God has amazing dreams for us, but many of us live our entire lives not coming close to reaching those. As I think about this, I see we fall into three categories:
- Those who are just afraid to dream.
- Those who understand their dreams but they seem unreachable.
- Those who reach their dreams.
I have fallen in all three categories, but without a doubt, the third category is the most satisfying. What we really want is to be satisfied, but that comes with its own challenges, doesn't it?
An icebreaker question I use in get-acquainted sessions is to share one dream you'd like to see fulfilled in your lifetime. I'm always amazed at how many people can't come up with even one.
When they get down to the bottom line, they usually say, "The truth is I'm afraid to dream, because it might not come true, and then I'd be devastated. I'd rather just be comfortable where I am."
Satisfaction, in this case, is settling for what life deals us. That means we choose to be comfortable living without making a difference. We have allowed the evil one to fulfill his mission of stealing, killing or destroying our God-given influence in the world (John 10:10).
This group usually has dreams, but they don't see them as being something God wants for them. The truth is, God saw us before we were born. Every day of our lives was recorded in His book. Every moment was laid out before a single day of our lives came to pass (Ps. 139:16).
I heard about a think-tank type who has a dream of building a rocket to Mars and colonizing the planet. We may not have such lofty dreams, but this man, who is head of a company, actually has resources to at least begin planning a way to make it happen.
Your dream may not be that lofty, but let's just suppose he begins to plan and never makes the dream happen. Has he failed? Not if he's left careful research notes for others to follow.
The dream God put inside you may not be reachable in your lifetime, but it may still be a dream that God has placed in your heart. We should not dismiss those ideas that flit across our mind. They may be God-dreams to fulfill something in the lifetime of one who comes after us.
"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams. He does it not by pushing us around, but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us" (Eph. 3:20a, MSG).
The Diligent Workers
We see in the parable of the talents that a company owner who was going on a trip gave some talents or money to three of his employees (Matt. 25:14-20). To one he gave $5000, the other $2,000 and the third $1,000.
The first two doubled their money, but the third hid the money and returned it to the owner. We all know the owner gave the third employee's money to the one who risked the most and basically fired the third employee.
Did the first employee reach his dream? Maybe or maybe not. But what the owner did was reward that one's diligence, his ability to see beyond the current situation and reach further. In doing so, God said, "OK, now do it again with this money."
How to Reach Your Dream
Reaching a God-given dream seems hard, but it's really simple. God put dreams inside of us. We just need to realize that and cooperate with Him to make them come to pass. The worst thing we can do is dismiss them because someone tells us we can never do them or if we do we can never make a living working at them.
I was told by several adults when I was growing up that I could never make money writing books. I remembered that this April when I had to tally up what I'd made in books sales to give to my tax accountant. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a consistent income. Not yet enough to live on, but enough to debunk the lie that was told to me when I was deciding on a career.
Being an author was a dream God placed in my heart long before there was a real way for me to accomplish that dream. I clearly see how He led me to get to the place where I finally made the leap into God's dreamland.
There are three simple steps to reach a dream. I say simple because they are no-brainer practical ways to go step-by-step and allow God to bring your dream into fruition. These are the same steps many whom we see as dream-reachers began with. By the way, these came from my mentor.
- Do what you love.
- Find a way to make money doing that.
- Live within that budget.
What's the Problem?
Simple, right? So why isn't everyone doing it? It has to do with that pesky word satisfied. We think we won't be satisfied living within that budget.
However, if we start there, things will only blossom and increase when and if we are doing what we love. What do we love? We love the dream that God put in our hearts.
So how do we do it? How do we reach the impossible dream? Learn the secret of contentment. "I have learned in whatever state I am to be content. I know both how to face humble circumstances and how to have abundance. Everywhere and in all things I have learned the secret, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:11-13, MEV).
We have to learn that we will never be satisfied with things, especially comfort foods. (You knew I had to get that in there somewhere.) We will only be satisfied with the true abundance God brings into our lives.
What is your dream? What obstacles are in your way of fulfilling your dream? What is one step you can take today towards that dream?
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, Christian weight loss coach, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor, Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off with God's Help and Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation. Get a free chapter of all her books, plus many other free resources on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.
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