“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. Acts 2:17-18 NIV
Lively People – Have you noticed that people who have a personal dream seem more alive and connected than servants that are focused on being good and obedient? Visionaries are as enthusiastic as kids. Slaves are as enthusiastic as – slaves. The verse above is a quote from Joel 2:28. We charismatic’s have implied that visions and dreams are revelatory gifts from God instead of plans drawn out of our heart’s desires. I want to suggest that both are correct but your heart’s desires deserve a second look. Servants focus on the God’s will, obedience, and revelation. Nothing wrong with being God’s servant. He is Lord after all. However, there’s a deeper level. God is relational! So relational that he’s designed you so that His will is accomplished through the desires of your heart. Real spiritual maturity goes through giving yourself permission to connect with your heart’s desire. Here’s the progression.
First the Schoolmaster – Most of us get saved and do our best to understand God and relate to him in the best way we can. Men are naturally inclined to understand God mentally. We develop rules, lists, formulas, and spiritual principles that we try to live by. It takes a while to figure out that God is not as predictable as our lists imply. In fact all the lists do is prove we can’t figure Him out, our formulas don’t always work, and we can’t live up to our own rules. Still, it’s a common path to the schoolmaster that leads us back to the “life” of Christ. Note that it can take a few decades to figure this out and many believers are still in the process of giving themselves permission to dream.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:25-26 KJV
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant- — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:5-6 NIV
Redemption – Jesus died for your sins so you can go to Heaven. That same package includes life and life more abundantly – your dream. Let me go a step farther. You won’t be able to fully “relate” to God or connect with His will until you do dream. That’s just the way he operates. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of lords. We have to step up to a kingly level and reign with Him for that to be true. It’s actually pretty exciting. In fact, God has already made provisions to overcome the things that could derail your dream.
1. Stupid Mistakes (sin) – We can’t experience our dream when we’re drowning in dysfunction. If our family is broken or we’re hooked on a habit our dreams get pushed out. We can be forgiven and healed of broken relationships. We can be delivered from bad habits. It’s part of what Jesus provided on the cross to bring us to life. Don’t allow personal dysfunction to steal your dream.
2. Health – It’s hard to think about your dream when you’re in pain. Fortunately Jesus provided for healing in the atonement. If your health is holding you back don’t tolerate it. Your physical and emotional health was paid for at the cross. Don’t settle for less.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NIV
3. Finances – In case you haven’t noticed, most dreams cost money. Jesus didn’t just provide for your needs. He’s paved the way for your cup to overflow so that you can be generous. Yup, it’s part of what happened at the cross as well. Break poverty off your life with work, wisdom and warfare.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Cor 8:9 NIV
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Cor 9:11 NIV
How Hard Can it be – Some are afraid to believe this is all true because they’ve tried and failed before. Here’s the reality. If it was easy, everyone would be functional, healthy and prosperous! The devil would like to increase your dysfunction with temptation, ruin your health and steal your money. Why? His worst case scenario is you realizing your dream. You will face warfare on these three fronts, but the good news is that when you couple faith and tenacity you will overcome and posses your new land and realize your dream. Step one is realizing your dream can come true. God wants you to dream our of your heart’s desire. Those that enter in have persistence and the stomach for the warfare.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 NKJV
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Rev 12:11
You Have Worth to God – God loved us so much that he sent His Son (came himself). We we’re bought at a high price. However, we never understand how important we are in God’s eyes until we start to see our dream come true. Servants tend to have low self-esteem; they are always “working” to find fulfillment and please God. Friends, on the other hand, have touched life and God at a deeper level. They are busy having fun and their cups are running over. In fact, they feel like Kings. They are aware of what God is doing in the Kingdom, asking for “whatever,” and blessing the nations by helping others to get in the water too.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. John 15:15-17 NIV