The goal of the series is to help us unleash the faith and courage we need to identify, chase, and catch the five-hundred-pound dreams God has given us to reach the world.
Before the AVENGERS, JUSTICE LEAGUE and other superheroes, there were King David’s mighty men who helped him win many battles, conquered enemies and brought peace throughout Israel. Last week we learn about a man named Benaiah who chased and killed a 500 pound lion in a pit on a snowy day. His courageous act landed him as personal body guard of King David. Chasing your 500 pounds dream.
“The only way to tap your God-given potential, to fulfill your God-ordained destiny, is to chase five-hundred-pound lions.” We can overcome our fear and dream again as we surrender to God’s plan in our life and give the rest of our life in obedience to it.
Today’s Message Big Idea: “We don’t die when our hearts stop beating. We die when our hearts stop skipping a beat in pursuit of our passions, when our hearts stop breaking for the things that break the heart of God.”
Many are alive physically but in reality dead inside just waiting for their final breath to leave their lung. The Word of God declares that a life empty of the Life of Jesus is simply just existing without eternal purpose to live. Do you think that our true date of death is the date listed on our death certificate? Sadly, many people die long before their heart stops beating. We start dying the day we stop dreaming. And ironically, we start living the day we discover a dream worth dying for. Someone said, “if you are not ready to die for something greater than yourself, you are not ready to live”. David’s mighty men found in David—a cause worth living for, a dream worth dying for”
Message: God-sized dream’s ripple effect
Whether we like it or not, the dreams we pursue whether from God or not has a ripple effect beyond your life. Yesterday, we celebrated 150 years as a nation. The dreams and actions of those who founded this nation rippled throughout 150 years.
Today, we are going to look at another of David’s mighty men.
2 Samuel 23:8 ESV These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three. He wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time.
The Bible only gives one sentence for him. His exploit gives evidence to his physical capacity. At some point, he has to make a decision whether he will spend his life on the gym or spending it to a cause bigger than himself. At some point we too need to make a decision with what we are going to do with all the messages you’ve heard, all the bible studies you’ve attended, all the needs presented to you. We need a life goal to keep us going, a noble cause to keep us committed, a God sized dream to keep us motivated.
The NIV ends this verse with the phrase, “…in one encounter.” “That little phrase in 2 Samuel 23 is so simple yet so powerful. That’s all it takes! You are one encounter away from your destiny. One off-the-cuff conversation, one crazy idea, or one glance across a crowded room can change everything.
We don’t die when our hearts stop beating. We die when our hearts stops beating for the joy of God and breaking for what breaks the heart of God.
Jesus gave the definition of life in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. Jesus definition of life is “Him”. If his life is not making us alive, we are not living at all. We are just breathing just waiting for the last breath. Time and time again it was proven not money, power, pleasure, possessions can complete ones life.
a. Chief of the captains. David’s top 3 Elite warriors. They were warriors receiving the highest possible honor in the army of David. - Eleazar, Shammah “He belonged to the elite warriors attached directly to the king” or “he belonged to the elite group of soldiers who took their orders directly from the king.”
Omanson, R. L., & Ellington, J. (2001). A handbook on second book of Samuel (p. 1161). New York: United Bible Societies.
b. Killed 800 at one time. He stood his ground until he defeated the 800 enemies.
“What’s true for Josheb-Basshebeth is true for you. Just like the highest-ranking member of David’s mighty men, you might need to make a move.”. In other words, pursue the passions God has given you by making the most of every encounter. If you are waiting for the perfect timing, you will be waiting until the second coming of Christ. Josheb-Basshebeth’s courageous act helped David in his rule as the new king of Israel.
Every God-sized dreams has a:
I. Genesis moment: Defining moment
Creation: The origin of atom and all creation can be traced back to the four words spoken in Genesis, “Let there be light”. Genesis 1:3
Jesus the creator:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
John 1:3 (ESV)All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Romans 11:36 (ESV) For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
1 Corinthians 8:6 (ESV) yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Nothing existed or will exist apart for Jesus.
