If we’re to accomplish great things we need to have great dreams. We need to have a vision and a passion that, for the believer, can only come from God; the Holy Spirit speaking into our hearts about the work that God has prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph 2:10)
Joseph was perhaps one of the better known dreamers and interpreters of dreams. His dreams of the sheaves of grain and the moon and stars understandably drew strong criticism from his brothers. Joseph didn’t know how his dreams would play out, but knew they were significant. I am sure there were times that he really wondered IF those dreams would come to fruition.
While we don’t know how Abram’s charge to leave home for a place unidentified was communicated, he clearly stepped out in faith on that journey being led by God. When he, being childless, was told that his descendants would be as numerous as the sands of the sea, he believed God. He made some mistakes along that path by taking matters into his own hands, fathering a son, Ishmael. That mistake haunts our world today in the conflicts between the people of Israel and the people of Islam. Still God came through on His promise to Abraham by providing a son, Isaac.
All through history men have dreamed big dreams. Not all big dreams have served mankind well. Hitler and Stalin are among those whose dreams have proven destructive in recent history. Great dreams, however, are those that bring us to a higher calling; that will benefit others. These are dreams worth praying through, calling our community of wise advisors for counsel, and once convinced that the dream is of God, worth pursuing with our very lives. Great dreams do God’s work both in our lives and the lives of others.
There are many who have vision and passion that is often self-serving. Yes there are even current history examples of great dreams that have lost their way. Pastors, business leaders, and politicians who have national and international platforms in pursuit of God given great dreams only to get personally caught up in self promotion, moral failure and viewing themselves as the final arbiters of ethics in their domains. Steve Farrar, in his book Finishing Strong opens with the concept of “one in ten.” The concept of one in ten is based on his analysis that one in ten Christian leaders finishes strong. He makes a compelling argument that is further corroborated by the story of Joshua and Caleb who were two of twelve among the spies sent into the Promised Land, whose faith remained strong.
If we accept Steve’s premise, the odds are against us. The odds are that somewhere in the glory of leadership; in the waiting on God’s timing, great dreams go awry. The kingdom of heaven is humiliated by another high profile collapse of spectacular proportions. Great dreams start with today; with your family; with your small group; in service to your church and community. Passion is born from having your life rub up and clash against another. Passion often comes from your story, your life experiences that are spawned out of love or from the pain of a wound from childhood. Great dreams are born as God’s story found in the scriptures intersects with your story. Great dreams come through the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in you to complete you.
Some men dream of ministry to a lost and dying world. Some dream of touching the lives of the homeless in their cities. Others dream of having a healthy family dynamic that is able to love God and love others. Whatever your dream, study the word, pray over it, ask God to direct your paths, invite the input of other godly men and women.
If you have no dream, ask the God of heaven to give you one. Ask Him what that work is that He has prepared in advance for you to do. Pursue great people whose lives you can look to model and who can share with you how dreams are formed. Your wife and family are counting on you to have a dream for yourself and for them.
God has accomplished great things on this earth through men who have caught the dream. I challenge you today to catch the vision that God has for you. Catch the dream that God had in mind when He made you as a unique individual. I’m glad you’re here because we need your dream and your contribution.