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BIBLE STUDY with JJ DANIEL @ - home of Strombolis eZine













JJ Daniel, Washington


Ruth was a woman with a broken, crushed and dead dream; she had no vision, no direction and no hope. You all know the story of Ruth, her husband died, and she had no children; in that day and culture women were not the independent ‘power-women’ that we have today; they were totally dependent on their husband, and didn’t work outside the home (Proverbs 31 tells us what a good woman looked like in Bible days; a real “wonder woman”!). If their husband died, the sons took responsibility for her. Not only did Ruth have no husband and no children, but her father-in-law also died, and her brother-in-law. There were three women alone, with no way to survive. Ruth’s sister-in-law, in the same situation that Ruth was in chose to go back to her parent’s home for a safe covering (note: we hear nothing more about her). Ruth was in a foreign land with her mother-in-law, and made the choice to stay there with her and serve her God. So all of a sudden, Ruth was responsible for herself and her mother-in-law – with absolutely no resources.  Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi changed her name to Mara that means “sorrow” – she also had no hope or dream; she gave up and wanted to die – Ruth did not. 


Proverbs 29:18 says: “Without vision, my people perish”.


The word “perish” means “to throw off restraints”. If you don’t have a picture of where you are going, you won’t recognize it when you get there – amen?  Just like running in a race… if there is no direction, no finish line – you will flounder around like a fish-out-of-water. It is vital to this race called life – to have a dream.


(We’ll get back to Ruth’s story in a bit).


Sometimes we are born with a dream (perhaps always), but often our dream is changed and rearranged by the circumstances of life. When children are three or four, they will usually tell you, with confidence what they will be when they “grow up.”  A fireman, a policeman, a soloist or pastor or… “Just like my dad.”  That first dream can be the purest form of God’s dream for that child. Then life happens!


Parents are instructed to “Train up a child in the way they should go…” this Scripture literally means “train the child according to their bent.”  Look for the giftedness that God planted in them – the giftedness paints a picture of God’s plan for their future. Some parents get this and do a good job of it; sadly, others don’t take that kind of time to know their children. Parents will influence their children’s dreams and help form them, right and wrong.


A lot of us paint our own dream, and it often comes from a perspective built on how we see our self, or what we’re comfortable with; our insecurities and our own wants play a part in the picture that we paint. A simple example: If we love warm weather, the sea and sand - we might decide that God surly wants us to serve in Hawaii. J 


By the time we graduate from hi-school and are ready to step into the next season of life, our dreams can be quite clouded and even confusing and frustrating. Sometimes we carry a dream that resembles God’s dream for us, sometimes it’s quite different. Some will have years of healing to overcome misguided dreams, before they can clearly see God’s plan for them.


If you read my story in the praise album on this site - you know that my life was ruled by fear for many years (THANK YOU JESUS, I AM FREE now!! FREE INDEED!!!!), so the foundation of my dream was fear, intimidation and insecurities. Needless to say, I had a foggy-dream, tainted dream, a false-dream. The enemy used these tools to put me in a box; I was in my thirties before I was free to pray out-loud or to even speak to more than one person at a time. I could only see the future through my own comfort zone, and insecurities. I was raised in the church and had a personal relationship with Jesus from childhood; I loved Him with my whole heart and life and wanted nothing more out of life than to do what pleased Him. With all the sincerity one person can have, I told the Him many times – “I’ll do anything you want me to do Lord, go any place You want me to go and say anything You want me to say… as long as no one can see me, or hear me.”  So, the dream that I painted for myself, as a pastor’s child - was to “marry a pastor and have six sons; be the best Proverbs 31 wife & mother on the planet; my husband’s prayer-warrior and a great mother who raised her sons to follow Jesus. And… I would do all of that from the back pew of the church, never talking to anyone outside my own family, and never being seen.”    You can see what a narrow picture I painted for God to work in, and He will NEVER rearrange His purpose (His dream), according to the dictates of our own perspective. He designs us each to fulfill His plan, and His plan remains unchanged, in spite of our opinions and ideas. (I never saw any part of that dream).


Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is His purpose that prevails.”


Some people have a dream ignite on the inside of them, when they first come to know Jesus in a personal way, and at that moment the dream is pure. It might not be complete, He seldom gives details of our future – but never-the-less, what He does show us is a glimpse of what He has in mind. Then… again, life happens! People come along and tell us that we “can’t” or that “won’t work” or that we could “never do that” – and the dream clouds up. Then we take a look at where we are most comfortable and think we have a handle on what God wants us to do (there is some truth to that; but keep in mind that He is constantly growing us and changing us and molding us. If we are growing in Jesus, as we should be - in five years, we’ll not be the same person that we are today).


I won’t take the time or space to share details here, but I clearly remember the day that I shared a “dream” with someone in my life – a dream that was clearly from the Lord. A vision for local Christian television. What I heard was – “That cannot be done here!” By this time in my life I’d learned that when GOD says “do this” – it really doesn’t matter what man’s opinion is. The second “you can’t” that I ran into was from the TV-station’s manager: “You can’t do music here, we’re not set up for it. It can’t be done!”  Being confident that this dream/vision was totally from God (soooo much bigger than anything we could do on our own!!!) we moved forward with that dream in spite of the “you cants” - and that television ministry is now 12-years old. Our music program ran five years and was the most popular program in the 25-year history of the station. When it is GOD’S PLAN all He needs is a willing and obedient vessel; HE makes it happen!  (No one involved with this ministry takes credit for what HE has done; none of us knew what we were doing, and there was no one there to teach us. We knew how to pray, and we trusted God alone!)


Sometimes well-meaning people try to encourage us by telling us we’ll do this or that - or that we’ll follow in our parent’s footsteps, etc. And our dream takes on a few of those colors and begins to take on its own nature; sometimes God’s dream, sometimes partly right, sometimes a false dream.


When you are an insecure person, or someone who sees them self in a narrow box, you might BORROW a dream from someone else. You might see someone in ministry, a preacher, a worship leader, a Sunday school teacher, and so on…  And decide that you want to do that!  Well, that’s not all bad, if they are a godly person; The apostle Paul said that we should follow him, as he follows Jesus Christ – so it’s okay to have role-models, actually we are ALL suppose to live our life as an example of Jesus. However… if we pick up a dream and try to wear that and it’s not God’s dream for us – we will find our self in the middle of frustration! We will take two steps toward that dream and five steps back; we’ll try to bulldoze doors down and hit a brick wall. When we have hold on God’s dream for us – it just comes together, IN HIS TIME - like the domino effect.


Habakkuk 2:2-3 AMP says “And the Lord answered me and aid, write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may (be able to) read (it easily and quickly) as he hastens by. For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end (fulfillment); it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait (earnestly) for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.”


The Living Bible says: “…and it won’t be a single day late!”



The dream has an appointed time – and it WILL be on time!”  Whatever your dream is today, I pray that it is clearly God’s dream for you. It is HIS DREAM, HIS PURPOSE for you that is the very best life you can have – and if you are running toward that vision, you WILL arrive, and right on time!


We all make wrong turns in life, bad choices – and sometimes circumstances come that are not of our making, still they affect our life. Divorce for example – is devastating to all involved, and can absolutely crush a dream; the death of a loved one brings the same effect. We can be left feeling that “it’s all over”“now I’ll never do what God had planned for me.”  WRONG!!!  The circumstances of your life will never take God by surprise. He didn’t design you with a purpose that demanded perfection; if He did that, no one would ever complete what He designed them to do.


Isa 46 says that He forms us in the womb, He brings us forth – and He carries us along every day, even when our hair is white from age! (and I’m sure that He even knew about ‘Miss Clairol” to hehehe!!) . That same passage of Scripture goes on to say… “I know the end from the beginning” and “I’m God, and I do what I want!”  No matter where life has taken you - His purpose for your life is still intact!


Please don’t allow the enemy to push you around with thoughts of “too late”, “too old”“no plan!!” – “too many mistakes!!” It’s not truth! As long as you are on this planet - God has a plan, a dream for you!!



