This weekend I got to teach one of the most important sermons I’ve ever given. I know that’s kind of a big statement but I think it’s true. It turned out to be a message not only about all that God has done in and through our church but about what he was stirring in us for the next season of our church as well. It was a day when so many things came together and we were able to celebrate as we looked back and to anticipate as we looked ahead.
I don’t normally do this, but given the importance of this particular message, I’d actually like to ask you to listen or watch it online – particularly if you are a STORYCHURCHer.
In the coming days I’ll be posting a little bit here on each of the 5 Dreams. For now, here’s the 4 things I said were important for seeing our dreams become reality.
4 STEPS TO SEEING YOUR DREAM BECOME A REALITY.
1) Give your dream voice.
- When we speak our dreams out loud or write them down on paper we give birth to them. We allow them to live and they can start to grow. If a dream just lives in our head then it hasn’t really moved any closer to ever happening.
- When we give it birth, it’s natural to experience fear. Don’t let that stop you from giving it a voice.
- Have you written it down? Does anyone else know it?
2) Entrust it to someone safe.
- Not everyone can handle your dream with the care you need them to use. Some people will be quick to poke holes, to tell you why it could never happen or to shoot it down as an impossibility. Your dream is fragile in this stage. Entrust it to someone who will encourage you, who will pray with you about it, or who will simply celebrate the idea with you.
- In Genesis 37:19-20 we have the example of Joseph who shared a dream with his brothers about how they would one day bow down to him. Not a good idea.
- Side note: Be a safe person for others to dream with. Don’t go into problem solving mode, don’t give them a “reality check,” and don’t start poking holes. Offer encouragement, prayer, excitement. We can worry about the details later.
- Who is the safe person in your life? Schedule a coffee or make it a point to turn off the TV and share your dream tonight.
3) Trust the process. (Don’t rush it)
- Sometimes we get an idea or we feel like God shows us something so we go out and rush to make it happen. If we try and force the dream before it’s ready we can mess things up pretty badly.
- 3A – We could miss the miracle. It could be that God has just given us a glimpse of what could be and when we go out and max our credit card or jump into a relationship with the first breathing person we find, or quit our job – we could be missing out on the way that God wanted to provide for us. Pastor Andy Stanley says “What God originates, He orchestrates.” In other words, if God gave you the dream, he’ll make it happen. We don’t need to force it.
- 3B – The other thing that could happen is that we could misinterpret the dream. We may not have the full picture just yet. In Genesis 37 Joseph has a dream that his brothers will bow down to him. He thinks it’s a dream about him and his future. The truth is that it’s a dream about how God is going to rescue his people. Joseph doesn’t get that yet and it takes a lot of pain before he learns the full meaning of the dream.
- Some of the safe people in our lives (see #2) have sometimes started poking holes too soon in the past because we’ve been the kinds of people who jumped into something without really allowing that dream to develop. We didn’t really trust the process. So those safe people have felt like they better act quickly or we’re likely to sell our houses and move to Indonesia tomorrow. If we’ll trust the process, those people around us will probably become safer people as well.
- Where do you need to trust the process?
4) Take the first step.
- Maybe the first step is an act of worship. Jacob (Genesis 28) wakes from a dream where God reveals to Him all that He’s going to do to bless him and his family. The first thing he does is worship God. When’s the last time we thanked God for the thing we don’t yet have but believe He’s promised to us? What if we thanked him for the future spouse? For the kids we don’t yet have? For the freedom we will have when we get out of debt? For the job we pray about?
- Additionally, sometimes the first step is an act of faith in that it’s the first baby step toward the dream. It’s signing up for the class. It’s buying the running shoes. It’s saving the first $100 toward our goal. It’s making the phone call. You’d be surprised how one small step can be the catalyst that changes everything.
- What’s your first step?
Pastor Tommy Barnett of the “Dream Center” in Los Angeles recently tweeted: “Dreaming is an act of faith.” I couldn’t agree more.