Can we talk, friend to friend, over a cup of coffee and a little humble pie. I have a confession: Dreaming with God is hard. I mean really hard. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried out in prayer over the last 2 years, “God, just let me go back to when nothing mattered, I don’t want these holy ambitions. I want to be unaware and peacefully hiding in my shell.”
He never answers when I pray that way. He just sits next to me, silent and so very present.
These ambitions in my gut… these strong desires to do something with the passion He’s placed in my soul, achieve something with the abilities at my fingertips: They are obnoxious. But as much as I struggle against them, I am also fueled by them. As much as they scare me out of my ever lovin mind, they also satisfy me deeper and more completely than I’ve ever known. They are holy.
I so desperately pray you know what I’m talking about, that you’ve experienced this kind of awakening in your soul. If you have, you know what I mean. If you haven’t- then I’m praying for you and I dare you to sit before the Lord and ask Him about His dreams for you.
Dreaming with God, sharing ambitions with Him, they’re risky prayers. Once you start that conversation with God He goes far beyond your wildest, craziest, most-impossible ideas. He takes those long lost whispers of hope and revives them into full-fledged opportunities. It’s crazy, but these dreams are far more than dreams when God is involved.
They are promises. His promises to you.
But they take sacrifice. Bloody, flesh-burning sacrifice.
The thing most often placed upon the hot embers of the altar is your pride, your personal strengths and abilities, your selfishness. These things steal the trust, faith and confidence you should have in God for those dreams. When God starts asking for your pride and natural abilities, it’s going to hurt. If you’re like me, my first knee-jerk reaction is to panic and then grab at the people around me.
So we freak out, or at least I do, and try to fit it in my nice neat box of control. I plan, I strategize out loud with other people. And I strive. Don’t get me wrong, sharing with other people is equal parts amazing, exhilarating, and life-giving. But it is also dangerous in a whole different way.
The perfect example of this is Sarah, Hagar and Abraham. God gave a promise (a dream) to Abraham and Sarah and they tried to put it in a box of their own timing, their own ability- so they involved Hagar. And it kinda got messy from there. Going to other people is a great strategy, and often those co-dreamers are brought along by God. But they are not the architect, nor are they the general manager. Both of those places are held, should be held, by God.
Here’s what I’ve learned over the past two years about stewarding a God dream. Trust God first, and follow Him into connection with other people (don’t barge ahead). I dreamt about writing books. And God faithfully sent me two projects—two beautiful, yet completely different projects.
I put them each in their own pretty box of expectations and mapped out the myriad of hows and whys and whens. I tried to control and orchestrate the outcome all on my own, thinking the hat of architect and general manager looked good on my oversized head.
Let’s just say the hat looked horrible and I did not wear it well.
The projects themselves were of God, ambitions and opportunities birthed out of dreaming with Him. And doing these projects with others was also part of God’s plan. But the whens and hows and whys I had decided on were not. Those were my concoctions, and pushing for them was futile. I learned to give those up and let go of what I thought they should be.
So that God can make these books everything they are designed to be.
Humbly leaving my ambitions to His constant nurture and protection seems natural, but at the same time actively working on them alongside other people makes surrendering them twice as difficult. It’s hard. It takes vulnerability. It’s risky. But I’ve learned to trust those dreams to the One on the throne and simultaneously share them at a conference table. That place of surrender, that table of communion, is a glory-filled room of heavenly dreams.
It’s a wild walk of faith to do both simultaneously–pursuing his call while walking beside men.
A wild walk of faith.