of The Message
Good morning, everyone. I want
to talk about dreams. Of all places in the world to talk
about dreams, this isn't it. Because Dr. Schuller is not
the patriarch, I think, in the world about living your dream.
I was telling Bob that. I said, if your father's the patriarch,
Bob, what are you? He said, well one thing's for sure; I'm
not the matriarch. I am Bob.
But I want to talk to you about your dream today. That part of your heart
that if you let your heart think about it you become emotional
about it. It's that dream that you wish if I had all the
money in all the world and I could do whatever I wanted
to do, that's what I would love to do. That's called your
dream. And before the end of this service a number
of you are going to break through towards your dream in
a way you never thought possible.
Because in a sense, the great Dreamer himself,
God in heaven, has also a dream, it's called His
plan, from eternity past to eternity future. And He has
a part of this plan right here, from point A to point B,
that He wants accomplished in the earth, in time and space.
And He puts that in this hand and then with this hand He
begins to shape and craft a human being with gifts, with
strengths, with passions, with desires, with weaknesses,
and He puts that dream inside of this person. And it's those
people that follow that dream that not only please heaven
but they love their lives.
And as I travel around the world and speak and meet all kinds of people,
I ask groups everywhere, "what percentage of people
in this country do you think follow their dream? They live
their dream?" What do you think they say? They say
between 5 and 10%. Would you agree with that this morning?
That means 90% of everybody seated in this room maybe not
90% here, but in most places, people take their dream and
they kind of bury it and they lose sight of it. And something
happens when a person does that, a part of your life leaves
when you don't let your dream come out. And if you don't
watch out you can bury it so deeply that you don't even
believe it exists anymore, or it's too late for you to have
a dream. It's never too late. And maybe you're saying, I
don't really believe in a dream.
Well I was having a conversation like that with a man who's a producer
in Hollywood. We were having lunch and I was trying to convince
him that everybody has a dream. And he said, "Listen,
Bruce, you may have a dream and I may have a dream but don't
tell me every single person in this restaurant, they all
don't have dreams. You don't really believe that, do you?"
Well, in a minute the waitress came up and I began to think,
I wonder how I can show my producer that everybody has a
So I said to this lady, I said, "Before we take the order can I just
ask you a question? Are you doing what you always dreamt
you would be doing? You may be doing that and then that's
terrific but maybe not. Did you dream you'd be doing this?"
And she said, "Well, no. I didn't dream I'd be doing
this. I wanted to be a nurse. I'd have been a really good
nurse." I said, "How long have you wanted to be
a nurse?" "Well, I wanted to be a nurse since
I was a little girl. My mother's a nurse, my sister's a
nurse, my aunt's a nurse. I used to play, not doctors, I
used to play nurses. I wanted to be a nurse."
I said, "If you could, would you be a nurse right this minute?"
She said, "I would love to be a nurse." I said,
"Well then why aren't you a nurse?" She said,
"Well, I was studying to be a nurse and then I fell
in love." I said, "Well, that shouldn't stop you
from being a nurse."
And she said, "Well, then we had two children and before long we couldn't
afford it anymore and I dropped out of school and the years
went by and now I'm working 2 jobs." I said, "Do
you still long to be a nurse?" "Yes." "What's
stopping you right this minute from being a nurse?"
She said, "I'd have to go back to school." "Why
don't you go back to school?" "I don't have the
money for a babysitter for two children." I said, "If
you had the money for a babysitter would you go back to
school and would you be a nurse?" "I would love
to be a nurse."
I said, "Let me ask you kind of an unusual question, do you believe
God wants you to be a nurse?" She looked away for a
moment, she said, "You know, I think that He does."
I said, "Well, if God wants you to be a nurse and you
want to be a nurse then there's a way for you to be a nurse
right now. So who is there in your life at this moment who
would baby-sit your children for nothing, because that person
is there right this minute?" She almost burst into
tears and she said, "It's my mother!"
I said, "I thought your mother's a nurse." "No, she retired
two weeks ago. She loves our kids. She'd probably pay me."
