In the Christian life, there is a tenuous balance between confident faith and foolish promises. At times we are called to live with expectant hope that God does more, far more than our wildest dreams, as Ephesians so beautifully explains.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
At the same time…I have been in situations where individuals have moved forward outside the bounds of logic or wisdom.
“God will provide,” I’ve heard. And then….He doesn’t. How many times have we experienced heaven, silent?
I was speaking recently to a large group and asked that question. A nine-year-old boy put his hand up. When I called on him, he responded, “God doesn’t always answer my questions.” I told him that doesn’t change just because we grow up. It would be simplest then to dream only logical, rational, attainable dreams. If our expectations are manageable, our emotions should be as well. Yet throughout Scripture, the opposite seems true. God is at work, even beyond our questions and doubts, in ways that exceed even our wildest dreams.
If you have a dream or calling that is bigger than your understanding, here are three questions that I believe can shape our “big dreams.”
1. Was this dream one you created or one that God truly gave?
One of the most beautifully gentle rebukes in Scripture is found below:
“Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear” (Ecclesiastes 5:6-7).
2. Does this dream draw hearts closer to God or pull hearts away from Him?
Scripture overflows with promises of the blessing of God, but His loving command toward us requires obedience.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:3-4).
Dreams hold the fluttering of our heart cries. The beauty of this passage is the promise that our sheer delight in God leads to the dreams and desires of our heart, aligned with His heart, freely given.
3. Has this dream been confirmed?
To me, the simplest explanation for this is the quote below:
“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11).
Throughout my life, the call and dream of God has exceeded even my wildest expectations. I never imagined I would live internationally, share the Gospel broadly and write regularly. Some of these were dreams, but most of God’s work in my life has been the reality of His love expanding my heart’s vision and desires.
Why do we dream big?
Because God so loved the world, every last one that He gave His only begotten Son, precious beyond price. Because of that gift whosoever will believe shall be saved.
That’s an impossibly big dream. He has sent us to share the unimaginably good news to everyone we meet: We are loved. We dream big because we are deeply loved.