When you were younger you had a dream. Maybe it was to be a ballerina, or a firefighter, or a firefighting ballerina? No matter what, you had a dream, but the world sucks the ability to dream out of our souls. Likewise God has a dream for your life. A dream for what you will do as part of the larger whole, as part of the people of God. When God gives a dream it is consistently to an individual and for the whole body. Joseph’s dream came to him but would eventually lead to the saving of his family from starvation. Jacob’s dream encouraged him to move from knowing about God to knowing God and to leading his family into relationship with God. So what sucks our dreams from our souls? I think it is one of three things: distraction, disappointment, or difficulty.
We live in a world of distractions. Everybody is trying to impose their dream on us. They tell us that we will be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled if we will just buy into their dream for us. That the right status symbol, right technology, or right neighborhood will improve our life, nurture our soul, and fulfill our dreams, but it never really works that way. No matter what you have there is always something new coming along. Distractions also come along due to simply living life. When my son was born I was so happy. He came home from the hospital healthy and bright eyed. A few days later the UPS man knocked on the door and handed me a box. I signed for it and tore it open, it contained the hospital bill. Our bundle of joy came with a price-tag that took more than a year to pay, and that was with insurance! Life is full of distractions that get you off mission and keeps you from seizing God’s dream for your life, but there are also disappointments.
In nearly twenty years of ministry I cannot tell you how many people have told me “I used to go to church but somebody there hurt my feelings,” or “somebody really let me down.” My initial (and completely non-pastoral response that I am now able to withhold thanks to nearly twenty years of practice) is to say, “so you are going to give the devil the power to ruin your spiritual life because somebody hurt your feelings?” What I do realize is that old hurts hang on. If you never pursue healing, old hurts, hang-ups, and habits have the ability to control you and keep you from living the dream God has for your life. Life is full of disappointments that cause you to forget God’s dream for your life. Everyone has been disappointed at some time or another, and every one of us had disappointed somebody else. Romans 3:23 reminds us that we all “fall short” of being the person God has called us to be and of living out the dream God has planted into our souls but we serve a God who heals wounds, even old wounds, if we will let Him. As if distractions and disappointments weren’t enough, there’s more, because there is also the difficulty of living God’s dream.
We like easy. EasyMac, Easy Off, easy lifestyles. Where ever you turn somebody is trying to sell you easy, except God. Nowhere in the Scriptures does God ever promise God’s people that their dream will be easy, God only promises it will be worth it. If distractions causes you to get off mission, and disappointment causes you to forget, then difficulty causes you to abandon the dream God has for you. There is always time between dream and destination, but we really aren’t waiting people. We want instant, we want easy, but God takes time to form the dream and then far more time to bring the dream to pass. God will wait four years, fourteen years, or forty years until you are ready to really live out the dream God has for you. Just because it is difficult do not abandon God’s dream for you because every day is preparation for what’s next.
Do not let distraction, disappointment, or difficulty cause you to lose the dream that God has for you. As it says in Psalm 126, “be like a people who dream.”
Next time…characteristics of a people who dream. I remain:
Consumed by the Call,