I've built so much of my life on the lie that I work to live and live to work. Over the last week, though, I've decided to break the cycle of self-doubt and poverty. Wealth is measured in so much more than dollars, and in trying to provide more money for myself, I've robbed myself of the greatest treasures life has to offer! Especially joy-filled and life-giving relationships.
"It really is senseless to work so hard from early morning till late at night, toiling to make a living for fear of not having enough. God can provide for His lovers, even while they sleep!" (Psalms chapter 127 verse 2)
I am a daughter of God. I have the greatest Father in the world... and I am tired of living like a slave when Jesus gave His life so I could be made an heir.
When was the last time you felt released to dream? I've started asking myself some questions... What excites my spirit? What makes my heart sing? What brings me joy? Where is my passion? Giving my heart license to believe has been incredibly freeing.
Finding your dreams and stepping into them takes a great leap of faith. I've noticed that there are two lies in particular that get in my way:
Lie #1: I can't afford to dream.
Money seems to always be either a problem or a solution. Honestly, I'm tired of my sense of peace being tied to my net worth. There was a time I had plenty of money and my stress was relatively low. When I don't have enough, though, I can't go to sleep or wake up or take a walk without being consumed with anxiety, dread, and a sense of worthlessness.
The issue is not whether I can afford to dream, but whether God can. Is there poverty in Heaven? (Silly question, right?) I realized that money had become my God when I let it determine my levels of peace and joy. "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans chapter 14 verse 17) If these crucial aspects of the kingdom cannot be purchased or earned, then why have I sometimes acted as if the right to pursue my dreams must be earned? Just like money does not determine my peace and joy, money should never determine whether I dare to dream.
Lie #2: God isn't in my dreams.
"You are so intimately aware of me, Lord, you read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I'm about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take, before my journey even begins!" (Psalms chapter 139 verses 3-4)
God created me and Jesus is in me. He knows my heart better than I do. God wants to love me more than I've ever wanted anything. His desires toward me are good. He prepares the way for my future and sets me apart from my past. I know God is in my dreams, but sometimes I just lose sight of the truth.
I was tempted to believe God wasn't in my dreams because they didn't feel like a ministry. Have you ever thought that way? Jesus is in me, though; wherever I go, whatever I go, I can minister. My missions field is not your missions field. The body of Christ is intricately diverse, and the most important role you can play is you. Our unique passion, gifts and vision equip us to contribute something to the world as unique as our DNA. You don't need to go to a Bible school to bring the Kingdom (unless that's your dream). You just need to be your best self, whatever that looks like.
A lot of us want to go straight to the seasons of being Joseph in authority, but we're not willing to go through the seasons of being Joseph as a slave or in prison. Some of us, like Nehemiah, have a heart to see something repaired and rebuilt... but are we willing to cultivate in ourselves and our communities the character and culture to bring that dream to pass? Every vision needs passion to bring it into the world and push the dream forward through every hard season.
To prepare the way
"You've gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a Father's blessing to me." (Psalms chapter 139 verse 5)
A good father empowers rather than controls. God cares so much more about our passion than our obedience. If our passion is for Him, the course of our life and all our actions will naturally flow towards Him. God is ready and willing to empower us in our dreams if we take the leap of faith. His plan is for our vision, and our plans are for His vision.
I came home the other day and talked to my roommate. Our spirits were both aching to break out of the old wineskins, the old patterns with which we'd lived our lives. We wanted the freedom to live and dream again. I'm writing this article because I've stepped out in faith to find and follow my dreams, and I look forward to the day this risk becomes a testimony.
Can we afford not to dream?
Grace lives in Redding, California. She is constantly inspired by the beauty around her. She loves to hike, fish, ski, and take long walks. She is passionate about worship and seeing God's love lived out through her community.
Grace Wood's articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-wood.html