Chris pens - "You may be asking, "What if I don't have a dream to fulfill?" "What is my dream?" "How do I get direction for my life?" To that I say that it is time for you to learn how to dream with God. No one is exempt, no one! We have three primary things we are called to do in our existence no matter our current condition.
1. To glorify God and enjoy Him fully forever (see Psalm 16:11; 1 Corinthians 6:20, 10:31; Isaiah 60:21; Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11).
2. To complete the work God has put before us to do here on the earth (see Jeremiah 29:11-13; Isaiah 55:11; 1 Corinthians 1:26; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 3:17).
3. To fulfill our eternal destiny through the work we accomplish during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 11:12-16; Revelation 20:4, 21:7, 22:12).
God has given everyone multiple dreams to live out both in this life and in the life to come, and it's time for you to discover them! So, let's begin to look at how to get you dreaming with God and how to get you carrying those dreams into the rest of this year filled with faith, hope, and an immense love from God that He has called you according to His great purpose.
Proverbs 25:2 says that "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter." There is something in God's heart that gets excited when His children start seeking Him out for answers. God created us in His image, and inasmuch as we love to be pursued in a relationship, God is much the same way. He does not have an inferiority complex, mind you, but nonetheless, He loves being a father. Given that I myself am the father of four beautiful children, I love it when my children seek me out and inquire of me for answers.
King David put it this way, "One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4).
You'll never know the dreams of God for your life until you start asking. How much time are you carving out in your day to be alone with God, look Him in His face, behold His beauty, and inquire of Him for the dreams He has planned for you? You will never find what you're not looking for, and there's no time like now to begin the search. So, make it a priority to start inquiring of God today. God is good and "He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6), keeping in mind that "you do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2).
2. Pay Attention to Your Emotions
I once remember hearing a counselor years ago tell me that our emotions were given to us by God's design. He went on to say that it is God's way for each person to possess the intrinsic ability to be alert as to what is happening around them. By paying attention to your emotions, you can gain insight as to what it is that causes you to feel a certain way. Have you ever watched a movie or viewed a program on the news that caused you to cry or made you upset or even caused you to laugh so hard until it hurt? Those are your emotions alerting you to the cause of the effect.
For those of us who can learn to pause long enough in that moment to ask ourselves what caused us to feel a certain way, we might learn things about ourselves we didn't know before. That insight could be a key to unlocking dreams. For example, you may discover that there's something about what is happening in the Middle East that consistently moves your heart to see justice be done. Therein may lie a dream that could lead you into the call of God on your life.
Perhaps someone introduces you to a new technology that you've never seen before that sparks excitement and inspiration for ways in which that technology could be used. Therein may lie a new business idea that could both help fund His Kingdom around the world and serve a specific demographic of people in a way that meets a legitimate need.
The point is that we are people of emotion. Begin paying more attention to these emotions, and you may find that you discover a dream that had once been concealed for the right time, such as today!
3. Inquire of the Dreams of Others
I can tell you with the utmost confidence that the secret to success in life is to serve the dreams of others. You can ask almost anyone who has been successful where their success first started and, more often than not, they will tell you of a story about how they were inspired when they were serving someone else's dream. That time in their life spawned new dreams of their own that led them down the path of an exciting journey.
Philippians 2:3 says, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself." There's too much self-focus in the Church today. This is what can kill the growth of the Church and limit the advancement of dreams. We are surrounded by a culture where self-focused mindsets can consume us if not careful.
In order for spaces to exist in our culture where dreams can be born and thrive, we have to come in the opposite spirit, one that is excited to see their brother or sister walk in the fullness of their dreams. When that becomes our primary objective, the natural by-product is that we find that our own dreams are revealed and fulfilled in the process. It's an amazing dichotomy in the way God has designed His Kingdom to work.
