[DISCLAIMER: YOU WILL WANT A VERY LARGE CUP OF COFFEE AND AN OPEN HEART WHILE YOU READ THIS]
It was way too late to start a book, but my heart was stirred up and provoked from a night of prophetic declarations, Holy Spirit encounters, LOTS of bubbling-over laughter, and heart-to-heart ministry.
Still, I stood at my kitchen counter – hadn’t made it far enough to the couch, even – purple pen in hand, underlining, scribbling notes, and staring off in amazement, all the while making a lite caesar salad. (This multi-tasking will be very useful in a few years when the ones that will carry and build off of what the Lord has done in me are running around like crazy!)
What I found in “Chapter 1: Co-Laboring with God” of Bill Johnson’s book “Dreaming With God” was just too good not to share! I’m praying through these little phrases and “nuggets” your heart will be provoked to BELIEVE THE VERY BEST ABOUT YOUR FATHER who no longer calls you a servant but a friend! I’m beliving that the Holy Spirit will begin to drop the revelation of FREEDOM in your heart as TRUTH goes forth and you are reminded of Jesus’ blood that SETS YOU FREE, your INCREDIBLE VALUE to God, and his INTENSE DESIRE to PARTNER with you IN THE EARTH.
James Goll – who by the way, wrote a very amazing book about prophetic dreams titled, “Dream Language: the prophetic power of dreams, revelation, and the spirit of wisdom” – writes in the foreword about when God first gave the dream of building a great nation to Abraham. This desire for those to receive his inheritance was already a dream in Abraham’s heart BECAUSE it was a dream in God’s!
James paints a picture of the dialogue between Abraham and God as The Father tells him to count the stars in the sky to speak of the promise of the dream of his heart being fulfilled…imagine doing that…
“Somewhere along the way, something changed. Did the circumstances change? No, well, not yet at least. What changed then? Abraham, like the rest of us, went from mentally assessing (the dream) to heart believing.
After many trials and tests and errors, Abraham reached a point when he went out at night and he rejoiced when he looked up!”
He reached a point where he was finally able to believe that the dream of his heart really WAS the dream of God’s heart and it really WOULD happen.
Trial and error taught him, bringing him into agreement with the will of God and the desire of his heart.
God longs to partner with us in our dreams. He’s given us the FREEDOM to dream and it is his GOOD PLEASURE to give us the Kingdom – that we would release it here in our spheres of influence.
“God has made himself vulnerable to the desires of his people.”
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his mater is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)
Jesus has come and has satisfied the wrath of God, he has freed us from EVERY effect of sin on our lives (we run into sickness, depression, etc. when we no longer make agreement with that TRUTH and instead, hand over our authority by making agreement with the lies of the enemy), and our identity has been promoted from servant to FRIEND!
“SERVANTS don’t know what their master is doing. They don’t have access to the personal, intimate realm of their master. They are task-oriented. OBEDIENCE is their primary focus – and rightly so, for their lives depend on success in that area.
FRIENDS have a different focus. It almost sounds blasphemous to say that obedience is not the top concern for the friend, but it is true. Obedience will always be important, as the pervious verse highlight, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). But friends are less concerned about disobeying than they are about disappointing.
The disciples’ focus shifted from the commandments to the PRESENCE, from the assignment to the RELATIONSHIP, from “what I do for him” to “HOW MY CHOICES AFFECT HIM”.
LOVE is the MOTIVATION.
Passionate, overflowing, intimacy-desiring LOVE is the motivation.
“Several paradigm shifts take place in our hearts as we embrace this promotion:
* WHAT WE KNOW changes as we gain access to the HEART of the Father. Jesus paid the price of our access to the Father, thereby granting us the FREEDOM that comes from the truth we gain through that unlimited knowledge of his heart. LIBERTY.
*EXPERIENCE changes. Encounters with God as an intimate are quite different from those of a servant. His heartbeat becomes our heartbeat as we celebrate the shift in our own desires.
*Our FUNCTION in life radically changes. Instead of working for him, we work with him. We work not for his favor but from his favor. In this position he entrusts us with more of his power, and we are naturally changed into his likeness more and more.
*Our IDENTITY is radically transformed. Our identity sets the tone for all we do and become. Christians who live out of who they really are cannot be crippled by the opinions of others. They don’t work to fit into other people’s expectations, but burn with the realization of who the Father says they are.
SHIFT IN FOCUS
We look at the story of Mary and Martha and you see how both women desired to please the Lord but one chose to do it by being with him and the other tried to please him by doing what she thought was the right thing.
“Mary has chosen the BETTER part” was Jesus’ response.
“Doing more for God is the method servants use to increase in favor. A friend has a different focus entirely. They enjoy the favor they have and use it to spend time with their friend.”
“Mike Bickle put it best when he said that “there are lovers and there are workers. And lovers get more work done than do workers.”
A PASSIONATE LOVER WILL ALWAYS OUTPERFORM A GOOD SERVANT IN PLEASING HIM.”
THE WILL OF GOD
“We primarily associate the will of God with specific events at certain times. The element missing in our understanding of this subject is OUR ROLE in the unfolding of his will.”
We go to the story where God tells Moses he is going to destroy Israel, but Moses seemingly “changed God’s mind” with his intercession.
“The primary focus of his will wasn’t whether or not to destroy Israel; it was to bring Moses in on the process. His will is not always focused on events; it is focused on his friends drawing near into his presence, standing in their roles as delegated ones. THE WILL OF GOD IS AS MUCH PROCESS AS IT IS OUTCOME.”
God makes himself vulnerable to the desires of his people.
If it matters to you, it matters to him.
