The Value of Living Your Dream

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me: thy mercy, O Lord, endures for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. ~ Ps. 138:7-8

I had a note from one of my readers after last week’s article (How to Create the Life You Want). She said, “Great message this week. I am one that doesn’t really dream. God is so good to me.”

Well, God is good to me, too. How do I know? Because I’m living in the midst of my dreams. Life is [mostly] wonderful. And I’m grateful for [almost] every moment; but there are still things I’d like to accomplish, places I’d like to go and things I’d like to do.

I have no doubt He wants to be good to you, too. But, I’m here to tell her – and you – that everybody has dreams. Even God. His ‘dream’ is to help you grow into the best ‘you’ possible. Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2). There they are: health, wealth and peace – all in the same verse. The word ‘wish’ in the KJV is translated ‘pray’ in other versions of the Bible, so now you know God’s prayer for you!

Remember the movie, “The Bucket List”? Two old men had things they wanted to see and do before they died. That list encompassed their dreams. Dreams don’t have to be grandiose, but we all need something to look forward to. Let me share a story with you.

My father-in-law (who passed on this past spring) battled COPD a decade or more. For the last several years, we’d get a call … and off we’d go, headed for GA. Sometimes we’d stay for a couple of weeks, sometimes for a couple of months, slowly nursing him back to health and strength. During one particularly bad stretch, my husband and I told him if he could get well and stay well through the winter (his hardest time), we would take him to Arizona to visit his only sister and her family.

Well, he did. He thought about and talked about that trip for more than six months. Finally in February 2011, we packed him and all his pills and medical supplies, oxygen tanks and nebulizer in the car and drove cross-country from Atlanta to Arizona. We were gone for three weeks, and he had a great visit.

The anticipation of that trip helped keep him in reasonably good health for the longest stretch he’d had in some time. When he got back to GA … well, there was nothing really to look forward to. And his health deteriorated. By May we were back in GA for another two-month stretch.

Moral of the story: everyone needs something to look forward to – some dream or desire that keeps us focused on what needs done to accomplish that dream. It’s the reason for vacations, weekends, get-togethers and projects. Have you noticed how many celebrations, feast days and holidays God ordained throughout the Old and New Testaments? Some of them lasted a month! (So why do we only get 2 or 3 weeks of vacation?)

Have you noticed that The Bible makes no provision for retirement. God wants us to be productive right up till the day we head off to heaven! (That may not mean a full-time job, but there is always something you can be doing, learning, sharing, giving.)

Statistically, a lot of retirees die within a couple years of their retirement. Why? Suddenly, their lives have no purpose, no reason to get out of bed and get moving. Without a vision, a dream or a project, it’s possible to fall into depression and ennui. Proverbs 29:18 says where there is no vision, the people perish. God always has something in mind for you. If you’re unsure what that is, spend some time in prayer and meditation, expecting an idea to take hold in your thoughts, a project to inspire your enthusiasm.

You know how much effort people put into planning and getting ready for vacation. Sometimes, they save for a year or more for that trip-of-a-lifetime. They read travel brochures, check out hotels and plan itineraries. Anticipation keeps excitement alive through the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges of life. No matter what happens, we say to ourselves, “I’m going to _____!”

So … does my reader dream? I’m guessing she does. She just doesn’t think of it in those terms. But I’m betting that she (and you) have places to go, things to do and people to see. I’m guessing that there are still things she (and you) want to change about your life.

Let me share another example:

We’ve lived in the same house for over 30 years. It has been a fine place and we’ve enjoyed the privilege of being here. Slowly, we’ve worked on it, one room at a time, until it’s just about perfect. Well, except for a few more ideas I’ve got!

Why is it that one project leads to another? Because God gives you dreams and projects in progression. I didn’t even think about that thing until the one before it was done. Then – all of a sudden! – (God does have a sense of humor) – here’s another ‘something’ that I’d like to do!

Hubby and I look at each other when a project gets completed and ask, “Why didn’t we do that, years ago?” Well, the truth is, it never even crossed our minds. We apparently weren’t ready for that particular ‘dream’ until now.

Of course, accomplishing your dreams takes effort. You may have to turn off the TV to make time to learn a new skill, or plan the next step. You also need to keep yourself connected with God (which takes time) so your spirit is open to His leading. And you have to step out in faith. Hebrews says without faith it is impossible to please God (11:6). Not only is your dream harder to attain, but God wants you to trust Him to help you. The same verse goes on to say that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Matthew says that if you have even a grain of faith, … nothing shall be impossible (17:20). Isn’t it time to get started?

The planning and preparation are as much fun (and as necessary) as the accomplishment. When our daughter announced she was getting married in Aspen, we were – first – shocked! Why so far away? Why not on a beach somewhere? Then we got thinking … and planning … and anticipating a grand tour of the Rockies. We spent months mapping out a route that would include all the places we wanted to go. Talk about a dream trip. It was absolutely awesome!

Travel might not be your dream. You might want to write a book … or start a small business … adopt a child … learn a new skill … take a new class, or _____: you fill in the blank. Whatever it is that tickles your thoughts and inspires a grin and a sense of excitement – pursue it. If you want it badly enough, you can make it happen. With focus and effort, expecting divine favor and blessing, you can absolutely live your dream. And each dream accomplished leads to bigger and better dreams! (If you don’t believe me, look back at your life and see how far you’ve come.)

No matter what season you’re in – blessed or challenged – there’s more good in your future than you know. God loves you and wants the absolute BEST for you! And He knows how to accomplish it. Trust Him to lead you, give you supernatural favor and open the windows of heaven on your behalf.

One last note, there’s no such thing as a bad dream if you’re walking in love and faith. You can have the desires of your heart (Ps. 34:7) if you will delight yourself in the LORD (same verse). Jesus told us there are only two rules to follow: Love the LORD your God, and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). Consider this quote from my spiritual mentor, Kenneth Copeland:

Do not for one second believe that God has forgotten you or that He has not heard your prayers. When God’s appointed time comes in its fullness, you will give birth to all that God has planned for you. God is well able to accomplish all that concerns you. His part is to perform the miracles. Your part is to pray without ceasing and to live a life that pleases His heart.

You really can have the life you want. 2014 is destined to be your best year ever! Don’t let anything or anyone steal your dream!

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