Ephesians 4:16 says that we are a whole body, "joined and knit together..." Dreams are not born or fulfilled in a vacuum. They're born out of an environment in which everyone is trying to empower one another. In such an environment, you will surely find an incredible amount of inspiration and momentum. This is the type of space that fosters a dream engine. It is my belief that the places where God has concealed a matter can be found in the lives of others. As we sow into the relationships God has currently surrounded us with and mine the gold that lies in their hearts, we will unearth God's plan from the mutual benefit of the relationship.
Who has God currently put in your life? Look around, ponder, and consider this. As 1 Corinthians 12:18 says, "...God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased." These are the people that for whatever reason God has determined are the best people of choice to help you find your dreams and walk in them. What is the point here? Maybe Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians 10:24, "Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being."
4. Dreams Are "Things" First Conceived in Thought
There is a principle in quantum physics known as the Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Among the scientists who worked with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, the uncertainty principle was taken to mean that on an elementary level the physical universe does not exist in deterministic form. Rather, it is a collection of probabilities or potentials that exist in the balance of time and space.
What does this mean within the context of human behavior? It means that the thoughts you have are a collection of potential outcomes that lie before you. The probability of which outcome plays out in your life is directly linked to the amount of time and stewardship you give each thought. The more time you "think" about one "thing," the more likely you will be able to predict the outcome in your life.
Let's take a negative example, for instance, to help understand how this works. It's no secret that pornography has invaded our culture unlike any other time in the history of our nation. For men, the struggle of pornography is conceived in the mind of thought. The longer that a man "dwells" on that thought, the stronger the desire for that thought becomes. The unseen force behind the strength of that thought is what leads to destructive action that determines the horrible outcome in that man's life later in time. This is why we are cautioned to "[bring] every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). In other words, we are to take precious care of the thoughts we allow into our mind.
However, this process also holds true for that of positive thoughts. If dreams are first conceived in thought form, then how often do you take inventory of the thoughts that you had throughout a typical day where dreams may be lurking? Perhaps you had a thought of writing a song. The more you give that thought credence and time to develop within your mind, the stronger your desire for that thought will grow. As that desire grows, the probability of that idea becoming a realized dream increases. If that desire is then combined with action, then you have just secured the assurance of that song being written and that dream becoming a reality.
Napoleon Hill once said, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve." In James 2:18 it says it like this: "Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." Action is applied faith. The point there is that thoughts are "things" or "actions" in seed form. The thoughts of our mind hold all the power we need to change the outcome of our lives. The more you steward your thoughts well, the more likely you are to discover dreams that have been hidden all this time.
5. Always "Think" Big
Whatever your dream may be, I challenge you to think even more big. Remember, "...we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16). How vast, wide, and deep are the things of God. All of our thoughts and dreams are deposited in these little skull cavities of ours by God. If we possess the mind of Christ, then surely we can think much more than we currently do. Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us..."
It is the challenge of us believing that God can do even more than what we already think that drives us onto greatness – and we are created for greatness!
It is in this constant challenge to expand our vision that we find ourselves pushing the envelope of current ways we think and bust wide open the boxes of what is capable of happening in our lives, our communities, and our society. These are the kinds of moments where breakthroughs occur and where we stumble upon new dreams and make a way for others coming behind us to discover their dreams. Some of those people will discover their dreams for the very first time. And doesn't that excite you to the point that your heart wants to fly out of your chest?
Imagine what the Church will look like when each person is discovering their dreams, repenting of wrong mindsets, and getting new perspectives on the way they think and steward their thoughts! It is in that type of community that I believe we will see a hotbed for an awakening, a thriving Kingdom culture, and an atmosphere of empowerment. To the extent that the Body of Christ becomes joined and knit, there will come a corresponding growth which comes from God so that we as His Church become a mature man, "to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the Church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 3:10).
I leave you with this final thought from Ephesians 4:16: "From whom the whole Body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the Body for the edifying of itself in love."
This is my year! This is your year! This is OUR year for the glory of God to be revealed in fullness. Get ready!"
Consultant, Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Jesus Pursuit Church Worship Leader
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