Martin Luther King, Jr. is famous for his “I have a dream” speech. The idea of what could be in regard to racial harmony remains compelling to many. Dreams that have deeper and significant meaning can do that. They may not come true to the extent they were seen, at least not for a while, but they are influential in keeping lofty ideals in our hearts and in our work. I discovered that again in a dream had by a friend of my son, Andrew.
I had mentioned this dream in my sermon yesterday. I don’t know the details because I got this second hand (and my memory is not so great mostly due to sleep deprivation at UMARMY camp last week). The dream was about this young man going to heaven and experiencing worship there in the presence of Jesus Christ. Everyone in the room had something they were tossing at the feet of Jesus to honor and glorify him for all he gave to us as the Son of God. Some had beautiful crowns and handfuls of jewels. It is reminiscent of Revelation 4:9-11:
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
In the dream, this young man realized that the amount of jewels and crowns one had to offer in worship was in direct correlation to the way each person lived for the glory of God. In other words, those who sought to intentionally act for God’s glory – those who lived desiring most to see God’s will be done, those who lived hoping that the face of Jesus would be seen and their own selfish desires would be subordinated to the will of God – those people had stored up greater treasure in heaven. And, because they lived more faithfully in connection with God and serving God’s purpose, they had more to offer to Jesus, the Lamb of God sitting on the throne of heaven.
The young man looked at his own hands and saw he had only a few jewels. As he looked at them he couldn’t wait to lay them at Jesus feet and to give him honor. And yet, at the same time, he wished he had more to give. He wasn’t upset or sad or jealous – he was in heaven before Jesus after all. But he did wish that he could give more like he saw others doing. Their joy was so much greater.
That young man woke up from that dream inspired to live differently. He isn’t fearing the fires of hell and thereby working to please God. Instead, he is anticipating the worship experience he will have when he gets to heaven and he wants it to be the greatest it could possibly be.
My son was talking to me about this dream because he too is being compelled by the Holy Spirit to live more intentionally for the glory of God rather than for his own selfish gain. And he in turn inspired me to consider my own focus in life – how am I seeking to bring glory to God? Am I?
As Andrew and I talked about this idea I was reminded by the Spirit of the words Jesus spoke – “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand…” (Matthew 3:2) and “The Kingdom of God is within you…” (Luke 17:21). The Spirit helped me to see that the experience of worshiping Jesus Christ in the Kingdom to come can also be known in this lifetime in a greater way. When we live seeking to all we do for the glory of God alone, we have more to offer in our acts of spiritual worship. Our experience of the presence of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit is more intense, more joyful, more fulfilling.
I am inspired to discover that greater life. I am inspired to know a great sense of God’s presence and power. I am inspired by the dream to live more and more for the glory of God. I hope you are as well.
Holy high five to you,