Dreams are a wonderful thing. They are the intangible image of our hopes for the future. Every so often I take a good long look at my dreams, encouraging myself and making sure they are in line with God’s dreams. My dreams are so big and my passions so deep that I sometimes feel crazy in comparison to others. I am serious. This happened just a couple weeks ago.
I want to write books that touch the nations. When I say that, it sounds impossible. I have wanted to write books since I was six, but for a while I let myself be stifled by people whose “dreams” were so small and safe that mine sounded crazy. Then I learned something powerful: when God is involved, there is no such thing as impossible. My writing will touch the nations. That is the passion of God’s heart: that we learn to dream with Him.
I am not saying that you have to dream of colonizing space or something. If your God-dream is to serve Him by being a cashier at Walmart for the rest of your life, go for it! But sometimes we set things up as our “dream” — or we stop dreaming — because we know it is within the realm of possibility and we don’t want to be disappointed. Oh yes, we are very, very afraid of disappointment. We think that if our dreams are “reasonable” we will be able to fulfill them or live with the disappointment if they never come to be, but that is a lie. Small hope brings small reward, and as living beings formed in the creative image of God, we starve slowly on small hope.
Proverbs 13:12 tells us that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” This first and oft-quoted part of the verse doesn’t mean that disappointed hopes make us heart-sick but rather that lack of hope crushes our spirit. Now let me tell you the second half of the verse, the part that I don’t hear often:
“[B]ut when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
That is what our God-dreams being fulfilled are: a tree of life. Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than all we could ever all or even imagine. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says that He has plans for us, to give us a future and a hope. Does the God of Scripture sound to you like a God who wants His people to be dwelling in the place of small hope?
For far too long we have been selling ourselves short, but Jesus Christ did not live and die so we could placate ourselves with no hope or even with small hope. Dreaming is about participating in God’s creative, life-giving nature. But some have forgotten how to dream, and that breaks our Father’s heart. Our reconciliation to God the Father through the blood of Jesus Christ has set us free to dream with God. If we are not dreaming with God, we are not yet living in the fullness of the good things God already has for us. I am reminded of a line from Jason Upton’s “Burning in the Sky”:
“Some men only believe in what their eyes can see.
Some men only believe in what their minds conceive.”
Is dreaming with God scary? No, it’s not. It’s utterly terrifying. The God-things we dream of are too big for us to handle on our own, which is why so many of us settle for less than what God wants for us. But don’t you see? That’s the beauty of it: we can’t do it on our own. God does not give out dreams as “To Do” lists; He gives dreams that He can accomplish with us.
God is creative by nature, and it is that creativity which makes us unique and gives us each a role to play in the making of history. We were never created to live hopeless, because each one of us has a destiny to inherit the good things God already has prepared for us. So here’s the real question: will you be a world-changer and a history-maker? Will you be a dreamer?