Are you a dreamer?
If so, that’s great.
You likely want to make your short life here on earth count for the glory of God. Being a dreamer means God has placed big plans and desires in your heart; plans and desires that shape much of what you do and think about each day.
Maybe your dream is getting a degree, finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, writing a book, influencing others, advancing in your career, or being a great parent. Whatever your dream is, we should seek to honor God with it. That may mean stewarding it wisely or making changes to your dream so you know you’re on the path God wants for you.
I’m a dreamer – but I didn’t used to be. After following Christ for several years and learning skills in the workplace and ministry, God expand my vision of how I could impact people. As I’ve grown, my dreams have also grown, and changed. While my goal isn’t very defined, I do know that I want to honor Christ through the writing and teaching His Word. As I’ve seen more of the beauty of Christ, I’ve also seen more of my need for Him due to my weakness, sin, or finiteness.
As I’ve reflected on my dreams (or long-term goals and desires), I’ve learned several important lessons:
1. Let Christ give you the dreams He wants for you.
Seeking Christ first and delighting in Him helps us discern God’s will for our lives. You may not have a magical experience where the clouds open and God speaks to you in a thundering voice, but you will be closer to Him and depending on Him—and that’s what He wants. He will lead you where He wants you.
2. Lay your dreams at the feet of Jesus.
You may have a wonderful plan for your life—but there’s always a temptation for your plan to flow from sinful motives and supersede God’s plan for you. Hold your dreams–even the ones you think are God-given– with a loose grip. In His sovereignty, He may change His plans for you, and that’s OK.
3. Take a long-term view of growth.
It can be tempting to think that some of the dreams of your life can be achieved quickly. For most of the things worth doing in life, there are no short-cuts. But you can count on blood, sweat, and tears with lots of failures along the way. Take a long-term view of growth and seek to do the best things each day to lay important groundwork for the future.
Taking the long-term view is often like laying the foundation for a building. Builders may prefer building walls, furnishing rooms, or using staple guns to lay carpet (who doesn’t love staple guns?). But without a firm foundation, you will have serious problems later on (if not sooner than that). For Christians with big aspirations in life, seek to strengthen your foundation through seeking God with all of your heart in prayer and Scripture reading, reading relevant books, pursuing godly mentors, and setting small development goals along the way to your ultimate goals.
4. Enjoy the ride.
Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there.” He said this so people wouldn’t miss what God had for them during the specific times in their lives when they are tempted to focus on the future. If you have a hard time enjoying your current circumstances because you haven’t achieved all of your dreams yet, you are making your dream a god in your life.
Pray to God for contentment and for satisfaction in Christ. Don’t get so caught up in the big things of the future that you lose track of the small things the Lord has for you now. Enjoy the time and work He’s given you to do. We can’t let pursuing our goals blind us from living faithfully on the long journey that it takes to get there.
My prayer is that as you pursue your dreams, God would grow you in the “knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10).