Don’t be afraid to have a new or big dream even in times of uncertainty, fear, or doubt. Of course, common sense must be applied but we can often be so practical, fearful, and or doubt-filled, that we don’t allow ourselves to imagine at all. Imagination is a gift from God to be used for Him. It leads to dreams being fulfilled!
To dream a new dream is to cast off the negative and open yourself up to something bigger than yourself and your life as you listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding you.
What Does It Mean to Dream Big Dreams
So, what does it mean to dream big dreams? It means to let yourself dream as big as the dream God gives you. He will always make it the perfect size for you.
Big is a relative thing. I have 3 dogs. One is a 10 month old puppy who weighs 55 lbs and the other is a Yorkshire terrier who weighs about 8 lbs. To my little dog, the puppy is big. However, when comparing him to my friend’s puppy who weighs 110 lbs., my puppy isn’t nearly as big. Big is a relative term.
I’m not famous, rich, or well-known and I don’t dream of being famous or well-known. Those aren’t things I desire. However, for some others, the goal they are working toward might involve fame or being well-known in some way because God gave them a word about it or it’s their big dream and that is wonderful.
I’m not minimizing or limiting myself. I know I’m right where God wants me and doing what He wants. So, I’m content.
However, I have other dreams of things I still want to do. I accomplished one of them by publishing a book last year! Something I never thought would be a reality, began to take shape at the lowest time of my life. In midst of the loss of my husband and having cancer treatment, I wrote a book and got it ready to publish! My ‘big’ dream might seem small to someone else but it’s what fits me.
Dreams, Goals, and Visions
There are others words for ‘dream’ that can be interchangeable- vision, word, picture, or goal. Goals are usually steps of action related to something larger like a dream. Visions and pictures are often the launching pad to begin building on what God is saying.
Dreaming a big dream doesn’t just happen at night while you’re sleeping. In fact, it may not take on biblical proportions. For me, it was a simple thought that I dismissed. Write a book. No vision, no picture. It wasn’t written on a wall. It was just simple, quiet words in my heart.
Maybe there’s an idea you had a long time ago. Your dream could be inspired through a conversation with a friend. It can also come as you read the Bible and pray. You might have a vision or a picture that forms in your mind. You might think of it as just a goal you have that isn’t that important. A ‘dream’ can be something you just really want to do. You take it to God and go for it unless He says no.
What Does the Bible Say About Dreams?
Joel 2:28 ESV, And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
Habbakuk 2:2 ESV, And the Lord answered me: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
There are many other scriptures about dreams and visions in the link to Joel 2:28. While you might have a literal ‘dream from God,’ just be open and know that He can speak to you in many ways and He is big enough to get you where He wants you to go!
God speaks to people through visions, dreams, burning bushes, prophecies, a donkey, words they hear directly from God or from others, and through the Holy Spirit. If He wants you to know something, He will find a way to tell you. You just need to be open to hearing Him.
Don’t Be Afraid
I wrote my book because I conquered my fear of failure by deciding to act on what God was telling me. I wrote a book.
Has God ever spoken to you about doing something, anything, but fear or doubt kept you from fulfilling it? Scripture after scripture from the Old to the New Testament says this – don’t be afraid. They also say that we shouldn’t be afraid because – God is with us.
For instance, God speaks and says, “You’re going to write books and other things.” You say, “I can’t. I don’t know how. I’m not smart enough. I don’t want to. I’m afraid I will fail.” I know you say those things because I said those things and then, I put the dream away in a box on a shelf in my heart and mind.
However, the Holy Spirit, who is very persistent, kept pulling the box out, blowing off the dust, and reminding me of it. Then, He set up circumstances that caused me to write. Not a book at first, but things that, together, eventually turned into a book.
When I thought of ‘writing a book,’ I immediately began comparing myself to authors who were famous and the word ‘failure’ popped up. Comparison is a vision/dream killer. It kills hopes, goals, and desires.
How do you avoid comparison? By remembering that God does not ask us to be like anyone else. He only asks for obedience based in love as we strive to be like the Son, Jesus Christ.
Fear of Failure
No one likes to fail. But, we forget that fame and fortune are not the kingdom measurements of success! My book is not a best seller in the world’s eyes. But in God’s, it is! It’s a best seller to those it has helped! It tells the Good News of Jesus’ love, healing power, and my testimony of what He has done in my life. My book and I are successful ambassadors of the kingdom.No one likes to fail. But, we forget that fame and fortune are not the kingdom measurements of success! My book is not a best seller in the world's eyes. But in God's, it is! It's a best seller to those it has helped! It tells the… Click To Tweet
By the way, the name of my book is How To Win After Loss and it’s my story along with some things I’ve learned along the way about dealing with and winning after loss in life and ministry.
