Tag Archives: dreams

The Cost Of A Dream

What are you willing to pay to accomplish your dreams? The dreams are free, but seeing them come to fruition isn’t. So many of us freely talk about the dreams God puts in our hearts, but so few are willing to endure what it takes to make them happen. When God gives us a dream, He rarely includes the cost. Once the time comes to start paying for it, many of us walk away from it or question if God really gave it to us.

When Joseph was a teenager, God put a dream in his heart that his brothers would one day bow to him. He didn’t have that great of a relationship with them, so he was excited about it. He told them about it, probably in a flaunting way, and they hated him for it. They threw him in a pit, then sold him as a slave where he was carried off to Egypt. From there, he was falsely accused of rape, thrown in prison and forgotten for over ten years.

Through all of that, he kept believing in the dream. We don’t read where he questioned God for his troubles. I believe it was because he thought of it as the price of his dream, and he was willing to pay it. God knew that as a teenager, he wasn’t ready to be second in command of Egypt. He tested him and developed the character traits that he would need to make the dream a reality. Joseph paid the price for his dream.

Psalm 105:19 says, “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s character” (NLT). If God gave you a dream and everything is going wrong, chances are that He’s testing your character. He’s finding out if you’re willing to pay the price and if you’re ready. Don’t give up because the dream seems so far away and the cost is high. Keep working hard. Keep paying the price. Don’t quit. God is getting you ready for the fulfillment of that dream. The dreams God gives us are always worth the cost.

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Dreams And Goals


I like to ask people, “What’s the difference between a dream and a goal?” A lot of people struggle with this question at first because it’s hard to articulate on the spot. But think about it for a second. They’re very similar with one exception. A goal is something you have a plan for in order to accomplish it. Dreams are usually large goals without a plan. The problem is most of us think we have set goals when really all we have done is created a bunch of dreams without a plan to accomplish them.

The people I know who are goal oriented aren’t easily swayed into doing things that don’t align with their goals. They know exactly what they need to do in order to accomplish them and they are pretty disciplined. Dreamers aren’t as disciplined. They live with their heads in the clouds and are easily knocked off course by distractions. Unfortunately that’s the way many of us live our lives and it bleeds into our faith as well. We’re living for Christ without a purpose, and that’s dangerous. 

One night on a roof in Egypt, the head of middle east missions for a large denomination asked me, “What’s your goal as a Christian?” I had never thought of that. I answered almost asking a question, “To get to Heaven?” He said, “We’ve found your answer is not enough to live a spiritually successful life. You’ve got to have other goals if you’re going to impact this world.” That question and answer haunted me for months. Our goal can’t be to just get to Heaven. We’ll live spiritually unfulfilled lives if it is.

In I Corinthians 9:24, Paul mentions that in a race, everyone runs, but only one wins. He then tells us to run to win. Verse 26 says, “Therefore I do not run without a definite goal” (AMP). Not only are we to run to win the ultimate prize, we are to run with purpose. We are to run with goals. To keep from being easily distracted by all this world has to offer, and to keep our head out of the clouds, we need to have spiritual goals. There’s no other way for us to have the impact on this world that we’re called to have.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Wake Your Dream Up


I recently asked a group of people what was the difference between a goal and a dream. I got several answers, but one stood out to me. They said, “A goal is something you can attain through making a plan, but a dream is that thing that is unattainable.” I thought, “If a dream is unattainable, then why have them?” Because so many of us think our dreams are unattainable, we let them die. We never chase them or go after them, so we focus on goals.

When I was younger, God gave me a dream of who I was to become. Yes, it was a calling, but it was so far out of reach, I treated it like a dream. I felt like if God wanted me to be who He wanted me to be, He’d just have to do a miracle. I lived all of my life with that dream in the back of my mind, but never had a thought of how I could attain it, so I never worked towards it. I knew the things I could do to move in the direction of it, but I stayed still.

In 2012, my former youth pastor was invited to speak at our church. I hadn’t seen him since the mid 90’s. After his sermon, I sat in my pew and quietly prayed, “God, if you want to make this a reality, I’m ready to do the work.” Immediately, he spoke into the microphone, “God just told me that someone in here has been running from their calling and just surrendered to it. If it’s you, He wants me to pray for you.” He actually got into more specifics than that and it was clear he was talking about me.

