The dream comes when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. And as you walk with him, you grow in the understanding of that, and sometimes he will redirect you.
Living The Dream
When Jesus comes into your life, you are fully redeemed! You are set free and He gives you a great purpose and calling. In this series, Pastor Lawson explains how we receive vision from God and how we grow in it and live it out. The picture inside of you will determine the picture on the outside! Keep walking with Jesus and the dream He placed inside of you will surely come to pass!
Living The Dream Transcript
Friends, I’m so glad that you tuned in. I’m glad you’re with us. We’re talking about living the dream. And we’re gonna be talking about how you can find, follow, and fulfill God’s plan for your life. You see, I believe the dream comes when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. But as you walk with him, you grow in the understanding of that, and sometimes he will redirect you. So stay tuned, and you will be blessed. Friends, I’m so glad that you’re with us today. We’re talking about living the dream. And I wanna share from the apostle Paul’s life. You know, Paul made this statement towards the end of his life, when he was appearing before King Agrippa. In Acts 26:19, he said, “Oh, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” You know, Paul really, when he was Saul of Tarsus, had a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus, and it completely changed his life. It completely redirected him. I mean, his life was turned right side up, you might say. But he says, “I was not disobedient.” You know, even if you have a dream, a vision, something that comes from God, you need to listen to God, and it takes a lifetime kind of to follow that dream. It doesn’t just happen all at once. But now, Paul had this major vision. Jesus showed him some things. Paul got saved as a result of it, shortly after that, got baptized in the Holy Spirit. But it took him his life really to live out that dream or that vision. And I really think it takes a lifetime to live out the dream, the plan, the purpose that God has for your life. It just doesn’t come all at once.
It doesn’t run out either.
No, it never stops. I actually believe, if you’re born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit, the dream of the vision of God is full grown on the inside of you. But it takes a lifetime still to fulfill that and walk that out. There are things, when I got baptized in the Holy Spirit and was 14 years old, that God showed me about my life. And some of ’em I didn’t even begin to enter into till over 20 years later. And it’s just really amazing to me when I think about how they’ve come to pass. And so, we’re gonna read here. Aaron, you can read this in Acts chapter 26, beginning in verse 12 on down through verse 19.
It says here, “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ ‘Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.'”
So this is powerful. So God has a dream for your life. He has a plan, just like he had a plan for Paul. I believe God has a plan for every person’s life. Now, I don’t believe that we even begin to enter into that plan until we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. And there may be things that we know or understand, but really, the Bible says this. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And so, you know, to respect your relationship with God, and the very first thing that happens, and this is a little bit later in Paul’s life when this happens, but the very first thing that happens when Jesus appears to him, and says, “Saul, Saul, why persecute thou me? It’s hard for you to kick against the pricks.” Paul says, “Who are you Lord?” He immediately recognized that Jesus is Lord. And Jesus says, “I have appeared to you for this purpose.” Immediately, Jesus begins to point Paul in a new direction for his life. And I believe when you get born again, and it might be depending on, you know, kind of where you’ve been in life, but in Paul’s life, it was an immediate redirection. It was immediate repurposing. Now, there were things that he learned as a child. He was trained at the feet of Gamaliel, right, who was a great teacher of the law, so on and so forth, that Paul learned from those things. And I believe you can learn from things, but his whole life really was redirected, and where he went from a persecutor of those in the church to a preacher of the gospel. And his life just began to change. And he says, “I’ve appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister.” He immediately began to preach Jesus Christ. He immediately began to preach the faith that he once destroyed. And then as he walked with the Lord, they were being developed. There’s things