Christ does the church- 30 for we are members of his body. 31 "For this
reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and
the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery-but I
am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you
also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her
desires to turn Godís dream for each of us into a nightmare. Many
refuse to accept Godís glorious dream as their personal dream. Seemingly,
they rather live in the nightmare they have created for themselves. The
nightmare is envisioned in the following verses.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun,
who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather
together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of
kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh
of all people, free and slave, small and great."
19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the
earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on
the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with him the
false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With
these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and
worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake
of burning sulfur. 21 The rest of them were killed with the sword that came
out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged
themselves on their flesh. NIV
choose to eat or be eaten. One of the greatest horrors in ancient
times was for a dead body to be left out in the open where the dogs and
vultures could eat it. It was a sign that you had really wasted your life.
This was the curse placed upon Jezebel for her wickednessóthe dogs would
lick her blood up in the street.
people walk into my life, yea, into this church building on a regular basis
who sit down and tell me how they have blown Godís dream for their lives.
Most of them do it with tears running down their cheeks; many have
brought me to tears. I try to hide my tearsóbut sometimes it is so horrible
I canít. I donít know how many times I have sat there trying to tell them,
even plead with them to understand that God is a forgiving God. Many only
want cheap advice as how to be forgiven and overcome the consequences of
their sin, while continuing to live out the Devilís nightmare. If only they
would embrace Godís dream for their lives.
I always tell
them that Godís power can help them overcome and live with the consequences
of their actions, but his power only comes to play in their lives when there
is sincere repentanceóthis means a determination to start living out Godís
dream for their lives.
I had one
person to say in tears, ďI know that God brought me to the place I am.Ē
I simply responded, ďYou are right. You have hit bottom because God wants
you to do some serious thinking about what you really need to do with your
life. He has broken your heart to get you to awaken you to his dream for
to follow Godís dream leaves us broken hearted in the end. Godís law
is simple. I grew up on a farm. We did a lot of row crops. It was simple. If
you wanted soybeansóyou planted soybeans. Donít expect to plant soybeans and
gather corn in the fall.
How Can Godís Dream Become
often seems to be against us. We often wonder how Godís dream for
our life becomes a reality. Some of us are probably as terrified about life
as that two year old who was left alone for almost three weeks. We are
clinging to anything we can find in this world for security. We wonder how
Godís dream can become a reality for our personal life.
It is not
hard to see Godís ultimate dream for each of us. We see it in Jesusí
Revelation to Johnóitís the marriage supper of the Lamb. We have a choice to
eat or be eaten. But the dream I want you to grasp for your life is the one
God wants you to live out on earth from now till eternity comes. That dream
is found within your heart.
all, we must realize that God has a dream for every life here this morning.
You must realize that God has a dream or calling for your life. You must
discover it, then you must pursue it with all your heart. God is calling you
to some occupation in life. What is it you like to do? Donít forget he
created you for work, just as he created Adam to till the garden of Eden. It
may be digging ditches, or it may be CEO of some corporation. Remember
whatever it is you are being called to do, do it as if you were doing it for
the glory of the Lord. Then you will discover the joy of work, and the power
of God to help you accomplish his calling.
with the way we think about ourselves. Outwardly, we cannot be what we are
not on the inside. Remember, if you heart is darkened with the
Devilís scheme there is hope, for Jesus came to give us a new heart.
Often our fear of facing ourselves drives us to cover up what is in
our hearts. Jesus came to expose the darkness of the human heart, but he
exposes it for the purpose of giving us a new heart.
light carpet for our dining room. I really wanted something that
didnít show up dirt. Mary pointed out that we needed to be sure to wipe our
feet before we came in the door because the carpet was getting dirty. I told
her that was why I wanted to buy darker carpetóso it wouldnít show up all
the dirt. She pinned me to the wall with her answer. She said, ďIt is still
dirty whether it shows up or not.Ē
hide the dirt than face it. Do you know why some donít want you to
preach about sexuality? They donít want to face their own sexuality. Do you
know why others donít want you preaching on relationships? The same
reasonóthey donít want to face their own relationship issues.
We may mask our
lives to hide the darkness, but it is still there. It will not go away on
its own. We must challenge the darkness within before we can realize Godís
It is easy to
wear a mask to deceive ourselves about what is really going on in our
hearts. We may wear a mask because we are terrified to take a good look at
our selves. But we must violate our comfort zones to take a good look at
ourselves. To choose not to look at ourselves will make Satan the master of
22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your
eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes
are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within
you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he
will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and
despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. NIV
know why it is so hard to awaken those who are dead in sinóthose who are
living out Satanís nightmare? It is hard to awaken them because they
are afraid to face those temptations that rob them of Godís dream for their
lives. We think they are too powerful to overcome. We are afraid that we
canít quit sinning. We are afraid that we canít change.
never realize Godís dream for your life as long as you are afraid that the
Devilís hold on your life canít be broken. We focus on the obstacles
in our way, we are afraid to look for a way around the obstacles. God
promises to make a way of escape, but he never promises to remove the
obstacles. The obstacles are not whatís keeping us from Godís dream. Itís
If you ask
someone what is keeping them from pursuing Godís dream for their life, they
will enumerate the obstacles. Satan will always place obstacles before us to
make Godís dream seem impossible. But it is a veritable farce.
perversion of the world is designed to discourage us from leaving our
comfort zone---but there is no comfort zone until we rest in God.
Satan is powerless to destroy Godís dream for your life. He erects obstacles
to make you think he can, but every Bible story is about the powerlessness
of Satanófrom Genesis to Revelation. He only becomes powerfully destructive
in our lives when we follow him.
determine to confront the opposition if we desire to follow Godís dream.
Often, it is not Satan opposing us directly. Too often, it is friends and
family holding us back. They are convinced they know what is best for us, so
they discourage us from pursuing our dream. They are convinced it will lead
us to disaster. Sometimes it does, but the lessons learned can ultimately
help us realize Godís dream.
Godís power to accomplish his will for your life. The word of the
Lord came to Zerubbabel saying, ďit is not by might nor by power but by My
SpiritĒ (Zechariah 4:6). He needed to know that his success did not depend
upon his personal might, or power, but it depended upon the presence and
power of the Spirit of God.
wrote to the Philippians warning them to put no confidence in the flesh
(Philippians 3:2-6). The flesh will only mask the obstacles from sight
because the flesh knows the obstacles cannot be overcome through its own
power. So instead of facing the obstacles, the flesh seeks to allow them to
limit the possibilities in an effort to find a comfort zone. If you feel
intimidatedórest assured it is a fleshly response. Our God is able to
Whether we eat
at the marriage feast or are eaten in the end depends upon our willingness
to leave our comfort zone.
3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of
this prophecy, [these visions] and blessed are those who hear it and take to
heart what is written in it, because the time is near. NIV
We must take
Godís vision for our lives to heartówill we eat or be eaten. The choice is
yours as we extend the invitation.
This last major point of this sermon relies heavily upon thoughts
gleaned from Bruce Wilkinson and David & Heather Kopp, The Dream
Giver, Multnomah Publishers, 2003. It is an excellent book.