Trade in Your Dreams for Something Better
“Never stop dreaming!”
I read articles like this all the time.
And I guess, who can argue?
Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
That worked for him.
What could be better than a dream like Walt Disney’s?
Ahhhh, maybe a dream like Martin Luther King Jr’s.
But I would argue that MLKJ’s “dream” wasn’t simply a dream. It was God’s call on his life. And God’s call on your life is superior to any dream you could ever come up with in every way.
Me or He: Pick One
For starters, our dreams start with us. And usually end with us. Indeed, they’re often all about us; especially when it comes to how we want our relationship life to turn out.
But God’s call starts with Him. It’s what He wants to accomplish; both through you specifically as well as in the world all around you!
Your dream might be to marry the perfect person, enjoy the perfect marriage, raise the perfect kids and enjoy the perfect career.
This guy in the Bible, named Joseph, probably had a similar dream, but that was before he found out his fiancée was pregnant with someone else’s child. Recognizing that this didn’t square with his chosen dream, he proceeded to call things off.
“But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). – Matthew 1:20-23 (ESV)
By faith, Joseph did precisely as the angel said. He traded in his dreams for God’s call on His life. And the lives of billions have been blessed through his choice.
I imagine he would have done it all again as well. That’s a small price to pay for trading your dreams in for God’s call.
Dreams or Reality: Pick One
Our dreams are usually just that, dreams. Not reality.
(Did you read that? Dreams aren’t reality. They’re just dreams! Yes, I just said that! I should get some kind of award for the nuggets of intellectual gold I just casually dish out here in this space.)
Seriously though, our dreams are always about where we want to be “somewhere over the rainbow,” and seldom have any correlation to where we actually are in the present.
God’s call on the other hand, has to do with RIGHT NOW!
There was another Joseph in the Bible who illustrated this supremely. He was known as a dreamer, incidentally. And in his dream his family was going to bow before him.
But God’s call on Joseph’s life started with the opposite; with him serving that family at home, until he was sold into slavery (by members of that family).
That’s when God’s call on His life became serving some guy named Potiphar, and eventually refusing to “serve” Potiphar’s wife. (That is to say, refusing to serve her sexually, because He saw it as a sin against His God.)
His reward for obedience? Changing careers from that of slave to that of prisoner, with a part time position as dream interpreter for other dreamers like himself.
But in due time, God called Joseph out of the prison cell to the second highest position in the land. And yes, that’s when his brothers came along to bow down before him.
But if Joseph were focused on his dream instead of the daily call to obedience, how could He have persevered?
Knowing God’s call is about TODAY and not tomorrow, keeps us grounded instead of continually second-guessing. So you can stop asking, “What is God’s will for my life?” as if someday God will pull it out of a magic top hat. Along with a rabbit.
Let’s follow Joseph’s example and receive each new twist and turn of life as from His sovereign hand, as we concern ourselves with blessing those God has put in our life right now, accomplishing the task of the moment.
Care to guess what they might be? Maybe you’ve already thought of one I hadn’t. Share in the comment section below. (Can’t be any worse than “dreams are not reality.”)
In the meantime, get with one or two friends and consider these questions:
- What is one of your biggest dreams? How have you come to long for this dream?
- Do you feel like your dreams have anything to do with God’s call on your life or do they really more-or-less begin and end with you?
- Do your dreams help you live fully engaged in the present, or are they more of a distraction?
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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!