that I’ve showed you now, but there’s things that I’m going to show you. And I believe that as we walk with the Lord, you know what, we get redirected at times. And I know there’s certain times, like my life had a major redirection when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit when I was 14 years old. And I knew at that point in time that I was called to preach. I began to understand who I was in Christ. And then when I was about 17 years old or 18 years old, my dad had died and my grandparents had made me a promise that they would give me the farm and ranch that I grew up working with my dad on. And I said, well, you know, but there was a condition. And the condition is you’ll have to run it. And I said, “I can’t do that because God’s called me to preach.” And I made a decision that I would never let money be, you know, the the major reason that I made a choice. And I’ve made that choice again. You know, I made that when I was 18. When we were 36, we left Kit Carson. We had a church paid off, a small business paid off, our house paid off, and yet we made a decision to come here and start again. And, you know, I made the decision, money will never be the major reason that I make a decision. And I’m focused financially. And I think part of that, I actually did a test one time at a church where I was preaching. The pastor’s wife was a clinical psychologist, they wanted me to do this test. And they said, “You’re very smart.” They said a lot of different things, but they said, “You have a lot of focus on finance, and it’s really because your dad died at a very young age and you had a tremendous amount of responsibility that was put on you.” And so, they told me different things that were actually pretty accurate. But it was kind of amazing. But Paul got direction, but he also got a redirection. And then I love this, where Jesus speaks to him in verse 18, and he says, “I’m sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance.” God only doesn’t have forgiveness of sins for you, but he has an inheritance. God, there’s promises that he wants us to have as believers. You know, a lot of people act like we’re forgiven. At the church I grew up in, you’re forgiven, but then you just hope to God maybe something good will happen. But they don’t really understand that there’s promises that go along with salvation. So thank God we have promises today that we can believe.
Yeah, I like in Acts 9, where the first account is given, where Jesus appeared to Saul. You know, Saul first said, “Who are you, Lord?” And that’s the number one question that everyone needs to answer, is who are you, Lord?
And the second thing he asked in Acts 9, it’s in verse six, he said, “What do you want me to do? Lord, what do you want me to do?”
And I think it’s an important question for every believer to ask is what do you want me to do, and keep asking that too.
And we see here in Acts 26, he said what he was called to do was to be a minister to the Gentiles and to deliver ’em, you know, to lead them out of darkness, from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of his dear Son.
But God gives us purpose. And, you know, it’s great to have a dream, but some people are scared to have a dream because if God gives you a dream, there’s a certain responsibility that comes with it.
You’re gonna have to do something.
And, you know, some people I think are scared to dream, scared to ask God what to do because they’re gonna have to do something.
Right. Man, I’m excited.
We get to do this. You know, we get to live with a purpose, like there’s no way to really be fulfilled, completely fulfilled in life without operating in the purpose of God. And, you know, here’s one key if you’re gonna operate in the purpose of God. It’s not only what you think. But other people can actually see the gifting, calling, anointing of God in your life. And so, you need to find the purpose of God, but other people need to recognize that also in your life. I see people that are major, major gifted in an area really good, but they don’t really recognize that this is my God-given assignment. And you need to know what your God-given assignment is. And a lot of people just never have really recognized that. So we wanna recognize that. So this dream begins at salvation, but also, it grows as we walk in it. You know, it’s not just a stationary thing. God will show you certain things, and then as you walk with him, first God showed me that I was called to preach. And that was when I was 14 years old, when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. And then later, he showed me, not only was I called to preach, but I was called to pastor. And, you know, I really didn’t get that revelation until just shortly before I went to Bible school. I was 22 years old