Encourager or Fire-Fighter

Are you an encourager or a fire fighter?

Years ago, after watching the old Disney Classic, Third Man on the Mountain, our son Josh asked about being a rock climber

“Are you going to do this with me, Dad?” was his heart felt question.

I replied that it would take a lot of training in order to prepare ourselves for that type of adventure.  “Well, wake me up at five every morning and WE will start exercising.”

I then replied, “In our neck of the woods there aren’t any places to climb rocks.  The only hills we have are overpasses.”  (We lived in Southeast Texas at the time.)

“Well, I am going to do it any way.” was his reply. I finally concluded the conversation by saying that we would find a place around there that we could do some rock climbing.

The dreams of a ten year old boy cannot be easily quenched.  All it took was viewing a movie about rock climbing to spark his interest in the sport.  A dream was planted in his heart.  A dream that had him pretending that our backyard oak tree was the Citadel in the Swiss Alps.  The dream took precedence over logic, but isn’t that what dreaming is all about?

All too often people let their dreams die because no one will encourage them but rather their fire is put out.  Many people never try anything for God because someone told them that they couldn’t do it.  What dream have you laid down?

What we need in the body of Christ is encouragers, not firefighters.  People who will fan the flames of the dreamer and encourage them to go for it.  Our young people need to hear us telling them to dream of being all they can be for Christ. 

Firefighters are usually those who have no dreams or have let their dreams die.  An encourager is someone who believes that anything can be accomplished.  Many a church is not flourishing today because the fire has long been put out.  Dreamers are cast aside as people that are crazy.  Dreamers are people that intimidate those who cower at the obstacles.  All dreamers need to accomplish their task, is an encourager.

It was said of Barnabas, “When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.”  (Acts 11:23)

Could it be that some are not following the Lord today because their God dreams were not encouraged?  Note that Barnabas encouraged them that they should continue with purpose of heart. 

Parents, encourage your children to dream big.  Christians, encourage fellow believers to pursue the things that God has laid on their hearts even if it seems impossible to you.