On that day, the dream God put in my heart came back to life. I began to do things, like starting this website, to get me closer to that dream calling. It’s no longer just a pipe dream. Each day that I do something about it, I get closer to God completing it. When I think about the Israelites, they couldn’t get to the Promised Land unless they were willing to leave the desert. They couldn’t enter it from the Sinai desert. They had to go towards the Jordan River. Once they got to the Jordan, God could perform the miracle for them to cross over into their dream land.

If you’ve allowed the dream God placed in your heart to die or lie dormant, I want you to take a step today from Ezekiel 37:9 and say what God told Ezekiel to say to the army built from the dry bones. Say, “Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again” (NLT). I believe if God placed a dream in your heart, He wants to revive it. You don’t have to be afraid that it’s too big. If you can’t accomplish it without His help, it probably didn’t come from Him. Speak life into that dream today and do something that moves you in the direction of your Jordan. 

You’re not too old. It’s not too late.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dreams And Visions

  
I believe God puts dreams, visions, and plans inside each of us. It’s an amazing feeling when they become a reality. There is a sense of accomplishment and gratitude that comes along with it. What I’ve found is that the more we expect our dreams, visions, and plans to happen, the more likely they will. Our expectations and beliefs drive our actions until we see success.

Sometimes, those dreams, visions, and plans don’t happen. In those times, it’s easy to get discouraged and to lower our expectations and believe that they can’t happen. Below are some verses that have helped me in those times. They have reminded me that my dreams come from God, and it is He who will accomplish them. They also remind me that I can’t do it on my own. I have to get other people involved. The dreams, visions, and plans God gives are rarely just for us. He expects us to share them and use them for His glory.

1. At night when people are asleep, God speaks in dreams and visions.

Job 33:15 GNB

2. And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Joel 2:28 AMP

3. Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].

Ephesians 3:20 AMP

4. For a dream comes with much business and painful effort, and a fool’s voice with many words.

Ecclesiastes 5:3 AMP

5. It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them.

Proverbs 13:19 NLT

6. And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by. For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 AMP

7. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Proverbs 29:18 KJV

8. The plans of the godly are just; the advice of the wicked is treacherous.

Proverbs 12:5 NLT

9. Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed.

Proverbs 15:22 MSG

10. May he give you what you desire and make all your plans succeed.

Psalms 20:4 GNB

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Recovering Lost Dreams

When I was in high school, I felt like God called me to write. I interpreted that calling as God calling me to write a book. For years I waited for an agent to call me and to give me the opportunity to write a book. I wrote down some great ideas for books and even wrote outlines for them. Those outlines sat in a drawer collecting dust through the years while I waited. Finally, when I was in my mid-thirties, I asked God why I hadn’t been given the opportunity to write a book yet. He responded, “Why haven’t you done anything to make that happen?”

God gives each of us great dreams. Most of us, like myself, sit and wait expecting the dream to fulfill itself. Sadly many people go to their graves with unfulfilled dreams because they never did anything to accomplish that dream. God is able to accomplish the dream He gave you if you’re willing to put in the work. Jesus said, “If you’re faithful in the little things, I will make you faithful over many things.” We have to show Him we are willing to do the groundwork necessary to fulfill the dreams He gives us.

In Joshua 18, the Israelites had subdued the Promised Land, but hadn’t taken possession of it. Generations before, God had given Abraham the dream of having a nation with their own special land. Even though they had defeated those living in the land, the dream was still unfulfilled. In verse 3, Joshua spoke to the Israelites and said, “How long will you put off going to take the land, which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” (ESV) He was saying, “Why aren’t you doing anything to fulfill the dream?” They then went through the land, mapping it out, and dividing it up into sections so each tribe would receive their promise and fulfill the dream. 

God required them to get off their hands and do something to fulfill their dream. They had to get courage to leave their prison of Egypt. They had to walk through walls of water and wander in a desert for a while. After all of that, they had to go in and fight for their dream. It wasn’t handed to them. After winning the battles, they still had to carve it out and allot it so that each person could receive the promise of the dream that had been given so long ago.

I can tell you that I still don’t have a book deal and that’s ok. I’m doing the work necessary for God to do His part. I’m closer than I was all of those years of doing nothing. I’m being faithful in the little things first while I wait for God to make me faithful over many. What about you? What dream has God given you that is sitting in a drawer somewhere collecting dust? It’s time to open the drawer, to dust it off and to start doing the little things necessary to bring it about. For me, it was starting this blog. For you, it might be taking a class, going to a seminar, emailing someone in that field about how they started or letting others know you’re interested in doing it. They’ll help to keep you accountable.

