Fanning the Flames: Igniting Your Dreams
From the time I was 8 years old I wanted to be a writer. Later that expanded to magazine writer and editor.When I met Jesus, I made an exchange: my way for His way. I wanted His plan for my life, and I wanted my life to count.As my life has unfolded, so has the fulfillment of these dreams. Lots of details, innumerable surprises, reluctant detours. For many years I edited a magazine. I continue to write. But there has been so much more. I have (mostly) loved the journey, and I am still dreaming for the years ahead.How do you discover and live out God’s dreams for you? This is a simple starting approach that can help you go forward in God's purposes for you.
1. Know that God is dreaming His best dreams for you.
"What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived— these things God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)Identify some dreams from the past. Have any of them happened? Are you still dreaming them? How do they influence you now?
2. Discover current dreams.
Pray about your present and your future. Answer these questions:What are some core values in your life? What things are of highest importance to you?What are one or two things you are passionate about?What activities have given you joy and satisfaction?When have you felt most “useful”?What matters most to you in this season of your life?What are some dreams for the rest of your life?
3. Discern God’s call on your life.
God made you who you are and has prepared good works for you to do. This is the essence of His calling on your life.Have you ever sensed God calling you to a specific work or mission or purpose?Where are you now in your dreams? In living out God’s calling?Do your dreams fit with where God has you now?How might God want to rekindle your calling? Your dreams?What sparks might He use?
4. Put it all together.
Ask God how it fits together. What is for now? What is for the future?Try to write down a personal vision and mission statement based on God’s calling and the dreams He has affirmed in your life.
5. Offer your dreams to God.
When we capture a vision of God’s calling, when we see how our dreams might really happen, we tend to grasp onto them. We want to make them happen. We want God to do it our way.That’s when we need to open our hands and offer our dreams to Him.He surely has some purifying to do. He will tweak, or do a major overhaul. He will add to and take away. As long as we keep our hands and hearts open, He will lead us to become all He created us to be, and do all He made us to do.This I know: His plans for me, His calling, His dreams are far better than anything I have ever dreamt.
Afterburner: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20)
How about you? What is some dream that God has for you? Are you living it out?c2012 Judy Douglass