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Empire Strikes BIG

Today I had the opportunity to speak at a middle school. I wanted to share the message I had for them with you. I hope you'll remember that it's never too late to dream big.

There is a famous building in New York City. It was once the tallest building in the world. It was the tallest building in the world for 40 years!

It's called the Empire State Building. And I've been to the top of that building. It's so tall!

The very first thing they needed was a dream. Someone had to have an idea that turned into a dream. They had a goal. It was a BIG goal, but with lots of effort, they accomplished their goal, and their dream became a reality.

Today I want to remind you God has big plans for your life!

You're not a mistake.

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't accomplish your dreams. ‌

Set Big Goals

There's a Bible story about people setting a big goal.

In fact, it was the biggest goal in the history of humanity up to that time.

Genesis 11:4 NLT

4 Then they said, "Come, let's build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world."

This goal was massive and really impressive. Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the location of this massive building and estimate that it was 300 feet square and 300 feet tall. It was the world's first skyscraper. It was built with bricks.

Did you know there is only one building in US that is made from brick that is 300 feet tall? It's hard to build something that tall from bricks!

When these people had the idea to build, they didn't have the technology to do the task. It had just never been done before. But, that didn't stop them; they dreamed of a tower that could touch the sky.

They even wanted to become Famous because of it. If there was a Babylonian you-tube, this was a chance to go viral, and they were going to take it!

What I admire about these people is that they set a big goal.

If you are going to accomplish big things in your life, you're going to need to set goals.

Whatever your goals are, they will never happen if you don't first BELIEVE they can happen. That's what I admire about the people in the Bible who said, let's build a tower that reaches into the sky. They had a dream.

Here's the truth: It's not enough to have a dream for your dreams to come true; you will have to work hard.

Dreams take hard work.

Those people in the Bible who wanted to build the world's tallest building had to work hard to get it built. Let's see how they did it:

Genesis 11:3 NLT

3 They began saying to each other, "Let's make bricks and harden them with fire." (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.)

This verse might not seem like much to you, but to me, it says a whole bunch because it shows a willingness to work hard or to make something from nothing.

When these people had the idea to build a tower to the sky, they had no bricks. So they couldn't just call the brick company and have them delivered. No, they had to make every brick by hand, harden them in a fire, make the mortar, and then start building!

Some estimate to build the tower, the Bible describes they would have had to have over 15 million bricks.

I don't even want to COUNT to 15 million, let alone make 15 million bricks.

It's one thing to have a good idea; it's another thing to walk it out in your life. Big goals usually take big work if you are going to accomplish those goals.

These people had to show up day after day and do the same thing over and over to accomplish their goal of building the tallest building in the world.

Have you ever heard of a company named Amazon? Did you know that Amazon started as a dream? It was the idea of a man who didn't have any money. So he started selling books out of his garage. No one thought he was going to be successful, but now he's one of the richest people in the world because he worked hard.

The Bible tells us that we shouldn't think we are too small. God can use our lives for great things.

Remember David and Goliath? David took down a mighty giant with only small stones.

What about Moses? He didn't even speak very well, and God used him to save millions of people.

What about Samson? He was the strongest man in the world, but one time he was surrounded by a massive army. He sure was small compared to the army trying to defeat him. But with God's help, he defeated over 1000 men!

God can use you! You can do great things. Here's the thing: you have to work hard and trust God. In other words, you need to have faith!

These people building the tower set a goal, they put in the work, and guess what…They BUILT that tower!

Amazing. Incredible. Unimaginable.

But really, that's not the whole story. See, you can have a goal, and you can work really hard to accomplish that goal, but if it doesn't line up with what God wants for you have made a massive mistake.

You need to get your Dreams from God.

The people who were building that tower had a big dream, but that dream was not what God wanted them to have.

God told them to go out into the world and not stay in one place. But they didn't listen. They stayed close together and decided they would build this massive building.

God put a stop to their dream because it wasn't what he wanted for them.

Genesis 11:8 CEV

8 So the people had to stop building the city, because the Lord confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. That's how the city of Babel got its name.

There's an important lesson for us in the story; if we are going to set goals, if we are going to show up and put in the work, then we had better make sure that God is on our side!

Mark 8:36 CEV

36 What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself?

We can go through the list of the most SUCCESSFUL people who have ever lived and find something all of them have in common. They all have or had a limited time on earth. That's right; if you don't know, everyone will die.

We are all guaranteed to experience death one day.

Does that mean we don't set goals or we don't work hard to accomplish those goals? No way!

What it means is that we must ensure we are working first and foremost for what matters.

I want to share my very favorite verse with you today:

Psalm 27:8 NKJV

8 When You said, "Seek My face," My heart said to You, "Your face, Lord, I will seek."

God wants a relationship with you. He invites us to seek Him, to know Him personally. The question is, does our HEART desire that relationship with Him? Or are we just setting goals and knocking them down one by one because if we work hard enough and long enough, we can get them done?

Life is so much more than working for OURSELVES. If our vision is clear, we can see that everything we do right now counts for eternity.

With the right perspective, our goals change. Instead of wanting to build the highest tower, maybe we want to build the best relationships that will last for eternity.

What goals does God have for you? I mean, yes, set those earthly goals; God wants you to live life, but what are the things He wants most for you?


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