When you do your part, God will do His. It may not happen immediately, but it will happen. Get off your hands, as the Message Bible puts it, and take that first step.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Chasing Vultures

20140626-074420-27860750.jpg

In Genesis 15, God spoke to Abraham (Abram) and told him that his reward would be grand. Abraham fired back at God, “What use are your gifts as long as I’m childless.” He wasn’t being rude. He just wanted someone to give an inheritance to. He had been blessed by God in every way, but had no one to give it to. That’s when God planted the dream of having a son on his heart. He took him outside to count the stars to number his descendants. God said, “You’re going to have a big family!”

It was then that he made a sacrifice to God for giving him the dream of a big family. While the sacrifice was on the altar, verse 11 says, “Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.” When I read that, I thought, “That’s a weird verse to have in the Bible.” The more I think about it though, the more I know it was on purpose. You are going to have to protect the dreams that God gives you and you are going to have to protect them. The enemy wants to come in like a vulture and steal them.

I looked up vultures on the internet and found that there are many types of them. They are all birds of prey. They can spot their target from miles away. They will pick at their food and eat it until it’s gone. That’s what our enemy does. He circles above our heads and threatens to take our God given dreams away from us. He picks at them until we let them go and give them up. We wonder why God gave us the dream only to have it picked apart and eaten. It’s up to us to chase the enemy away.

One thing I learned about vultures is that they don’t mess with things that are healthy. They only prey on the weak, the sickly or the dead. The first line of attack is to keep the dream God has given you alive and healthy. Don’t let it sit dormant in your mind. Write it down. Tell others about it. Own it. Steward it. When it feels like it is taking forever for it to happen, keep believing in God. Habakkuk 2:3 says, “If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.” The dream God gives you will take place in His time, not yours.

If your dream is weak, sickly or dead it is still not beyond God reviving it. Joseph’s dream must have seemed dead to him. He had been given it over 20 years earlier. Since the time God gave it to him, he had been betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape and was forgotten in prison left to die. I’m sure there were many times as he sat in that prison that the vultures circled his dream, but he refused to let it die. He knew that God had given it to him so he chased the vultures away. He kept believing until the Pharaoh called for him one day.

Whatever dream God has given you, it’s worth fighting for. It’s worth chasing the vultures away. Even if they are circling overhead, don’t get discouraged. Stand your ground. Own your dream. Patiently wait for God to bring it to life. What He started in you, He will finish. What He planted in your heart will grow and come to life. While you are waiting for that to happen, grab the Word of God and chase those vultures away. Your dream is worth fighting for no matter how bad things look right now.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

God Ideas

Tonight my church will host one of my favorite event that we do. We will have an outreach for the youth of our community that will draw hundreds of kids to the church. We will feed them, give away door prizes, an iPad mini and a car. The kids at the church get excited about the event and invite their friends from school. It presents them an opportunity to share their faith and to invite someone to church who they might otherwise not invite.

This event started a few years ago when our youth pastor was praying. He was seeking God on a way to impact more youth than he thought possible. While praying, he said out loud, “God, I’m going to give away a car!” After saying the words, he thought, “How am I going to get a car to give away?” He recognized it as a God idea and began to ask God to provide. He knew that God ideas require faith beyond our ability.

God took him to Habakkuk 2:2 that says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” So he wrote letters to several dealerships telling them his vision of giving away a car so that many kids who wouldn’t normally go to church would come and he would have the opportunity to share Jesus with them. A local used car dealer responded and gave him a car.

It wasn’t long before a more prominent dealership responded and said that’d love to help. They said, “As long as you hold this event, we’ll give you a car to give away.” They had caught the vision and have supplied the need for several years now. It’s amazing to see how many kids this brings into our church and gives us the opportunity to plant seeds, water seeds and harvest them. It all started with a vision and a God idea.

What idea has God placed in your heart? Are you struggling while trying to figure out how to accomplish it? Let me save you some time, you can’t. If its a God idea, it will take supernatural provisioning to accomplish it. Write the vision down. Let others know about it. What God births in you is accomplished through others. He needs visionaries, dreamers, planners, financiers and doers. It takes all of us working together to bring about his plans.

Have you figured out what part of God’s plan you are? If you’re the dreamer or the vision caster, write it down so that it’s plain to others. If you’re a planner, sync up with a dreamer or a vision caster to help them create a plan for others to follow. If you’re able to help finance, ask God where He’d like you to invest in His kingdom. If you’re a doer, look around you and see where you can put your skills to use. Each of us play a part in building the kingdom. We just have to learn to work together.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized