God has amazing plans for our lives. He created us to have goals and dreams, to continually reach for more in our life in Christ.
When God gives you a dream, it's like becoming pregnant: you conceive (think or imagine) a vision or idea of the "new thing" He's planned for you. Then, after conception, you go through a season of “pregnancy”—a time of growth and preparation for your dream to become reality.
In the beginning, when you’re making plans to live out your dream, it’s exciting and easy to be enthusiastic about the process. But those emotions can’t be the driving force of your determination because they will subside over time. Ecclesiastes 5:3 AMPC says, For a dream comes with much business and painful effort.…
This is why many people abort their dreams before they reach full-term.
God plants a seed (dream) in them and they become pregnant. But when they find out it will take effort, be costly, inconvenient or uncomfortable to complete their preparation for the birth, they decide it wasn't really God's will after all and go and do something else.
I want to encourage you to go through the hard part because if you give up, you will never be completely satisfied. There will be a part of you that doesn't feel settled or fulfilled.
So how do we successfully make it through preparation and give birth to our God-given dreams? Here are three keys to help you get there.
1. Put Your Expectation in God
When a woman is pregnant, we say she's "expecting." In the same way, if we want to reach full-term and not give up or abort the dream God put in us, we must maintain expectation that it will come to pass.
We have to be determined to keep our focus, be aggressive and talk to God about it, preferably every day. If we don’t, then our enemy, the devil, is more likely to kill, steal and destroy the plans God has for us (see John 10:10).
It's easy to fall into a passive attitude that says, "Well, we'll just see what happens…" But we must resist becoming a "wait and see" kind of person. Instead, we need to be focused on God and determined to expect from Him, like David did.
In Psalm 27:13 (AMP), he said, I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Waiting on God is not a static, passive place where you're doing nothing. It's a time in your life when you aren't taking matters into your own hands, trying to do what only God can do. You are waiting physically, but you are active spiritually, seeking His face and putting your trust in Him.
2. Maintain a Good Attitude
It doesn’t help anyone or anything if you have a bad attitude. In fact, if you murmur and complain, people are probably tired of hearing it. And if we're honest about it, we're like this because we want others to feel sorry for us, which doesn't do any good.
I know this from personal experience. I used to be very negative and feel sorry for myself a lot.
I would complain to my husband, Dave, but he would say, "Joyce, you just want me to feel sorry for you, and I'm not going to do it because it won't do you any good." At the time, it made me so mad, but I'm glad he responded to me this way because he was right.
Eventually I learned the truth that no matter what is going on in my life, I can choose to have a good attitude. And if you have a good attitude, God will give you favor with people and in your circumstances. While we can't always choose our circumstances, we can choose how we react to them.
3. Living the Dream
So often our dreams are about us—what we want for our life or what's good for us. But Jesus, our example of how to live, gave His life not for His benefit but for ours.
Shortly before He was crucified, He was in a garden praying and He said, "Not My will but Yours be done" (see Luke 22). He came from the glory of heaven to earth to give us life. Everything He did was for us.
To really live the dream God has for us, we need to let go of selfishness, or "die to self." What are some things we must die to? Things like our plan, our timing, our way, our reputation, getting credit for what we do, the need to be in control and the need to be right.
If you will give your life to God like Christ laid down His life for you, God will do amazing things in you and through you. It's not easy but the reward on the other side is so worth it—the fulfillment of your God-given dream!