I believe that each one of us has been given unique dreams by God. And in this blog post, we will explore how to uncover and nurture them into reality.
But first, I have four points I want to share with you to get you set up for success.
Point #1 – Acknowledging God’s Plan
Before you can even start taking action to bring your dreams to life, it’s essential to acknowledge that God has a plan for your life. He’s the ultimate dream-giver and that dream you have in your heart comes from Him. It’s all a part of His plan for you.
In Jeremiah 29:11, the Bible assures us: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
This means that you have a purpose, calling, and assignment which are all a part of God’s divine plan for your life. The Creator of the universe designed your dream.
Think about the story of Esther. She might have felt like an ordinary young woman, but God had a grand purpose for her – to save her people. Esther’s courage and faith in God’s plan led her to fulfill a dream she might not even have known she had.
Point #2: Embracing God’s Timing
Embracing God’s timing is a crucial step in unleashing your divine dreams. We talked about God’s timing last week.
We’re on God’s timetable – He’s not on ours. Too many people give up on their dreams because they feel like it’s taking too long to come to pass.
But Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
Understand that your dreams have a divine timeline orchestrated by God. Patience and trust in His timing can lead to unexpected blessings and opportunities.
One of my favorite Bible stories looks at the life of Joseph.
Despite being sold into slavery and imprisoned, Joseph never lost faith in God’s plan for his life.
In the right time, he was elevated to a position of power and influence, fulfilling the dream God had placed in his heart.
Joseph’s story teaches us the power of patience and trust in God’s perfect timing.
Point #3: Overcoming Self-Doubt
It’s natural to doubt ourselves and our dreams sometimes. You might be thinking, “Maybe I didn’t hear God right.” Or maybe it’s too late. Have you said, “Maybe this was supposed to be for someone else?”
However, Philippians 4:13 reminds us: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
You have to believe that God equips you with the dreams He plants within your heart. Trust in His strength – not yours. If God gave you a dream, you heard him right, it’s not too late, and it’s your dream.
Consider the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Despite her initial fear and uncertainty, she embraced her role in God’s divine plan with grace and faith. Her humility and obedience changed the course of history.
Point #4: Taking Practical Steps
While faith is crucial, taking practical steps is equally important.
Proverbs 16:3 says: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
Pray, plan, set goals, and take action steps toward your dreams. And that’s what I want to talk about now. Here’s a step-by-step system to help you get into action.
This step-by-step system uses the letters in the phrase DREAM BIG to give you a framework for unleashing your dreams.
D – Divide and Conquer
You may have heard someone ask, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is one bite at a time.
How do you start a long journey? Again, the answer is one step at a time.
Dividing a big dream into a series of tasks or steps can make something that seems unreachable, reachable.
For instance, the writer who wants to write a 200-page book may find it less overwhelming to commit to writing 10 pages a day.
Another example is the woman who wants to lose 100 pounds and is overwhelmed just thinking about losing that much weight. A 3-pound-a-month loss is much more manageable.
So, create a daily plan where you’ll take specific, simple, measurable action steps every day toward achieving your dream. Crystallize your daily plan by writing it down (left-brained). Or use images and pictures by making a vision board (right-brained).
R – Redefine Failure and Success
Don’t limit yourself by viewing success and failure as a single, narrow path. Following your unique path is what will lead you to success as you see it. As I always say, look for the lesson in what may seem like a failure so that you can use it as a stepping stone to success.
I’m studying 1 Samuel right now in Bible study and we’re just getting ready to meet David. When you look at his life, you’ll see that David wasn’t a perfect man – adultery, murder, not a great father. But God said he was a man after His heart – to the average person, David’s life looks like a major failure (1 Samuel 13:14).
But God doesn’t look at the outside – He focuses on the heart. And when He looked at David’s heart, he saw a successful man.
Here’s another example.
Thomas Edison has a great quote; when he was asked about his failures when he was inventing the light bulb, he said – “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Sometimes, no matter how well you plan and prepare, you’re going to have some roadblocks or setbacks. When that happens, the best thing to do is ask yourself, “What can I learn from this and how will it help me reach my dream?” Then, keep moving forward.
E – Embrace Risk
Sometimes, making a dream come true means taking a gigantic leap of faith. But people don’t want to do that and here’s why.
Here are five reasons why people avoid risk.
- Failure – I might not get what I’m aiming for.
- Exposure – If it doesn’t work out, it might reflect negatively on me.
- Embarrassment – If I push for something, and it doesn’t work out, I could be judged by others.
- Rejection – If the risk fails, I could be rejected by others.
- Loss – If I try something new or different, I might have to give up what’s familiar.
But here are three key things I want you to remember about risk and taking chances.
- The number one thing that separates the people who do achieve their dreams from the people who look back on their lives with regret is that the people who accomplish their goals are willing to take action despite their fears – they make up their minds to do it scared.
- It’s easy to play it safe, but it doesn’t get you very far – staying in your comfort zone just leads to settling for the status quo.
- Nothing happens until you go after what you believe in.
