I’m back to share another lesson on More: It’s Time to Dream Again. You can find the previous weeks lessons on DREAMING here.
This week I want to focus on the question, How do I know if my dreams line up with God’s dreams for me? Have you ever allowed yourself to dream and then panic, “Oh no, what if my dreams are sinful or wrong?” If you’re dreaming you will probably have those thoughts whispered to you by the dream snatcher. To help you I have some practical suggestions to help you check your dreams to see if they line up with God’s dreams.
God-sized DREAMS will be:
1. One that fits with your strengths.
Who did God make you to be?
God made you a specific way for a specific purpose.
A strength is a characteristic that can be used on behalf of God in service to others. Your strengths are usually present throughout your life but can be enhanced through life experiences or training.
There is a lie buried deep in the Christian circles that to be truly spiritual we can’t like what we do. We always feel like he’s going to make us go to Africa and serve Him.
Look at Peter. Jesus said to Peter in Luke 5:10 “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people. What was Peter’s occupation? Fisherman- Peter’s skills transferred to a totally different adventure but the core characteristics tenacity, risk taking, battling storms, and hard work all stayed the same.
- David was a shepherd that went on to shepherd God’s people.
- Moses was raised in the house of Pharaoh and then went on to stand before a Pharaoh and rescued the Israelite’s from slavery.
- Saul a zealous leader for the Jews, who turned into Paul a zealous leader for Jesus Christ.
What parts of you consistently bring glory to God and others? Those are your strengths.
2. Your skills and experiences have prepared you for it.
A skill is a strength expressed in a way that builds others up and benefits the kingdom of God.
Just as God make us in specific ways he also gives us certain skill s and experiences. These experiences can be practice for our dreams.
We need to be careful that when we have a God-sized dream we can rush past where we are right now. Right where we are today may be the exact training we need for that God-sized dream.
Here are some of the things I’ve experienced in life?
- Teen pregnancy
- Teen parent- had a baby at 17
- Teen Marriage married at 16– we will be celebrating our 38th year this month.
- Troubled Marriage- our first few years of marriage were horrible.
- Dealing with guilt after having an affair
- Financial struggles
- Grew up a Preachers Kid- living in a glass house
- I had years where I lived where I was consumed with fear-
- Home-school mom- I home schooled 4 of my 6 kids for 16 years.
- Children at every age of the spectrum- Our daughter was 20 years old when my twin boys were born.
- Unexpected pregnancies- dealing with the guilt of not wanting more kids while people are begging for them.
- Being a stay at home mom and the drudgery that can take place.
- Issues w/church/religion- Had a very skewed view of God
- Being in a DEAD church and starving for a church that was ALIVE!
- My dad died at the age of 47
- Dealt with a medical crisis with our son Drew.
- A working woman and all the balance that is required of a working mom, wife etc.
- Owned a business and all that, that entails
These life experiences will help me with my dreams.
I’m not saying God caused all these things in my life but I will say God’s not going to waste one single thing. He will turn everything into good in our life if we let him.
And we know (with great confidence) that God (who is deeply concerned about us) causes all things to work together (as a plan) for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. Romans 8:28
Our experiences allow us to apply our strengths and skills.
James 1:2 Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith (through experience) produces endurance (leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace).
All these experiences I’ve lived have given me the ability to relate to a lot of women. They have given me the ability to empathize with their pain and to show them, hey, if I can overcome then you can overcome as well. It has equipped me to fulfill my dream of teaching women.
3. It will line up with your spiritual gift.
My spiritual gifts are teacher and a encourager. It goes right along with my dream of teaching women.
4. What did you dream about being or doing as a child?
As a little girl I always wanted to be a teacher. As the oldest of 4 girls we played school often and I always got to be the teacher. I eventually home-schooled my kids for 16 years. I taught Bible study and led small groups, did a few retreats and then had a mentor say to me that I was drawing way too much attention to myself. That shut down every desire I ever had to teach and then began a long season (10 years) of hiding that dream.
I took the risk to let the dream rise to the surface of my heart. I looked at life coaching. A different aspect of teaching than I had ever done. That area set me on fire. I had passion and a drive so much so that when I felt that dream was blocked I packed it all up in a suitcase and buried that deep down in the ground never to touch it or so I thought. It was a painful! To keep that dream buried I had to shut down parts of my life and go on auto pilot.
About 4 years ago God slowly started resurrecting that dream in me and asked me to start a blog I fought that as well. I didn’t want to be seen, but He has graciously and kindly continued to keep pulling me along.
Phil. 1:6 I am convinced and confident that He who has begun a good work in you will (continue to) perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
5. The dream scares you to death.
A God size dream is always a risk. It takes us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes in a huge way.
Look at Noah- Hey Noah build an ark? What’s an ark? A boat for when the rain comes. What’s rain? I’d consider that outside of my comfort zone.
Hey, disciples, leave everything you know and come follow me?
Hey Esther, go before that king and ask him to save your people even though it may cost you your life.
It is something that always stretches our faith.
OK, I’m going to stop for this week. I will be sharing 5 more questions for you next week. I hope you are being challenged and stretched. Let me know if you have any questions or have any comments.