This week I asked a friend, who has been involved in mission work for many years with various organisations and on different continents, why she followed such a challenging lifestyle… why she did what she did. “This way of life is what has always seemed to be in front of me,” was the essence of her reply. She didn’t choose the calling. It chose her, and she felt compelled to follow what God was presenting to her.
In my post You are a gift to the world I wrote that because we are unique God has unique purposes for us to fulfil, and if we’re listening to Him, He will give us dreams for our life and will help us bring them to fruition.
Sometimes those dreams start as an inkling… a thought… a sense. Often, you can’t immediately put your finger on it. Perhaps it’s a quiet dissatisfaction with your current circumstances. Or a vague sense of being unfulfilled. Or the belief that there might be more you could be doing.
In the Word for Today (Winter 2011/12 November, December, January) Bob Gass says that God often “leads by an idea or an impression that begins to grow inside us, and as it strengthens and persists we start to think, ‘Maybe this is what God wants me to do.’”
Getting to grips with the dream
Bob adds that it’s up to us to take the steps God is showing us towards the fulfillment of the dream or vision. We need faith to bring it to pass. “If our dream is from God,” he says, “we’ll have the necessary gifts and talents to fulfil it. And what we lack, God will provide in additional relationships and resources.”
God doesn’t usually give us all the details or show us the whole picture. He expects us to be faithful with the bits He has shown us and to step out. As we go, He will reveal more of the dream to us. Joyce Meyer notes in Promises for Your Everyday Life (a daily devotional on the YouVersion Bible app) that having a vision doesn’t mean we’ll see instant results. “God’s as interested in the process of vision as He is in the end result… [He] will help you live the dream He’s given you, step-by-step, one day at a time.”
Simply hoping that things will turn out the way we desire, isn’t helpful. We need to be intentional about what we’re doing, and to work towards it. Bob Gass cautions, “Too many of us stand on the dock waiting. We want the ship in place, the gangplank perfectly positioned, the weather right, and an engraved invitation before we’re willing to launch out. It will never happen! Dreams don’t move toward us, we have to move toward them…. Instead of saying, ‘I can’t,’ say, ‘By God’s grace I can!’”
Has the Lord given you a dream? Are you taking steps of faith towards it? What are you learning?