I recently had lunch with a friend who is passionate about pursuing her God dream. (Click here to visit her website – she writes and podcasts extensively on this topic!) We discussed several challenges we all face in following our dreams, even the ones where we question whether or not we are supposed to pursue them or let them die. Following this conversation a key thought formed in my heart. Contentment is void of striving. The absence of striving results in rest and, rest positions our hearts to receive.
When your heart is not striving, but resting in the place of God’s sovereignty over your life, then your heart is open to receive. God can breathe and bring to life His plans and purposes. It is in the place, where striving has ceased, that what seemed to be dead and gone is breathed to life through His power, resurrection, and in His perfect timing.
Many of us have a God dream, but that dream will not come to fruition with our striving. Laying down the vision and dying to it in favor of Godly contentment is often the key to its revival.
Perhaps all God-given dreams go through a death. We must die to all the dream will give us so we can embrace all of God. When He is enough, then He gives it back. This isn’t a formula for obtaining, for God knows the motivations of the heart – He knows, and He loves – and until the heart is genuinely surrendered, the process will continue.
Relationship. Surrender. These are the things about which God cares most. Pouring out success and fruition before we are prepared for it would not be what is best for us. As a loving Father, He cannot and will not give us what we are not prepared to walk in. Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” God answers that prayer every time He grows us into the people who can handle the maturity of the dream rather than allowing us to experience too much too soon.
All of this and more is the adversity we face in walking out Ephesians 2:10 (For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. NKJV). The struggle to die, the battle to work from rest, the effort to walk out assignments we don’t understand while wondering about “the dreams” are all a part of the process of seeing the dream come to realization.
“What you need in life will probably be brought to you – God will arrange the circumstances. But what you want, what is burning in you, you’ll have to go and get. Why? The process of pursuit is the very thing that conforms you to the person who can handle the very thing you want. Without pursuit, you couldn’t handle what you want.” Bill Johnson
When we choose to die to our flesh and to our striving (even in good things) we position ourselves for God to enter our lives and resurrect the things He wants to be revived. It is in that place if we say yes to it, that grace is poured out. Grace to deal with adversity, grace to focus on all the various elements of life that require much from us. In the natural, it is impossible to do multiple things well. All the experts say that we should focus on one thing and do that one thing well. What if that isn’t possible in a particular season of life? Say hello to a mom with young children, a woman in leadership, a woman with a demanding job, or as is most often the case, all of the above at the same time!
As I was considering that principle, and thinking how impossible it feels to be multi-focused, yet because of multiple responsibilities how impossible it is not to be multi-focused, the Lord reminded me of His word that says, all things are possible for those who believe (Mark 9:23). Having a vast array of responsibilities is uncomfortable. The discomfort that presses us can be the element that molds us and shapes us into the people our destiny – our God dream – requires us to be. The multi-dimensional aspects of life make us feel divided, but our rest and peace come from making Jesus our one focus. If we do Him well, then all the other pieces of our life will fall into the places He designates.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8
Can you remember getting ‘the eye’ from your mother? You knew exactly what to do or what not to do by the way she looked at you! How amazing is it that with our God we can know Him so intimately and see His face so clearly that He could guide us with His eye. As well as we knew our mother’s expressions, we can know His and be led by them!
The crux of this scripture is this: How can He instruct and teach us the way to go unless we are listening to Him? How can He guide us with His eye unless we are looking at His face?
Friends, in the demands of life, we must not forget the ONE to whom we owe it all. We cannot afford to let our gaze drift away from His face, lest we miss the direction His eye is taking us.
I pray you will join me in approaching every day with an attitude of love and surrender to God by saying yes to grace, and following His leading. We will accomplish what He wants us to while ceasing from our striving, and learning to rest in His ability. Thus we remain positioned to receive from Him. Let’s keep presence a priority.