Download PDF

A few weeks ago author Mary DeMuth tweeted this verse:

“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” Psalm 105:19 NLV

I read it with breath sucked in and the room around me silent.

Could it be, I wondered, that the Lord is testing me? Might he be testing you as you journey toward that dream nestled snuggly in your breast?

Following after a difficult dream can not only drain vitality from your smile, but it can begin to plant seeds of doubt where there should be trust. That, of course, is the danger. The tape in our head can easily begin to sound like the miniature devil squatting with his pitchfork on the shoulders of Tom and Jerry, convincing us that all’s for naught and the status quo is not only acceptable, but desirable.

No so.

Unfortunately, instead of looking up and actually charting out our next steps, many of us leave those dreams in the “good idea” category and settle for the idea of the dream rather than sweating to making it happen.

  • we lie awake at night plotting out how we could start a business that would allow us to quit our jobs
  • we fantasize about what we’d do with the extra time we’d have after starting that business
  • we plan vacations and wonder if we’ll ever have the money/time/freedom to take them
  • we contemplate inventions that would surely revolutionize QVC (and our wallets)
  • we wonder if our work/writing/volunteering will ever be noticed
Friends, I’m waving a banner today proclaiming that all of those hours of scheming into the night are not wasted. I believe God plants passions and inclinations in our hearts that can be pruned and tested and turned into great works for His glory, given our willingness to step onto the road to pursuing his leading.

So how can we do this?

  1. GET CRYSTAL CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT. If you can’t articulate your dream or idea in one sentence, spend some time articulating it. Michael Hyatt had an excellent post about this today on his blog, entitled “The 140 character Mission Statement.” He also has a fantastic “Life Plan” eBook you can download.
  2. STOP WAITING TO BE PICKED. Jeff Goins, one of my favorite bloggers wrote a stellar post about how action is required by us. The idea that God will deliver your heart’s desire directly to your doorstep (with delivery confirmation and insurance) is bogus. Time and again in the Bible God says, “Now go…” It’s time for us to do the same. Learn your craft. Attend a conference. Take a risk.
  3. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP  Mary DeMuth’s “4 Important Lessons Running Taught Me About Business” has some great nuggets of truth that can be applied beyond the realm of business. Watching gravel crunch underfoot is tedious and uninspiring. Look up! Back straight! March on!
  4. BE DILIGENT IN PRAYER. Ask the Lord to continually open doors and, likewise, make it clear when they are closing. Pray for wisdom (James 1:5). Petition new opportunities, new people in your path, moments for meaningful conversation.
  5. GIVE THANKS for small graces along the way, a gust of wind in your limp sails, a passing glance at what may lie ahead. God promises that he who began a good work will be faithful to complete it. Philippeans 1:6. Believe it!

What dream are you pursuing right now? What would you add to the list?