Your Dream Box
For me, the idea of writing and publishing a book was a ‘big’ dream. I had written Bible Studies and Training Manuals for years. That was no big deal, but, a book was a big dream and I didn’t want to be a failure.
I don’t know what your big dream is but I do know that you must put aside fear in order to fulfill it. Your circumstances at this moment might seem to be the worst time to even think of pulling your dream box out of the closet. Again, I can tell you from experience, your circumstances don’t have to stop you from fulfilling your dream.
I think I mentioned – I’m not rich. Writing a book and getting it published with a big publisher is expensive. But, I learned how to write and how to publish very inexpensively. I’m not promoting a course on learning to write. I’m just imploring you not to let fear, doubt, lack of money, or circumstances stop you.
Hopes And Dreams
We need hope, dreams, visions or goals or whatever you want to call them. God isn’t going to give you a dream unless He knows you can fulfill it. He gives guidance for our lives. That’s a dream and He gives big dreams, new dreams and all His dreams are filled with hope, light, love, and inspiration.
To simplify this, I believe that hopes and dreams are linked. Humans need a goal, a target, a checklist, that can be accomplished. When you have a dream or have vision in regard to where God wants to take you and your life, you have a big dream which is just one part of God’s will for your life.
How Do You Find New Dreams?
- having an open heart and spirit to hear what God is saying
- not making excuses.
- never allowing fear to stop you
- praying about timing
- obeying when God says go
- banishing the the negative thoughts of doubt
- remembering that if God said it, He will give you all you need to fulfill it
- being realistic about the tools you need to fulfill the dream
- not being controlled by fear – be strong and very courageous
- remembering that if you are following God, you can’t fail
- praying without ceasing!
My dream to write a book started with a little booklet I wrote for our church to help people in ministry who had experienced the loss of their ministry or vision. I never thought of it as a book. I just gave it away to whoever needed or wanted it.
The ‘new dream’ came through the subsequent loss of my husband. Loss took on a broader meaning but with many parallels. I had a new dream and pursued it.
I attended a writer’s seminar, read books, went online and found an abundance of free information. At the same time, I quizzed friends and did lots of praying. At one point in the cancer treatment, I couldn’t keep water down much less write anything. Seems like that would have been a good excuse to just give up – right?
It wasn’t. I really wanted to obey what God was asking of me and that meant not letting any circumstance, no matter how negative, stop me. I took a break and then was back at it as quickly as possible, using the break to refresh and focus.
Notice What God is NOT Saying
When God talked to me about writing many years ago, He didn’t say one word about it making me rich or famous. He didn’t say my book would be a best seller. I had a simple knowledge that I was to write a book that would help others. I did that and many have been helped by some lessons I’ve learned. I haven’t made much money, but that wasn’t what God told me to do!
Don’t read more into God’s words than what is there. By the same token, don’t read less into them than what is there. Get with God in prayer, take out that dream box, and review the inventory with Him. Did He give instruction to do it immediately? If not, then talk to Him about timing. Talk to Him about how He sees this dream.
Read about Moses. God gave him a big dream, a big task, and gave him everything he needed to fulfill it and take the children of Israel into the Promised Land. But, Moses took things one step too far. The Israelites needed water and God said to Moses,
Numbers 20:8 ESV, Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.
Unfortunately, here is what Moses did,
Numbers 20:9-11 ESV, And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him.
Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.
God gave specific instruction – tell, or speak to, the rock. Instead, Moses, in anger, struck the rock twice. As a result, Moses never entered the promised land. The lesson here is that we need to not only hear what God is saying, but we must also be careful not to read more into it and assume that we can do whatever we want.
Dream New Dreams
Maybe right now your dream shelf is empty – no box to be found. You can ask God for a new dream but, before you do, make sure you’re ready to listen and open yourself up to believe what He says and to do it.
In the process of learning to write, a close friend of mine, who was working through the same process, reached out to me and we started working together. She was trying to publish some books on behalf of her parents who have taught people all around the world for their entire lives. She had also started a blog and I wrote a couple of blogs to try to help her.
Then, something happened, something I never thought I would do or want to do. I started a blog. Why? Because I had a new dream. I didn’t really have a word from God or a vision. Instead, something stirred inside of me and I knew I had to try it. I prayed about it and then started. It was a huge learning curve with some days of great frustration and wondering why I had done this.
When I started my first blog, I just wrote random things but found that people were reading them. People from all over the world – literally! Then, I met a wonderful woman online who has a passion to get more of Jesus on the internet and she trains people in how to do it correctly. Again, I’m not selling anything, just explaining my journey.
Her name is LeeAnn Fox and she has a wonderful site called Kingdom Bloggers. She and many others like her are doing what I’m doing. A few days ago, I looked to see how many countries my blog is reaching and it is truly worldwide. I’m shocked and humbled and excited that perhaps some little bit of my life is helping someone else.
