On today’s episode, I want to encourage you to pursue the dream that God has for you. He has given you permission so go for it!
I hadn’t been a pastor’s wife very long when I was told that I shouldn’t be leading a mom’s group because the Bible said “older women” were supposed to teach the younger women and I was just 26.
I was shocked by that statement. My heart was to form a support group for the moms in our church. At the time I was a mom of 3 little ones and I wanted to create a place where other moms like me could get together for fellowship and to do a Bible study geared toward moms.
I know many of you listening to the podcast are on the younger side and new or newish to ministry life. And some of you are older but new to ministry life. In today’s podcast I want to encourage you to pursue the dream that God has given you.
In each one of us is a longing for significance. This is a God-given desire. Without that drive in us, we might never take action on the calling that God has placed on our lives.
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
I used to believe that that verse meant that if I stayed tight with the Lord, He’d give me whatever I wanted. Kind of like a genie in a bottle. But time and maturity have made me come to realize that what that verse is saying is this: when I have a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord, He will place His desires in my heart. That perspective makes all the difference.
We fostered children for 12 years. It wasn’t always easy, of course, but we loved it! Most of our babies came from moms who were in prison and we took care of the babies until the moms were released. For us, it was so much fun. Other people thought we were crazy. They couldn’t imagine willingly putting themselves through all of the work and the trauma of separation and all that went along with it.
I realized that what was so exciting and fulfilling to us wasn’t normal for everyone. It was a God-given desire of our hearts to love on these kids and to sacrifice our time and emotions and all that went with fostering. God had placed in us the idea to foster and equipped us to do so.
I know without a doubt that leading that mom’s group was a God-thing and I didn’t let that lady’s opinion stop me from pursuing that dream. (And for the record, it was a great group! Not because I was a great leader, I only facilitated – but because it met a need for the young moms in our church.)
So, I know that some of you who are listening to the podcast have a God-given calling or callings in your heart. I want you to know that God has given you permission to pursue that dream.
Maybe you’re thinking, I have no idea what God’s dreaming about for my life. Maybe you have talked yourself into believing that it will come later or that you were just created to live a quiet, ordinary life.
We are all part of the body of Christ. Each body part has a significant purpose. 1 Corinthians 12 is so clear about this! Some of us are eyes, some are ears, some are feet . . . The enemy would love for you to believe that you’re just a small and useless part. But in Ephesians 2:10, God calls you a masterpiece, created to do good works that He has been planning for you since before you were born.
Your contribution to the Kingdom of God, to the body of Christ, and to the world is a vital part of God’s plan!
Take a spiritual gifts test. Lifeway has one that will help you identify your spiritual gifts. I’ll put the link in the show notes.
Consider your passions and interests. What are you passionate about that others give you the crazy look? Like us with fostering. We couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to do that but the truth was, it wasn’t a “normal” thing for most people.
Ask your husband or family or friends what they see in you.
And, of course, spend time in prayer and the Word and let God speak to you. He probably has been and you didn’t recognize it OR you discounted it as just you talking to yourself.
He may give you a dream that is way too big for you. Good. That’s a great indication that it’s Him speaking. That’s how this podcast is for me. I feel like the least qualified person in the world to be doing this. Yet, confirmation comes just at the right time to remind me that it’s not about me, it’s about Him.
He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24
Don’t misplace your faith when it comes to God’s dream for your life – Our faith is in God, not ourselves. Faith in Him allows us to quiet the voices that scream opposition and doubt in our abilities. Faith in Him allows us to relax and let Him lead. Faith in Him takes the pressure off of ourselves, knowing that this is God’s thing and He wants it more than you do.
Discerning and pursuing the dream that God has for you means you have to put yourself in a position to hear from God.
A deep intimacy with God results in a wisdom that cannot come any other way. To pursue His dreams we must know Him well beyond the surface level. Intimacy with Him deepens our understanding of who He is which strengthens our faith. Intimacy with Him develops our recognition of His voice when He guides us. Intimacy with Him ensures that we know His heart so that we can communicate with clarity and conviction.
