I asked the question on social media–what areas of control do you struggle to give up? The answered varied–parenting, law, and the calendar. More than one responded with giving up dreams for God’s will.
I was tempted to say, “God’s dreams are greater than ours!” But then I remembered.
I remembered the grief when my hopes of having another child came to an end, and the sadness I still have wondering what life would be like if we had little ones coming up in the ranks.
I remembered the dream of living on Grandpa’s century-old farm. Grandpa’s house wasn’t just a house to me–it was a way of life, of peace, of back to basics, a place tied to history and people and Ann Voskamp lifestyle. I remembered how on sale day, in the middle of the auctioneer’s tent, the Spirit told me, “There’s a reason I said No. I have things which will bring greater joy than this.“
Giving up dreams–the deep-long-in-your-bones-and-spirit-dreams–is hard. I didn’t understand God’s “no” to either dream at the time. However, I knew enough not to fight God when He clearly speaks on a subject.
Fighting God’s will only brings pain and heartache. But when you walk in submission to God, surrendering control allows room for His dreams.
Submitting to God’s will when you don’t know the outcome is the “obedience” part of the faith equation that’s critical to understand. Faith isn’t just believing what you don’t know–it’s living what you don’t know, trusting God has goodness and mercy to follow you.
Too many of us live in fearful faith, rather than obedient faith. When we do this, we miss the fullness of who God is and what He has for us.
How do you find God’s goodness while you’re waiting for the payoff of obedience?
You start with each breath. You begin realizing the goodness He provides daily by protecting and providing for you and your family. You stop assuming you deserve things and begin expressing gratitude for the mundane.
And gratitude for the big things.
Like when your sacrifice of obedience blossoms it’s first “aha.”
When God provides in that big way, you give glory to His name, not flippantly saying it’s a “God-thing.”
When you feel peace and contentment for the first time instead of angst and anxiety.
When I heard God’s voice under that auction tent seven years ago, the longings for the farm didn’t go away. But He took the longings of my heart and my energy have used them for His glory, something of which I never dreamed.
He has the same dreams for you.
When God says no to your dreams, you can fight Him. Or, you can submit your dreams to Him, allowing God to use your time, energy, and resources on earth for eternal purposes glorifying Him.
It’s that trust and obey thing again, only the equation is turned around.
Obey and trust. There no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.
What are your dreams you’re wrestling with to surrender to God? Join the conversation with me here or on Periscope–I’m scoping live on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9:30 am. Just download the app, follow @BeyondPicketFen, and join the live conversation. There are few days when I’m traveling where a broadcast may be delayed, but most weeks, you’ll find us there! Or catch the replays at katch.me.BeyondPicketFen
Now what about you–what can you release to allow God to replace your dream with His?