The pastors and heads of department have just returned from an intensive 3-day planning summit for the purpose of “charting the future course” for Cornerstone. The meetings consisted of prayer, worship, reports and planning. The summit provided an integration of God’s dream and plan for Cornerstone to be woven in and through the leadership. How does such a process take place? Let me explain.
Dutch Sheets made the following statement in his last visit to Cornerstone: “God first dreams before He creates.” The Bible says much about dreaming, and it’s enlightening to discover that the concepts of dreaming and creating are found in the following Hebrew word: “yatsar” which means “to create”. “Yetser” is a slightly different form of the word, which has the meaning of “imagination, conception, and thought”. So the power to create begins with the ability to dream.
Jeremiah 1:5 says – “Before I formed (Yatsar) thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” The thought of God knowing each of us even before we were formed in the womb, is more than simply intriguing to me. It tugs at my heart. Isaiah 46:10 states that “He declares the end from the beginning.” In other words, God sees or imagines the end result (Yetser), then begins creating (Yatsar). He dreams and then He creates. Likewise, when God fashioned man in His image, He placed within him a portion of His ability to imagine and create. This then awakens the creativity and innovation qualities within man to also dream and create. Man becomes an extension of God’s creativity. Can we appreciate the privilege of being woven into God’s creative handiwork? This denotes a mature and intimate relationship between God and man.
The following verse helps to put this truth into greater perspective: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) – “For I know the plans (Mahasaba) I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Plans in this verse comes from a word meaning “to weave, plait, or mix”. It can even refer to craftsmen inventing musical instruments, artistic objects (tapestry), weapons, and other objects. The concept is simple: combining two or more substances to create something new. When used in reference to the mind, it refers to your thoughts mixing together to form plans. This obviously would include dreams. Placing this definition back into the verse, God’s saying to us: When you dream, I want to be in the mix. If you’d allow Me, I’ll infuse my thoughts into the process and shape your plans according to the purpose and destiny I’ve created for you. This will guarantee success. What a great promise!
During one of his lectures, Dr. George Washington Carver described the conversation he had with God that got him started studying the peanut. It began when he asked an intriguing question; “Please, Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?” God as the Great Creator taught him how to take the peanut apart and put it back together again.” The fruits of this question revolutionised the southern agricultural economy as 300 uses for the peanut came to market. These uses include many food products, cosmetics, insecticides, plastics and glue, to name just a few. The creative genius of God was beautifully expressed through Dr. George Washington Carver.
Remember, it’s God that has given to man a dreaming nature; it’s a responsibility that needs to be properly stewarded in alignment to God’s purpose and destiny for one’s life. G. W. Carver humbled himself before God before asking for insight into the peanut. The question he asked pleased God and it opened the door for both God and him to interact together in the context of dreaming and creating.
The 12 disciples entered into a new realm of relationship with the Lord as He drew nearer the Cross. It was a promotion from servanthood to friendship (John 15:13-15). It was an invitation for them to dream together. God wants to dream with friends. Our dreams are not independent from God, but instead exist because of God. He lays out the agenda – “On earth as it is in Heaven” – and then releases us to run with it and make it happen! This is dependent upon a relationship based on love, trust and intimacy. Friendship with Him is the dream.
The dreams of God are costly. The Father’s dream of man’s redemption cost Him his only begotten Son (John 3:16). The Father’s dream of a bride for His Son also comes at a price. The invitation that was given to the disciples is now being extended to the last day Church. Are we willing to pay the price in partnering with Him?
The planning retreat has helped me to appreciate the dream team that God is weaving together. It’s such a joy to be co-labouring with a group of like-minded comrades, friends and family. We were born to create, dream, and advance. Cornerstone is a place where dreams are made. Each of us can be a part of God’s dream and God’s dream team.