Sunday, July 26, 2009

We were made for so much more than average. I did a word search for average in the KJV and the NIV, and the word simply isn't there. I did a word search for outstanding and found 5 uses where it described people. Even the word extraordinary was there once, describing the type of miracles God did through Paul. (Acts 19:11)

Do you long for outstanding and extraordinary in your life? If not, you should! We should always let our hearts soar as high as our dreams and hopes allow. God longs for you to experience Him to His fullest, and He, my friend, is not down in the pit of average.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." ~ Isaiah 55:8-11 (NIV)

What dream do you have for your life? If someone had asked me this a few years ago I would have said, "Oh, I don't know. Just to grow old with my husband and be the best I can for him, my grandchildren and God."

Over the course of about two years, God has shown me that my life matters. I'm not just an average every-day woman. I am His beloved! He has hopes and dreams for me that I cannot fathom.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

Since learning that He has plans for me, I have grown closer to Him in prayer, trying to discern where my plans end and His begin or how they meet in the middle. I've seen doors open and close, people come into my life and leave, and my prayers change from, "Lord, help me..." to "Lord, grow me...."

One of the biggest dreams I have had is to read the Bible through. He gave me strength for that journey and I didn't bog down in Judges like I usually do. I actually developed such a hunger and thirst for His Word that I read it through nearly 3 times in a row. I still desire to read more every day and am tracking my progress here on my blog.

Another of my dreams has been that God would grow me into the kind of prayer warrior He wants me to be. I have a verse for the year that even speaks of His impressing this upon my heart.

He has sustained me in long periods of prayer and even taught me that the shortest prayers are as effective as the long ones.

Most of all, after hearing Brandon Heath's song, "Give Me Your Eyes", I made that my prayer and asked God to help me see people as He sees them, to love them with His love, and to fill me with compassion and prayer for His children. I have loved more and prayed more than I ever thought possible! I have moved from being "Just Laurie Ann" to a woman with a purpose. Lest you think that I think the sun comes up just to hear me crow, I have a verse to back me up on this.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~ Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV, Emphasis mine)

The Hebrew word for fearfully is yare'. It means:

1) to fear, revere, be afraid
a) (Qal)
1) to fear, be afraid
2) to stand in awe of, be awed
3) to fear, reverence, honour, respect
b) (Niphal)
1) to be fearful, be dreadful, be feared
2) to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe
3) to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe
c) (Piel) to make afraid, terrify
2) (TWOT) to shoot, pour

God has truly inspired awe in me for His creation. I grew up to fear, honor and respect the Lord and the works of His hand. I am just now learning the self-respect thing - my self-esteem has gone from near nil to much better, but I still have a long way to go.

The Hebrew word for wonderfully, another way God made us, is so exciting. Palah means:

1) to be distinct, marked out, be separated, be distinguished
a) (Niphal)
1) to be distinct, be separated, be distinguished
2) to be wonderful
b) (Hiphil) to make separate, set apart

God created us with a purpose and calls us wonderful. We are distinguished and separate individuals. Our dreams and gifts are not all the same.

He has not called me out to the mission fields of a third-world country or led me to adopt a family of 10. He knows my body is not equipped for that, though it could be if He chose to do so. He has not called me to lofty heights, where people see my acts of service to Him. I admire people He has called to do that and am so glad they are, because people do need God's love expressed to them that way. It's just not what He has called me to do.

What He has placed within me is a desire to teach and minister through my blog here and minister to and encourage the people I come into contact with on a daily basis. I love where He has placed me in blogging. He has put me in touch with some of the most magnificent women of faith, connecting our kindred hearts and leading me to friendships that have encouraged me and caused me to grow in Him. I am able to share my blog with friends in real life as well, and pray they are encouraged by what they read. I am prompted to try to walk my talk more carefully because of my blog. I can tell you that!

My dreams have soared high and continue to soar higher in Christ. To quote an old hymn, "Every day with Jesus, is sweeter than the day before, every day with Jesus, I love Him even more..." The more I love Him, the more I want to serve Him.

To be able to dream and dream big is for me to place my heart in His hands and say, "Lord, unsettle me. Shake me loose from the average and send me soaring on eagle's wings. Where ever You lead, I'll go." (Lysa TerKeurst inspired me to pray, "Lord, unsettle me.) I got my nerve up and prayed that prayer. Wow! He did.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I have one fruit of the Spirit that I'm working on, and after I have given up what I need to give up, my dreams include publishing a book of devotions and pictures. Oh, I dare to dream, and dream big!

What's your dream? Let it soar. Beloved, we were made for more than just average. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Do you believe that? Do you believe God has a plan for your life? A purpose? And that those plans are meant to prosper you and not harm you?

Dream big. Trust in Him. Let your heart soar higher than you ever thought it could.

Look familiar? This post originally ran 3/10/09.


Denise said...

So awesome.

LAURIE said...

love that ... "refuse to be average" - something we can all strife for. -blessings.

He & Me + 3 said...

I have dreams, but never seem to bring them to life. This is such an inspiring post. I know you will be able to give up what you need so you can write your book. God is good.

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann...Loved this THEN & LOVE this now! Needed this reminder and I want to soar! Thanks for the lift and this repeat lesson.
You are inspirational & I can't wait for your BIG DREAM to come true!


Must be God! He is SUPERNATURAL!

Love the Colossians verse (as a goal~Amen) & Brandon's song that we may have the compassion & passion of Christ!

LisaShaw said...

Thank you for the encouragement and sharing dear sister.

Melanie said...

Oooh.. I love this post! The verses from Isaiah and Jeremiah are two of my favorites and for the exact same reasons you noted here. Thank you for sharing again theses precious words.