I said, "Well that can cover the tuition. Maybe you
should do that." I looked across the table at my Hollywood
producer friend, his eyes are this big, his mouth's hanging
open and he's shaking his head. He said, "If you'd
told me this happened I would have never believed that was
possible, but now I saw it with my own eyes."
I turned back to the waitress. At that moment, behind her back, a booth
over here, somebody else slid in. She turns around, it happens
to be, turns out to be a good girlfriend. She stops talking
to us, drops her pad, slides in the booth, starts crying
and says, "I'm going to be a nurse!" Right in
front of my eyes.
Three nights ago I was on a cigar club in New York City. A bunch of businessmen
from Wall Street invited me to come speak to them and we
had a tremendous time, if I could see them. And we were
around this table with high power guys and I began talking
to them about their dream. And the man right next to me
had a dream to have his own television program and he was
the MC and he was fabulous. And I kept on talking to him
and said, "How long have you wanted to have your own
TV show?" He said, "15 years." I said, "15
years? When are you going to do it?" "I don't
know, when God lets me."
I said, "Sir, don't you be blaming God for not doing your dream. Do
you believe God wants you to do this? That's the key question."
"Yeah, I do." "Then there's a way to do it."
I said to him, "Will you be on TV by January?"
He said, "How on earth can I possibly do that?"
I said, "Sir, that's the secret of a dream. You never
know how you're going to do it before you commit to doing
When God gives a dream in your heart it's always too big for
you to do. In fact, it overwhelms you, isn't that true? And when I go around and
begin to talk to people, if you can put your finger on their
dream, they'll become emotional. And I've had so many people,
male or female, begin to just tear up and so many of them
say, "I've never told anybody my dream."
You see it's so precious to you and so precious to me. Do
you know why it's so precious? It's the center of who you
are. You see the dream of God determined everything about
you. You didn't determine you were good at this and bad
at this. You didn't determine how smart you were. You didn't
determine what you look like. You didn't determine what
family you were born into or what time in history you were
born. That was all predetermined to you and I promise you
one thing, you didn't determine the dream that was in your
You see the dream of God is the reason the way you are. You don't start
with the way you are wondering; I wonder if I could get
a purpose out of this. The purpose precedes who you are.
And I want to talk to you about that, because I talked to
that man. He didn't want to commit and I said, "You
know you will live the rest of your life not fulfilling
your dream because you will not commit to do that which
you believe you're supposed to do until you know how and
that's not the way dreams happen." Dreams happen when
you accept the fact that is my calling, I don't have to
know how, God will give me the way if I just proceed and
accept the dream.
We kept on talking and I said, "What's always stopped you?" He
said, "money." I said, "Money? Money doesn't
stop a dream." He says, "Well it stopped mine."
I said, "No sir, it didn't. You stopped it." "Well,
I can't afford a pilot." I said, "A pilot? Is
that the issue?" "Yes." "Will you commit
to be on TV in January?" He looked at me, "So!"
Finally got emotional and said, "You mean right here?"
I said, "Yes, sir, with your friends." "I
I said, "Now watch this. So who at the table's going to take care
of his pilot?" Within one minute a man said, "I
am taping some television, another guy on television, at
the end of this month, at the end of this month and I will
do your pilot for you, no cost to you." Another miracle
because somebody said, "I'll follow the dream."
Is the dream too big? Yes. Is it too hard? Yes, of course.
Do you know how? Of course not.
Jeremiah, chapter 1, verse number 5, and it says this. God is speaking
and I want you to listen to these words cause it's proving
what I've just been saying. "Then the word of the Lord
came to me, Jeremiah, saying this, 'before, before I, God,
formed you in the womb - watch this - before I formed -
not by accident - I formed you in the womb, before
I formed you in the womb I, God, knew you.'"
What? You knew me before I was? Yes, of course. I don't
live in time and space, I'm God, and I knew you before you
were here. I know the end from the beginning. And I knew
you before I made you because that's the basis on which
I made you. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you and before you were
born I set you apart. It's like walking down from
this beautiful stage and walking around and picking that
lady right there in the red blouse, that's what it means.
