Dream Killers & Builders (Part 2)
[ Preached by Pastor Kenneth Chin at Acts Church Malaysia on 9 October 2016 ]
To read Part 1 of this message, click here.
Pride, greed and disloyalty. These are the “dream killers” that I’ve mentioned previously. The thing about these three is that – for the most part – they are obvious to the naked eye. “Pride” you see in their disposition, “greed” in their actions and “disloyalty” in their speech.
In Part 2, we will examine another three dream killers that are more subtle and deadly to our dreams.
Dream Killer 4: Weariness
Read | Hebrews 12: 1-3
Weariness comes from an extended period of tiredness. Dreams slip away when people are tired. And it’s easier to make excuses when indifference sets in.
It’s human to get tired. You could go for a holiday and come back tired! While a good night’s sleep is the best cure for normal tiredness; weariness, on the other hand, is a different beast. The issue of weariness delves much deeper.
What turns tiredness into weariness is the weight we carry internally. The emotional and spiritual baggage: our past hurts, disappointments, offences, frustration, anger, unforgiveness… all these internal weights cannot be mended by rest or relaxation.
They can keep us awake at night, haunt us everywhere, drain our strength and drag us down with their “what ifs” and “now whats”. They chip away at our spirit and wear us down. Weariness creeps in slowly, and when it’s finally noticed, often it’s too late.
Dream Builder 4: Good
The only way to overcome weariness is to turn to Him who refreshes us. In Galatians 6:9 – 10, we’re encouraged to not be weary when doing good, and in due season we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.
As we commit ourselves toward what God considers as good, we turn our focus away from our internal distractions – our weights – to focus on the good of others. Praying and serving others is good and God never forgets our prayers and sacrifices. Choose what is good – that our internal weight may not continue to wear us down everyday.
Dream Killer 5: Discouragement
Read | 1 Samuel 30:6
Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
Allow me to ask you a strong question: How often do you do something without faith?
If we’re honest, we act more by sight than by faith. We make decisions almost by instinct. Our choices are made out of worry, anger or because we think we know better. These emotions even bleed into our conversations and interactions. Admittedly, it’s difficult to operate in faith and to live up to the daily challenge that God poses to us.
When we go by our own strength, we often end up disappointed. All the effort and toil only for results that are below our expectations. We’re left with the shorter end of the stick and discouragement sets in.
Such was David’s men when they returned from war. One moment they were celebrating a major victory, and then they were mourning the loss of their homes and families. They became distressed, angry and heavily discouraged. They lost sight of the bigger picture – their dreams – and pointed fingers, blaming David for their loss.
Dream Builder 5: Encouragement
Instead of mimicking his men, David did the opposite. According to the verse, David strengthened himself in the Lord. He was given a choice to be discouraged, but he picked encouragement instead. When things didn’t work out, he turned to the One that can make things right.
Take comfort that the Lord is there for us even if nobody else is. He is our hope! When we’re surrounded by discouragement, He brings good news. So pray with gladness. Meditate on the encouraging Word. Fix on things that edify the spirit.
Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). If we fail to keep our hearts encouraged in Him, discouragement will slowly poison us.
Dream Killer 6: Wrong Focus
The wrong focus or the lack of focus. How easy and often do we shift our focus onto men rather than God? Maybe when we’re tired of our situation, we focus on finding someone that can help us. Maybe when discouragement reigns, we lose focus on our dreams.
It’s natural that, when we’re down and discouraged, we look for something that gives us joy and satisfaction. We’ve heard of people who immersed themselves in work, hobbies, even in ministry!
Take care of what you focus on. When our focus shifts onto the world instead of God, we risk drawing happiness and fulfilment from something that isn’t eternal. Inevitably, the world disappoints us. We become discouraged and we begin to carry an internal weight within our hearts. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.
Dream Builder 6: Right Focus
Maintaining a laser-focus on God. Always remember that He is our source of strength, the wellspring of possibility and where dreams come true.
Even when we are focused on God, discouragement will still come, and we will still feel the full brunt of our internal emotions. But they will come and go. If our dreams are built on an eternal foundation, they will remain and flourish in due time.
Keep the faith and continue running the race.
Written by Victor Lau
Edited by Hailey Chung