There are few things that excite me more, that make me jump out of bed in the morning and burst forth into the day than when the Holy Spirit places a God-sized plan in my heart and says, “Hey, ‘Des, Come dream with me.”
I absolutely love it!
There is nothing better by a long shot that hearing the God of the universe call your name and say, “Follow Me in this direction.”
I mean seriously, what more could you ask for in life than to play a role in God’s kingdom purpose? Whether it be the Holy Spirit’s call to help someone else, to make a change in my life, to expand an area of the ministry, or even the day He told me to go to Lowe’s and buy a refrigerator on the ONE DAY that refrigerator’s were 50% off, there is nothing more exhilarating than living a Spirit-led life, hearing Him speak and following His plan through to completion.
And yet, it’s a challenge.
(Uh, hold it ‘Des, what’s with the change of tone and direction?)
Well, I’m just trying to keep it real. Because here’s the truth about hearing the Holy Spirit’s call of “Come Dream with Me”: It doesn’t stop with the dream.
Just like Moses’ adventure with God didn’t end with the euphoria of the burning bush experience, so the Holy Spirit’s call is only the beginning of our journey. The actual dream doesn’t come true until we move beyond “dreaming” and move toward actually “following” and “obeying” God’s plans to make the dream come true.
In my own adventures with God, here are some truths that I’ve learned:
1. A God-given dream will require a step of faith
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
So you’ve heard the Holy Spirit’s call: “I want you to do this.”
You’re pumped---completely stoked (do people still say that or just those of us stuck in the 90s?)
You’re imagination is running wild with all of the possibilities. And then it hits you, the Holy Spirit didn’t give you a promise, He told you what to do.
The only way the dream He’s placed in your heart is going to come true is if you actually DO IT.
Here’s the great (or not so great) thing about the Holy Spirit, His commands aren’t always simple.
He doesn’t always tell you the whole story ahead of time. In fact most of the time, when we “wake up” from the adrenaline that surges through our hearts and minds when we hear the voice of God, we realize that we’re looking at a mountain---a Pharoah that doesn’t want to let the people of Israel go, a raging Red Sea that doesn’t seem possible to cross, our own weaknesses that are screaming, “Great plan God, but I think you’ve picked the wrong person---I’m not capable of doing this.”
It’s in this moment that the rubber hits the road. When we realize that dreams aren’t magical, but rather require us to take steps of faith into situations that will most likely require divine intervention that we have to decide whether or not we will really answer the Spirit’s call to “Come Dream with Me.”
2. God-given dreams require sacrifice.
Okay, so you’ve hit reality and you’ve gathered your strength.
Now it’s time to put take that first step of obedience.
Let me tell you from experience that this part is H-A-R-D.
Sacrifice is never easy—especially when you’re sacrificing to make an investment based on faith (the belief that God will come through, without any actual concrete evidence that He will).
Still, you choose to plant the seed, speak the word, make the investment, take the leap of faith because you believe God has spoken and following Him is worth anything you need to give.
3. God-given dreams require obedience.
Unfortunately, this is the step where many people’s dreams die. (It breaks my heart every time)
And I get it-- It’s scary. Because this time you’re not just thinking about following God or even counting the cost, you’re actually putting yourself, your time, probably your money, and your reputation on the line to follow the voice of God.
I’ve seen it over and over again. A woman comes to me all excited saying, “God told me to do this, this, and this, so that He can do that, that and that.”
Then a few days, weeks or months later I see them and ask, “How’s it going following the plan God gave you?” only to hear, “Oh, I haven’t done it yet” or some variation of that answer.
Every. Single. Time. I want to ask “Why not? What are you waiting for? God explicitly told you to do something and yet you’re putting it off? You’re choosing disobedience?”
And don’t even come whining to me or complaining about why the God-given dream for your life hasn’t come true when you haven’t done a thing the Holy Spirit told you to do. Because honey, if you’re not obeying God, then it isn’t His fault that His plan isn’t working out, it’s yours.
As it says in James 2:20-22, “You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless. Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”
Ultimately, God-given dreams require obedience if they are ever going to come true.
4. A God-given dream will require hard work on your part.
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
Most of the time, God doesn’t allow His dreams for your life to miraculously or magically happen.
Sorry, but most God-given dreams require good, old-fashioned hard work for them to ever become a reality.
The blog or book God told you to write isn’t going to write, publish or market itself.
The class He wants you to lead is going to require study, preparation, and showing up week after week to teach.
The ministry He’s called you to isn’t going to be all fame and applause. The truth is that at least 85% of ministry (and I’m low-balling here) requires behind the scenes paperwork, heavy lifting, meetings, planning, and organization not to mention the countless acts of service you’ll do for people behind the scenes that will never be recognized.
Maybe you’re a young woman dreaming of marriage and family. This may be the hardest work of all---just talk to any young mother about the work and sacrifices she makes every day.
Whether it is a career choice, a ministry, a relationship, or any other God-given dream, the truth is that living the dream requires a commitment to doing the work required to making the dream happen.
Again, this is where a lot of God-given dreams go to die. When faced with the hard work required to see a dream come to fruition, the dreamer chooses to walk away and say “Not worth the effort.”
Oh, but those who avoid this path and choose to make the sacrifice, take the step of faith, walk in obedience, and commit to do whatever the Holy Spirit asks to make His dreams come true, know how wrong these people are.
Because there is nothing more worth the effort in life than the opportunity to partner with God in a God-sized dream.
There is nothing more exciting, more rewarding, more fulfilling, or more humbling that hearing the voice of God call, “Come dream with me”, walking alongside of Him as the plan comes together and then standing back and saying, “Wow---this is better than I ever dreamed possible.”
As Hannibal from the A-Team used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.” (I told you I was stuck in the 90’s—wait that’s the 80’s)
So today, I encourage you, I actually beg you, if you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, “Come dream with me.” Don’t let anything stop you.
Take the step of faith, make the sacrifice, do the work, obey His call.
Take the risk and make the investment to see His kingdom plans fulfilled in your life and in the world around you.
Don’t harden your heart, but instead, be open to the adventure.
Answer His call, follow His path and live the dream!