What is Your Dream?

Martin-Luther-King-JrFifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave one of the most stirring speeches of all time. His “I have a dream” speech was a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement. It captured the sentiment of a nation stumbling towards racial equality and contributed towards the passing of the Civil Rights Act the following year.

Recently, as I listened again to the words of this great speech, I was struck by how it paints a vivid picture of the kingdom come. It describes the world, not as it is, but as it could be. Martin Luther King’s dream was prophetic. To borrow a phrase from Brian Zahnd, it was out of sync with the present age but in sync with the age to come. It was music from a distant land, a photo from a faraway place.

When justice rolls down

Racism may not be an issue that touches you, but if we are to be a prophetic people then we will dream like Reverend King. We will herald “the bright day of justice” when…

every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

By “justice” I don’t mean legal justice, where crooks get punished. I’m referring to the greater justice of the Kingdom that sets things right and restores that which has been lost. Legal justice turns bad guys into convicts but Kingdom justice turns them into new men. The justice Jesus revealed turns sinners into saints, enemies into friends, and haters into lovers.

Those who have been raised under law tend to say, “God, give me mercy, not justice.” But those who have seen the finished work of the cross don’t hesitate to cry out for justice for they know that only the justice of heaven can end the injustices of this world.

And this is a world riddled with injustice.

For Martin Luther King the number one injustice was racial inequality. But what about you? What is the injustice that bothers you? It might be child abuse, spousal abuse, or elder abuse. It could be sickness, disease, or poverty. It could be the situation in Syria or southern Sudan. It might be the stubbornness of malaria or the petty prejudices of the powerful. Is there something that breaks your heart?

Have you got something in mind?

Now picture a world where that injustice no longer exists. Can you see it? The gospel declares this world is more than a dream; it is the kingdom of God among you. It’s the world that exists wherever the name of Jesus is exalted.

Some of the greatest triumphs in history came about because godly men and women were inspired by a dream of the kingdom come. They understood that the gospel is not about getting you into heaven, it’s about bringing heaven down to earth. I’m talking about those who opposed violence with peace and spoke out while others said nothing.

Jesus is our best example. He walked the earth at a time of great injustice and released heaven’s justice wherever he went. He healed the sick and liberated the oppressed. He hung out with sinners and stinkin’ Samaritans. He honored women and children and touched unclean lepers. He did this to show us his heart is for the marginalized and the outcast. And he did it to give us a glimpse of heaven.

Getting what Jesus paid for

In his speech, Martin Luther King said, “We have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.” He was referring to the US Constitution, a promissory note “to which every American was to fall heir.” Similarly, we who believe in the gospel are here to cash a check written in the precious blood of Jesus. A check written for everyone and anyone.

We just want Jesus to get what he paid for.

How do we do that?

It starts with a dream. So why not honor the occasion by dreaming and dreaming big? Some of you haven’t dreamed in years. It’s time to turn your dreamer back on. Don’t listen to cynicism which says, “This is the way it is and always has been.” Instead, listen to Jesus who says, “Behold! I am making all things new.”

Jesus is revealed through those who look at injustice and say, with the passion of an Isaiah or Jeremiah, “You have no future!” And he is seen in those whose desire is to hear the oppressed shout, “We are free at last!”

What is your dream?

What is the injustice you hope will disappear within the next fifty years? I’m not asking you to sign a petition or join a march. I’m not even expecting a speech. But starting with these immortal words – “I have a dream…” – tell us in a few sentences your vision of the kingdom come.

I’ll go first:

I have a dream that one day the trafficking of people will come to an end. I have a dream that one day all the little girls who have been taken from their daddies will find their way home and be made whole. I have a dream that one day no child be abandoned or raised without love. I have a dream that one day all the big people of this world will see children the same way our heavenly Father does – as infinitely precious and dearly loved.

What is your dream?

Comments

  1. I have a dream that one day, each person will simply be seen as the infinitely valuable person G_d has made them to be through the Person of Jesus. In understanding this dream, we will begin to live out the dream Jesus prayed for us in John 17; that we would be utterly united with Him and each other… And that this unity would become the unstoppable force whereby justice will reign across the Kingdom He has instituted – forever.

  2. I have a dream that the governments of this world will put the interest of the people above theirs. That laws will be written for the wellbeing of a nation and not the purses of a few.

    I have a dream that we see the children of the Northern part of Nigeria enrolled in well furnished schools, we see the kids on the streets coming out with their diplomas and degrees, with creative ideas to change their world.

    I have a dream where child marriages will cease, the education of the girl-child will be foremost in every home.

