DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS
18And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. (Luke 12:)
What are your dreams and aspirations? What is it you hope to accomplish or make of yourself during this lifetime you have been given? Come on now, give it a shot; there must be some thing you want most out of life.
Some of us when asked this question draw a blank. Nothing comes to mind that you want more than anything else; and of course, chances are you will receive just what you hope for - nothing.
Others hope for happiness, or a good life, or a nice house or job. Others may have such goals as getting an education or marrying well. Nothing beyond the temporary and immediate has been considered.
Other people may hope to win the lottery and live in comfort the rest of their life not having to do anything but what they want to do.
Then there are those who work hard at fulfilling their dream, whatever that might be, and by doing so very likely find themselves moving closer to their goal year by year.
Perhaps, if your field of endeavor is music, you hope to make a name for yourself and become self-sufficient in your area of interest. Or perhaps you have even higher goals and want to be the best known musician, or the wealthiest musician in your field. Or maybe you want even more, and that is to be the richest person in the world.
Or maybe you are a parent and you are sacrificing everything to assure health and happiness for your family.
Let's step it up a notch and suppose you are a doctor or a nurse and you are willing to venture into dangerous foreign lands in order to give adequate care to the poor of that country.
Or maybe you are a scientist and you are spending your nights and your days trying to find a cure for cancer so millions of people may live.
If we are but a man (or woman), a descendant of Adam and Eve, then I should certainly have to say these are, if not the top aspirations, then right up there amongst those that are.
Read a "T" shirt or a bumper sticker. Usually these will tell you what that person's life is all about; or at least tells you what they want you to think their life is about.
But, that is reading other people. How can we know what we are all about? How can we determine what is the most important element of our life? Can we look at the bumper sticker on our car, or read what is written on our "T" shirt? Unlikely. Chances are the bumper sticker came with the bumper when you bought the car, and the "T" shirt is one you Aunt Maud or your wife gave you for you birthday.
Consider a sports fan. Is there any doubt as to their burning lust? Have you ever seen or talked to a Raiders fan? Have you ever considered the consequences of disagreeing with one of them?
Someone who is truly dedicated is an obsessed person. All they think, eat or talk about is that which they are interested in. Trying to talk to them about anything other than their "First Love" is just wasted breath. This type of dedication and fanaticism is a fast train to success, or the nuthouse, if not both.
But, even so, it is this kind of drive that gets us moving, and keeps us on the track we have chosen.
Do you have this kind of dedication? Are you possessed by any such spirit of interest and achievement?
Should you be?
As a Christian there is a higher goal we are expected to reach for. And, as in the list above, so there are different levels to which we may obtain the expectations (that is the goals) laid out for us in the Bible.
Perhaps, as a Christian you have set as a goal for yourself to dedicate your life to serving your church. Maybe it's the prayer chain you dedicate your time to. Or it may be that you are a Sunday School teacher and you take your position very seriously, even to giving private tutoring for those who are shut-ins or in the hospital (I wonder if anyone is doing this? I've never heard of it if they are. Sound like a good idea?).
Perhaps you have a heart for the poor and the hurting, so you dedicate your time and your resources to bring the Word of the Lord to the downtrodden as you help them fulfill their needs.
Then again, maybe you are reaching for the stars and are a Minister with a heart-felt desire to feed your flock with the very best service and sermons you are possibly able.
In order to be just like Jesus you study every move He made, and you even learn to talk like Jesus using terms such as "thee" and "thou" and "verily verily." And just to make sure you are perfectly identified with Jesus you wear a long white bathrobe wherever you go and carry a Bible in the crook of your arm.
And if the above were not enough, you find that when you pray for the sick, they are often healed of their infirmities. You find that you are so much like Jesus that there are many people, especially Pastors who believe you are Jesus having returned to set up His Kingdom.
No one, at any time in history has ever been more like Jesus than you are. You have reached the ultimate goal that anyone could possibly set for themself. Isn't that right?
