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Obedience Can Take You to the Moon

Obedience Dreams Rebellion

Source: STRENGTHENING YOUR GRIP by Charles R. Swindoll, pp.242–243.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Chris Horton | Date Posted: 2015-09-26

Scripture: Joshua 1:8

Author: Charles R. Swindoll / Chris Horton
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ILLUSTRATION

Swindoll retells the following story of his conversation with General Charles M. Duke and his experiences walking on the moon with the Apollo 16 mission:

I asked, “Once you were there, weren’t you free to make your own decisions and carry out some of your own experiments…you know, sort of do as you pleased – maybe stay a little longer if you liked?  He smiled back, “Sure, if we didn’t want to return to earth!”

He then described the intricate plan, the exact and precise instructions, the essential discipline, the instant obedience that was needed right down to the split second.  By the way, he said they had landed somewhat “heavy” when they touched down on the moon.  He was referring to their fuel supply.  They had plenty left.  Guess how much.  One minute.  They landed with sixty seconds of fuel remaining.  Talk about being exact!  I got the distinct impression that a rebel doesn’t fit inside a spacesuit.  Whoever represents the United States in the space program must have an unconditional respect for authority. 

APPLICATION

Some believe that obedience gets in the way of accomplishing their goals and dreams in life; that one must have a little rebellion to succeed.  In reality, our love for God and our desire to obey only Him is what will "take us to the moon and back!"

"Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful" (Joshua 1:8).

 Chris Horton

Jesus Calls Us to Desire More

Happiness Beatitudes Dreams

Source: Beyond Earthbound Dreams, 2010

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-10-18

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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ILLUSTRATION

When I was a boy, I always looked forward to our summer trips from San Francisco to West Texas to spend vacation time with extended family.  My two younger brothers and I would pile into our un-air-conditioned car, anxious to begin the long trek across the Southwest.  At the end of each day’s journey, the three of us would beeline our way to the hotel pool to re-hydrate—something we really looked forward to after hours of being blasted in the back seat by the hot desert air.  These were great adventures filled with the excitement of seeing new places and the extravagance of eating out (something we never did back home).

One year during our journey, my youngest brother did something completely out of character for his normally compliant nature.  Despite a tight budget and strict instructions to the contrary, James defiantly placed the same order every time we stopped to eat.  “I’ll have what Dad is having,” he would insist.  Apparently, my little brother had noticed that the plate of food placed in front of our father always looked a lot more appealing than the one typically placed in front of him.  That was all it took.  From then on, all he wanted was what our father was having.  At five years of age, my little brother didn’t know much, but he knew that anything Dad ordered would be better than what he knew to order off the Kiddie Menu.  Genius!

APPLICATION

If only we were that smart about what we desired in life.  If we were, we would stop setting our hearts on things that are certain to disappoint us and start dreaming of things that promise to bring lasting satisfaction.  We would forget about the Kiddie Menu, where the portions and satisfaction are limited, and turn instead to God.  We would ask our Heavenly Father to do the ordering for us, trusting that His choices would be bigger, better and more satisfying.  We would order what He was having—not mere happiness, but blessedness!

This is precisely the prescription we find in the Beatitudes.  Rather than calling us to desire less, Jesus calls us to desire more.  Rather than asking us to let go of our dreams, Jesus exhorts us to dream bigger.  Rather than expecting us to be satisfied with mere happiness, Jesus invites us to experience what it is to be blessed.  Happiness is what we order for ourselves, while blessedness is what we get when we let God order for us.

Mitchell W. Dillon, founder of Illustration Exchange

Five Minutes on the Roof of the Earth

Fulfillment Dreams Idolatry

Source: INTO THIN AIR by Jon Krakauer, p. 8

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-15

Scripture: Matthew 16:26

Author: Jon Krakauer/Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Jon Krakauer's life's pursuit was to successfully scale Mt. Everest. In May of 1996, he did just that. Disaster struck during the descent, and twelve of his team members were killed. For that his expedition became famous (or, infamous, as it were). The actual ascent became lost in tragedy. Nevertheless, he recalls it in the first pages of his bestselling book, INTO THIN AIR:

Straddling the top of the world, one foot in China and the other in Nepal, I cleared the ice from my oxygen mask, hunched a shoulder against the wind, and stared absently down at the vastness of Tibet. I understood on some dim, detached level that the sweep of earth beneath my feet was a spectacular sight. I'd been fantasizing about this moment, and the release of emotion that would accompany it, for many months. But now that I was finally here, actually standing on the summit of Mount Everest, I just couldn't summon the energy to care. … I snapped four quick photos … then turned and headed down. My watch read 1:17 P.M. All told, I'd spent less than five minutes on the roof of the world.

APPLICATION

Few of us will spend even five minutes on top of the world. But should we be so fortunate, we have no reason to believe that our experience will be any more fulfilling than Joh Krakauer's. That's because the meaning and significance we long for can't be found atop Mt. Everest, or in any other experience. It is only offered to us in the person of God Himself. 

No matter how grand our goals or how spectacular our accomplishments or how hard we work to achieve them, they will fail to fulfill us in the way we hope. These are but vain idols, they will leave us, like Mr. Krakauer, standing there staring "absently at the vastness" below us.

"What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?" (Matthew 16:26).

Illustration Exchange

You're Dream's Not Dead

Dreams Perseverance Persistence

Contributed By: Andrew Francis | Date Posted: 2013-09-27

Scripture: Philippians 1:6

Author: Dr. Trevor O'Reggio
2

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From Teaching Hundreds to Teaching Hundreds of Millions

Disappointment Dreams Aging

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-27

Author: Bruce Larson
2

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The Power of a Dream

Dreams Encouragement Potential

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-27

Scripture: Hebrew 6:9

Author: Bruce Larson
2

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Diana Nyad Crosses Florida Straits and Fulfills Her Dream

Dreams Satisfaction Blessings/Blessedness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-04

Scripture: Matthew 5:3

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

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Expect the Unexpected

Dreams Fulfillment God's Will

Contributed By: | Date Posted: 2012-03-31

Scripture: Psalms 37:4

Author: Faith Dillon
2

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Conceive a Year of New Life

New Year's Dreams Boldness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-21

Scripture: Isaiah 43:19

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

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Unfulfilled by Fulfilled Dreams

Materialism Dreams Fulfillment

Contributed By: Pat Sage | Date Posted: 2011-10-18

Scripture: Matthew 16:26

Author: Pat Sage
4

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