Recently I have simply been reading and writing whilst listening to God.
This has been useful because I have tuned my heart to listen carefully to what God is saying to me. Sometimes what I hope to hear is not what He says.
How many times have we heard that word in our day?
Sometimes we do it patiently.
Sometimes we complain.
The point is that when God speaks, we should listen.
If He is saying wait, that doesn’t mean do nothing.
As I wait on God, I continue to pursue him – study His word and worship in His presence listening to Him. I will not give up on the dreams God has placed within my heart. Like Joseph, I know that Christ has to refine me first before He can birth my dreams.
I need to keep pressing forward – even when I don’t know how – even though it feels difficult. And I can, because I trust Him and His strength that lifts me.
I read this article, by Bonnie Gray, What To Do When Your Dreams Stall: 5 Steps To Take When You’ve Given Up As I read it, it resonated with how I felt, so I am sharing it on my blog.
1) Make space for you. Confide in God. It’s soul wearying to constantly hide your dreams. To deny our desires and the pain of loss. We feel guilty for not moving on and beat ourselves for not being thankful. Instead, Jesus whispers –
“Come to me, all those who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Confide in God about how you really feel. Make space to ask the hard questions. When your soul is free to be real, you can receive the comfort and strength from God to dream again.
2) Feed your soul instead of ignoring it. We often think of the action-figure Jesus but the Bible tells us–
“Jesus would often slip away to the wilderness for prayer.” Luke 5:16
Jesus took time to rest because nurturing his soul with his Father was more important than what He could do. We need spiritual whitespace to feed our dreams. Whitespace is the space on a page left unmarked in the world of art and design. Without whitespace, a composition goes from being fine art to commercialization.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s poeima — poetry translated as “workmanship” — created in Christ Jesus to do good works.”
Are our lives more like art or cluttered advertisement?
3) Make Rest Your Ambition Rest sounds inactive, doesn’t it? I was surprised to find that rest is one of only three ambitions that God explicitly calls out in the Bible. Rest is as important as preaching the gospel and pleasing God (Rom.15:20, 2 Cor.5:9).
“We urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet (restful) life.” 1 Thess. 4:10–11
Downtime puts us in touch with our passion instead of numbing ourselves by managing our inboxes, Facebook updates, TV or achievement-oriented productivity. Rest rejuvenated our dreams with creativity, deep relationships and adventure.
4) Cast Your Net On The Other Side. It’s too late, you tell yourself. You’ve moved on and gained strength by helping others. But Jesus sees the nets you’ve left. Jesus says –
“Cast the net on the [other] side of the boat and you will find a catch” (John 21:6).
Jesus sees the empty nets. Put out where it is deeper and let down your nets. It’s not too late. Try something radically different. Maybe even the opposite direction you’ve been heading.
5) Journey To Find the Open Door You’re ready to give up. But no matter how long the journey or how broken you feel your story has become, none of it can change who God made you to be. The door to your dreams God has intended for you can never be lost, closed or destroyed by anyone or anything.
“I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelations 3:8
Read more here… and take a look at her new book Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest
We have to make the choice.
We must choose to not get discouraged and lose heart and forget the dreams we held for so long.
We can be like Peter and ask Jesus if we can step out of the boat, then have the faith to walk on the water.
In his book ‘If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat’, John Ortberg highlights something I’d not considered before. There were 12 disciples in the boat, yet only one had the faith to step out of the boat. Eleven didn’t take a risk and remained in the safety of the boat. Only Peter asked Jesus if he could come to Him. Why did Peter ask Jesus first? This is a lesson not only of courage but of being obedient and discerning to God’s call. Although Peter was taking a risk, he didn’t act first and then call; rather he called first and then stepped out in obedience to Jesus’ call.
He may have sunk because he got distracted by the storm and took his eyes off Jesus.
But, how many times do we take our eyes off Jesus when the storms of adversity come and we begin to sink and our dreams get lost?
I don’t want to fail. I want to be obedient.
I don’t want to act on my own impulses. I want Christ to write my journey as I take the courage to step out of the boat, following His call.
What season are you in?
Are you willing to trust God has a plan and step out in faith?