or something, and I was at our church, and I was praying, I was working by the hour and making commission then. And so, I would take time in the winter when we had time on the farm to have extra time and go to church, and pray, and do different things, help around the church. And God showed me, as I was praying, I was praying about, my pastor said that I wasn’t a pastor. And as I was praying about it, you know, what would my traveling, teaching, missionary, evangelistic, because my pastor said I wasn’t a pastor, and I love my pastor, I still love my pastor. And God spoke to me and said it’s gonna be called Church of the Redeemed. I thought, wow, I’m gonna be pastoring. And then, you know, it was after I went to Bible school and graduated we moved to Kit Carson. And I was praying while we were in Bible school, when we were about to graduate. And I was asking God what to do. And God gave me a scripture from Philemon about the church that’s in your house, about a Bible study I’d held in Kit Carson. So I called the man of that house where we held the Bible study. Now, we’d held it in different places, but I called him, and he said, “Well, let me talk to the rest of the group,” and there were five families. And he talked to them, and they called me back a week later and said, “We all believe that’s God, you’re supposed to come.” And then when I went there, they said, “What should we call the church? We don’t have a name.” And I said, well, “What about Church of the Redeemed?” And they said, “Isn’t that in Isaiah 35?” And they said, “Yeah, it’s Isaiah 35.” I said, “It’s Isaiah 35:10.” “The redeemed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing.” They said, you know, last year and that last summer, I had held a Bible study for them. And I’d been farming, and that day, I went and took a power nap. When I woke up, the Lord just spoke to me and said, teach on Isaiah 35. I don’t know if I’d ever read Isaiah 35 till then. And I went and read it, and made some notes, and went back to work, and that evening, went to the Bible study and taught on it. And they were all just, they just loved the message. And I thought, this is odd. I don’t know anything about this. But they had had a prophet through there the week before, and he said Isaiah 35 was the vision for that house and for that place. You know, we need to know direction that comes from God. And so, that was a confirmation to them. Yes, we’re on the right track. And so, we started the church and called it Church of the Redeemed and had it paid for. Had a brand new building built and paid for in one year’s time, about 15 months from when we went there. And Lester Sumrall came and dedicated it. He was amazing. He said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been this far out the country.” Really, we’ve had an amazing life. God’s been so good to us. It’s amazing when you follow God’s plan and purpose for your life. You grew up there. Did you love Kit Carson?
Oh, yeah, definitely.
Well, praise the Lord. We’re gonna take a short break, and we’re gonna be back, and we’re gonna be talking about living the dream and how God directs us and sometimes redirects us into his plans and purposes. So stay tuned. We’ll be back right after this break. You don’t wanna miss it. Friend, I’m so glad that you’re with us today and watching “Living The Dream.” I have these teachings on the website and from when I taught it live in Church also. CharisChristianCenter.com. They’re downloadable in audio and video and they’re absolutely free of charge, plus many others also. Blessings.
God has rewards for us if you are willing to do a mild amount of suffering on his behalf, to love someone who no one else wants to love. It might be that that person comes to know Jesus. Maybe you don’t see these things happen here, but, you know, we’re doing it for him. Amen.
Praise the Lord, friends. I’m glad you stayed with us. We’re right here in Acts 26:16. And this is where Paul is recounting what happened to him when he got saved on the road to Damascus. And Jesus speaks to him in verse 16 and said, “I have appeared to you for this purpose.” Aaron, you talked about two questions. Number one, Paul asked this question, “Who are you, Lord?” Everybody needs to ask that question. And number two, what will you have me to do? And he says, “I’ve appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness of the things which you have seen, but also the things in which I will appear to you.” Now, if we go to Acts 16, in Acts chapter 16, we see one of these instances where Paul is really getting direction from the Lord. And I’m gonna have you, Aaron, read Acts chapter 16. And this is Paul, and Timothy, and Silas as they were traveling and preaching in verse six 6 through verse 10. So just read about that.
