When a new year comes around, a switch goes on in our minds. We start to prepare for change.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about “vision”: vision along the lines of our God-given dreams -- where we feel God is leading our passions, talents, and hearts. But we may also feel stuck, confused as to what steps to take to see those visions manifest into something more.
Years ago, I had blurry vision. It was difficult for me to see past my 9-5 job. I found myself daydreaming about being an artist and writer someday. There was this internal pull I felt that I couldn't explain. I just knew God was igniting a passion within me for those things.
I can remember going out to my car on lunch breaks when I worked as a bank teller. For the next hour, I’d pour over Bible studies and scribble notes that would eventually become words for my first book, The Palace Keepers. I couldn’t explain to other people why I felt the urge to create and pursue such a different path. Do you know what that’s like?
One of the greatest tragedies I see in the walk of a Christian's life is when he or she makes a decision based off the feelings of fellow human beings. I’ve seen people give up on dreams before they even start because they feel inadequate, confused, or someone told them it was impossible.
What's sad is that instead of having confidence that God will reveal the plan little by little as we move forward in faith, we halt the process altogether and switch gears based on the opinions of other people. While counsel from our appointed authorities is essential, we usually allow people who have no godly authority to speak into our lives.
"For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us" (1 Corinthians 1:20).
God's promises are already in place and do not need to be provoked. However, He does require action on our part when it comes to vision. My mind goes to Joseph, who innocently boasted about his God-given dreams to his brothers. They eventually sold him into slavery, and Joseph found himself in an impossible situation. But he didn't just sit and wait for those dreams to come to fruition. Joseph was a hard worker, and the Bible says that his master, Potiphar, placed Joseph over all his possessions because "the LORD was with him, and the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand" (Genesis 39:3).
I remember the times when I was daydreaming about what I’m doing now, and I have to remind myself that God-given dreams are possible...if Jesus is at the center of it all.
So what exactly do we do with “vision” if we feel God is leading us to something greater? As we approach a new year once again, I think we should be intentional about the steps we take if we have a God-given dream.
We first need to pray and ask the Lord if we should pursue this dream. And if so, for Him to please reveal to us the next step to take. God is in the business of heart-transformation. So we must remind ourselves to seek Him first so that we have the right heart before we begin pursuing any dreams at all.
Take some quiet time to find scripture relevant to your current situation or season of life. Study them and keep them close by for reference. For more practical research in relation to your dream (like being a writer for example), Google and Youtube are full of free knowledge to get you started. Take notes, save pages, keep everything in a folder, and start to form where you want to go.
Even though you won’t know all the steps to achieving your dream, you still need to plan easy ways you can start inching towards it daily. Make a list of what you’ll need to do based on the research you’ve done. For example, I knew I would need to purchase an ISBN number and finalize my manuscript before I could self-publish my book. Just two things, but it was the beginning of the plan. You can always add things on as you learn more and are ready to take additional steps.
There is a difference between a dreamer and a doer: It is in the follow-through.
Sweet friend, it is not enough to just dream. Anyone can do that. Joseph wasn’t just a dreamer. He was faithful in all he did, honest, and he kept his integrity while he worked hard.
If Joseph was just a dreamer but didn’t have faith in the God who gave him the dreams, he may not have been put into a high position of power. I truly believe that others saw his great faith in the God he served because his actions spoke just as loud.
Make it a point to do something about the vision. Talking about it is great, but it’s action that will make it happen.
What dream or vision do you feel God is giving you for 2021?
Are you allowing other people to dictate your story. or are you taking actionable steps to achieve the goals you desire?
Please don’t let anyone take away the vision that God has given you.
Joseph’s brothers didn’t see his vision. They didn’t know the dream that God gave him. That never changed the dream, but it did change the heart of the dreamer. It made Joseph more prepared when it was time to take action. Hold onto the vision, keep that dream alive, and have faith that God will make a way if you’re willing to follow through on the path He has laid ahead of you.