I have always been a bit of a dreamer. As a child I had several cool ideas for wild things I wanted to do in life. At one point I was convinced I would grow up and live with the chimpanzees in Africa. As I aged my dreams became a little more realistic, well sort of. But having dreams, expectations and hopes is also hard. For when these desires are not meet. When the dreams do not come to pass then it is incredibly hard to deal with emotionally. After having many of my dreams and desires stomped on and broken I started to wonder if it would be better to just have no dreams. Just live day to day accepting whatever crosses my path. For if you expect nothing than it is easy to be grateful. If you have no dream you are able to be content with your present.
These are 2 extremes. One extreme is having wild dreams that do not come to pass and the other is having no hopes. This has lead me to a place of asking God, how do you see dreams, hopes and desires?
I have meet people that think of all desires and dreams as a gifts from God, thus we are to pursue those desires. In my opinion there is some truth to this but this is also dangerous. Our innate desires, hopes and dreams sometimes are pure and from God but sometimes they get corrupted by sin. Not all desires are from God. Not all dreams are from God. Not all hopes are from God.
Can God give us dreams and desires? Absolutely. But we need to be carful in discerning which of these dreams, desires and wishes are from our Heavenly Father and which have been corrupted by sin.
This is part of what having discernment means. The ability to tell which dreams are from God and which are not. I personally struggle with this issue. It has been my confusion with knowing which desires are from God and which are not that has caused me to struggle in so many ways over the years.
So how can we tell which dreams and desires are from God? God has given us the Bible for this purpose. For it gives us a guideline to know God’s own heart. If our desires are in line with the heart of God then it is from him. If it is not in line with the heart of God we should be concerned that our desires are not from God but our sinful flesh. For we all have a sinful flesh.
Accountability is also important. For it is others in our lives that can help us to discern which desires are from God and which are not. Without this accountability we will make mistakes for we are often blind to our own sinful flesh.
In America we live in a culture that tells us to pursue our dreams. We live in an age where we are taught to work toward our heart’s desire. We often are encouraged to pursue what you need and want in life. The problem with this is our hearts desires, our goals, our dreams, our hopes, our wishes are often not in line with God’s will, plans and purpose. Furthermore many Christians are not even aware of this fact. They are not aware that their hearts desires are not in line with God’s heart.
We all need heart surgery. We need our desires to be transformed so that they aline with God’s. Then we can follow our hearts, follow our dreams.
How does God do heart surgery? It starts with prayer. It requires other In your life that are well versed in God’s word to disciple us and help us discern God’s heart. It takes community. It takes practice.
So to all of those who have a dream, desire and hope may you take time away from your pursuit to ask God to show you his heart. May God aline your dreams and desire with his. May our hearts desires be what God desires for us. Amen