Oh, that dreaded cry that came from the three crewmen of Apollo 13 space capsule as they were destined to reach the moon. "Houston, we have a problem!" The world seemed to stand still, and hearts at missions control center in Houston, Texas, almost stopped beating. After those words were spoken, the purpose of that great mission had suddenly changed as they discovered their oxygen tank had ruptured. The moon no longer seemed interesting as the focus turned on bringing those three crewmen back alive to earth. It's interesting when life's trials and tragedies hit us, just to breathe suddenly becomes more important than our dreams or accomplishments or destinations. It seems throughout the Bible and in our own lives that when God takes us higher and shows us His awesome dreams for us, there's a critical moment when we must re-enter the earth's atmosphere in order to execute our heavenly dream upon the earth.
I Hear the Cry of 'Houston, We Have a Problem!' Rising From Many Ministries
In the Spirit, I sense I am hearing the cry of many ministries that have been launched by the Lord with a high calling and for some unknown reason things seemingly have gone awry. Priorities are suddenly changing as there seems to be a divine summons beckoning us back down to a more earthly realm than we originally had in mind.
I believe the Apollo 13 mission reminds us just how vulnerable we are even in the pursuit of our God-given missions and dreams. I think of Joseph in this and how his God-given dream was constantly being interrupted. It seems the higher and loftier our God-given dream is, the deeper we must go through earthly stuff in order to fulfill it. The pit quickly helped Joseph to begin to re-enter the earthly realm in order to fulfill God's dream for him. The many years as a prisoner humbled him yet more in order to relate to those who are bound, so when his dream came true he wouldn't forget how to relate with compassion to those who are in captivity, and even to his wicked brothers. Joseph was changing from dreaming about himself to dreaming about others and their destinies.
I believe Joseph's dream, to him, may have seemingly been aborted, and his re-entering the earth's atmosphere was difficult...dying to his dream and having to dream for others now. His destiny finally became fulfilled as the prisoner in his dreams remembered him to Pharaoh. Perhaps dreaming for others' success is what took Joseph to the palace. Once reaching the palace, he continues to dream for the restoration of his family and restores them. He dreams about Egypt's welfare and rescues all of the people of Egypt from famine.
When Our Ministry Seems to Malfunction, We Are Learning What Doesn't Work
Apollo 13 mission was considered a successful failure. It was a failure in the sense that the crewmen did not land on the moon. It was successful because it showed how people can work together to bring about a successful outcome to a situation that looked impossible. It is interesting that one of the original crew members, Ken Mattingly, did not get to go up with the mission, for doctors thought he had been exposed to the measles. He had to stay on earth and die to his dream. However, Ken Mattingly became the key person on earth to help give knowledge that was life-saving to the Apollo 13 crewmen to bring them safely back to earth.
Many times when God gives us a dream, usually the person we leave behind becomes a key person to later help us fulfill it or helps us stay alive when we run into trouble with it. By the way, that crewman, Ken Mattingly, never did get the measles. He later flew as command module pilot of the Apollo 16, which was the fifth mission to land on the moon! It was the only mission that the crew walked upon the high places of the moon.
As many on the earth were praying for the crewmen to return safely, ordinary things such as duct tape and string became life-saving items on their space craft to sustain their oxygen supply. In fact, duct tape is sent on every space mission from NASA.
I remember well when 15 years ago as I lay in the emergency room with an attack against my heart, how many people were praying for me around the world through means of the internet. My heart had actually stopped beating. I believe I heard the voice of the enemy that morning in the emergency room saying to his demons, "There are so many people praying for him, we have to let him go!" Let me say that I know before this happened that I had a high and lofty call of God on my life, but it was those people's prayers that brought me back down to earth to fulfill that dream.
God Often Hinders Our Ministry to Get Us Safely Back to Him
Years ago, my ministry almost destroyed me. I fell in love with it more than the Lord. Our ministry, if we are not careful, can be our No. 1 enemy! It happens so innocently, for we love what God has called us to do. The Lord began to hinder my ministry by closing doors and locking the windows. Invitations had stopped and I found myself alone with my family and God. For about three months I was shut in with God. I discovered if you slow down and spend time with Him you won't lose your ministry unless it was yours. But if it is God's ministry it will take off without you!
After three months alone with God, I saw my ministry take off like never before. All I did was spend time with Him. One day as I felt His loving arms around me, I sensed the Lord was so delighted to just have me be with Him without doing anything for Him. He was actually thrilled with my presence, and I discovered that we were created to be with Him on earth, not just in heaven. As He embraced me for those three months, there was a moment that I heard Him say to the angels, "Take this son's ministry and take it to the four corners of the earth, for he is thrilling Me!" I believe there are times that we should stop what we are doing long enough to find out if God is still calling us in the same direction that He did years ago.
The cross becomes the launching pad to our heavenly dreams, and the cross shows us how to re-enter the earth's atmosphere to bring God's dream to earth! I am sure when Jesus was going to the cross, the disciples thought their high calling and dreams had been aborted. Little did they know at that time the cross would become the launching pad for every God-dream on earth to come true. Later they learned that their dreams would only become reality if they themselves picked up their own cross and denied themselves to follow the one who gives dreams and makes them come true His way.
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life in Hagerstown, Maryland, where he is now an elder, and a home missionary for the past 40 years. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full-time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is: The Power of Real / Transparent Prophetic Encouragement. His prophetic email list is: billyountweekly.com. Visit Bill's website at billyount.com.
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