Having faith is the first step. Then, take action by going after what you really want – remember action stops fear.
So, if a rare opportunity presents itself, weigh the cost, then consider going for it – pray and ask God for wisdom. If the cost in dollars, time, or emotional and physical energy is one you’re willing to pay, then don’t let the odds deter you – see yourself being successful.
A – Admit Who You Are
Stop thinking of yourself as a wanna-be – for example, I want to be a writer; if you’re writing, you’re a writer. Begin telling yourself and others who you are and listen to what you’re saying.
There’s power in your words.
- If you’ve written a book, you’re an author – whether it’s published or not.
- If you have a side hustle that you’re turning into a full-time business, you’re a business owner.
- If you’re going to the jail, preaching and praying for inmates, you’re the founder of a prison ministry.
God would not have put a dream in your heart if He had not given you what you need to fulfill it.
Once you start thinking of yourself as the person you want to be, it becomes easier to do the things that you want to do. Proverbs 23:7 says, “ As he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
M – Mix with Cheerleaders
We all know people who bring doom and gloom wherever they go with their negative attitudes, complaints, etc. Trust me on this – these are not the people you want to share your hopes and dreams with.
To survive and thrive, our dreams need TLC. Find people who you feel will cheer you on.
Sometimes, friends and family members aren’t as supportive of your dreams as you would like them to be. They may not mean to be hurtful; they just don’t understand your calling the way that you do. When God spoke to you, they weren’t there.
In my life, many of my friends are judges – they don’t get this entrepreneur thing. But my Mom and brother are my biggest fans – when I told them I was retiring from the bench, their response was: “I’m so glad to hear you say that!”
Just remind yourself that everybody doesn’t deserve a front-row seat in your life. Everyone is not worthy of your time. Everyone isn’t ordained to be in your space. Everybody can’t be your confidante or a shoulder for you to lean on. Everyone is not a destiny connection.
Try to surround yourself with people who will encourage you and support you as you go towards achieving your dreams.
B – Bond with a Mentor
Do you know someone who has achieved the dream you’re pursuing? Chances are he or she may not mind sharing their secrets to success.
Think about the relationship between Elijah and Elisha – mentor and mentee relationship.
1 Kings:19:19-21 says, “So, Elijah went and found Elisha, son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother goodbye, and then I will go with you!” Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” So, Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.
It didn’t take long after I started my business that I quickly realized I needed help. That led to me hiring many coaches over the years. Right now, I’m in several coaching programs because of the projects I’m working on.
Sometimes, you have to spend some money and make an investment in yourself and your dream if you want it to come to life.
So, pray and ask God who to contact – then make that call.
I – Inspire Yourself With “Can-do” Stories
Don’t you love stories where someone beats the odds to make a dream come true?
The story of Ruth is one of those. She was in a hopeless situation that ended better than she or her mother-in-law Naomi could have ever imagined.
It’s important to fill your mind with positive thoughts and information. Look for your own can-do stories in movies, newspaper articles, magazine articles, biographies, autobiographies, and friends.
And don’t forget your own can-do stories – those goals you’ve reached and successes you’ve had.
G – Give Yourself a Picture to Follow
One of the best things you can do to support your dreams and goals is to create a visual display of them – something you can look at and touch.
For example, a vision board is a great way to do this.
- You can make a physical that you can hang up on one of your walls.
- Or you can make a digital one using Pinterest or Canva – then set it as the screensaver on your phone or your desktop background image.
By giving yourself a picture to follow, you create a blueprint you can use as you continue working toward your dream.
As I said earlier, the first letter of each of these steps spells “Dream Big”
We serve a big God and He wants you to dream big. Big dreams are God-sized dreams, and He delights in helping you make your dream come true. He gets the glory, and you get to help someone.
So, don’t downsize your dreams
Here’s a story of what can happen when your dream isn’t big enough or you give up on your dream too soon.
In 1930, two young brothers moved from New Hampshire to California to pursue their dream of being successful business owners. After trying a few failed businesses, they struck gold when they opened a small drive-in restaurant. By the mid-1950’s, their annual revenue was $350,000 and the brothers were able to split $100,000 in profits.
Then in 1954, a man entered the picture. He saw potential that the brothers didn’t see. In 1961, that man, Ray Kroc bought the exclusive rights to McDonald’s for 2.7 million dollars.
Today, there are more than 38,000 McDonalds’ restaurants worldwide, with revenue over 24 billion dollars, and over 1.7 million employees worldwide. (2022 figures)
The lessons we all can learn from the McDonald’s story are:
- Don’t pull up short of your God-given dream.
- Don’t allow someone else to outdream you.
- Don’t allow anyone else to finish your dream.
Never allow fear to cheat you out of God’s dream for your life.
Remember that your dreams matter, and they are intricately woven into God’s divine plan for your life. Embrace your uniqueness, trust in His guidance, and take those bold steps.
Never forget that your dreams are valid, and God’s purpose for your life is profound. Embrace it with faith, and watch how He transforms your dreams into a beautiful reality.