Last week we began talking about what it takes to actually change the world around you – what it takes to not only have a dream for change but to begin that process of change. We talked about Nehemiah, a little known figure in the Old Testament, who not only had a ridiculously big dream for change, he worked the idea and recruited the masses to help him progress towards making that dream a reality. Today we finish the story as we catalogue the principles and techniques Nehemiah used to accomplish what seemed impossible. Not only did Nehemiah achieve something magnificent, he also left clues and tools along the way for us to pick up on and use to apply to the changes we want to effect in our own lives.
Everyone wants their world to be better. Everyone has dreams and ideas they see as transformative - even innovative - yet the vast majority of us never do anything about those dreams and ideas to bring them to reality. Why the lack of effort? Because it is hard, because it takes thought, energy and determination and most of us are not convicted enough by our dreams and ideas to be willing to commit all of that effort. Occasionally someone stands apart from this typical reaction and actually thinks, acts, leads and accomplishes their dream or idea. Today we will talk about a little known man in the Old Testament who did just that. His dream was laughable, his mission was ridiculous and his enemies were determined to stop him, yet he focused and fought with all of his being and changed his world in the process!
A few weeks ago, we began to talk about how God communicates to us in our day. We began by looking at the biblical history of God and humanity and really spent most of our time talking about how He does NOT communicate with us now. This week we will focus on what we believe to be the provable and scriptural ways in which God Almighty DOES communicate to us as His Christian children here in the 21st century.
It is a pretty simple equation: You love God, you pray to Him, obey Him and serve Him and in return we as humans look for some kind of indication of His love and acceptance. We want to – we need to - hear from God in some way or other. So, how does He speak to us today in the 21st century? Is it through our dreams? Do we have visions? Is it through experiences? How about communicating through other people? Does God speak to us through His ancient word, the Bible? All of the above? Some of the above?
It has been said that humans can survive without lots of things for extended periods of time, but the one thing they cannot survive without is hope. What is hope? Where in this world can we find hope that is based in reality and grounded expectation, rather than hope that is based in our own personal preferences? Is there a universal hope for everyone, or does each individual create their own destiny and therefore build their own hope?
Many, many people pray. Are all those prayers answered or are most unheeded? Is there a prescribed formula for prayer? When should we pray? What should we pray about? Does the “universe” help seekers find? Are there right ways to pray that will get you an “in” and are there wrong ways to pray that will get you ignored? Stay with us as we tackle what promises to be a massive, important and life-changing topic!