To pursue the dream we must pursue intimacy and it takes sacrifice. We dive deeply into the Word and stretch our understanding of His plan for the world.
We pray focused and specific prayers and then take the time to listen to what He has to say. We worship Him for who He is. We invite Him to search our hearts and reveal the brokenness and sin that will keep us from the dream.
Intimacy with God is key to pursuing the dream He has for us.
Pursuing the dream God has for your life is not usually a quick process. If you are called to be a doctor, you can recognize that calling but you don’t show up in your white coat at the hospital tomorrow and expect to find your Dr. name badge. If God’s dream for you is for you to be a doctor, it starts way before that name badge. There are many, many steps between knowing and becoming.
The same is true with most dreams.
When you read the Bible, you will see a ton of verses that refer to the Christian life as a walk. Walking takes steps. To pursue the dream that God has for you takes steps. Sometimes a gazillion steps. It’s a process. And sometimes the steps of the process don’t look like they have anything to do with the dream. But God is using whatever it takes to prepare us.
If the dream He has shown you is beyond your comprehension – don’t panic. He will lead you there, step by step.
If the dream He has shown you is beyond your comprehension – don’t fool yourself into believing that it’s for a long time from now and you don’t need to do anything until then. If you’re called to stand in front of 10,000 women at a conference, and you’re scared to death to speak in front of your small group, trust me when I tell you that you don’t wait until the day of the conference and expect to magically be able to speak. Start now! Take every opportunity to speak. Email me and I’ll have you on the podcast. Read books about speaking. Watch videos or attend seminars.
God had a dream for Gideon. The son of a farmer and an Israelite. At the time of Gideon’s story, Israel was in bondage to the Midianites. They lived in fear and in starvation. Whatever the Israelites grew, the Midianites would take. They stole their sheep, their oxen, their donkeys.
Finally, Israel came to its senses and the people cried out to God for help.
God’s dream for Israel was to His people out of bondage. And God’s dream for Gideon was to see him come to a new place in their relationship. To see Gideon recognize the greatness of God, His faithfulness, and His power.
When we meet Gideon he is threshing wheat in a winepress. He was afraid of the enemies of Israel so he was hiding in the winepress to do his work.
An angel of the Lord appears to him and speaks to him. “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor”
God’s dream for Gideon was for him to rise above His fear and step out in faith so that he could fulfill a purpose. To save Israel from her enemies. His promise? That God would be with him.
God has a dream for you. Some of you may know that dream already. Some of you may have a feeling that there is something that God wants for you but you are not quite sure what it is.
Some of you may already be actively be pursuing this dream. But others sitting here may be stuck.
You may have built a wall that prevents you from pursuing the dream. Or even seeing the dream. You may be hiding behind a wall like Gideon hid in the winepress. What are your walls?
Today God is giving you permission to rise up and break out of the bondage that is holding you back!
For those that are behind a barrier, I believe the Holy Spirit is speaking to you today. I believe that He is revealing the barriers in your life.
God’s dream for you is to walk in freedom from everything that is holding you back and He is giving you permission to put those strongholds in their place.
He gives us all authority over the enemy.
He is giving you permission to see yourself as He sees you.
You are more than a conqueror.
He is giving you permission to leave behind the labels that have falsely identified you.
Gideon called himself the least of the weakest clan. David was just a shepherd boy when he killed Israel’s number one enemy. Moses had no confidence in himself and he stuttered. Even Jesus was called just a carpenter’s son.
God’s giving you permission to call yourself what He calls you – a mighty woman of virtue destined to do great things.
God’s giving you permission to stop making excuses and know that He is with you.
God is giving you permission to walk in the truth of His Word rather than the reality of your life.
We walk by faith and not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7
God is giving you permission to embrace the dreams He has for you.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
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