Has God placed a dream in your heart that has not yet come to pass?
In this presentation, I would like to share some pertinent information with you that could be of assistance that applies to everyone of us, whether we are “in ministry” or not. The principles are consistent. We shall start with Abraham who was one such man who had a dream or a vision. It was an impossible dream.
When he was advanced in age and his wife was barren, God spoke to him. And יהוה said to Aḇram, “Go yourself out of your land, from your relatives and from your father’s house, to a land which I show you. “And I shall make you a great nation, and bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing! “And I shall bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you. And in you all the clans of the earth shall be blessed.” So Aḇram left, as יהוה had commanded him, and Lot went with him. And Aḇram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Ḥaran. And Aḇram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the beings whom they had acquired in Ḥaran, and they set out for the land of Kena‘an. And they came to the land of Kena‘an. Genesis 12:1-5.
As I have said many times before, Abraham did not really obey God in the way we often hear at first. He took Lot and his father with him, but God had told him to leave all friends and relatives behind. His journey started when he was 70 years of age and I am convinced that Abraham did not know where God was sending him. All that he had was a word from God telling him to pack his belongings and start moving, saying that He would tell Abraham he had arrived when he got there. That really took a major step of faith, based solely on a promise from God. He did not have a bible and did not have the leading of the Holy Spirit as we do, so at this point he started the journey that would make him the father of our faith, despite some hiccups along the way. I’ve made a journey of my own but knew where I was going and that was traumatic in many ways, so what he did really took some intestinal fortitude to say the least.
When He told Abraham to leave his country, God didn’t tell him where he was going or how to get there. All He said was that He would tell him that he had arrived when he got there.
God does not always lay out all the details of a dream before us. He gives us one piece of the puzzle at a time. It’s up to us to connect each of the pieces by faith in His Word.
Each step toward a dream must be taken in faith and there might be times when each step is challenging, sometimes painful. The promises are real and the Promised Land is real—but there are giants in the land and we have to overcome them.
I believe that every promise from God has to be appropriated by taking action, sometimes violent action to take the promises. Jesus said in Matthew eleven that the Kingdom of God suffereth violence and that the violent ones take it by force. As we know, this kingdom is not heaven. There is no violence or need for such drastic action in heaven. He was referring to the rotten here and now, pressing in forcefully if necessary to take what is rightfully ours.
He was relating to John the Baptist here and up to then, everything was in a different dispensation. Both John and Jesus ministered under “Old Testament” conditions”, so the promises had yet to be “ratified” by Jesus’ ministry, but there were some folk who still pressed in to obtain the promises. The woman with the issue of blood was one.
Let us jump ahead in time from Abraham to the nation of Israel and the Exodus. God sent those plagues, opened the Red Sea for them and provided for all their Needs. He led them by the pillar of fire and the cloud and gave water from a rock, manna and quails, so they knew about and experienced the supernatural of God. What He told them was that taking possession of the Promised Land would not happen overnight, but little by little. We see this in Exodus chapter twenty-three and I recommend you go through it carefully, but here are the key points.
He said that His angel would go before them and that this angel would bring them into the place He had prepared. This means that there is a place for us. It also means that there is a time process involved. In Habakkuk chapter two we see that the vision or our dream has an appointed time for its fulfillment. I shall come back to this later, but bear in mind that when God gives you a dream/vision, a time factor is involved.
I once asked a few people in my church before I closed it in preparation for our move, “If I gave you 1 million dollars, what would you do with it?” I had been teaching them the principles of faith, the laws of the harvest, tithing and more and I waited for an answer. Let me ask you this same question right now. “If you were given $1,000,000, what would you do with it?”
Let me show you something more by looking at the time Jesus fed the multitude as seen in John chapter six.
We can and should have great dreams, but I sometimes wonder if we are ready for them. God is ready to do all kinds of amazing things for us and can give us dreams and visions of these plans, but to get them working, we need to stop seeing things from our own natural limitations and see them as He sees them. Sometimes it is hard work.
