There once was a man. An ordinary man, who dreamt of things all men dream of: success, stability, a legacy. He did all the things men are supposed to do to achieve those dreams, he followed his father’s guidance, he played by the rules, he showed up every day.
Then God planted a dream in his heart. A bigger dream, a beautiful dream exploding with hope and possibility. It fueled the man, giving him renewed purpose and a deeper joy. His days now had even more meaning. His life had significance and he eagerly watched for its implementation, elusive as it may be.
And waited for the opportunity to present itself, he waited for the first step to begin the string of events that lead to fulfillment. He had been showing up and doing all the same things he did when the dream was planted. There had been more than enough confirmations.
And yet, he waited.
He waited until it was apparently impossible for anything to happen. The moment had undoubtedly passed and the opportunity dissolved.
Despite the man’s failed attempts to accomplish the dream on his own, despite the fact not one circumstance seemed opportune, God broke those seeds wide open, those seeds of hope planted decades before. The first step towards the dream finally sprouted, vibrantly. It was legit, the promises and confirmations all fulfilled, the beginning had begun.
The waiting was over. The future had arrived. Purpose had given way to profession.
It was all he had dreamt it would be.
But then, he was asked to lay it all down. To put his dream, his lifetime pursuit, his purpose and calling on the chopping block and walk away.
Leaving it for dead.
Could you do that? Could you place your deepest desire, your most sought-after pursuit – could you place it on the altar and light a match? And walk away? Willingly?
This man had a grandson, who walked a somewhat similar path. The grandson’s dream was spoken over him while he was yet unborn. He, too, would have a grand destiny, something pen-worthy and important. As the grandson grew he often toiled over the vision. I mean, it took some serious maneuvering to keep hold. One of his actions lead to a serious fall out. The kind of fallout that will land you on a midday trashy talk show.
It was ugly, family-dividing ugly. I’m sure as he packed up the shattered pieces and kissed his loved ones with a lingering “I’m sorry this hurts, but I had to” kind of kiss, that he wondered.
“How in the world will that vision, that dream, come to pass. I am forced to leave the very place I am called to be, all because I defended and preserved my destiny?”
I bet he ached with a deep groan and his head pounded with doubt. He had nothing left.
This Grandson went on to spend many years in a treacherous relationship. This boss of his was exploitive and deceiving. And yet, the young man prospered. His shrewdness could match the chicanery. Even in the midst of the darkness, when his dream was no where to be found, he kept building, steadily persevering.
Maybe he even settled there, in that secondary place. Striving over the comfortability of a lesser goal, a more measurable one.
Until God called him to go. Beckoned him to pack it all up and go back to the place of his full destiny, his full purpose.
Oh, this may have started out as a happy day- freedom feels fantastic until you realize it comes with responsibility.
You see, he was going to have to risk everything he had thought was his purpose, everything he felt he was worthy of. He had been working hard, for years, on what he had settled as his destiny. God was asking him to put all of it at risk in order to face his past. But to take hold of his future, he’d have to.
And thus he wrestled. He wrestled with fear, fear of letting go. Fear of laying it down. Fear of picking it up. Fear of failing. Fear of loosing. Fear of being rejected.
And when he finally came to the end of the grappling, he emerged steadfast with his identity. Solid and confident in who he was, no matter the outcome.
Every dream requires a relinquishment.
Without sweat and tears there is no gain. Without a releasing of fear there is no trust. It takes trust to burn purpose into identity. The winds will howl and the waves will rage, but if the dream is etched upon your soul through the fire of a sacrifice and the breaking of a wrestle, it will stand firm.
That is the destiny I am pursuing; the dream burning in my soul is more than an accident, it is my calling, it is my legacy. And I must surrender.
Relentlessly, the Lord has asked that I lay it down. And oh friends, have we ever wrestled about that. But I want to give Him obedience more than I want to give him the duty of pretentious actions.
And so, I must tell you. He has asked that I lay down my own personal writing in order to write the story He has placed in front of me. I need to immerse myself in those words, giving all of me to that process. Faith 2 Shine will still be here, and I will pop in as time allows (I love you too much!) But I am working on a book for a dear friend of mine, and God has asked that I pause this work, to pursue that work. Believe me, I plan to share it with you as I can! But posts here won’t be as regular, at least for a while.
Can I close with a prayer for you and me:
This place, these words, these friends, I lay them all down at Your feet. Oh, what a blessing they are and how much freedom and grace have You brought through these times together. Thank you for your deep work.
God, our dreams, our visions, our hopes, our goals – they are all part of the destiny you have for each of us. You showed us through Abraham and Jacob that even when the circumstances shout one thing, You are still working. You have not forgotten and you won’t ever forget the dreams you’ve planted in the soil of our hearts. Your glory resides there, in the gardens of our purposes and identities.
We relinquish our control and set down all conventional plans and instead, God we surrender all. May our identities reflect you and may Your glory be on display in the story of our lives.
In Jesus name,