Abraham’s Genesis moment: The call to move
Genesis 12:1 (ESV) Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
Moses Genesis moment: The suffering of his people
Exodus 2:11–12 (ESV)One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
Isaiah: The holiness of God
Isaiah 6:1,8 (ESV) In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
Robert Pierce: an American Baptist Pastor, Founder of world vision
He was deeply affected by the poverty and human suffering that he witnessed. In 1950 he founded World Vision International. He’s the one who said, “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God”
Martin Luther: Launched the Protestant Reformation
500 years ago, 1517 Luther penned a document (95 Theses) attacking the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve or forgive sin. His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds—was to spark the Protestant Reformation.
Genesis ripple effect:
Martin Luther King Jr.: Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was a Baptist minister and social activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. Did you know that his genesis moment started from his father who was inspired by the work of the famous Martin Luther.
Wilson Bently: "Snowflake" Bentley (February 9, 1865 – December 23, 1931) is one of the first known photographers of snowflakes. He perfected a process of catching flakes on black velvet in such a way that their images could be captured before they either melted or sublimated. It all started on the day his school teacher mother gave him a microscope.
Rahab: When you are faithful to God, you produce a ‘ripple effect’ that has the potential to change not only your life, but generations of lives. Rahab’s risk during the Battle of Jericho changed the course of history forever (23-24)—she became the great-great-grandmother of King David.
Every dream has a genesis moment. A dream is implanted in your spirit by the Spirit of God, and the rest of your life is the ripple effect. It changes the plot line of your life.
Overtime your favorite scripture becomes the script of your life. The promises of God in the Bible become the plot line of your life. The more you rehearse those lines, the more you get into the character of Christ. Your life becomes the unique interpretation of the that life verse.
There are genesis moments in every dream journey that radically change the plot line of our lives. When you become the genesis moment of someone, you will also radically change the plot lines of their lives. I speak to Parents, I speak to older men and women, I speak to small groups leaders, I speak to ministry leaders. It is impossible to predict when or where or how they will occur. But once the door to the future opens, the door of the past slams shut. There is no turning back. It’s a new day, a new normal. One verse. One decision. One risk. One Idea.
For Benaiah it was chasing a lion into the put on a showy day. That split-second decision opened the door to the future - a job as King David’s bodyguard.
For Josheb-Bassbeth it was raising the spear against 800 of David’s sworn enemies. His courageous act earned him a seat of honor at David’s round table.
For me the opportunity to lead the church plant LHCC in 2001 altered the course of my life, my family and the many who were touched by the our ministry.
All of these did not come to pass without great difficulty, impossible odds. Its not a walk in the park. Jesus himself said, “in this world you will experience trials and tribulations as you seek to do his will”. He speaks of suffering even death to those who chose to follow him.
II. Impossible odds: Challenging moments
The movie hunger games motto is”May the odds be ever in your favor” or in Star wars, “may the force be with you”. But in the kingdom of God its the other way around, “May the odds be ever against you”. Jesus did not make it easy for people to follow him. He made sure that suffering, tribulation will be part of their path.
Matthew 10:37–38 (ESV) Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
2 Timothy 2:3 (ESV) Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Throughout the OT we can read that, “Impossible odds set the stage for God’s greatest miracles!”
Gideon started with 10,000 men and ended up with 300.
Daniel’s three friends were led to fiery furnace heated seven times.
Jesus showed up on the fourth day of Lazarus death.
Sarah and Abraham had their first child way passed child bearing year.
Moses and the Israelites had to passed the red sea.
Why? To ensure that God get all the credit, all the glory.
We have the tendencies to avoid situations where the odds are against us. We tend to go to the path of less resistance. We ended up robbing God of the opportunity to do something supernatural. Josheb had to defeat 800 Philistine soldiers to become chief of David’s mighty men. He beat 800-to-1 odds!
When was the least time you attempted something that was destined to fail without divine intervention?
