What is the dream that God has placed within you? Do you have a vision of reaching people on the African continent for Christ? Do you hope to start a company that will impact the world in some way? Are you a teacher who dreams of influencing a generation of students to follow and honor Jesus Christ?
Every believer has within them a dream, a call, a mission, placed there by God himself. If we can get in touch with that vision and focus our energies on moving towards that goal, then we will find fulfillment and purpose in this life.
I began to think on this topic after hearing a sermon recently by a pastor who was filling in at our church. He began his sermon by asking the question, “What dream has God placed within you?” I knew the answer immediately. On the way home from church I asked my family if they could guess what my answer would be. My daughter, who knows me very well, hit the nail on the head, saying, “Mom, your dream is to raise us kids to love God and follow him forever.” The fact that she knew my heart so well brought tears to my eyes—discreetly hidden behind my large sunglasses, of course.
That has truly been my calling in life. “Well, that is not much of a dream,” you may say, “there are women out there doing great things like starting companies, writing books, even breaking the glass ceiling as CEO’s!” But for me, raising my children (and influencing other children, as well, in my capacity as an elementary school teacher ) to know Jesus Christ, to follow him, to live in a way that pleases him, is a high and holy calling not to be diminished by today’s equality culture.
If you know the dream that God has placed within you, what is stopping you from pursuing it? In most cases it is fear of one kind or another: fear of not being smart enough, fear of not having the resources, fear of not being able to finish the task, fear of what others will say. And that fear uncovered reveals the belief that God is not enough—not enough to provide whatever you need to accomplish that dream.
For myself and other stay-at-home moms/teachers, it is often a struggle to go against the flow of the “woman power” culture. We find ourselves constantly defending our choice to stay at home, doing without all the flashy stuff that our friends have, and fighting for respect as baby spit-up rolls down our backs and our homes sit in disarray for days on end. It’s no surprise that many women are fearful to follow the “stay-at-home mom” dream. It’s certainly not only physically hard but emotionally, as well. I mean, it’s not been easy to stick with it all of these years given the cultural pressure to keep up with the men, make a name for myself, or produce some concrete evidence of my hard work. I needed to conquer my fears and follow the dream God had placed in my heart. Other women may have God dreams of going on the mission field, or starting a home-based business. Only you can figure that out.
My children are young adults now but, given the pull of the world and the pervasive influence of secular thought on their lives, I know that my work is not done. God has also placed within me a desire to influence and encourage other women by: leading Bible studies, forming relationships that strengthen and empower other women to grow in their faith, and, writing this blog! As I have pursued God’s vision for my life I have found peace, purpose, and fulfillment. I know that you can, too!
If you haven’t figured out your God dream, now is the time to do so! Don’t waste another minute on some rabbit trail, moving further and further away from God’s purpose for your life. Conquer your fear. Know that if God calls you to a task, a project, a life mission—then he will equip you for it. Don’t let the world tell you who to be. God has already determined that. You just need to get in touch with your perfectly designed, tailor-made, God dream, and move forward–full speed ahead!
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good work, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NIV)
This post was inspired by a sermon delivered by Dr. Gary Crawford, former pastor of Westside Baptist Church, Gainesville, Florida.