  3. Caroline Rousseau says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I never was much of a dreamer, but this has moved me to start dreaming. I live in Québec, Canada in a French speaking province where the message of grace is almost unheard of. Thanks to you, and Jonh Sheasby before you, I have come to drink of the living water, and my family and I are being restored. Again, thanks to you, we have come to know Andrew Wommack and we are in the process of renewing our minds. My dream this morrning is to have this grace message being made available to the French speaking community.

    • I too share your dream Caroline. My wife and I live in Quebec as well. We’ve only been exposed to the awesome message of grace for the last couple of years and it has radically changed our lives. We were both raised in the church, but somehow God’s grace and unconditional love were overshadowed by guilt and condemnation.
      Check out Andrew Wommack as he has a lot of really good teachings as well.

    • humbleheart72 says:

      So beautiful <3 God is so very good!!!

  4. I have a dream that one day all the drunks and druggies will be delivered from their addictions and find love in Jesus ….. the kind of real love they have never known.

  5. Davis, Joe R. says:

    Paul, this is by far your most astonishing work!!

  6. Paul, this is by far your most astonishing work!!

  7. My dream is to see the body of Christ reign as His completed work has paid for. That sickness, poverty, and injustice would be brought in line with God’s will, on earth as it is in heaven, by His people demonstrating the love, grace, power, and authority of Jesus.

  8. I dream of a day when everyone has a safe place to call home. No sleeping in cars, doorways, abandoned buildings, shelters, under bridges,etc. A place to heal and find Jesus.

  9. thats a good dream,and having 2 daughters, and a son [WHOM I NEVER HEAR FROM] just in case he might see this, and it often makes me angry and sad when i see the many abuses that i see children go threw,Im reflecting on the gassing in Syria i say last night on the news ,,in the states,we at times don’t see the ugliness in other parts of the world,and you get a slap of reality and thank God for what you have and where you are. anyway Im turning a corner in my life and have felt a tug of sorts from God to do something different,with my life.I dont know were Im going but im not afraid to go there now,,sooooo dreaming is a good thing.The escape 2 reality is becoming clearer…………when you start to see your ID in Christ it makes a difference.

  10. I have a dream that Stone Gate Fellowship of Midland, Texas will boldly proclaim the freedom to fully own everything that comes with our new identity in Jesus. Last Sunday that freedom was proclaimed as to be able to drink 42 margaritas and still get into heaven. I want to hear about how we are free from slavery to sin and the flesh. I want to know all the ways we partake of His divine nature. Or how we are filled with His fullness. How can we learn to trust each other enough to share our failures. Where is the law seeping into our beliefs and how can we better shore up those beliefs to eradicate every miniscule of it. What does it mean to me today to be seated in heaven with Jesus and Father God. How do I develop the attitude of Jesus and give up my sense of the right to be understood, respected, liked, or proved right? I have a meeting with the lead pastor Sept. 11 for 15 minutes. I will probably get jammed up into a corner for sharing my dream.

    • 42 margaritas, you may have to go to the hospital,before you go to heaven, one time we were talking about how the wine that Jesus made was probably the best wine you’ll ever drink,if I recall someone did ask why they kept the best wine till last.

    • “How do I develop the attitude of Jesus and give up my sense of the right to be understood, respected, liked, or proved right?”

      Good question brother. I’ve been invited by church leadership to meetings like yours on Sept. 11, and listening to them blast me for sharing my dreams was tough. I listened and thanked them for sharing, and I apologized for causing them concern. The Spirit has made it clear to me that the church has a God size problem and it is, indeed, God’s problem and not mine to try and fix. I can work on changing myself, but I am not the one God has chosen to change His church. But that’s just me.

      • I dont know if this helps Dan C,but after years of seeing churches come and go,fights etc.i have noticed the more secure I became in Christ,the bolder I got, you have to do what you feel the lord is telling you to do,its not that you dont care,Jesus was constantly battling with the pharisees,but there comes a parting of the ways,and eventually most of us after years came back together. Once i remember people at church were arguing, I got to the point, that I stood up and said [everybody has to believe in something and I believe i will go fishing] i occasionally still hear about it and we laugh.The lord loves us and HE will not leave us.Its like he says,you might as well get used to it ,IM not going anywhere.

  11. I have a dream that people will no longer threaten each other with who’s in and who’s out, whether it is bullying in high school or religious bullies. i have a dream that we will all come to rely on God’s love for each one of us and cry out “Your kingdom come!”

  12. this brought tears to my eyes and encouragement to my heart! :)

  13. Great piece Paul.I have a dream to find the plan of God for my life.God does have the plan we just have to seek it.So after my DH passed I did not know what the plan was.I was thinking “now what?” Since then the Lord has healed my broken heart( He went in there as I laid out on the floor and fixed what was broke).I actually have hope for the future now.Even at the ripe old age of 60 something.Yahoo! it is not only for the young.Wish you the best from sunny fl.

