Dreaming With God About Your Life
What's my purpose?
God, what am I here for? I silently prayed, sitting in my DTS classroom surrounded by dear friends who God had called to medical missions, counseling, teaching, staffing Discipleship Training Schools, and pastoring. It seemed like God had spoken vision into everyone's life but mine and, truth be told, I felt a little left out.
Jesus, I want to follow you. I want to glorify you in everything I do, but how?
How had I gone through four years of higher ed to earn a bachelor's degree, but I still had no idea what I was going to do with my life? Nothing seemed like purpose. Nothing felt like something worth living for. And I refused to do something just because I needed anything to do.
I refused to settle into a life of complacency. I had seen too much. There's a dying world out there with dying people who need to know the only message that can change everything, that can transform anything, that can bring freedom and healing and life. But, how? The world is big and God is bigger and I'm just one 23-year-old girl with a bachelor's degree in English and a love for Jesus.
Jesus: the God of the Universe.
Jesus: who sung creation into existence.
Jesus: who holds the universe together by the Word of His power.
Jesus: in whom we all live and move and have our being.
Then, God whispered,
dream with me about your life.
I remembered something Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "we have the mind of Christ," implying that any right understanding we have about God is God's understanding of Himself. But, it also shows that we can invite God into the inner-workings of our minds. In fact, Jesus commands us to love Him with the very minds He gave us. He has equipped our minds with the ability to process, reason, remember, problem-solve, synthesize, understand, question, imagine and dream. Of course, our minds are also limited by our humanity. But, God's mind isn't. And "we have the mind of Christ."
Could it be that, when we invite God into our minds, we can actually expand our mental capacities to reason, understand, synthesize, imagine and dream with the power of God?
So, I invited God to dream with me. Whether I was walking around, or reading, or resting, or spending time with God, I would say, "Ok, Father. Dream with me about my life."
Oh, how faithful He is to reveal Himself to those who seek Him! I started seeing glimpses of these things beyond my own understanding, beyond my own imagination, beyond the limits of my own mind.
That week, I wrote in my journal,
I want to be free from seeing things in the boxes that the world puts them in. I want to truly seek understanding and wisdom from You. I feel like I am called to do things where I'll really need my mind... to reshape the systems of this world... transforming distorted kingdoms to mirror your Kingdom. Make these connections between what I can wrap my mind around and what I can't stronger. Show me how it's all a part of the one big picture that I'm called into.
About a week later, I was at a worship event, and was distracted. My thoughts were bouncing from needing to get my phone fixed to weekend plans to financial needs to everything else that doesn't matter (especially when you're worshiping the King of Kings).
I cried out in desperation and frustration,
"God, lift my thoughts higher!"
And, just like that, a vivid picture came into my mind: I was in a desert region with a team sitting around a table with the leaders of this particular community. We were talking about the unique gifts that God had given this community and how, through discipleship in the ways that God had created communities to work, the community would see the fullness of these blessings so that they, as the seed of Abraham, could be a blessing to all nations. As I asked God questions about everything I saw, he showed me more and more about strategy and purpose. He even gave me the next steps to prepare for this hybrid Community Development / Nation Discipleship work.
Co-creating with God
In Moses' creation account in Genesis, God brings every animal to Adam "to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name" (Genesis 2: 19).
The Master Creator -- God -- delights in co-creating with His Apprentice Creator -- man. He delights in dreaming with us and seeing what we would do with the giftings, passions and tools He's given us.
Every calling is beautiful, but now I find myself so grateful that God wanted to create my life with me because it gave me this understanding of joint-ownership. Now, we research together, we plan together, and, of course, we continue to dream together.
So, how can you step into dreaming with God?
Ask Him to dream with you! Tell Him that you want your life to be lived for His glory on this earth and ask Him to show you how.
Gain God's heart for the world and for your community. Begin pressing in through intercession, not only for the nations, but also for those around you. Maybe even get a prayer map and allow God to break your heart for places and people as you pray for the whole world. Ask God for strategy about how to respond to the needs in this world and how He may be calling you to be a part of it. He desires to use us to manifest Himself in the world today!
Ask God to highlight the specific gifts and talents He's given you. Then, ask Him to reveal why He's gifted you in these specific areas. How has He created you to use these talents for the Kingdom? Begin stepping out in these gifts with confidence.
Go until He tells you not to. What are you passionate about? Move forward in that passion! Have you always had China on your heart? Go! Go! Keep going, until He says, Wait, Child, I have something else for you in this season. You don't need to wait for a voice-from-the-sky, fire-from-heaven calling. Trust that He's given you your passions and your heart for people and places, and step out in faith. Trust that He is the Good Shepherd and that He faithfully guides our steps. His ability to guide us is greater than our ability to listen.
You are Called
He calls you, "Child of the Most High God." And you are called to walk in your identity as a son or daughter and bring others into their identities in Christ, for we were not meant to walk in a spirit of slavery and fear, but rather in a spirit of adoption as sons and heirs.
He calls you, "Minister of a New Covenant of Grace." And you are called to carry the Spirit of the Living God in all you do, for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
He calls you, "Ambassador for Christ." And you are called to reach out to this world, demonstrating and proclaiming what it means to be reconciled and in relationship with the God of Grace, and bring His kids home.
You are called. This means that anytime you've felt like your life is meaningless or thought that there's nothing you're particularly good at, you've believed a lie.
This means God has an incredible adventure that He's waiting to step into with you, so long as you're ready to take risks, to be molded into His image, to be humbled, to experience immeasurable blessing, and to surrender everything. You are called.
Maddy dreams of seeing people, communities, and nations transformed by the power of the Gospel. She currently is serving with Youth With A Mission in Yosemite, CA. She has a heart for the Middle East, especially regarding the refugee crisis, where she will pursue full-time missions. Oh, and pie is her favorite food.