First Steps to the Dream
Peter knew he could do it. He saw Jesus walking on the water, and for just a second, he didn’t hope he could do it … he didn’t think one day he might do it … he didn’t think if Jesus came and got him and he held on tight, he could do it. He actually believed he could walk on water!
He started out good. He had the right perspective. He had his eyes on Jesus. He made sure it was really Jesus. Peter said, “If it really is you, Lord, tell me to come to you on the water.” Then he listened, no small accomplishment for a man who was used to doing all the talking and acting without listening to much of anyone.
He saw Jesus. He wanted to do what Jesus was doing. He spoke his dream out loud. He asked Jesus to bring his dream to life. He heard Jesus. He knew it was Jesus. He stepped out of the boat and started walking. All of these are key first steps to bringing a dream to life.
Interference with the Dream
But something went disastrously wrong. What was it? He took his eyes off of Jesus and looked around and down. He saw and heard the winds and waves. And satan was very quick to speak to him with words of doubt. “Are you nuts? You can’t walk on water. You are a mere human. This wind will blow you over any minute. The waves are waiting to carry you to the bottom of this water!”
Just as quickly as Peter had believed he could do it, he believed he could not do it. He began to sink. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Have you ever been there? You went through all the first steps to activate your dream. You stepped confidently beyond your comfort zone and began to do whatever it was God had called you to do. Then life happened. The weather around you became so stormy, you had to pay attention. Perhaps satan jumped in there and whispered, “Look at this storm. This is God’s way of telling you this was a bad idea. Get out now while you can!”
Satan’s tactics haven’t changed since his first appearance in the Garden of Eden. One of the ways he suckered Eve in was to cause her to doubt what God said. He presented conflicting evidence and then asked Eve if God really said what she thought He said.
Satan really does not care whether you run the first few laps of the race for your dream, as long as he can do something to throw you off course before you reach the finish line. How can we avoid this pitfall?
Dream Assurance (not insurance, but Assurance)!
Settle with God from the beginning whether your dream is in line with what He wants for you.
Realize that your dream is not just about you. Your dream is a part of the Whole of God’s Plan for His Universe. Step back and be amazed that He has planted something in your heart that will reach far beyond you. As God brings your dream to pass, you will influence many other people. Peter thought his water walk was just about him. But there was an audience watching … and we are still talking about it today!
If you want to know what God wishes to accomplish on earth, study the Bible and make a list of what He said He wants to do.
Besides that list, write what you believe He wants you to do to begin to accomplish His Goals. He will not fill in all your blanks, but you can be sure He will give you the first steps. Note the date you received the revelation. Later you will go back and write in the events that happened that were the manifestation of what He told you He wanted you to do.
God’s Word is a Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path. He often gives us just enough Light for our next steps. When we take those steps, He then gives us more light for the next steps.
When satan comes to try to get you to doubt, quote God’s Word to him. Look at your list. When satan says, “But did God really say … “, be sure of what God really said.
Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence in Jesus!
Paul tells us in Hebrews 10:35-36, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”
In whom is your confidence? Is it really self confidence that you can rely upon? No! If you are depending on yourself to bolster your confidence, you will find you are an easy target and you can get blown over in a heartbeat.
During one of the many times when I was trying to be confident, I heard God gently remind me, “You know, Carolyn, there is a big difference in whistling in the dark and really trusting Me to turn on the Light.”
James tells us in James 1:6-8, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt; because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
If we try to have self confidence, when the winds and waves get too high, our self confidence will fail us. But, if we put our confidence in Jesus, and keep it there, He will hold us up through the roughest weather.
David, the Psalmist, tells us in Psalm 37:23-24, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His Hand!”
God knows we are prone to stumbling, as we learn to walk in His Way. But He is with us all the time to hold us up. When Peter stumbled, Jesus was quick to hold out His Hand and raise Peter up. And then Jesus asked Peter an important question. “Why did you doubt?” I especially like the NIRV translation that reads, “Why did you doubt Me?” because it gets to the heart of the matter. Our dream is best assured by our confidence in Jesus to guide us!
It Has Been Such a Long Time Since I First Dreamed that Dream. Did I Misunderstand God?
God never forces us to do anything. But He persistently calls to us. If we ignore His Call, He will come again and again in different ways. If you have had a dream or a longing that has come to you again and again, explore with God whether He is still calling you to do what He has placed in your heart.
Is it possible He has taken your dream back because you never moved to bring it to life? No. Not possible. Hear Him speaking to you now about that dream.
God does not take back His Gifts.
He does not change His Mind about those He has chosen!