I’m reading “Greater” by Steven Furtick right now. I’m only a few chapters in, but already I am being challenged. The premise of the book is to dream big, start small. I’ve had no problem dreaming. It’s the starting that is the problem. When you have a big dream, it’s natural to think you have to start big. In reality, you have to do the little things first.
Noah was called to build a big boat. His small start was chopping down the first tree. Think about that. He didn’t have a Home Depot to go to in order to buy the lumber he needed. He had to chop down trees, form them into lumber and then build the boat. That’s a lot of work. I think that my problem, as well as others, is that when God gives us a dream, we think He’s going to do everything and we forget we have to work towards that dream.
God plants the design and the desire in us, but we are the ones who have to walk by faith to make it happen. We have to chop down the trees and build what God has planted in us so that when the time comes for us to do what He called us to do, we’re ready. If Noah had waited until he saw a storm cloud to chop down the first tree, it would have been too late. The time to build an ark is while it’s sunny, not when the storm clouds are on the horizon.
It took Noah 120 years to build the ark. None of us have that kind of time, but it shows that just because God plants a dream in us, it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen overnight. We may have to chop trees for a while. We may even cut down an entire forest before that dream becomes a reality. In that time of preparation is when our faith is tested. Thoughts like “Did I really hear from God” and “What if I do all of this and nothing comes from it” pop in our head to challenge us and cause doubt.
It’s in the chopping of trees that our faith grows. It’s believing God when we can’t see ourselves getting closer to the dream. Faith is knowing we heard from God and continuing to work towards that dream even though we can’t see how it will ever happen. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
If I could see the entire road and how it would happen, it wouldn’t be faith. Faith is about believing God when all I see are trees. It’s about putting it all out there and trusting God with everything. Others may laugh, ridicule or even stand in your way, but you have to keep building. You have to keep chopping. You have to keep trusting so that when the time comes for the fulfillment of your dream, you’re ready.
Noah could have dreamed about the ark for 120 years and then prayed for a miracle once the storm clouds started rolling in. Thank God he didn’t. He would have been in disobedience if he had only dreamed and never picked up an ax. Because he took small steps toward his dream, his family and the animals were saved. There’s no telling how many will be saved by your obedience. You’ll never know unless you start chopping.
What dream has God placed in you? What trees do you need to start chopping?