Everyone has a dream. We may not all admit it, but we all have dreams. I truly believe that in most cases these dreams are not only God inspired, but also God given. Psalm 139:16 states: “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” The truth that applied to the Psalmist in this verse applies to you and I today. God knows our futures and created everything within us. The Bible is also clear that God creates certain desires within us (see Phil. 2:13). With that said, it’s safe to assume God can create the dreams that lie within the innermost part of our hearts.
Am I saying that every desire or dream within you comes from God and should be pursued at all costs? No, certainly not. Before we pursue anything, we must spend time in prayer seeking God and His direction for our lives. What I do believe though, is that our dreams can reflect God’s plan for our lives, especially as we become mature in Christ. As Max Lucado pointed out in Just Like Jesus, the desires of our hearts are not to be ignored, but consulted. If you have a fire within you don’t put it out by ignoring it, but rather pray about it and ask God to ignite it if it fits into His plans for you.
Unfortunately, it seems that many Christians are not living out those God ignited dreams that are within them. I don’t know why, but it almost seems like many Christians scoff at dreams. We think, “God would never ask me to do that” or “It’s just so big it’s not possible” or “That’s just me thinking.” God doesn’t give us dreams only to have us feel discontent for the rest of our lives because we’re not living them out. God gives us dreams to turn into reality. Why is it then that most dreams never occur? I believe it’s because too many of us are waiting for God to perform our dreams, instead of taking the step of faith that is required.
Let’s use an example. Personally, I have a dream. For many years now, I’ve had the dream to work in Christian radio and eventually to run my own station. Knowing that it requires a lot of money to open a Christian radio station, I reserved this dream as my million-dollar dream. Meaning I’d get a job in another field and when I win the lottery (which is hard to do when you don’t purchase tickets), then I’d do what God wanted me to.
Fortunately, as I’ve matured as a Christian, I’ve come to realize that this line of thinking is not the same line of thinking God had when He gave me this dream. Yes, it’s a big dream. Yes, it will require a lot of money. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t pursue the dream or wait until there is no risk or fear before I pursue it. If I did that, it would never happen! It means that I should take a step of faith and allow God to move in ways that only He can.
The Israelites had a dream of the Promised Land. After wandering in the desert for 40 years, they finally were within view of their dream, but there was one problem to cross: a river. In order to enter the Promised Land, the Israelites had to cross water and there were no bridges in sight. They knew God had promised them this land, but they also knew there was no way they could cross the river without His help. Aren’t our dreams also like this? God rarely gives us dreams that can be done on our own with little effort. As Henry Blackaby says:
I have come to the place in my life that, if the assignment I sense God is giving me is something I know I can handle, I know it is probably not from God. The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized. They are always beyond what people can do, because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength, His provision, and His kindness to His people and to a watching world. This is the only way the world will come to know Him.
The dreams for our future may seem huge and scary, but that’s no reason to run in fear. Where God plans, He provides and many times the only thing that’s required of us is a willing heart and a step of faith. For the Israelites, it literally meant getting their feet wet. For you and I, it may be something different. For some it may mean going back to school or pursuing a relationship, for others it may be applying for a job, quitting a job or starting a ministry. It doesn’t matter what the step of faith is, what’s important is that you take that step.
When we do take that step, God honors it. In Joshua 3, it says as soon as the priest’s feet touched the water’s edge, the water stopped flowing and the Israelites were able to walk across on dry land. In what river is God asking you to get your feet wet? If you know God’s given you a dream and you know that He’s calling you to pursue it now, don’t be afraid to take that step of faith. That’s the only way your dream is ever going to happen.
As the Michelle Tumes song Dream says:
There’s a dream in your heart
And His heart is your prayer
You can move mountains with your life in His hands
He’ll tear down the walls and He’ll walk where you can’t
Have faith in the power to believe
He has given you a dream.[Kristen McNulty is a twenty-one-year-old university student who lives in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. In her free time she hosts and produces the syndicated Making A Difference (MAD) Christian Radio Show (www.madradioshow.net).]