*Choice 5 of 10 in the Take Back Your Life Blog Series
My former professor, mentor, and friend, the late Dr. Howard Hendricks warned, "When your memories are more exciting than your dreams, you’ve begun to die.”
How often do you limit your dreams by setting standards based on your best memories? I often find myself happy to simply maintain and hold my ground. My pride says, “I’m good enough.” But according to Hendricks, that’s not dreaming, that’s dying! God wants my dreams to always be more exciting than my memories.
So think bigger, God-sized dreams. Think beyond your own capabilities, and with patience and grace, rely on God’s strength and ability to carry you through.
God’s dream for every one of us is to remake us into new creatures, new creations of grace, shaped into His image. God has no desire to wait until heaven to fix our lives and us. He wants the transformation to start now!
So where do you start? What makes a good dream? Here are some guidelines to help you as your set your goals.
God-centered – The pursuit of God should be the greatest of all our pursuits and, therefore, the first focus of our dreams.
Focused on character – God wants to mold us into the character of our Savior. Therefore holiness, Christ-like character, should always show up on our list of dreams.
Pursued with a pure heart – David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart” (Psalm 139:23).
Faith-based – Your trust and confidence must be in God, not yourself.
Word-directed – God’s Word defines and directs our dreams with unchanging consistency. The Bible spells out God’s expectations and desires for us.
Spirit-led – God uses the Spirit to prompt dreams. In the midst of prayer, the Spirit brings to our mind what God wants to do in our life.
Purpose-driven – Remember that as you dream, you are here on planet Earth for a reason: to love God, love people, worship, grow in your faith, serve with your gifts and reach out to the World.
Focused on vital relationships – Keep in mind that Jesus said the greatest commandment in all of life is a two-part command: love God and love people. Set goals for both.
Covered in grace – When you follow dreams that involve God, then you are freed to take risks and guaranteed restoration if you fail.
Pursued with humility and patience –Trust the sovereignty and timing of God, and remember that spiritual progress is never instant.
Guided by eternal values and priorities – God says to lay up your treasures in heaven, so keep an eternal perspective and eternal priorities.
The Apostle Paul said to forget what lies behind and press onward in Christ. The future you in Christ is not limited to your past. This week, write down one or two aspects of your past that you need to leave behind so that you are no longer controlled or defined by them and you are freed to chase a bigger dream.