Okay, back to Ruth (quickly, and winding up): Ruth’s life was in shambles. No hope, no future, no dream. BUT GOD!!!  I LOVE the Book of Ruth; her story illustrates just how the Father takes care of His children… even when we can’t see His plan. He is working it out He plan for each of His children, and unfolding it in front of us. Ruth was simply trying to meet the need, and take care of Naomi (Do what your hands find to do today, and you’ll run right into purpose!!). Ruth made the choice to stay, take care of Naomi, and serve God, without a plan! She just happened to go into this one field to pick up the wheat left behind by the harvesters. The land-owner just happened to notice her one day… and just out of nowhere did something he’d probably never done before: He told the harvesters to leave extra wheat in the field for her “on purpose” (that will preach all on its own!!) God was looking after Ruth and Naomi, and He used this land-owner, Boaz to do that. As the story unfolds we find that Boaz was a distant relative, and eventually marries Ruth and takes care of her and Naomi.  GOD HAD A PLAN!  His plan didn’t end because of the death of the husbands, the laws of the land or the culture of the people. His plan was intact all the time and it was good!  Note that Ruth got to “purpose” without having a vision or dream, she simply did what her hands found to do, and lived for God – each day.


You may not have a clear vision or dream for your life – but GOD DOES! And, it is HIS JOB to bring it about, and He said that HE WILL. Your job is to “seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”  (Matt 6:33). Trust Him – seek to Know HIM – He’ll do the rest!


I know people who are sitting on the side lines - waiting for a dream to unfold. It might be God’s dream for them, and it might not be – but either way… They are doing nothing at all!  Just waiting… seems like a deception of the enemy to me!


What are you doing for the “kingdom’s sake” today? The Bible says “Do what your hands find to do, and do it whole-heartedly, as unto the Lord’.


If you are YOUNG and waiting to get “older” to do what the Father has for you… WHY?! His plan for you started with your first breath! He has a plan for you TODAY!


If you are SINGLE and waiting to be married before you “do” anything that counts in the Kingdom… WHY?!  What will be your explanation when you stand before the Father?  “Well God, if you had given me a husband (or wife), I would have obeyed you!??? Do you expect Him to accept that? If you are single – He called you as a single person! Do what your hands find to do today! If He has a partner for you, you’ll run right into them, while you are busy doing what your hands find to do today!


If you are OLDER and think that it’s “too late” or you are “too old” … you are simply wrong! Seasons change and they might not look like they did 20-years ago – nevertheless, He has a plan for you today! How could you serve Him today?


If you are WIDOWED or DIVORCED… Let Ruth’s story speak to you, and get back in the race! It’s not over until Jesus comes to take you home!


If you feel that you have NO DREAM – sometimes that the best place to be; God’s dream won’t have to compete with a false dream!  ASK HIM to reveal His purpose to you… HE WILL!! And GET BUSY with TODAY!


Jer 29:11 “I know the thoughts that I have toward you, says the Lord; they are good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope!”



If the family-of-God would simply get busy doing what He has already given (written to us) to do, we would each run right into the purpose He designed us for. He already, clearly told us what He expects of us:

¨      Love God more than anyone else; and love your neighbor as yourself.

¨      Praise Him, Worship Him

¨      Study His Word

¨      Spend time getting to know Him

¨      Love others

¨      Do good to others, especially those in the household of faith

¨       meet the needs you see

¨      pray without ceasing

¨      give thanks in all things

¨      encourage others

¨      prefer others

¨      don’t fellowship with darkness

¨      live a holy, separated life

¨      heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils



If we just take TODAY and do ALL that He asked us to do – we won’t find time to worry about tomorrow, or next year!


God promises you GRACE for TODAY; MERCY for TODAY; DIRECTION for TODAY. And He tells us not to worry about tomorrow – HE’S GOT IT!!


DREAM PEOPLE!! Dream God’s dream – and watch HIM unfold it in front of you, as you simply do what your hands find to do today, whole heartedly unto Him.


Shalom! SHINE ON!!