A dream is a wish your heart makes…But how do you know if it’s a good dream or if you need to give it up? Some dreams have to die.
Below are 4 types of dreams we see in Scripture. As you read them, think about your own dreams. What is your motivation? Would you be able to give it up without a fight if God asked for it?
Dreams Based on Selfish Ambition (When it’s all about me):
- Jesus’s Disciples (Mark 10) – One day, James and John came up to Jesus and asked that He would let them sit at His right and left in glory. Then the other disciples became angry because they wanted to be honored. But Jesus doesn’t want us to be engulfed in our own ambition. He told them, and He tells us today, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”James 3:16
As Christians, we are to be servants. If we’re so busy trying to “make something of” ourselves, we aren’t serving anyone but “me”. That dream needs to die. Followers of Christ are meant to build His brand, not their own.
Dreams Rooted in Pride (Glorying yourself):
- King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4) – Babylon had become a prosperous place and all that King Nebu had built was doing exceedingly well. One day, he walked out to admire all “his” accomplishments. He basically said he built up Babylon by his own might and power and for his own glory. “While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.” Right after this, he went nutso for 7 years and lost everything.
If our dreams are puffing us up with a prideful attitude, we need to let them go. We can’t let our dreams or our desires hinder God’s plan or our relationship with Him. “A man devises his way: but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”Psalm 37:4
Dreams that are God-Promised (When We’re Asked to Sacrifice):
- Abraham & Isaac (Genesis 22) – God called Abraham one day and told him to sacrifice his promised son. He put his only son on the altar, raised his knife, ready and willing to give up the best thing God had ever given him. Spoiler alert: God stopped him and brought a ram to take Isaac’s place. It’s interesting what God said when He stopped Abraham, “Now I know you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
God may call you to lay down your dream, your most prized possession, your greatest desire. Think about it for a moment. What is the one thing you wouldn’t want to give up? Is there a dream you have that if God said, “Give it to me,” you would struggle with letting go? If so, now is the time to let it go. Now is the time to offer it to Him.
Dreams We Fight For (When God Says Run With It):
- Habakkuk (Habakkuk 2) – “Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run.” The prophet said he would stand on guard and keep watch to see what the Lord would speak. The Lord gave a vision and told him to write it down. “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail…” This vision wasn’t an exciting one, by the way, but the idea remains:
When you have a dream that God gives (they are the best), write it down. Make it plain to understand for anyone who you might want to present it to, work with, or request funding from (if needed). Run with it (do what is necessary), yet also wait on God to bring it to pass. He will if it is truly ordained by Him. A very (monetarily) successful businessman once said, “A good idea always grows.” In the hands of God, it’s true. He will enlarge the physical territory, the moral character, and the gift and ability to hold the vision/dream. In His hands, it can only increase. But you must remain diligent and faithful and give Him the glory at every moment.
Some dreams are worth keeping and fighting for. Others need our attention to adjust our motivation and possibly the direction of the dream. Still more need to be laid on the altar. Whether God has us kill the dream or lets us keep it is up to Him. We must be obedient to whatever He decides. If Jesus is Lord of your life, He is the dream. Focus on Him and let everything else fall into place.
Pray with me: Lord, this desire/dream I possess, I give to You. If it is of You, You’ll bring it to pass and give it back to me. Teach me to be patient with Your promises and to have faith that You will bring to pass what You began. Help me steward the dreams You have given me well. In Jesus’s name, Amen <><