I set you apart. I picked you. I picked you. Before you were, I knew you, and before you were I picked you.
You mean there's a purpose in the Dream Giver's heart? Oh my goodness!
Is there ever a purpose and whenever a man or woman or a
young person agrees with God's right to put the purpose
in your heart and to give you that longing to do that. What
makes you long to do that? Is it you? You're not there saying,
I should long to do the dream. You long to do the dream
and you have to kill the longing cause it won't leave you
alone. Is this true or false? This is true.
Why am I so intense this morning? Cause I want you to break through at
the end of this meeting. I do. This happens all over the
world when a person lets their heart open and stops guarding
it and saying, "You know what? This is right, this
is true. I'm no different than anyone. And there's a sadness
that I'm so tired of in my heart cause I know I should have
done it." Cause when you don't do it, my friends, you're
not fulfilling who you are. You never go to bed at night
when you're doing the dream God's put in your heart, saying,
"I don't know if today was worth anything, or I don't
feel very successful." When you're doing the dream,
watch this, the dream determines what you're good at. Everybody
loves doing their dream. You don't have a dream you don't
like no matter how young you are. When I'm in these poor
villages in Africa, Bob, I will stop and ask these young
kids, who I love, what do you want to be when you grow up?
And do you know, you know this, there's not one of them
I've met anywhere who didn't have an immediate answer. Why?
Who put that in there? They didn't sit down and say, 'let
me consider the options of my dream.' Who put the dream?
God put the dream and every single dream that God puts in
a man or woman's or a young person's heart they love the
idea of the dream. "Before
I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born
I set you apart. And I, in this case for the life
of Jeremiah, I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations."
God did You appoint Jeremiah, of all the people in time
and space, to do this one thing? Yes I did. Yes I did. Yeah,
but You didn't really do that with everybody, do You? Well
then just read Jeremiah. I did it for him. Read it for Paul.
I did it for him. Read it for David and you can find it
in Psalm 139. I do it for everybody.
I don't know about how you feel about that but that sets
my heart free cause instead of thinking God, if I surrender
to God He'll make me do something I hate. If I surrender
to God I'll be doing what I love to do.
But you know what happens, and I'm on the first half of the first chapter
of "The Dream Giver" right now, this is the first
stage. If you don't come to grips with your dream you don't
need to know the rest of the book cause it tells you how
to go from here to the dream. But the second you accept
the dream, here's what's going to happen, here's stage 2:
the dream is always outside of where you're comfortable.
It's never.. let's just say for a moment that this is where
I'm comfortable. I'm getting more comfortable here. This
is nice. This is let's say this is my comfort zone. You
have one and I have one. It's what we've been doing. But
the dream is never here, is it? It's never what you're comfortable
with. The dream is always over there. The dream is always
way over here. And it scares the daylights out of you, isn't
that truth? That's what happened to Jeremiah. As soon as
he heard the fact that God formed him, that God knew him,
that God set him apart, and that God appointed him to do
that, he had an immediate reaction that's universal, it's
chapter 2. It is "then I,
Jeremiah, said to God, 'Oh, Lord God, behold, I can't do
this. I can't speak, for I'm a child." Do you
know what everybody's first reaction is, ladies and gentlemen?
It's the same one. I have it. You have it. It's called the
wall of fear that exists at the edge of your comfort zone.
And I used to pray when I was younger, "God, please bless me, please
expand my territory. Let me do more for You." And God
would bring me to the edge of my comfort zone, I'd feel
anxious and upset and frustrated and I would feel afraid
and I'd say, "If that was of God I wouldn't feel afraid."
And because I felt afraid I would run back to the middle
of my comfort zone. I'd get in the fetal position and I'd
get the little clicker. And then I'd pray again, "God,
would You please expand my territory," and He'd bring
me out and I'd feel fear again, I'd say, "That can't
be the right one cause if it was the right one I wouldn't
have any fear," and I'd run back into the middle. And
I did this time after time until there wasn't a two lane
highway there was an 18 lane LA highway between the center
of my comfort zone and the edge of it. No one told me that
is how everyone feels. No one told me.
