The bare block walls rose up around us as though to offer security in an insecure time. The gaps where one day glass panes would be installed this night allowed the cool spring breeze and the sweet smell of Orange Blossoms to grace us with their presence. A bright orange cord strung from Pastor’s house next door and elevated by a pole held the single, bare light bulb. Orange crates served as pews, dirt as the floor, and the starry sky overhead as the most beautiful of ceilings for a worship service.
We were few in number and low in finances. But God instructed Pastor to build, and build she did. Piece by piece, task by task, day by day, God provided. Almost four years later we dedicated our completed, fully furnished, church to its rightful owner—Jesus Christ. He alone had taken a woman and a handful of people in a then tiny community, and built a church to completion without a penny owing.
We serve the Almighty Dream Giver. And when God instills a dream in our heart, He has every intention of that dream becoming in a reality in our life. He doesn’t give us dreams just to watch them be shattered.
But here’s the deal, it takes effort on our part.
As much as I truly adore the story of Cinderella because of its overwhelming message that all things are possible, I am also well aware that God is not going to send the Fairy Godmother to wave her wand and instantaneously change my pumpkin into a golden carriage.
We have to do our part if we want to see our dreams come true.
The good news is that throughout God’s word He tells us over and again just what we need to do to see every dream He instills in our heart become a reality in this life.
There are so many dynamic Scriptures on this subject I cannot include them all, but if you will prayerfully grab hold of the ones here and apply them, there is nothing that can be held back from you.
Because I have not yet mastered the concept that BLOG posts and magazine articles are not to be the length of an entire book, I have broken this particular writing into a series. Even in so doing I cannot say everything I would like to say, but there will be enough to get you well on your way to seeing your dreams come true.
Throughout the series I am going to address seven principles from the word of God that we must apply if we want to fulfill our dreams. Some posts, this one for example, will cover but one. Other posts will cover more than that dependent upon length.
If you take them to heart and apply them properly, your life is going to change.
Okay, that should be obvious.
Yet, there are multitudes of Christians who just live day to day taking things as they come, never imagining more or different for their lives. The first thing we need to do is open ourselves up to God’s love and His plans for us, let Him plant a desire in our heart.
Far too many people are just content with things as they are. Because this is to many a strong mindset, we are going to spend a little time here.
Some don’t dream from sheer laziness or unconcern (certainly that’s not you). Others because they have actually been convinced it’s a sin, citing New Testament Scriptures that remind us we are to be content.
And Scripture does tell us to do just that. 1 Timothy 6:8, And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. Hebrews 13:5, …and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
The most favored among those satisfied with the status quo seems to be Philippians 4:11, Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
But this admonition to be content is not a commandment not to desire and dream for more. It is a reminder that while we are where we are, we are to remain grateful to God. And that is so very important, because one of the initial steps in walking away from the Lord is becoming ungrateful or unthankful (Romans 1:21).
Murmuring and complaining cost the Israelites forty years of their lives and kept many of them from entering into the promised land. We should always be thankful for what God has blessed us with and be content with what we have — while we are pursuing more.
We were thankful for the tiny frame building. We started out in a living room. From there we went to a tent. Then God made a way for a building to be moved from Orlando onto the property.
Though I was far too young to remember most of those very early days, I know my parents and the congregation were grateful to God for preparing a meeting place.
But their dream was to do more for God, to reach more people and see lives changed through His word. That dream led to the dream for a larger, more stable building. There was not complaint and ungratefulness about the existing building. It was a gift of God while the vision of a new one was being brought to pass.
Paul and Silas praised God in prison because they truly loved Him and were grateful for every blessing and opportunity afforded them. They were content because they had God and He was caring for them. Still, they didn’t want to stay there. There were other places to go, other people to be ministered to. They had a dream.
As a matter of fact, if you are one who is just okay with everything as is – especially if things are not positive or are hindering you from moving forward – and you are there based on Scripture that tells us to be content, then I ask you this question:
Are you content with your wages? Do you think you make enough money for the work you are doing? (Come on now, be honest.)
Because you see, when asked by some soldiers what they needed to do in repentance, John the Baptist instructed them to not be violent to people or accuse them falsely, and to be content with their wages.
Does that word mean we are never to dream of being promoted or given a raise in pay or growing a business to a higher level? Of course not. What that does mean is that we are to be thankful we have an income and not complain about how much it is or what we have to do to earn it while we are pursuing better.
But if you’re using the contentment card to excuse complacency or if the devil is using it against you by making you feel guilty if you desire more, then you have to also never desire to receive more from your employment or business. We can’t pick and choose when and where we apply the word of God.
Another reason people don’t dream is that they have achieved their goals.
Maybe you are successful in the career of your choice. Maybe you are comfortably retired and not at a place in your life where you want to pursue anything new. You have no desire to go back to school to earn a degree or learn a new skill. Maybe all is well at home.
You have arrived. Your life is fulfilled. There is nothing you care to dream about.
There is always a star in the sky; always something to aim for.
What about a dream to have more time or ability to dedicate to a worthy cause? Wouldn’t it be nice to have more money to give into ministries and to the needy?
What about a dream to walk in perfect health? Are you happy with the constant pain and frequent doctor’s visits? Do you cringe when the pharmacist takes even more of your money? Do you really enjoy having to divide your pills into three sets just to swallow them all?
Jesus bore all that sickness and by His stripes we were healed. But you will never experience physical health until you first envision yourself being well. It begins with hope and a dream.
Maybe you’ve said something like this, “I would just love to wake up one day and not have to fight the urge to smoke (or drink or whatever).”
Or it could have been, “I just want my marriage and my family restored. I want us to love each other and live in peace like a family should.”
See, you do have a dream.
And here’s one for you. A dream of leading at least 100 people to the Lord in your lifetime – 500, 1,000! Maybe you can start with a dream to lead just one person to salvation and see that dream come true first. Then you’ll be encouraged to dream bigger.
The main point I’m trying to make is this,
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 28:18
You need a dream, a dream instilled by God and backed by His word. Regardless as to whether it’s career based, family based, ministry based — whatever — if you don’t realize God loves you enough to want more for you and through you – then the only way to say this is to say it: You’re killing yourself.
You have no purpose and we are created with purpose.
Why do you suppose so many people (especially those who don’t know the Lord) die within a year of retirement? And those who retire early have a 39% higher risk of dying early than those who don’t?
These are statistics I don’t have space or time to go into, but you can search them out. You will find the number one reason given for this phenomena is that these people have nothing to drive them, no purpose.
They have no vision! No dreams to pursue.
Ask God to instill in your heart His desire for you and dream big. Dream about those things we know by His word are His will such as outreach, soul winning, walking in perfect health and being prosperous.
And when one dream comes true, dream another.
Never stop dreaming.
That’s your starting point. Your dream can’t come true if you don’t have one. Don’t miss the next part next week. Send me your email address and I’ll send you a reminder.
Scripture marked NKJV taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.