It also involves doing some homework and conducting research. He can tell us, “I’ve given you the land. I’ve given you the dream, now you start putting it together”. Jesus told the disciples to seat that multitude in orderly rows. That’s organizing things! He also told them that they had to distribute the food. He didn’t. There are things God and God alone does and there are things we have to do. He performed the miracle, but they had to apply it by faith. The prophet told the widow woman to fetch as many vessels as she could and pour the oil out. That’s making plans and doing what is possible so that the impossible of God can happen.
Let’s put this into modern day perspective. Many years ago the Lord told me that I would one day need a ministry aircraft. I never told anyone! Sometimes the best thing to do is to remain silent until we know the full picture. We may not be ready for it. Other things may need to happen beforehand. Other people who will be involved are not yet ready. Then there are the dream killers, or people who do not see what you see and those who do not want you to succeed. Do not be surprised if fellow Christians oppose you. They will. Be careful therefore in what you share and with whom you share. It happens and if you do not believe me, look at what happened to Joseph. Spiritual jealousy is real.
If you look at the events in Abraham’s life, you will see that he did not wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise and tried to help Him. Ishmael was the result when he was 86 years old and God stopped talking to him for 13 years. God is not fickle and temperamental as we can be, but we can offend Him. Did Abraham offend Him? I think so, but God did not throw a tantrum in the way we can and do. He was working to a plan. He too had a dream.
When Abraham was 99 years old, God started talking again and reaffirmed the promise. Why wait for 13 years? When I pondered over this, I suddenly thought of the Jewish custom when boys at 12 or 13 years of age today undergo their Bar-Mitzveh when they are deemed to have become men. Perhaps Ishmael had to reach an age of maturity or independence so that Abraham could then be freed to enter into the vision God had for him.
To bring this segment to a close, let me say that when God calls you, or gives you a dream or a vision, He watches over it and waits until you are ready for it. See Psalm 119:106; Jeremiah 1:2; Ezekiel 12:5 and Philippians 1:6.
The Dream Killer:
There is an enemy who does not want us to succeed. He is the ultimate dream killer.. When Jesus taught about the shepherd and the sheep, He said, I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!
Let me liken the Holy Spirit to the gatekeeper. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and we are the sheep. You and I can learn to discern His voice and follow Him, not another. There are many voices out there, all clamoring for our attention, so we need to learn to recognize the difference. The way to do that is by association. He added-
Satan is the one who wants to steal, kill and destroy your dream and one of the most effective tools he uses is to cast doubt on the integrity and effectiveness of God’s word and to instill fear into our lives. He cast doubt on God’s word in the garden in Genesis 3:1 when he said, “Did God really say that?”
One way he does this today is to discourage us from reading what God has said and if he cannot do that, to introduce “variations” and “substitutes”, all of which fall into the realms of religion. Visit some churches today and observe. See if they refer to scripture, how they refer to it and how often. Do what the Bereans did in Acts 17:11 and check out what is said from the pulpit, no matter who is speaking!
When we stop feeding on God’s word, meditating on it and speaking it, something else has to replace it and many times it is fear based or on religious lines. You’ve doubtless heard someone, possibly yourself, say, “What if it doesn’t work?” What if it does? I know a pastor of a large church who announced that he was going to pray for the sick in the evening service and added, “I’m not sure if it will work or not.” Huh? I was shocked. He was supposed to be a word of faith preacher and he said that? I had been visiting there that morning and as we were leaving, the Lord told me to go back inside to pray for the wife of a man I knew. He was a lawyer and his wife was ill, but he declined, saying, “No thanks. Pastor is going to pray for her tonight” and told me of her condition. The Lord had sent me back there to pray for her and he declined. She died a short time later. Fear had set in there and had been spoken and the result was a sad thing.
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
One of the biggest dream killers is fear. Ground yourself in the word of God that He gave you to confirm his promise to you. It will give you an anchor to your soul and provide you with a reminder of it when you need reassurance.
