Expect God to do the Unthinkable
T.D. Jakes used an analogy of a tree and a chair for the purpose of understanding and fulfilling God’s destiny in our lives. He said that many times we pray for God to give us the chair, but he’s already given us the tree. God wants us to be inventive. ”Do something with the tree,” he said! (SOAR! Building Your Vision from the Ground Up.)
One tree God handed me was when a friend encouraged me to ask God to speak to me in the night through dreams and visions. It was soon after when I woke from a long, detailed dream. I called it my Moving Borders Dream.
The dream ended with me soaring on a metal eagle. We were flying low, skimming a great body of water in a valley surrounded by mountains. When I was awakened from my sleep, I had no clue what it meant. How to interpret a God-dream was foreign to me.
The journey in my dream led me to a place I never fanaticized about. And yet, the Spirit of God instilled in me great expectations that a day would come when something that was foreign would be made known.
God promises in Ephesians 3:20 that he will do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (KJV)
At the time of this dream I didn’t have my vision set on leaving my career or my country. I never could have guessed a little over ten years after this dream that God would put me on a metal bird called Delta Airlines and that I would physically soar above and between land, sea, and mountaintops to Germany. Not in my wildest dreams could I have conceived this. This is how the unimaginable with God can look and how a dream in the night is often a tree.
The plans that God has for us, whether seen or unseen, don’t happen fortuitously as we may like to think. God puts his desires in our hearts. The exciting part is we can know with certainty what steps to take along life’s journey with God. Psalm 37:23 and Proverbs 16:9
When the Israelites stood on the shores of the Red Sea they didn’t know what to do. I don’t believe they envisioned any other way to cross the sea than by boat.
Moses trusted the Lord. He stretched his arms wide for God to move and the I AM stretched his hands and did the unimaginable. The waters opened and they walked through dry ground. God did something that no man had ever seen or experienced since the beginning of creation.
I imagine if the Israelites saw a cruise ship (the chair) that would have been their known and logical way to escape instead of expecting God to do something unheard of. In all honesty, I’m like the Israelites. I prefer the chair. I can see a chair and I know what to do with it.
Thankfully, my dream didn’t end with the eagle skimming the water. The metal bird climbed higher and higher and we soared above the mountaintops. It was through the Holy Spirit God placed in my spirit an expectation that more of something was to come.
Before this, I never thought to ask God for a change of heart to leave all and live in another country. What the dream taught me was to pray strategically that God would give me the strength to rise higher with him and go when he says go.
What I’m doing today is nothing that I had planned. I guess you could say my God-tree grew over several years and he helped me to create a few chairs. Not one book, but two, and this blog. Those are just a few highlights of what was unimaginable.
“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21
These verses in Ephesians are one passage in scripture to use as a guide how to live expectantly for the things of God:
14-15) Fall to your knees and pray for the Creator’s great plan. When we have an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father, he imparts a desire to do more for him. His unseen plans begin to unfold and he’ll do “immeasurably” more than we ever took into consideration.
When I began writing, I had moments I’d freak out and doubt and frustration would surface. I wish I could say I’ve conquered all of my insecurities, but I know it’s a process. A process that God lovingly and patiently leads me on. A process that begins and ends on my knees.
16) God’s “unlimited resources” are at your disposal. Through his Spirit “He will empower you with inner strength.” I don’t know what the future holds and what skills will be required for that which I have yet to envision. What I do know is when I listen to obey God’s call, over time the plans he has prepared begin to crystalize. And when they do, he provides the tools to see it through.
17) Dwell in God’s presence. “Dwell” means “to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside.” Learn to be a permanent resident in God’s presence. When Christ dwells in our hearts we learn to trust him. Dwelling is where your “roots will grow and his love will make you strong.”
18) God gives us “the power to understand,” especially the “depths of his love.”
We should seek to understand the power that comes from knowing God’s extravagant love. We must grasp that “God is Love” and we should have a consuming passion to live in his love. I John 4:8
God’s love sharpens our spiritual vision and without him we are nothing. I Corinthians 13:2
19) God’s love “surpasses knowledge.” Another word for “surpass” is outperforms. “We are made complete with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” When the mighty power of God is manifested through you and his plans begin to emerge, you can know with certainty God will outperform anything you can do on your own.
20) God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” I wake up each day with the same expectation – to see God in a new way. Add this to your daily prayers and wait on God until you see him anew.
21) Give “glory to God.” When God’s power is manifested through us, we bring him glory; now and forever! This sounds “churchy” to some, but it’s imperative we live to honor God. The entire universe, all of God’s creation, worships him. All! For starters, give God glory for your existence. Praise him!
Aim for the spiritual things of God that are undreamt-of (the chair).
Simple ways to anticipating God’s promises that he’ll do abundantly more than you thought or imagined:
Listen for the voice of God. Cultivate an intimate relationship with God. There’s no such thing as too much time with God, but there is such a thing as too little. We must make God a priority in our daily lives and have a desire to know him more. The more you seek to understand his ways, you’ll hear what to do and when to do it.
Read the Bible. I think we all need this reminder. Times with God in prayer and reading your Bible are the typical ways in which God reveals the secrets of his heart. Don’t discount God’s desire to speak to you. Think of a friend who comes to you and whispers something in secret for no one else to hear. God desires to do this with you.
Look for the trees in your life.
Themes and timelines of what God is revealing to you are often the seeds that turn into trees. Take time to reflect on past journal entries and look for topics that repeatedly surface. His promises are the trees that will eventually produce the chairs in your life.
Abide in God’s love: “Perfect love cast out fear.” I John 4:17-18 MSG.
Pause for a moment and think of those words. God’s perfect love removes fear and his love gives us the confidence, the gumption, to be stretched in order to do things that he will reveal from his Spirit to our spirit.
When you begin to discern the voice of God, his plans will begin to unfold. And when they do, remember, God has been training you long before you knew what to think or ask for. Trust God and give him permission to propel you into your divine destiny. A destiny that you’ve yet to see or understand.
Expect God to do the unimaginable through you.
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