Megan Miller assures us that “God desires to fill our hearts with big dreams.”
In my opinion I believe He desires to fill our heart with holiness and righteousness of His Son.
Certified life coach Holley Gerth assures us that “there’s a God-sized dream knocking on the door of your heart”. Plus, she “shows you how to forget the lies and expectations the world feeds you and instead believe that God loves you and has even bigger plans for your life than you’ve even imagined.”
Before I was saved, I had not just big plans, I had huge plans for my life. After salvation, God showed me how puffed up those dreams were. Thank you, God.
Michelle Cox prays for us that that He might “Open God-sized doors so that I can accomplish those big things You want me to do…”
Now in addition to God-sized dreams we have God-sized doors? Why all this supersizing?
Paula Casill asks us “Did you know that your dreams and goals are important to God?”
Maybe so. Personally I can’t say with the same conviction as Paula does of what God considers important because I can’t read His mind, only see what He has declared important on His pages of Holy Writ. I do know He considers important being a follower of His plan and will, which is to pursue holiness and be an obedient participant in His sovereign global and eternal plan for His Son.
I don’t know about the motivations of all these people who write book after book about having God-sized dreams. In fairness, some of them write about being obedient to God when the ‘dream’ (I wish they’d just call it a plan or a decision) means they want to do a big scary thing, like start an orphanage or to rescue sex-trafficked girls, or do missionary work in the 10/40 belt, etc.
But for many of them what they mean when they say we have a God-sized dream, is that we have a big, personal dream we want our Big God to fulfill.
Supersizing our dreams is not a good idea. Nowhere do I read in scripture that God has big plans for my life other than the already big adoption into the most perfect family ever, inheriting all things in the universe, and having the Perfect Father, Friend, Brother, Priest, and King who saved us from the wrath that we deserve. I think that is pretty big.
But it goes on. He makes a place for us, will give us perfect work to do that will not be toil, changes our desires from our own dreams to His (hint, hint, you God-sized dream people :)! And much more. He gives us His Spirit, His love, and grows us in holiness. That’s pretty big. Why isn’t that enough for people? Must we have huge dreams too? Must we encourage each other by saying God has huge plans for our lives? Because sometimes His plan for our life is not a fantastic rollercoaster of supersized dreams, but difficulty, humiliation, rejection, and heartache.
I think of the Prophet Ezekiel. “Ezekiel, God desires to fill your heart with big dreams!” He was living a nice life with his wife whom he dearly loved, and who was the “delight of his eyes”. Yet one day God’s word came to Ezekiel and God said in Ezekiel 24:15-18,
The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. 17 Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.” 18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded.
Would today’s kind of evangelism-slash-encouragement about how God is going to fulfill your God-sized dreams given Ezekiel any help?
Isaiah was having a nice life. Did someone come along and tell Isaiah that “there’s a God-sized dream knocking on the door of your heart” that God wants to fulfill? No, in fact he was called to preach for many decades and told that no one would believe him ever- Isaiah’s ministry would seem to be a failure. Worse, he had to go naked in public for three years as a sign (Isaiah 20:3-4) and many other less-than-dreamy sized things happened to Isaiah.
I think of the Prophet Jeremiah. Did someone come along and tell him that his “dreams and goals are important to God?” After his call to the office of prophet, things got very difficult for him. Same with Joseph, Moses, Abram, Hannah, Job…
In the NT, young Mary had God-sized dreams, the upcoming marriage to her betrothed and a nice life with children. However soon enough she was nearly divorced and disgraced, then had to flee her country for her life, live in exile, return and then as an old woman, see her Son crucified in a horrific manner. Saul/Paul had dreams, and he fulfilled them. He was at the top of his profession as a lawyer-theologian in the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee’s Pharisee. Then one day he was struck blind, rebuked by the Living Jesus, and told he will be beaten and jailed in almost every city he comes to for the rest of his life. His life would be one of pain and suffering for the sake of the Name.
I think the biblical record and my own experience give me the confidence to say that after salvation, our personal dreams are either shown to be puffed conceit or are taken away and substituted with ‘dreams’ that are from God and in fact are personally difficult to follow. In many cases, the person’s life got worse after their call or after salvation. Why tempt people in evangelism or encouragement with something that isn’t really borne out in the biblical record?
My dreams are not God-sized. I don’t know what size they are. I pray that the Lord removes the fruit flies from my kitchen. I pray He will resolve my headache. I pray He will provide enough money for me to get to the end of the month. But are those puny dreams and wants? He said He will provide. (Matthew 6:33). He said to cast ALL our cares upon Him. (1 Peter 5:7). Trusting Him and obeying Him is huge.
When I pray for others, those dreams are puny also. I dream that the heart of my family be converted to Christianity. The heart, how big is it? Small. 9 ounces? 5 inches? It’s a small thing, the heart. But a very big God can convert that heart from one of stone to one of malleable, forgiven clay. Conversion is a God-sized dream. I pray He will use me as salt and light to show Himself to others. Salt is small, but God makes it big when He uses it. Puny sized dreams aren’t they? But they are God-sized because only God can do those things.
Are founding orphanages and witnessing with a scimitar aimed at your head the only kind of “big dreams” one can have? Isn’t salvation a God-sized dream? We should hear more about those kind of dreams.
Are my dreams lesser, smaller, just because I dream of having a quiet and modest life, persevering in faith in the day-to-day mundane? 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 2 Thessalonians 3:12, 1 Timothy 2:2 say otherwise. Tell a homeschooling mom of four that God has God-sized dreams for her and she’ll likely say that a shower, or a nap, or putting on clean clothes at some point during the day or eating a meal all by herself from start to finish is good enough dream.
So let’s stop rambling on about the size of our dreams. Let’s dispense with personal dreams and focus on Jesus and His commands. If we intuit that the “dream” in our mind is one that Jesus put there, whether it is to stay behind and live a quiet, comfortable life within our sphere that has little regional influence, or is one that makes a huge splash in the difficult areas of the world, so be it.
As for dreams themselves, the Bible says,
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:3).