Summary

When you were a kid, did you have a dream of what you wanted to be when you grew up? Maybe you imagined yourself as an action hero, a professional athlete, or a world-renowned explorer. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a professional basketball player. I would play basketball on a mini hoop in the basement, imagining myself in the NBA, making the game-winning shot. I would dribble, count down the clock from 10 seconds, and shoot right at the buzzer. If I missed, I would start over, counting down again: 10, 9, 8, 7...

As kids, we were dreamers. Our imaginations ran wild. We were free to dream without worrying about what others would think, unburdened by past hurts or messages that kept us from believing we could achieve anything. But as we grow older and more life happens, our tendency to dream unfortunately diminishes.

There are two significant barriers that often prevent us from dreaming about the ways God wants to use us for His kingdom: past mistakes and self-limiting beliefs. These barriers keep us from pursuing God-sized dreams that we can only accomplish through His strength.

1. Past mistakes

Consciously or unconsciously, we give too much power to our past mistakes, allowing them to dictate our future. How many times have you thought, "There's no way I can be used in this situation because of what I've done in my past" or "If only you knew what I did in the past, you'd never believe God could use me powerfully"?

We often kill the dreams God places in our hearts because we believe we are damaged goods. Psalm 103:12 tells us, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” This truth is astonishing! Yet, we often believe our sins are forgiven but fail to believe we are fully redeemed. We think our sins are forgiven so we can go to heaven when we die, but we don't truly believe they are gone, allowing us to be used by God with a clean slate.

Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Christ's sacrifice wasn't just for our entry into heaven but also for our freedom on earth. When we make mistakes, we can move forward confidently, knowing we are fully redeemed and still in a position to be used by God.

Christ endured suffering and death not for us to live burdened by our past sins but to give us life to the fullest. Living small because of past mistakes is not living life to the full. In fact, our past mistakes can become our greatest opportunities to be used by God.

Often, you are best positioned to help the person you once were. Your struggles and the process of overcoming them can qualify you to help others facing similar challenges. What you think disqualifies you could actually qualify you.

2. Limiting Beliefs

The second major barrier to dreaming big for God's kingdom is self-limiting beliefs. These beliefs are often subtle and have been playing in our heads for so long that we hardly notice them. They can stem from things people have said to us, about us, or from our perceived flaws.

Messages like "You are worthless," "You'll never amount to anything," or "You're not talented enough" can quench our ability to dream. Even self-imposed limitations, like "I'm an introvert," or "I'm a new Christian," can prevent us from fully stepping into what God has for us.

These are lies from the enemy designed to keep us from dreaming big for God's kingdom. If he can get us to believe these messages, we'll never fully embrace everything God has for us.

Ed Mylett uses a great analogy: self-view and thoughts are like a thermostat. If set at 65 degrees, it will always adjust to maintain that temperature. Similarly, if we see ourselves as only capable of 65-degree achievements, we'll never reach for 100-degree dreams.

You were made to live at 100 degrees because you are made in the image of God. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” You have 100-degree value because God made you, and He doesn’t make mistakes.

Raising the Thermostat

Your view of God can also limit your dreams. If you think God can only operate at a 65-degree level, you’ll never pray for or dream of 100-degree things. John 14:12-14 reminds us that believers will do greater things than Jesus did because of His work in us.

Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Imagine the biggest way God can use you. Then realize that God can do immeasurably more than that. When you reach your ceiling, that's where God's floor begins.

dream again

Take 30 minutes this week to dream. Get away by yourself, take off the lid you’ve put on yourself and God, and just dream. Ask God what He wants to do in your life. Ask Him to reveal the lies you’ve been believing and to increase your faith.

It’s time to dream again! Believe that God wants to use you in extraordinary ways. Get your passion and vision back. Raise the thermostat in your life and your faith.

If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you attempt to do? Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from believing everything that’s right about God. He is for you and made you for a purpose. Go after it with everything you have!

The world needs men who are dreamers again, men who are alive and pursuing their passion and dreams with everything they’ve got. I believe in you, and more importantly, God believes in you. He is inviting you into a life lived to the fullest, free from past mistakes and limiting beliefs.

You have unlimited potential because you serve an unlimited God. Let’s dream together and live lives we are proud of by living intentionally. If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them. Let's encourage each other to dream and pursue God's purpose with all our hearts.

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Transcript

When you were a kid, did you have a dream of what you wanted to be when you grew up? Or did you have a crazy imagination where you thought you were an action hero or a professional sports player?

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a professional basketball player. I would play basketball on a mini hoop in the basement and imagine myself being in the NBA and making the game-winning shot. I would dribble and count down the clock from 10 seconds and shoot right at the end. And if I missed I would start over, 10, 9, 8, 7

As kids, we were dreamers. Our imaginations ran wild. We were free to dream without the worry of what others would think and we didn’t have any past hurts or messages running in our heads that kept us from thinking we could do things.

