This months guest blog is Rachel Issitt, along with her husband Edward, leads ‘Your Mission’, a ministry which trains and mobilises the next generation of ministers, missionaries and missional thinkers through inspiration, training and consultancy. They are both ministers with the Assemblies of God in the UK.
This article is an extract from Rachel‘s book ‘What’s Your Mission?’ available to purchase as a softback or for Kindle.
Pursuing the God Given Dream for Your Life
Each of us has desires in our heart, things we would love to accomplish. When we have fully submitted our lives to Christ, the desires of our heart align with God’s desires for us. We often dream God’s dreams for us without even knowing it. In Psalm 37:3-5 it says ‘Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart’. Proverbs 12:11 says ‘Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense’. Those who follow their God given dream and calling are not simply ‘chasing fantasies’. It is very important that we pray and discern the difference between our own imaginations and a God given dream and desire.
Let’s take a closer look at your dreams. What is it that you would love to see happen in your lifetime? If you could really achieve anything, what would it be? What inspires you? Who inspires you? When we answer these questions and when God is at the centre of our life, then we then begin to tap into the God given ‘desires of our heart’.
It is unfortunate that many people are locked into a ‘safe’ world where their real desires and dreams will never come to fruition. That ‘safe’ place then becomes a prison and a place of confinement. Some of the most inspiring people I have met are those who are willing to take positive steps into God’s desired future for their lives and remove any boundaries in the way of God’s will.
“God is interested in seeing you achieve your potential in life”
Are you fulfilled in life? The Collins dictionary states that to sense ‘fulfilment’ is to ‘achieve one’s potential’. The achievement of your potential is linked with God’s plan for your life. Your dreams and fulfilling them are all connected with the way God has made you and his purposes for you. God is interested in seeing you achieve your potential in life. Psalm 138:8 states, ‘The Lord will fulfil his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever – do not abandon the works of your hands.’ God has a purpose for you and a plan for your life; we are crafted by God’s hands for a specific reason.
In Psalm 139 we find David talking of how God ‘knit’ him together while he was in the womb and how ‘all the days ordained’ for his life had already been written down by God. The intricacies of your personality, your gifts, talents and dreams were all planned by God before you were born and doing the will of God will include you fulfilling your potential. Ephesians 2:10 states, ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’
Write Down the Dream and Get Wisdom
A positive move forward in the process of fulfilling your dream is by simply writing it down. When you write something down you make a statement to yourself that this is what you believe. This practical step can help crystallise your thinking. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Habakkuk were instructed by God to write down the revelation they had received.
Proverbs 4:7 gives us this invaluable advice, ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.’ This may not necessarily mean that you have to spend three years at a Bible college but it will involve you getting all the tools and skills necessary in order to be well prepared for the service God has for you.
Are you ready to take a step? Begin praying about God’s plan for your life. Take some time to get into the presence of God, listen to His voice and then write down what you believe is your God given dream. I would speak to someone you count as a spiritual mother or father and share what is in your heart to do. Proverbs 11:14 states that there is safety when you get advice from a number of people. Choose people who will add fuel to the fire and will water the seed of your dream and not quash it.
Align Your Dream with God’s Dream
As a follower of Christ, you need to become acutely aware of what is on God’s heart at this moment in time. As I read the Bible it becomes very clear that God’s heart is for people all over the world to know Him and experience a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. God desperately desires that people know and believe that Jesus paid the price for their sin on the cross. God is grieved at the sinful state of the world and the huge suffering that this sin produces.
As a follower of Jesus, align yourself with a dream straight from God’s heart which is that all nations and ethnic groups have the opportunity to become Disciples of Christ. This involves making the link between your personal dreams and ambitions and knowing what is on God’s heart, it is being willing to let go of your own ideas. What I’m talking about is totally surrendering everything of your own plans and desires to Jesus and sincerely desiring His will in your life.
In Romans 12:1 we are encouraged to be ‘living sacrifices’. Essentially we are to die to our own wants and prioritise what God would have us live for. In considering God’s heart for the world, we need to note the passion that Jesus has for the lost. Jesus was very clear that it would take workers to see the ‘harvest’ gathered, Jesus actually asks His disciples to pray that God would send people into the fields. (Matthew 9:37,38) In other words, it would take individuals hearing God speak and obeying his call to reach the billions who have never heard of Jesus. My challenge to you is to take your special place in seeing all nations ‘reached’ in your lifetime. Truly align your dreams with God’s dream and you will achieve the greatest fulfilment.
Encourage Other’s Dreams
It has been said that the younger generation desperately want those older than them to mentor them by giving wisdom and without judgement or pressure. If you feel that you would like to encourage others in their dreams, why not meet the individual or group for coffee. Offer a listening ear with a heart to see others achieve what God is putting in their heart to do for him. Encouraging dreams and aspirations is something which the younger generation crave and could unlock huge potential for expansion of the Kingdom of God in the earth.
I do believe that God puts dreams in our heart for much more than our own fulfilment, this can be seen in the life of Joseph. The dreams he had were far more than simply elevating himself, they were to rescue a nation. Where Christians are concerned, God is passionate about us being ‘salt and light’ in the world and having a huge influence. Start to pray into your dreams today and ask God for wisdom as you move forward into fulfilling them. Silence any discouragement and take a step.
For more from Rachel or to purchase her book please visit www.yourmission.org.uk