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The Way s of the World verses God s View of You

I have been really challenged by God over the last few weeks and months about a few things. Two of these I would like to share with you today. The first doesn t relate to my overall topic that much at all, but I feel it is something that God is challenging us with at the moment. Is your relationship with God your occupation or is it what you are? So are you in control of the relationship or is God in control. It is so easy for us to get caught up in the whole divine kind of glowing idea of oh I m a Christian, woohoo look at me , that your relationship with God can very easily become a routine. And basically, it shouldn t be. Your relationship with God, your Christian walk, should be who you are not what you are. The second thing God has really challenged me with these past few months, is finding that place where I am happy and content with who I am, and where I am at this point in time. This is where it ties in. I had a dream at the beginning of first term. It was from this dream that God kind of challenged me. This is my dream. DREAM: It was a mud brick maze with darkness forever above it, and I was running in this maze and I came to a point where it came to a dead end. It was this four walled room with a single door, completely empty except for the walls, ground and me. I turned around to get out and then there was no exit, it had become this completely enclosed room. As I turned back around from turning around I noticed to the right there was another tiny room built into the wall. I went inside this room and it was the size of an elevator inside and it had a mud brick roof as well. There was a wooden slatted bench running around the wall and a single oil lamp hanging on the wall. Suddenly there were a few people in there with me. The people I remember clearly with me were my mum and my sister (and some other random people). And then the information kind of just was in my head and I understood. This room was the room where you went if you were saved, had excepted Jesus Christ and you were allowed to go to heaven. The room outside was the place where people had not yet accepted Christ or they didn t want to know or they were on the edge inbetween. As I looked back out of the mud brick door frame, to the original room I had entered, there were desks running lengthways across the room. On the desks there were computers, phones, iPods, and all the technology we have today. The room was also full of people. Each seat was filled with someone doing something with one or more of the electronic devices. I started to go out of the small room and someone grabbed me and said something like if you go out there you might miss the journey to heaven . In my dream the best way to explain it is it was like a bus I guess and if you missed the bus you d be left behind. But anyway, I left the room because all

the people out there were my friends and there was also some of my family there too. But apart from all my friends there were all these shadows, which were people I hadn t met. I started frantically running around to them all telling them things like Heaven is so wonderful, you ll feel loved and safe and accepted there Jesus loves you He is so amazing It is eternity etcetera; and that kind of thing. What really got me was when I went up to my really close friends that were there and the people I loved and I tried to convince them of what they were missing out on, but they just turned away and kept listening to their iPod s and kept playing on their computer s or whatever. And as my dream finished I just remember running around frantically to all these people trying to convince them, pleading with them, and doing whatever I could to make them come. When I woke up I felt very empty, weak and sad.

After I woke, I never forgot that dream. I think I saw myself in those people to an extent, so caught up in our material selves. And this was where my message from God kind of begins. Our world is so technologically consumed and influenced; by constant influence from the media, constant face booking, and texting. This isn t necessarily a bad thing it is the way the larger percent of today s population communicate. The image that the media forces upon us and the image and behavior that the media portrays is very negative and destructive. The constant streams of false and idealistic images are constantly in our faces telling us of a new product to improve or alter how we look . Our world is constantly telling how to improve ourselves, as if they are telling us that who we are our beautiful, unique individual selves aren t good enough. I just want to tell you now that they are wrong. God made you who you are for a very special and unique purpose. The world is encouraging us to make ourselves into to someone or something else. God doesn t want us to make ourselves into anything except the person he has planned for us to be. The magazines of our world today, the content and information in them are not God driven in the least. I m not saying don t read magazines just don t take what is in them on in your life, because it isn t how God sees you. God see s you he says it is good and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made . Those two things are so small and simple but so powerful. Good from the creator of heaven is powerful and encouraging. The word good is defined as: capable of pleasing, effective and most suitable or right for a particular purpose. If we are good in the eyes of God, then we re capable of pleasing, we are effective and we are most suitable & right for a particular purpose. We are all unique and we need to realize our value and how special we are, because to God we have strengths and weakness , not success and

failures. We have areas where we can aim to improve and achieve higher, but in no way do any of us fail in any area. Imagine that your mobile phone was your bible . Imagine that that was the only source of input into your life; so there was no media, no internet, no television, just the beautiful word of God. You know how people constantly check their phones for new messages? Some people do that because they need to feel loved and accepted, and when they receive a message this is the feeling they get. But that tends to be shallow and short lived, and that person suddenly waits for the next message. Imagine if instead of looking for a new text message or new facebook message or whatever, you looked in the bible and read what God had to say. God doesn t pull down, he picks up. He is a never ending source of encouragement, love, wisdom and truth. He loves us; you, every single one of you, so so so so much. It says in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God loves us as we are. Every little scratch, blemish (I don t mean skin blemish, I mean like something in your life or your past) and thing that we call an imperfection, God overlooks because he looks at the heart. In Samuel 16:7 it says The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." You know the whole cool concept (aka the cool kid)? This stereotype to me is very weak and shallow. One thing I don t understand is what makes someone cool ? What traits make that person cool ? If it is based on knowledge, appearance or abilities, this world would be standing at a very different point of view to God s view of cool . I went to a youth conference in the holidays, it was run by the youth group I m part of here at Nexus. The conference was called OneThing and it was amazing! The pastors that spoke there bought some very challenging and interesting messages. But one sentence from Pastor Adam Ramsey out of the whole conference stood out to me, and got me thinking. He said this, cool is being who God wants you to be, not who the world wants you to be . This really put our material world into perspective for me because we chase after all these things that will achieve us prestige in our earthly kingdoms but in the kingdom of heaven they have no worth or value, let alone the approval of the Heavenly Father! If we aim to attain earthly, material pleasures so we can be seen as cool based upon our possessions and appearance we can t even imagine how disappointed our father is. While we sit here basking in our self proclaimed glory, we miss out on the glory and inheritance of the kingdom. For me that would be the most devastating thing to experience. I think through this short

yet complex sentence is that God is encouraging us to shed the things that this earth will try to clothe and burden us with, and instead aim straight and true for the plan that he has individually placed upon each one of our lives. True, the road to your destiny will not always be easy smooth sailing, but every hardship will be preparing you for your final destination. If we try to please everyone, we end up pleasing no one. We can never please the world. Every time we do something, someone, somewhere won t like it. Every time we change to please someone, somebody is disappointed in the change. If you try to suffice man s desires, wants and needs, we will be disappointed. But if you try to fulfil God s desires and follow the path he has set individually for you to the BEST OF YOUR ABILITY, then you will be rewarded. As it says in Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is his good, pleasing and perfect will. If you follow God s plan for you, you will be fulfilled in Christ. Everyone s life is mapped out in a beautiful, elaborate story line, completely unique to your life and purpose. Just to finish of I want to leave two things with you: the Bible is an endless source of encouragement, wisdom and love. I know this is a bit soppy but I think of it as a beautiful letter of love, encouragement, teaching, advice and friendship from our King and Heavenly Father to his sons and daughters. It is also an endless source of beauty of the spiritual kind, and relationship advice. So don t turn to our world for advice on decisions that will make an impact on your life, turn to your heavenly father who loves you. Jesus loves every one of you for who you are. He loves you so much and he always will. Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."