But as we get older and more life happens, I think our tendency to dream unfortunately gets smaller and smaller.

There are two things I want to address today that I think keep men from dreaming about the ways that God wants to them for his kingdom. These are the things that keep you from taking on God-sized dreams that you can only accomplish by his strength. 

And those two things are

  1. Past mistakes
  2. Beliefs that you have built up about yourself

Consciously or unconsciously, we give way too much power to the mistakes that we have made in the past and we let those things dictate our future. How many times in your life have you had the thought of “there is no way I can be used in this situation because of what I have done in my past?” or “man if you only knew what I did in the past, if you only knew I am in secret, there’s no way you would think God could use me in a powerful way.” 

And you kill the dream that God wants to put in your hearts before it even begins because you are believing that you are damaged goods.

Psalm 103:12 says. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

What an absolutely amazing truth! But I think what happens oftentimes is, we believe that our sins have been forgiven, but we do not believe that we have been fully REDEEMED. We believe that our sins have been forgiven so that we can go to heaven when we die, but we don’t believe that they are truly completely gone and we are able to now be used by God with a totally clean slate.

Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

Christ didn’t just die on the cross so that you could enter heaven, which he did, but he also died so that you could experience freedom on earth. And that when you make mistakes, you can move forward in confidence knowing that you are fully redeemed and are still in a position to be used by God.

Do you think Christ was beaten, nailed to a cross, made fun of, spit on, and died so that you could keep living with the burden of your sins from the past!? No way!

He did this to give you life and to give you life to the full. A life that is spent playing small because of things you have done in the past is not living life to the full. 

And here is one of the most amazing things about the grace of God, I think your past mistakes are actually some of your greatest opportunities to be used by God.

Oftentimes, you are best positioned to help the person that you once were. And you are best positioned to help people who are trying to overcome a struggle that you are in the process of overcoming. 

What you think disqualifies you from being used by God, could actually be the exact thing that qualifies you to help someone else. 

If you were once a drug addict, maybe that doesn’t disqualify you at all, maybe that qualifies you as someone who can best help drug addicts

If you used to be someone who lied all the time, maybe that doesn’t disqualify you but qualifies you to help those who struggle with the same thing.

If you hurt someone in the past, maybe you are now most qualified to help someone else avoid that same mistake or reconcile with the person they hurt.

If you used to cheat, or steal, or you were addicted to alcohol, or had sex before marriage, or have failed a relationship, maybe those are the exact people that God is calling you to love on.

When I went through my divorce, I thought it was over for me as a leader. I thought there was no way anyone was going to respect me or listen to me after I had a failed marriage. But God is so good and His plans are so much greater than I could ever imagine.

He took my brokenness and my weakness and he gave me a vision…a vision to reach men and to help them avoid some of the mistakes that I made. He gave me a passion to see men not coast through life but to live intentional lives…lives that they are proud of. When I thought I was done, God was just getting started! When I was my weakest and thought my past was too much to overcome, he redeemed me and gave me a vision to start Intentional Man.

What you think disqualifies you, could actually be the exact thing that qualifies you. Your sins are not just forgiven so that you can go to heaven, they are forgiven and you are redeemed! 

They are gone as far as the east is from the west so that you can step into the purpose that God has for your life. You are free from the shame and guilt of your past mistakes and God wants you to dream again! And he wants you to dream big! He wants you to dream God-sized dreams about how you can uniquely impact the world for his glory.

And when you mess up again, which you will, he says “my mercies are new every morning.” Your sins are forgiven and you are redeemed. Run after your purpose!

Philippians 3:13-14 is a life verse for me. The clock hands on my tattoo point to the time 3:14 because I never want to forget this. It says, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

It’s time to leave the past in the past and to RUN after everything that God has for you!

The second thing that I think so often holds you back, and probably even more common than the last, is beliefs that you have built up about yourself over time.

These are usually way more subtle because they are a message you have been playing in your heas for a long time and usually without even realizing it.

Oftentimes, these beliefs come from things that people have said to you or about you, and you start to internalize them. Or maybe they stem from some sort of physical or character flaw that you believe that you have.

For example, if someone told you early on in your life that you are worthless, or that you would never amount to anything, that could be a message that you are still carrying today that is quenching your ability to dream.

Or if someone said that you were ugly, maybe you are still carrying that message. Or someone said you were bad at speaking, or you weren’t talented, or you’re not as good as someone else, those could be messages that you are still carrying today.