It says, “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
Amen. Now, when you look at this, there’s some things that really stood out to me. Number one, you can’t steer a parked car. You know, I mean, they were talking about, they were thinking about, they were praying about, they were focused on doing what God wanted them to do, going where God wanted ’em to go, being who God wanted them to be, saying what God wanted them to say. They were focused on that. You know, you can take a ship, if a ship is dead in the water, you can turn the, you know, rudder 360 degrees and that ship won’t turn a bit. But if you get that ship moving, just the slightest turn of that rudder will cause that whole ship to turn. Praise God. And you know what? You don’t wanna shipwreck your faith. You gotta stay in tune with Jesus and keep moving towards the goal and towards the destiny. So they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word. Man, that’s a strong word. One person said this years ago, and I really believe it’s true, he said, “You should assume the light’s green unless it’s red.” But, boy, right here, God said no. Man, I know when God says no, he means no. Years ago, when we were pastoring in Kit Carson, we’d been there just a few years, maybe two or three years, and a good friend of mine, who became a major financial mentor in my life, bought six sections of land about 14 miles north of Kit Carson. And he wanted to sell me one right in the middle. And, Aaron, I know finances, I know it would’ve worked financially. That man was a financial genius. I went out and drove around this section. I had a little half ton Ford pickup then. And the Holy Spirit said no. Man, when the Holy Spirit, when Jesus says no, he means no. I came back to the house, back to the church after I drove around it, and I was physically shaking. I wanted to do it so bad ’cause I knew it would work, but the Lord said no. And, you know, Aaron, if I bought that piece of property, I wouldn’t probably be here doing what I’m doing today. It’s very important that we obey God, even when our flesh doesn’t feel like it. And our flesh doesn’t only mean bad things, it can mean things that are you and are not God. And in that case, that would’ve been me doing that, but that wouldn’t have been God. And you don’t wanna disobey God. So they were forbidden, the Holy Ghost said no. Man, and if Jesus tells you no, if the Holy Spirit says no, it might not even be a bad thing. But if he says no, he means no. And you don’t know, if he says no and you go ahead and do it, you don’t know what that might cost you in the future, so it’s always better to obey. Isaiah 1:19 says, “If you’d be willing and obedient, you’ll eat the good of the land.” I believe obedience is really an act of faith. After they came to Mysia, so they were on the move, they talked about going to Bithynia, it says in verse seven, but the Spirit suffered them not. They received a check in the Spirit. Aaron, have you ever received a check in the Spirit?
Just something on the inside, he says no. Tell us what that’s like.
I’m trying to think of a specific instance, but, yeah, the Holy Spirit, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit leads us as sons and daughters. So, you know, the Holy Spirit will give you options sometimes, but sometimes it’ll just say, no, don’t do that, don’t go there, don’t.
So a check in the Spirit, it’s like you just, on the inside, there’s just a knowing. It’s not like Jesus shakes you, like he did with me, about that property, and said, no, don’t do this, or the Holy Spirit. But it’s just, on the inside, there’s just an inward voice, as many as are led by the spirit of God. And you just know there’s just a check. There’s not real peace on the inside about it. You know, I tell people many times, if you’re born again, if you’re married and your wife’s born again, if you both know Jesus, and if you’re both baptized in the Holy Spirit, and you wanna make a major decision, and you don’t have peace about it, don’t do it. I believe that that’s probably accurate over 98% of the time. Notice, you got two, it’s not just one, right? Husband and wife, and you’re stronger when you’re together, right? And then you get that, you know, you both get yes, you both get peace, right? And you’re not trying to convince each other, you’re not trying to manipulate each other, but you both get peace. Yes, this is the way to go. And you both just have this sense of knowing, you know, right, or, yes, this is the way to go. And I believe over 98% of the time, I told one of my friends one time, I said, “Listen, you’re trying to be the voice of God. I’m trying to teach people to hear the voice of God.” And there’s about five ways you hear the voice of God. You hear it through the scripture. You hear it through the Holy Spirit speaking to you on the inside, right? You hear it through Godly counsel, right? You hear it through the peace of God. “Let the peace of God act as a umpire in your heart to what you’re called,” Colossians 3:15. And you hear it through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But there are five different ways. It’s not just because some prophet spoke, I’ve seen people train wreck their life because they hear a word from some prophet and they haven’t really heard from God. And I’m telling you, some of these people are just kooky pants. Some of these people speaking things in the name of the Lord, it’s just a bunch of malarkey. They’ve been saying some of this stuff for over 50 years. I don’t believe it’s gonna happen till after Jesus comes again. And they’re just putting the church in fear, and it’s crazy. And I’m telling