I told her that she is one of the very few people I know who truly has the Holy Spirit, and I have earnestly been seeking to find others who have.
Her comment to me was: "Why Me?"
I had no reply, other than the probable fact that she felt just that way. I find myself thinking the same thing quite often: "Why Me?" With all the fine people I see all around me, all doing wonderful things for other people and having such great personalities and all; why should God pick me to bless with His Spirit? I can only say, as I have said so often in these pages, that God chooses those who look down on themselves as He did (choose) so often in the stories related in His Word.
The Why part I do not have a definite answer for; but for the What Happens because of it I do have an answer. At least I have an experience that I can relate to you as a possible What Happens.
When I was obsessed with art or writing or bicycle riding it was neither good nor bad; it was what I would call a neutral obsession.
But there have been obsessions in my life I have to admit were very unfit at best, and dreadful at their worst. Thankfully those are behind me now, but they still nag at my soul and keep me humble. Perhaps that is my "thorn in the flesh" I must bear in order to keep me from exalting myself.
Since receiving the Holy Spirit I have a new obsession. All I want to think about, and write about, and talk about is Jesus and the Bible. Of course this drives many people away - but not those who also have the Holy Spirit. I find that when I am with them, all we talk about has to do with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I should clarify: not all people who spend a lot of time talking about Jesus have the Holy Spirit, but I find these are trying to find, or to understand Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Oddly enough, I find very few (in fact, none so far) Pastors and Elders who desire to talk about Jesus or the Holy Spirit when they are not serving in their official capacity. They talk about football, or the news, or the church, or other things of everyday life. In other words, they can not be distinguished from the World, except when they are expected to be different.
Once many years ago I was in a Pastor's house (in who's mind I was a dreadful sinner, which I was) for many days and nights He had a library full of wonderful Bible reference books I would have dearly loved to have browsed through and read. I was never allowed in the room, nor did he at any time even mention the name Jesus outside of church (except, as so many do, ask: "Are you saved?" whatever that means to the person asking the question). He took me to a ball game, and we talked about a few things other than Jesus. But I was a new Christian with a thirst for God - this Pastor, and his missionary wife had no Living Water to offer me.
So, if none of these things that the churches use as "bait" to get the people in is what I want; then what do I want?
I am fortunate. Inside of me is a little valve that opens when I hit on Truth, which makes it difficult for me to deny truth when I find it. That valve is my tear ducts; I cry.
I recognized that Jesus, although they talked about Him, was not invited into any of the services. The meetings were for people to gather together, not to be with God.
I want Jesus to have place wherein He can live here on earth. Some where! I know He has other places, other "tabernacles" that are serving Him well. There must be! But I don't see any of them.
So, what do I want most of all? It's not much that I have to offer, but I offer this old tent, worn, battered and falling down as a place for him to do with what He will. I have no skills, no money, no social standing, very little knowledge of His Word, nothing with which to make use of. But like the little Dutch boy, maybe there's a small leak that needs plugged that I can be used for. Whatever, that is what I want. I want to be used, whatever that might entail.
9And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. 11And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 12The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, 13And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. 14And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. 15The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 17For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 19And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. 20Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. 21And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. 22And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 23And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. 24And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. (Rev 18:)
I see myself as inadequate. I am trying as best as can with what little resources (in my person, the Lord has supplied me with many fine resources otherwise) to do what I feel I am supposed to do. But I believe I am failing miserably. I think He picked the wrong person. I think regardless how well I might be doing or have done in the recent past, I will fail miserably at the end.
You see, I do not have much confidence in myself, and I have a past to warrant such an attitude. I know, and often tell the Lord, that if I am going to endure to the end - He is going to have to lift me above my nature, because my nature is to backslide into becoming self-serving.
As you can probably tell, I do not believe in the theory of "Once Saved Always Saved," or "Eternal Salvation." For my sake, as well as yours I hope I am wrong; but I see little evidence of such in God's Word, and a tremendous amount of evidence and example showing just the opposite.
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