It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. Hebrews 11:7a (NLT)
"And you talk yourself out of God's vision, God's dream, God's destiny for your life time after time after time. "
We're looking at four specific pitfalls you will face over the coming Decade of Destiny: cultural distractions, voices of doubt, tempting shortcuts and discouraging delays.
Today I want to talk about the voices of doubt. I call these the DreamBusters in life. The moment you establish some goals for your finances, your family, your career, your spiritual growth -- the moment you set any kind of goal -- there are going to be people who say. 'Who do you think you are'? 'It can't be done, forget about it'?
DreamBusters can be critics. They can be cynics. They can come from the culture around you. They can also be friends and family but the biggest DreamBuster can be you, the way you talk to yourself.
The antidote to the voices of doubt is to instead listen to the voice of God. I must listen to the voice of God, not the voices of doubt. When I start planning where I want to go in the next ten years in this Decade of Destiny, I must listen to what God wants me to do, not what all of the doubters, skeptics, cynics and DreamBusters say to me.
Just imagine all the DreamBusters that were in Noah's life. How would you like to be Noah's next-door-neighbor? 'That guy Noah, he thinks God speaks to him, but he's just messing up all of our property values by building that ark in his front yard.'
And imagine the pressure Noah experienced from his own family. 'Why can't you just get a normal job'?
But the most influential DreamBuster in your life is you. The words you say in life are the words you say to yourself. You talk to yourself all the time and it's not always good. If you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you wouldn't have any friends because you tell yourself things like 'I should', 'I must', 'I have to', 'I've got to', 'why didn't I', 'I'm no good', 'I can't do it', 'I won't' and 'it will never happen'.
And you talk yourself out of God's vision, God's dream, God's destiny for your life time after time after time.
The truth is you can't be trusted to tell yourself the truth. You can't trust what other people say either. The only voice you can trust all the time in any situation is the voice of God.
The Bible tells us that Noah listened to God. And what did he hear? He heard God's warning that the world was going to be destroyed. He heard what he had not yet seen. That's what faith is, being certain of something we don't see.
Now, the truth is, this is exactly the same situation in your life. You can't see your future. You don't know what's going to happen in the next ten years. You can only trust God with your future because you can't see it.
I don't see what God's going to do in my life over the next ten years, but I'm certain he is at work. I'm trusting, I'm hopeful and I have faith in what God will do.
Tomorrow we'll talk about how to hear God, but for today, pray -
"Jesus, I want to listen to you, not the voices of doubt. I know that in the days ahead there will be people who will try to discourage me, but I want to listen to what you say just like Noah did. I want to do exactly what you tell me to do and I want to refuse to give up just because I feel like giving up. I want to hold onto the dream that you give me."