you, there’s so much malarkey out there. And I believe in prophetic words. I’ve seen real ones. We have this church that we’re in as a result of a word of knowledge that God gave a person in our church and a word of wisdom. And I heard God, and I know it was God. And mom, and you, and me were all in agreement. You know what, you could know the voice of God. But there’s times that some people give a word and it didn’t come from God, and you need to know the difference. So they talked about it, but the spirit, they just didn’t have peace on the inside. And they were passing by Mysia, and they came down to Troas, and a vision, now, this was like a word of wisdom in a vision form about the future, appeared to Paul in the night. And there stood a man of Macedonia and prayed to him, saying, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” And after he had seen the vision, immediately, they immediately begin, endeavored to go into Macedonia, gathering that the Lord had called them to preach the gospel there. Now, when they got to Macedonia, he only got one woman in her house save Lydia. And her house’s saved, but that house became a church. And then it grew and it changed the whole area. Sometimes you don’t think you’re doing a lot, but you never know how that one thing God told you to do affects eternity. You know, there’s this evangelist years ago that had traveled and had a tent. And he was used to having big meetings and having a lot of people saved. Then he went to the Carolinas, and he was having a meeting, and it was a big storm, like a big rainstorm, and it was terrible, and hardly anybody came to the meetings. And he was used to having like thousands, and he had like 40 people show up. And only one person got that saved that night. And he thought, man, this was a total failure. But the person that got saved was Billy Graham. And Billy Graham’s probably got more people saved than anybody on the planet. See, it’s Jesus. I mean, that’s just amazing. So sometimes you don’t know how something’s gonna work out. And Paul ends up at this place, you know, getting thrown in jail for preaching against this, you know, woman that was operating in witchcraft. And, you know, Paul and Silas are beaten in jail, but they went ahead and prayed and sang praises to God and, you know, God delivered them out of that situation. But, you know, a dream begins at salvation, but it grows as we walk in it, and there’s different ways that God will lead you. But I believe our dream is connected to the high call of God in Christ Jesus. Amen. When you know, this is, I’m not doing this because this is just what I decided to do, but this is the purpose, this is the plan of God. Aaron, you’ve said something, you dated a girl while you were in college, getting your doctorate. And she was a great girl. She loved God, she was a conservative Christian, came from a conservative Christian background, but she told you, “I can’t marry you because you’re gonna be a pastor.” And you said, “She knew I was gonna be a pastor before I did.” Isn’t that amazing?
Mm-hmm. But see, I believe that you’re operating in the high calling of God. Now, when I talked to you and gave you the opportunity, and also, before I talked to you, I talked to mentors, I talked to leaders in this church, I talked to my elders in different ones, and they gave me the go ahead. But you prayed about it for three months, and then you were at a major event on the East Coast, you know, you’re developing your flute-playing and things. And you were handpicked to be there with five of the top flute players in the world and play at the biggest venue. And you called me and you said, “Dad, I’m gonna come do that.” And it’s not about a paycheck, it’s not about a position, it’s about the call of God. And, you know, I believe, when you do things like that, and it’s not about a paycheck, it’s not about a position, but it’s about the call of God, I believe that leads to great blessing and great favor, you know, when God can get you and put you where he wants you. Maybe it’s not your highest desire, but as you work with it, I believe it becomes a greater desire. And we get to do this.
Praise the Lord.
Yeah, you have to be able to listen to the Holy Spirit and be directed by the Holy Spirit. If it’s about money, if it’s about position, a lot of people want position, they want notoriety. They might not say it, but it’s hard for the Holy Spirit to direct you if that’s-
If that’s the preeminent thing. You know, Dr. Lester Sumrall said, “You gotta watch out for the girls, right, the gold, and the glory, sex, money, and power. And we’ve seen some people, they’ve passed the girl test, but they didn’t pass the gold or the glory test, you know? And they’re really after money and power, and it doesn’t work out very well in the end for ’em. So, man, you need to put God first. You need to put Jesus first. Let Jesus be your absolute Lord and surrender to him, just like Paul did. Who are you, Lord, and what do you want me to do? And, man, I believe if you do that, you can live a very, very, very blessed life. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you need prayer, give us a call. And if you want a partner, we’d love to hear from you. Thanks so much, and blessings.
Faith isn’t just a momentary thought or burst of emotion. It is a lifelong commitment to trusting in God and his unfailing word. Now is the time to take a step of faith and trust in God’s plan for your life. We’d like to bless you with a digital copy of the teaching, “Living The Dream,” a $15 value, free of charge. Download it today CharisChristianCenter.com.
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