Don’t just think about it!

DREAM woodblocks by Dena McCaffree

I’ve heard from many of you today that yesterday’s encouragement to dream (Are you dreaming?) was just what you needed to hear.  It caused you to pause, to think, to remember…and maybe even to brush off those forgotten dreams.

I’m thrilled that something you read here was encouraging and meaningful.  But, please let’s not stop at having been touched by a post.  Don’t get busy and move onto to the urgency of today, and forget the part of you that was stirred.  Today I’m going to challenge you to actually do something beyond just thinking.  Don’t get me wrong – thinking and remembering – they’re great.  But they need to lead to some action…and that is today’s focus.

Now I know some people get nervous as soon as we start talking about setting goals and dreaming dreams.  “What about God?!” they cry, suggesting that somehow God doesn’t “approve” of His children dreaming.  If you’re a parent, how do you feel when your children dream?  I would guess that you’re thrilled, excited and encouraged to hear their plans, and see them take responsibility for their futures.  I think God is the same way.  Certainly if we call ourselves Christ-followers, our ultimate dream and goal is to become Christlike and join in God’s work.  But there are about as many ways to do that as there are people on this planet.  After all, each of us have God-given passions and desires in our heart that are unique.  God wired you with certain interests, gifts, and skills.  Would He really have given you those, just to ignore?

I’m guessing your abilities and enthusiasms probably have something to do with your dreams.  I think that is some of what Psalm 20:4 is suggesting:

May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

As we grow in Christlikeness, His desires and plans become our plans, meaning our goals and dreams will reflect His plan for us.  A few key verses from Proverbs guide us a little more practical advice too…

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.  Proverbs 16:3

Dreaming isn’t just about us – it’s about Him and us.  Our dreams shouldn’t be simply about selfish ambition, but how we can become the person He’s created us to be, and to do the things He’s created us to do.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

Each of our dreams have fine-print typed across the bottom…..this dream subject to the approval and direction of the LORD.  But that shouldn’t cause us to throw up our hands in frustration, sure that all our “good dreams” will be rejected.  Just as an artist best knows his masterpiece, so too does God know you.  Just as a parent wants the absolute best for his child, so too does God desire for you.  The fine-print attached to your dream won’t limit, squash or destroy your dream – it will enliven, expand and invigorate it!

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.  Proverbs 15:22

And here’s the scary part.  We have to share our dreams.  We have to somehow find the courage to take a piece of ourselves, and place it before others.  To not just dream dreams, but to share our dreams.  Why?  Others see things that we miss – things that might help guide our dreams.  Others may help us achieve our dreams.  Others can encourage us.  And others can hold us accountable.  Dreaming dreams – that’s the easy part.  But actually doing something about them…well, that’s when we need good counsel.

As you have been reading this post, I’m quite sure many of you have a specific dream in mind.  It could be a large-scale dream, or a small thing.  Your dream might be well spelled-out, or just in the beginning stages of being formulated.  It may seem truly attainable, or laughably far-off.  Your dream might be something you’ve already been working toward for years, or something you’re honestly not even sure how to start.  But whatever that dream is, it needs the counsel from others.  I’m going to ask you to be so bold as to write out your dream, in whatever detail you desire, and leave it as a comment on this post.  And then, I’d like you to mention one thing (no matter how small!) you are committing to do toward its achievement before the end of the month.  Maybe it’s a phone call to make.  A blog to start.  A new neighbor to meet.  Or a class to sign up for.

God didn’t give us dreams to go to waste, untried and undone.  As you step out in courage, know I am delighted to pray for you as you take the first baby-step toward making that dream become a reality.  (Or as you persevere in pursuing your dream!)  I’d encourage you also to daily bring your dream to the Lord, committing your ways to Him, and asking Him to help you succeed.

Sound scary?  Well, nothing much has ever been accomplished without taking chances.  And besides, I’ll go first:

I have a dream of becoming a nationally known speaker and writer.  I desire to share my heart through the written and spoken word, changing lives in His name.  By the end of the month I will purchase and listen to a webinar on “Crafting your signature talk”.

And now it’s your turn….