Or, maybe no one said anything, but there are things about yourself that you do not like, and you have chosen to beat yourself up for them. Maybe you had one moment where you were bold and you didn’t feel like God showed up as you expected, and so now you have felt that God doesn’t want to use you or he hasn’t chosen you. 

It could be something as simple as “I’m an introvert, and God seems to only use extroverted people who can speak or sing. Or I am a brand new Christian so I don’t know enough yet for God to use me.”

These are 100% lies from the enemy that he is going to try to bombard you with so that you stay in a place where you are not dreaming big for the kingdom of God.

He knows that if he can continue to get you to believe these kinds of messages, you will not fully step into everything that God has for you. 

There is an analogy that Ed Mylett often uses that I think is so good. He said that how you view yourself and the thoughts you have about yourself are like a thermostat.

If you set the thermostat to 65 degrees, it is always going to force the temperature to be at 65 degrees. Even if things were to really heat up quickly and the temperature spiked, eventually the thermostat would kick in the cool air to a point where it brings the temperature back down to 65.

If you have all these messages and beliefs about yourself that tell you that you are only a 65 degree person, God might do some things to heat it up and bring you up to 100 degrees, but eventually those negative thoughts and limiting beliefs are going to kick in and you are going to bring things back down to 65 degrees. 

He may be calling you into a God-sized dream of 100 degrees, but you will only allow yourself to dream up to 65 degrees because you don’t think God can use us beyond that temperature.

You were made to be at 100 degrees because you are made in the image of God and when you give your life to him, he calls you a son of God. And so you have God’s DNA inside of you. As an extension of that, I don’t think you were created to live a life set at 65 degrees. You were called to live a life at 100 degrees.

Those thoughts and messages playing in your head that tell you that you are not talented, special, or attractive are absolute lies the enemy is using to keep you from stepping into the amazing life that God has for you where he is using you mightily for his kingdom.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

You are God’s handiwork. He made you. You have 100 degree value because God made you…and He doesn’t make mistakes. 

It’s time to leave those messages and lies in the past and believe the truth that you are made in God’s image and that you were created in advance to do good works!

The thermostat analogy also applies to our view of God. 

If you think that God can only do things up to a 65-degree level, then you are never going to actually pray and dream for the 100-degree things. This has been one of the most convicting but amazing things for me in the last few years as I’ve been trying to apply this message. I have for sure placed a limit on what I believe God can do. I have set my faith thermostat to 65 degrees and not believed that he can do more. 

And John 14:12-14 has been playing in my head over and over. It says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

I look at this, and I think, there’s no way. There’s no way that God can use me to do greater things than what Jesus did when he was on earth. But that’s me putting God’s thermostat to 65 degrees. That’s me not believing what the Bible says. 

This is seriously one of the most amazing truth’s about God! And I have been living a life of so little faith that I’ve been missing it. What would happen if you actually started to believe this? What would happen if you raised your view of God to 75 degrees? To 85 degrees? To 100 degrees? I believe he would start to absolutely blow your mind with his power and his goodness. 

Ephesians 3:20 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Let’s take a closer look at what this verse is saying. It says immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine. So think about the absolute largest way that God can use you. Think about the craziest thing your mind can come up with. Then when you get to that spot where we can’t imagine anymore, that’s God’s floor! It says he can do immeasurably more than that! When you get to your ceiling, that’s where God’s floor begins.

This is a life-changing truth. If you begin to believe this, I believe you would see your family changed, you would see your friendships changed, you would see your business changed, you would see God work in ways you truly could never imagine.

So here is my challenge to you today. Take 30 minutes this week to just dream. Get away by yourself, take off the lid that you have put on yourself and that you have put on God, and just dream. Ask him what He wants to do in your life.

Ask him what lies you have been believing. Ask him what limiting beliefs you have put on yourself. Ask him to increase your faith. 

It’s time to get back to dreaming! It’s time to get back to believing that God wants to use you in crazy ways. It’s time to get your passion back and your vision back. To start chasing down those dreams with everything you’ve got. It’s time to raise the thermostat in your life and time to raise the thermostat of your faith. 

If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you attempt to do? Don’t let what is wrong with you keep you from believing everything that is right about God. He is for you. He made you for a purpose. Go after it with everything that you have! 

This world needs men who are dreamers again! This world needs men who are alive and pursuing their passion and their dreams with everything they’ve got. 

I believe in you! And more importantly God believes in you and he is inviting you into a life that is lived to the full. A life free from the pain of past mistakes and a life that is free from limiting beliefs. 

You have unlimited potential because you serve an unlimited God.

Let’s go after Him with everything that we have! 

I hope today was encouraging and inspiring. If you know of someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them. 

Let’s dream together! Go live a life you are proud of by living intentionally.

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