ASK WHAT YOU DESIRE & IT WLL BE GIVEN TO YOU. This is what Jesus told his FRIENDS. (John 15:7, 15:16, 14:14, 16:23-24)
Take him at his word.
“While much of the Church is waiting for the next word from God, he is waiting to hear the dream of his people. He longs for us to take our role, not because he needs us, but because he LOVES us.”
In this chapter, Bill goes on to tell this story of how his mother’s side of the family had this large family reunion in northern California. He talks about how he DOES NOT dance, but still, there was square dancing scheduled as an activity that summer at the reunion. Firmly resolved – absolutely stubborn and unmovable – to not take part in what he considered an embarrassing activity (except in worship), he sat with his wife watching the others dance.
“Then the unexpected happened. My daughter, Leah, then about 10 years old, asked me if I would dance with her…in that moment I felt like I had been ambushed. My feet were solid, my resolve firm, and my argument steadfast. But daughters, especially 10-year-old daughters, have a way of getting in under the radar. To my horror, I found myself without a will saying, “YES”…I had been “brought to my knees” by a little girl.
Moments later I was on the dance floor, attempting what I knew better than to attempt. But the look in my little girl’s eyes told me all was well. Her pleasure more than made up for my embarrassment. And I understood again how fathers willingly make themselves vulnerable to the desires of their children – and how God joyfully makes himself vulnerable to the desires of his people.“
“There is no question that spending time with God changes our desires. We always become like the one we worship…Those who have the greatest difficulty with this line of thinking are those who consider this to be an assult on the doctrine of the sovereignty of God. There is no question; God is sovereign. But his position of rulership is not denied by our assignment to co-labor with Christ.”
“God is so secure in his sovereignty that he is not afraid to appear un-sovereign.” – Jack Taylor
ALL DESIRE HAS A FATHER
“Desire: “de” means “of” and “sire” means “father”. All desire has a father. The question should not be, “are my desires from God?” The question should be, “With what, or with whom have I been in communion?” I can communicate with God (with truth) or with the enemy (with lies).
The main purpose of this book is to teach and encourage believers to live from the desires that are born in them through their intimate fellowship with the Lord.
Many believers discount their desires, automatically trying to get rid of everything they want in order to prove their surrender to God. Their selfless approach overshoots the will of God and actually denies the fact that God is the Father of the dreams and abilities within them. It sounds good on the outside because of its selfless religious appeal, but works against God’s purposes on the inside.
THE TREE OF LIFE
“hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12)
“Solomon successfully accomplished all that came into his heart…” (2 Chron. 7:11)
In John 16:24 it says that God wants to answer our desires (prayers), “…that your joy may be full.”
Can you think of a time that you prayed and hoped that God would “let” you do something? Not knowing whether it was his will or not, you prayed into the desires of your heart, and when your prayers were answered do you remember the incredible amount of JOY you felt when God brought the desires of your heart to fruition?
God loves to make his kids happy! Answered prayers make us happy and build up our faith. He gets the glory to cause our hearts to desire certain (and sometimes random) things and to fulfill those desires as we make a LIFESTYLE of DELIGHTING in HIM.
This is good news for our hearts!
This is good news for HIS heart!
He LOVES to see us happy!
I’m convinced that there’s this never-ending cycle of desire and delight in the Kingdom. You delight yourself in the Lord, you have a desire, your desire is fulfilled, your heart is SPURRED ON TO DELIGHT YOURSELF EVEN MORE IN THE LORD (by way of hope, joy, longings fulfilled), and you continue to desire, you continue to delight, you continue to see your desires fulfilled.
Your desires grow and you begin to dream bigger – great faith is being built here – as you see the Lord MOVE, and as a result your DELIGHT IN THE LORD GROWS AND GROWS AND GROWS!
HE gets the glory in giving us desires, in causing our hearts to yearn, in fulfilling those desires, and teaching us to dream and ask for something even bigger than before!
Don’t you see, this is FUN for him!
“Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel” (1 Kings 8:15-17)
God said that he didn’t choose a city, He chose a MAN, and the idea for the temple was in the heart of the MAN. God basically said: The temple wasn’t my idea. DAVID was my idea. Incredible! David’s creativity and desires helped write history because God embraced them.
You are God’s idea, and he longs to see the treasure that is in your heart. As we learn to dream with God we become co-laborers with Him.”
THE TOOL THAT SHAPES HISTORY
“Whatever you desire, when you pray, BELIEVE that you receive them, and you WILL have them” (Mark 11:24)
We are to pay attention to our desires WHILE we’re ENJOYING the presence of God in prayer.
Our minds becomes renewed through divine encounter. Our dreams are not independednt from God, but instead exist BECAUSE of God. He lays out the agenda – on earth as it is in Heaven – and then releases us to run with it and make it happen! As we grow in intimacy with HIm, more of what happens in life is a result of our desires, not simply receiving and obeying specific commands from Heaven. God LOVES to BUILD on our wishes and desires, just as he embraced David’s desire for the temple.”
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of YOUR HEART” (Psalms 37:4)
Go on, dream. FOLLOW YOUR HEART. If you LOVE the Father, if you LOVE Jesus, if you LOVE HOLY SPIRIT and you’re in consistent fellowship with them, you’re in the right place! Out of your friendship with God, you’ve been given the freedom to FOLLOW YOUR HEART, the DESIRES that are in you are from HIM. You are not so powerful in your communion with the Godhead that you could screw things up even if you tried.
This is the NEW WAY.
The NEW COVENANT.
He set you free so you REALLY COULD experience the freedom of HEAVEN on EARTH.