Write the vision:
The best way I know of to get your dream working is to know what it is. It’s one thing to want something and long for it, but another to take positive steps to get it working. This is like wanting to go on a holiday somewhere, but never doing anything about it. Where do you want to go? How are you going to get there? How long will you be there? Where will you stay? What will you eat or wear? After all, it would be foolish to take summer clothing if you are going to snow country or arrive at the train station to catch the plane. These are the kinds of things we plan when going away, but how about planning for your dream? I really believe that most failures happen because well intentioned people do not make plans. They just drift along hoping that in some way, God will come good. He makes plans. He told the Israelites how to pack up the Tabernacle, who carried it, how to carry it and such things. Nothing was left to chance yet many believers live this way, hoping things will turn out well and it is not a good thing.
Apparently the prophet had been complaining about something and God told him to be patient and start to look at things closely in the way a watchman did when stationed in his tower.
God has given us an invitation to talk things over. Several years ago, the Lord spoke wonderfully to me, saying, “Robert. I held you to your word, now you hold Me to Mine.” I had made a vow about my ministry saying I would be prepared to do anything that He asked of me so that the ministry dream He had given me would come to pass. I know that making rash and impetuous promises are foolish and said so, adding that I knew the consequences—but I want what You have got for me and I am prepared to pay any price for it.
This refers more to a salvation kind of message I suppose, but He invited me to start talking things over with Him and I adopt this as a way of life now. I rarely pray in the sense of praying the way most people think, but hold discussions with Him, asking things like, “What are we going to do today?”, “Where would you like me to go?” And “How are we going to get this thing done?” I’m continually thinking of the ministry vision.
God’s plan is for your dream to become reality. He said-
If you’re going to hear God’s plan for making your dream come to pass, you’ve got to communicate with Him. You’ve got to shut yourself away in a quiet place to pray—and to listen to Him. It’s foolish to do all the talking and not listen for His answer. Sometimes it requires effort to do these things. We need a private place to commune with God and to seek His Wisdom.
The last piece of information or advice I will share with you is to share your vision, or talk to other dreamers.
Talk to other dreamers:
This is very important, but it can also pose a few problems that I shall touch on later. Sometimes others can have an insight into things we might not have and when they share this, it can enhance our own vision. We could as an example want to go to a certain place and had been thinking we had to drive down a particular road after looking at the route on a map. Someone else, who knows the route could advise you not to go on that road, but go an alternate route, for some reason. Long delays would be experienced because of roadworks could be a reason.
Oh, by the way, if you do share your dream and vision with someone else, please do not do it alone with a member of the opposite sex for obvious reasons. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said-
In other words, don’t share your dream with anyone who is not also a dreamer. Talking to other dreamers can be a faith-building experience. It is one that can help you learn more about where you are in relation to your own dream. When you talk with other dreamers who have stepped out in faith, you realize you’re not alone. Their faith-filled words will help motivate you to do the impossible. Talking to other dreamers also unleashes a potential opportunity to be partakers of their ministry. This is very powerful and often overlooked.
What I am saying here is to sow into the dream of others. It is a seed and if you or I desire fruit in our own lives, seeds must be planted. When Paul was telling the believers in Philippi about their giving to him, he said that he only wanted it for their own good! He said in Philippians 4:15 that he desired fruit to abound to their account! Sowing into the proven ministry of others releases something. It brings a return to your own account and enables you to be a partaker of their ministry. Unlike many others who are always begging, I do not ask anyone for money, but I do invite others to share in the fruits of the ministry for two reasons. It helps me get it done, but more importantly, it gives scope for others to be partakers of what is happening.
If you really want fruit in your life, sow into someone who bears real fruit. It has to be fruit that abounds and is not necessarily tithing into a local church program when such things are often introverted. The church is not a building or programs but people, so we sow into people’s lives.
They may tell you that you don’t have the right educational background, or your skin is the wrong color, or you are not the right gender. Despite what they say, don’t give up. If God has placed a dream in your heart, just say yes to Him. Determine in your heart that if God says you can do it, then you can do it. You have the assurance from the word of God that your dream will surely come to pass. Though it tarry, wait for it. Take your stand firmly on the Word of God, refuse to fear…and never stop dreaming!