  14. I have a dream that one day no child will ever have to go to bed hungry,uncertain abt d future. I dream of a world free from pain heartache n injustice, where children thrive spirit soul n body. A world where humans function in the dominion n authority God designed us to have. A world of nothing less than d very best God’s best! Your kingdom come oh Lord! Paul well done! It keeps gettin better

  15. I dream of a world that walks in goodness and love. We won’t ever be cynical, instead we will treat everyone with understanding and care, and we will all learn to trust completely in the Father’s love..

  16. Thanks Paul, truly inspiring:). There is so much pain in the world it’s impossible to just pick one, but if I were to start
    from somewhere sex trafficking has also been something that I wished I could close my eyes and will it away.

  17. creativegirl7 says:

    I have a dream to see all families and family life restored to what God intended especially for the children’s sake. I am so sad for so many children and what they are lacking in love and the right kind of attention and caring. So sad to see so many selfish adults.
    I have a dream!

  18. I have a dream that one day all the walls that divide us shall be shattered. the walls of race, social status, economic, education, language, etc shall no longer divide us as we see each other as ones that our Father so loved and paid a big price to reconcile to Himself. I have a dream of a city whose builder and maker is God.

  19. I have a dream that one day people will stop being legalist, they will see Christ as who he is and the bible as what it is. That is a gospel of hope and restoration not legal procedures. Also they will see Christ as a Saviour of sinners and not a hangout for the righteous.

  20. fui sagaga says:

    i have a dream that all the orphans and believers of & in the world will come to know their *True Father & His amazing Love for us all and confidently call Him Abba Father,my Papa. I have a dream that all believers will live their true lives through the lens of the >cross< and live FULL because Jesus is Enough!I have a dream that all will BELONG. I have a dream that although we all will celebrate our unique differences we will LOVE as ONE because of what we have in common-^Jesus our Saviour^.I have a dream that the words "I AM MY FATHERS SON" will be the proclamation & declaration of our hearts of the adopted…and out of this will be the experssions of love exclamations-thank ^YOU^
    -#Amazing grace, my heart song of praise.

  21. David Martin Stevens says:

    That all dis-ease and sickness are gone in this world! Yey God!

  22. My dream and daily prayer:

    I want God’s justice to fight through all the deceit of financial elitist controlled governments, reaching the very hearts of the men and women that feel the need to control the populations of the earth.
    I want the leaders of the major crime syndicates to meet Jesus. I want the exploiters of the nations to meet with the Creator.
    I want the heads of these organizations to experience God the way Paul did on the Damascus Road!!!
    I want the satanic groups to come to Christ, who has paid the price to set them free. There are people who think they have sold their souls to the devil, but he holds them on a lie because their souls were bough with the blood of Jesus. I pray their eyes are opened and they become disillusioned with the lives they have sourced from the demonic world.
    The effect that this will have on the whole world is “On earth as it is in Heaven”.

    P.S. Animals need to be treated with love and respect, regardless of one’s stance on vegan-ism or vegetarianism. Proverbs 12:10

  23. I have a dream for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ that are stuck in religion that their eyes will be opened to the true Gospel which is the Good News of the finished work of Jesus. The dream that I have for myself is that I will truly know Jesus and not just of Him. The dream that I declare over my children is that they will know Jesus as well, and that they will walk in the steps that He has planned for them. They will fulfill His purposes for them. My dream is that my children will be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit when it comes to their future endeavours which include school, career, ministry and marriage. God has awesome plans for us all…are we willing to take that step of faith and walk where He leads us?

  24. I have a dream that the Glory we have in Jesus will shine on our face unveiled in public.
    We will proclaim the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, unashamedly, to all people of all races, religions, etc..

  25. I have a dream that “we against them” or “our doctrine against †нεir doctrine” ends in Christianity. That we all be united in God’s love as Jesus prayed in John 17

  26. I have a dream that no one will ever be hungry every day for weeks and months of their lives. I have been raised with agriculture as a big part of my life, and it is the saddest thing in the world to me that I throw away food someone would kill to eat.

  27. humbleheart72 says:

    I have a dream that every believer will fully walk in the Kingdom authority that Jesus sacrificed His life to give us. That no believer will hold back anything. That doubt will not be found in the life of any believer, but only faith will be found. That every believer will have the faith to lay hands on the sick, blind, oppressed, possessed, lame and dead and see them recover. That God’s name will be glorified and made famous among every nation and people group because of the freedom they receive in the name of Jesus.

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