Dreaming about the things we’d love to do and learning how to lean into God for them can be a mixture of overwhelm, excitement, soul-searching and reflection. Our month-long series on ‘dreaming’ has come to its final post, the one about seeing them to fruition.
Maybe you are an A plus achiever and can write ‘smart’ goals in your sleep. Maybe you have lots of big ideas but struggle with the execution (*raises hand*). No matter where you fall on the spectrum, making your dreams happen isn’t just a set of goals and steps, it is a lot of motivation, keeping close to God and reminding yourself why you started in the first place.
State your why
When you are ready to tackle your dreams, write out your ‘why’. This is just for you, you will want to come back to this every so often. As we become successful or adept in our tasks, we will drift from the motives we started with. Keep close to God, always offer him your motives. Return to that ‘why’ you started with.
Take little steps every day
For many of us, we are working in the fringe hours of our day. Our work is often completed bit by bit. Making a list of your goals and the small steps you can make to reach them will help you get on little tasks when you have those spare moments of time.
One of my biggest downfalls in having unfulfilled dreams was that I dabbled. I never got serious, so serious results never happened. When the season is right for you to jump in a little more, then start taking your dream seriously. Devote timeslots to work and be protective of them. Hire a business coach if you can. Get some powersheets and set some solid goals and timelines. Above all, don’t down-talk your dreams, or minimize them. Own them and offer them.
Take big leaps
Once we are ready to take on our dreams we might find ourselves in a wrestling match with God. As we let go of our timing, our expectations, our projected reputation, our idea of success – we can give control to God and know that he is paving a way for us. We can remember he has our best interests at heart. We can remember that our plan is limited, and his plan is bigger and better than we can imagine.
We all have different strengths. Some of us are good at meal planning, some of us good at organizing take-out menus in alphabetical order. Some of us also shine at starting tasks but struggle with the follow through. Staying motivated means asking God to keep our hearts on fire and means seeking out means of motivation. Podcasts, books, masterminds, accountability groups, progress reports, conversations with anyone in the dreaming stage along with you. There are just a few tools to keep our fires lit.
Fight spiritual warfare
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
In Timothy we are reminded that the spirit of fear and timidity does not from God. Rather he gives us a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. So we could basically be Beyonce if we fully harnessed the spirit of God and never ever fell under spiritual attack. The fact is, us fulfilling our purposes, growing our gifts, bearing fruit, furthering God’s kingdom are all up against opposition. Satan has us under constant attack and we need to be mindful of the role of spiritual warfare in us accomplishing our tasks.
Guard your heart
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life – Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
In yesterday’s member newsletter I talked about ‘guarding your heart’. Our hearts are called the ‘wellspring of life’. We need to protect this wellspring from being contaminated or damaged or blocked. There are countless ways we need to guard our hearts. Whether it is from an outside source (toxic relationships, busyness, disappointments) or an inside source (feeling ungrateful, spiritual warfare, apathy, negative self-talk, rebellion). We need to guard our hearts because they are what allow us to live authentically, purposefully and passionately.
When our dreams hit a roadblock, or the work seems endless then the fires in our heart can be smoldered, the passion can be slowly forgotten, we can return to monotony all too easy. Don’t resign, instead redesign – or reimagine. Author John Eldredge calls imagination the antidote to resignation, pointing out that this is a form of hope.
Let the potter shape you
Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’? – Isaiah 45:9 (NIV)
Remember God loves it when we are risk takers. He asks us to dream big with him, put it on the line by trusting in him, to live with passion and motion. I’m sure it breaks his heart when he sees us idle, apathetic, substituting the desires of our heart for monotony, talking ourselves down.
He made us for so much more.