And I thought I was the only one. You see when God told Moses the dream,
what'd he feel? Afraid, so what'd God say? Don't be afraid.
I used to think if I was only positive this was the dream
I wouldn't feel afraid so God tells Joshua, "This is
the dream." What does Joshua say? I'm scared to death.
Then I realize it's the normal response to the dream in
your heart to feel afraid. You must take the fear, watch
this carefully, I'm out of time. Take the fear, don't focus
on the fear, focus on the dream.
Only when you focus on the dream, watch this carefully,
and the dream becomes more important to you than the fear.
Until I stopped being afraid of being afraid, until I stopped
being afraid of being afraid and said, "My comfort
isn't the most important thing to me. Being comfortable
isn't the most important thing in life." That's selfishness
at times, isn't it? This is what I've been made to do, therefore
what do you do? You don't wait for the fear to leave because,
friends, that man at the table, that fear didn't go away.
And before the night was over two other men in the same
table had a same breakthrough. Why? It's the will of God
that we follow the dream. That's why I wrote the book. More
of us need to be doing this. Cause if you don't follow your
dream, do you realize how many people will be affected cause
you didn't follow your dream?
You see a dream is helping somebody else's need.
It's God's dream and God's dream
is never selfish. It starts out selfish but eventually
it doesn't. A dream is helping other people. And therefore
you go toward this and you can't imagine the more you pursue
the dream the more God is going to use you in ways you never
But now enough talking, enough preaching. Something very unusual is going
to happen right now. Sunday morning, some of you are going
to make a decision right here. I wish I was sitting at a
table in a smoke filled room with you to ask you eye-to-eye,
"Okay, don't you put it off a moment more. You know
what you're supposed to do. Will you, this morning, right
while I'm talking, will you come to the Dream Giver of heaven
and will you say to Him, "I do surrender to the dream.
I'm taking my fear in one hand and I'm taking courage and
I'm going to do the dream." If you're one of that people
that you would say, "Starting today I'm going to follow
the dream," I want to pray for you because you're the
people that are going to change the world. That's how I
got to South Africa, following the dream.
So if you're that person and you want me to pray for you and you could
care less about what anybody else thinks, would you please
stand up and would you come and stand down here and let
me pray for you, right this minute?
And a little bit of quiet organ music, if we could, just quietly in the
background as people come forward. Hundreds are coming forward
this morning. What a touching moment this is to me and to
you and to heaven above as men and women respond to the
call of God to follow the dream that He has placed in their
hearts. To not say no to fear anymore, to not say "I
can't" anymore, to not say "I won't" anymore,
but to say, "Lord God, please let me do the dream.
Please let me do the dream." Hundreds are coming from
every direction. What a turning point this is going to be.
And I want to speak to one or two of you who are still frozen
in fear. I want to say I know the fear, but you are the
one I'm talking to right this minute. Don't you dare say,
"I'm too old." Do you remember Caleb was 80 years
old when he said to God, "Let me have the men, the
giants and the top of the mountain. Let me go for the dream.
I'm still 80 but I'm still got life. Let me go for it again."
You're never too old and you're never too young. Now many
are still coming from the balcony. Here comes a gentleman
right now. Here comes a Caleb. Cane in one hand but a heart
burning in the other hand. Let's give him a hand. I love
when I see that. There comes some more. Now it's time to
beseech heaven. Would you bow in prayer with me?
Our Father in heaven, this church, this staff, this team has stood for
following the dream for decades. And I have been the recipient
many, many times from the messages from this pulpit from
father and son. I thank You that they have encouraged me
all these years to follow the dream. And now I stand by
their side proclaiming the truth of God's word once again.
And that we come before You with all these men and women,
these young people, and we proclaim this is a holy moment
in heaven, this is a holy moment on earth. And we will not
succumb to fear again, we will not say "I can't"
or "I won't" again because we believe when You
call us there is a way cause You make the way. Therefore
accept our apologies from the past, we set it aside, we
turn toward the future and by Your grace and for Your glory
we'll be known as a man or woman in heaven who followed
the dream that God put in our hearts. In Jesus' name. Amen