Spiritually Speaking: Hopes and Dreams

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..." Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)

I know it's almost an annoying cliche nowadays, the "dream big" catchphrase that immediately invokes images of glittery confetti and sunshine and starry-eyed teenagers--but bear with me on this.

As much as those two words are broadcasted in our society, we still sometimes don't dream big enough, as Christians anyway. Either we limit God or we limit ourselves with unbelief.

We try to stay in the lines in life because it's easier and safer--we look to what is attainable and probable because we'd rather not be disappointed.

But the answer doesn't lie in seeking and scheming "bigger" dreams, per say, like attempting to be someone or something we aren't called to be; our own ambitions could be out of the will of God, if they are pursued for our own glory or somehow don't align with His Word.

Instead, it's all about being open and optimistic to ideas and possibilities we'd never consider likely.

Because, like the opening scripture states, God is bigger than our imaginations. He also has a habit of doing the unexpected.

Not always of what He does, but how. Sometimes, it's definitely both.

My God is a fan of the plot twist.

For instance, most of us don't think we deserve more than what our backgrounds and upbringings have prepared us for. Most of us have a hard time looking beyond the borders and expectations others have always put in place for us.

Along the same lines, most of us never have high hopes for the homeless addict achieving more than what patterns have always shown. Most of us hardly give a second thought to the hardened criminal, that they will ever overcome their past.

And of course, as statistics might prove, our assumptions are often correct.

But the Lord dwells in the minority--in the slim chances and insignificant percentages.

In fact, just about every man and woman mentioned in biblical history could have been granted a "least likely" award.

They were least likely to bring a giant down; least likely to have a second chance at love and marriage; least likely to be a king; least likely to be heard and followed; least likely to carry and give birth to a Savior.

As history proves, all the Lord needs is a willing, open vessel to work through.

Yet some of us are so determined, so content, to fulfill other goals and play a certain role, instead.

You might have your sights set in a particular direction--a godly, respectable direction, even--thinking it's what you'll do best at.

When really, our Father may have something so much better in mind.

See, you may not even know what you're capable of, or have any idea what you should dream about, but all He is asking is for you to believe that you're just as likely to be an MVP for His Kingdom as the next person.

He can dream for you, because He already knows what your destiny will be.

Whenever I think of a dreamer, my thoughts refer to the story of Joseph (you know, the guy with the colorful coat) who literally saw dreams of what God wanted him to be later in life: a powerful leader in Egypt.

However, even though Joseph knew the end result, no one in his life found it easy to believe it would actually happen. Especially when he was in the farthest predicaments from it so many times.

Maybe God's calling you to be a missionary or minister, or a wife to either one. Maybe He is waiting for you to finally talk to the next door neighbor, to show His kindness and love.

Or perhaps you have a talent, a hobby, an interest, you aren't pursuing because fear of rejection is holding you back. 

For years I didn't write for anyone but me, because I was terrified how others would judge my writing style and skill.

And maybe your unbelief, your inability to dream beyond your current circumstance and checklist, is stifling His plans for you, too.

Don't tell me time is the hurdle, either. We all know that if we want, and believe, in something bad enough, we make time for it.

Hopes and dreams aren't pointless things if we put them in the hands of a perfect God who makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11, KJV). 

Do you have passions and dreams you know the Lord has instilled in you? If so, why aren't you trying to fulfill them? What is holding you back from going above and beyond your self-governed limits?

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