Galatians 6:9–10 (ESV) And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Mark 10:27 (ESV) Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
Our three 500 lbs dream for the next three years
1. For us to be RISK takers in sharing the Gospel - EVANGELISM
2. For us to be REDISCOVER our first love - Christ - DISCIPLESHIP
3. For us to RELEASE unprecedented amount of compassion into the broken world. - MISSION
Illustration: Before Pastor Rick Warren became a best-selling author, Saddleback Church initiated a building campaign. Desiring to set a standard, Rick and his wife pledged what was equal to about three years of his salary. “Shortly after making that pledge, Rick signed a two-book deal for The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life. “The advance was the same dollar amount as the pledge!”
At some point you need to raise your spear of faith. That’s how the door opens and lets the future in. What odds do you need to defy? What verse do you need to interpret with your life?
III. Passion for God: “Moment by moment beat of our heart”
We don’t die when our heart stop beating. We die when our hearts stop skipping a beat in pursuit of our passions, when our hearts stop breaking for the things that breaks the heart of God.
Passion - is an intense enthusiasm for something. Another kind of passion is the suffering and death of Jesus.
This is not the passion Apostle Paul wrote about in Colossians 3:5 regarding Passion related to sexual desires.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
This is where our passion should come from. The Spirit of God that dwells in every believers bears fruit, give gifts and abilities for the glory of God.
Our passions are going to drive us in the direction of our obedience. What we're going to try to find is look at what's God's will and then take those and make decisions accordingly.
This whole idea of passion is born from within, not externally. The idea is born from within. They're born in God's presence and they're extremely powerful. The Bible defines the heart as the organ that pumps your blood, your emotional constitution or disposition, the vital force or driving impulse.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 37, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." My heart determines why I say the things I do. "The mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Matthew 12. Why I feel the way I do. "The word of God examines the thoughts and motives of the heart." Hebrews 4. And why I act the way I do. "Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of your life." Proverbs 4:23.
What is our Unique Heartbeat? Revelation 17 "God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose." We make the choice. God gives us the passion and He gives us the heart but we can choose to use it for good or for evil. In James we see the evil side "selfish ambition in your heart." He's talking about if your heart is filled with selfish ambition, negativity, hard heart, those things will come out of your mouth. If you read James, he talks about what comes out of your mouth is a direct reflection of your heart.
But also there's another side to that. In 1 Samuel "Serve the Lord with all your heart." And also in Ephesians, "Do the will of God from your heart." That will is never easy.
Illustration: There's a man who, during the course of his working career, drove from home to work everyday like a lot of us would do. He drove along a road that after awhile they had to do some roadwork on it and he had to take a detour. Over the course of this year's long detour, he drove through a very poverty stricken portion of Atlanta, Georgia. He was an attorney by trade. Over that period of time, the poverty that he continued to see day in and day out worked on his soul and worked on his heart. One day he was driving in and it just popped into his mind these few words: No more shacks. And Millard Fuller started something called Habitat for Humanity. Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 600,000 houses worldwide – providing shelter for more than 6.8 million people.One person, one idea, harnessing the passion that God has for his life. And over a period of time discovering God's will.
If you knew you couldn't fail, what would you attempt to do for God in your life? "If you had all the money that you ever needed in your life today, what would you do tomorrow?" So if you couldn't fail, what would you do? Chase the lion.
Conclusion: When we become passionate about the things God is passionate about, and sacrifice to follow those dreams, we can create ripples in the Kingdom that last forever. If last week is about overcoming our fears and dreaming again, this week’s sermon is about having the courage to make those dreams a reality.
1. What is one thing that stood out to you from this week’s message?
2. Has there ever been a point in your life where you felt dead because you stopped dreaming?
3. In Chase the Lion, there’s a quote that says: “You are one encounter away from your destiny.” What does that mean?
4. What does it mean for your dreams to have a “ripple effect?”
5. What’s a risk you need to take this next month that will allow you to get one step closer to achieving your dreams?
6. How can I pray for you?