(This is a guest post from Erin Christian, one of our college interns at Grace Bible Church.)

Special thanks to Masterpiece Conference 2013 whose speakers Leigh Kohler (quoted) and Donna Stuart helped inspire this post.

If you’ve seen the YouTube video Pep Talk from Kid President, you know just how cute that kid is.  My favorite line is “It’s like that dude Journey said, “Don’t stop believing” …unless your dream is stupid, then get another dream!”  The video leaves you with the charge to give the world a reason to dance because everyone has the ability to do or be something awesome.  What is there not to love about that video?  It’s our generation’s version of the American dream. We all want to make the world a better place, regardless of if you love Jesus or not.  We tell our children they can be anything they want.  Dozens of reality TV shows are created so ordinary people can have a shot at reaching their dream of becoming the world’s best chef, model, singer, dancer, and so on.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m a dreamer if there ever was one!  I love how Eph 3:20 states that God “is able do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” I think like any good father, God wants to see our dreams come to fruition.  It doesn’t always feel that way, though.  I have recently felt like I am living in the realm of all things ordinary.  The great things I want to happen seem to be outside of my grasp. There are times when it seems like the Lord is doing the exact opposite of the good dream that I’m wanting.  I repeat: GOOD dreams – not sinful, selfish ones- but ones that will bring Him glory or grow me in my walk with Him or make a difference in the world! So when those ‘closed doors’ come, it hurts.

People often say once you’re willing to let something go, then God will let you truly have it.  The problem with that is you’re essentially willing to do anything to keep whatever ‘it’ is above all else, even if that means “letting it go.”  We find a holy way to preserve our idols. The truth of it all is that the Lord wants us to let everything go-even our best-intentioned dreams for His glory- in surrender to wherever He wants us.

I don’t know what your specific dream is, or what the weight of waiting feels like.  Maybe your dream is to raise a godly family, but you aren’t even dating someone.  Maybe it’s to end human trafficking, but you’re currently stuck having to study for a geology exam. Maybe your dream is to be part of the bigger solution, but you don’t know how your meager efforts will ever truly add up.

I’ve been there. Some days I am still there.  I’ve presented open hands before the Lord just to close them again.  What the Lord has been patiently teaching me is that our dreams and passions are not separate from our walks with God.  And they can never be accomplished without Him. We’re often tempted to seek God so that our dreams can be fulfilled. How backwards that is!  We seek God first. We become a living sacrifice.  We walk by His Spirit.  He wants our obedience and devotion more than He wants our great conquests against evil in His name. You see, our intimacy with the Lord will always have a direct correlation to the impact we have on others.  He wants us to love Him and love others, right where He has us at this very moment.  And I’m pretty sure that if the God of the universe is going to use us in some specific way, He knows where to find us.

So what do we do today? For we who have accepted Christ as Savior, we can choose to walk by His Spirit.  We can take His hand and let Him be our guide. We die to self by realizing that there our lesser dreams often have to die. They may be postponed, or they may never happen in the way we think they’re going to pan out.  I have had dreams of working for specific ministries, or places I would live in my twenties, or even men I thought I’d marry. These weren’t little dreams, but they were lesser dreams compared to God’s grand dream for my life. Prayer and dependence align us with God’s grand dream for our lives.  I love what Leigh Kohler stated so beautifully, “We are prideful to think we can change the world without our faces on the floor.” True joy is found right where He has us in this exact phase of life. He wants us to be a part of carrying out His ultimate dream- that all may come to the knowledge of grace found in Christ alone.

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