We are dreamers. We aspire to reach goals for ministry, career, education, family, and so on. Dreams inspire and motivate us, and often become reality when pursued with diligence. However, our dreams must be subject to the will of God. God had a purpose for us in mind before we were born. Knowing that plan, He gave us talents, personalities, and giftings that could help bring that purpose into reality.
Dreaming with God
God does all things with intention. We weren’t made by chance or with random qualities thrown in the mix. We have purpose, and that purpose can only be found knowing the mind of the Creator through prayer. To pursue our dreams without pursing God’s plan for us usurps His authority in our life. We must be willing to be obedient not only to the laws of His Word, but also in the interests and vocational passions that define our lives.
God is also a dreamer. Though He is all-powerful, He chooses to work through humanity. His dreams are most often achieved through our participation.
We have purpose, and that purpose can only be found knowing the mind of the Creator through prayer.
Pursuing our dreams is admirable, but God’s dreams should always be more important than our own. We must be willing to put aside our dreams to pursue His. As we pursue our dreams, let the following guide our prayers.It’s time to take our dreams back to the prayer room and submit them to God. Imagine where our dreams and the dreams of God could take us. . . if we become truly Spirit led in the pursuit of achieving them. Click To Tweet
1. Remove the Limitations
God desires to be involved in your dreams, and He desires to use you in some of His. Our human reasoning can err in what we define as sacred and spiritual. We often think God only cares about preaching, teaching, and soulwinning when in reality, He’s interested in all parts of our lives. The truth is, the secular and mundane things of life can become holy when we invite God to be involved in them.
The truth is, the secular and mundane things of life can become holy when we invite God to be involved in them.
It’s at that point they become spiritual. Talents, interests, and even hobbies can become spiritual when we dedicate them to God and invite Him to guide those passions in us. When we do so, we often find that God works through those areas in ways we didn’t previously expect.
God also wants to use you in His dreams. He doesn’t limit Himself to the five-fold ministry. He will work through those who make themselves available and obedient to Him. He works through the methods of teaching, preaching, and evangelism, but He also works through our conversations, relationships, business ventures, careers, and so on. Remove the limitations that you’ve put on yourself and God, and believe that He wants to use you, even in those things you feel are not that spiritual.
2. Be Open
God works in various ways. Just because He did a certain thing a certain way in the past does not mean He will do it again in the same manner. We cannot place limitations on God or put faith in a human process rather than in His guidance. Jesus often worked in unconventional ways while He walked on earth. He healed one way one day, and another way another day. He was not fearful of change or the unknown.
God is not asking for cookie-cutter Christians or ministries. His desire is for His unique will in each person and event to be made manifest. So we have to pray for courage and an open mind to accept His will, whatever it is. We must be open to change and not live by the constraints of fear.
3. Ask God Questions
We learn through questions and answers. Assumptions can cause us to do things that are ineffective or completely wrong. God expects us to initiate dialogue, just as we would in any relationship. We are to ask Him what to do and then wait for His response. If He is truly in charge of our dreams, then His direction matters.
This is hard for us because dreams push us. When we are inspired we want to act, even though we may not know what to do. Emotion takes over. Often we feel like we must do something right now or the opportunity will pass. We don’t want to wait. So, we move without direction from God, often in error.
Rather than assume we know what, when, where, and how to pursue our dreams, let’s ask God who knows the beginning from the end.
4. Be Specific
The more specific we are, the more our prayers are effective. Being specific helps us fine-tune what we really desire. Talk to God about the details of your dreams. Sometimes the smallest detail has the most impact.
He’s not just God of the big things, but of all things.
He’s not just God of the big things, but of all things. Sometimes it can seem that God is unresponsive to our prayers. The issue isn’t God but the way we pray. How can He answer prayers when we haven’t truly defined what we need?
5. Expect an Answer
God wants to answer us. He will reveal things to us about our dreams and His dreams when we will pursue His answer. He doesn’t limit revelation to a select few. He responds to faith. Yet the answer that God gives may not be the answer we desire. His answer may be yes, no, or wait. Still, His answer is always right and always good.
6. Recognize His Voice
God speaks through His Spirit, His Word, and through others. As we spend more time listening to God in prayer, we’ll begin to discern His voice from our own, others, and the enemy. The counsel and opinions we heed as we pursue our dreams must be in alignment with what God would speak. If God would not speak it, then we should not follow it. Bring the words you are hearing before God in prayer and ask if they are His will.
7. Be Obedient
God will give us direction when He knows we will listen. Our obstinate heart hinders God from being able to help us. Often our prayers are for God to do all the work while we enjoy the end result. Prayer doesn’t alleviate our responsibility. The work of prayer is to guide us through the journey, not transport us beyond it. Jesus modeled this obedient lifestyle as referenced in John 5:19. He said He only did what the Father directed Him to do. Even Jesus submitted.
8. Go Back Again
The pursuit of dreams takes time and adjustments. Setbacks happen. Obstacles have to be overcome. We need direction not just once, but again and again as God reveals each step. Jesus prayed continually through His journey to the cross. He didn’t start His ministry and then complete it through His own ability. He sought confirmation for everything He did. Likewise, we need God’s approval not only at the birth of our dreams but all along the way.
Many of our dreams have crashed because inspiration without divine revelation and delegation has steered them in wrong directions. Others have dreams that are still where they started simply because they have no idea how to bring them to pass.
And then there are the dreams of God that have been hindered because our own dreams became greater.
And then there are the dreams of God that have been hindered because our own dreams became greater or no one stepped up with courage to bring it to pass. It’s time to take our dreams back to the prayer room and submit them to God. Imagine where our dreams and the dreams of God could take us, and how much more quickly and effectively, if we become truly Spirit led in the pursuit of achieving them.
(A version of this content originally appeared in Pentecostal Life. To see more content or subscribe, visit Pentecostal Life.
Colleen Clabaugh: Artist | Creative Designer
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