The new dream, while being very hard work, is truly worth it when I see that I can reach so far with the light and love of Jesus. In fact, I now have 2 blogs – Women Ministering and Study Your Bible Now. SYBN is brand new and I’m in the process of building the content.
What Stops You From Fulfilling Your Dreams?
We all have to look inward occasionally and see what’s really in there. If you have dreams on the shelf or if your shelf is empty, go to God in prayer right now and ask Him to show you what’s stopping you.
There are some legitimate things that can postpone your dream. Your season of life, health issues, lack of funds, and lack of time are a few, However, here’s what to do during those times.
Is It Never Too Late To Achieve Your Dreams?
No. It’s never too late to achieve the dreams God gives you. You might have different obstacles but if the Holy Spirit is speaking then you need to get going!
Read – it’s free! Education is part of the process of the fulfillment. You can begin educating yourself about what will be needed. Perhaps you would love to lead a women’s bible study group. Or, you want to train dogs and use that to share God’s love. There are as many dreams as there are people to dream them and yours is just as important as all the others. I can be as simple as it needs to be or as big as God wants it to be.
Your dream will require some work. You might need to save up money, take a class, get some certification, or purchase supplies. I continue to educate myself because the world of blogging is constantly changing.
God – He might tell you to wait. Why? To help you understand that the dream needs to be what He envisions. When it finally comes about, it may not look like what you imagined, but it will be what pleases God. So, you need to be willing to wait and let God do His handiwork. He might only reveal a few parts at a time as He helps you build toward His ultimate goal.
You. Turns out that the biggest culprit in dreams staying on the shelf is us. We find reasons to procrastinate. Those ‘reasons’ sound good but the truth is that we find the time, funds, and ways to do the things we really want to do. If it’s really important, we usually find a way. So, if you are the reason the dream is sitting idle, then you just need to have a little talk with Jesus and then get moving.
Have A Little Talk With Jesus
Yes, that sounds corny but, if you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you know the power and truth of that statement. Connecting with the Savior and His dream for your life will inspire and strengthen you.
No Dream is Too Small or Too Big
By allowing ourselves to think that our dream is too big, too small or unimportant, we allow condemnation to come into our hearts. The accusing voice of condemnation is never ever God. It’s the enemy. It might be delivered in a variety of ways and can include your own voice.
Don’t let anyone (including yourself) or anything condemn you in regard to your dream. It might take longer and might be harder than you thought. Or, it could be much easier than you thought but you need hold fast to it.
You need a dream. As I said, if you have a dream box on the shelf, go get it and let God breathe new life into it. If, the dream shelf is empty – start praying and asking God. Also, you might be surprised to find that you had a dream a long time ago and now is the time for it to come to life inside you!
In 2002, I founded a faith-based, non-profit outreach to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Did I have any experience at all in doing something like this? None. What I did have was a burning desire inside because I knew it was my mission for that time of my life. It’s a long story but it still exists today and was a dream far beyond anything I would have imagined. This is how I know that you can do it too!
How Do You Dream Big and Work Hard?
No matter what size your dream is, it requires hard work. There is great satisfaction in it if you don’t give up. How do you do that? The simple answer is – by taking the first step! Then the second and third and so on. Dreams are fulfilled through action, hard work and perseverance.
Seven Steps to Dream Big and Work Hard
First – Pray. Make a decision to obey God and start taking action.
Second – Evaluate. What do you need in order to make the dream, vision, or goal a reality? Pray.
Third – Write. Write down your dream along with your hopes and visions concerning it. Write out what you need in order to fulfill it. Write down what God is saying and what you are thinking and – Pray.
Fourth – Persevere. There will be times of discouragement and times when it seems as if you aren’t accomplishing anything. This is when you pray without ceasing and hold fast to what you wrote and to what God said.
Sixth – Count the Cost. This is a literal and spiritual requirement. Every vision or dream costs something – time, money, physical work, resources, personal sacrifice, and prayer. You must be committed. If you don’t have what you need – ask! God will make a way.
Seventh – Keep You Eyes on The Prize. The prize is Jesus and fulfilling His purpose for your life in this particular season. The prize isn’t money or fame or even a feeling of satisfaction. Yes, you will have that feeling, but there will also be times when you don’t have it and the thing that will keep you going is your focus on the Savior.
Philippians 3:13-14 The Voice, Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.
The Fulfillment of Your Dreams
Every dream has its disappointments along with its satisfactions and rewards. The fulfillment of your dream will probably look different than what you pictured at the start but it will be even better.
Sometimes, we tarnish our own dreams because we set up our standard for success and then decide that our dream doesn’t live up to it. As I have said, the kingdom standards for success and satisfaction are far different than the world’s.
Our standard is – did we obey? And our reward is – satisfaction and contentment in the Lord! I pray you embark on the journey of a new dream, a big dream, or picking up the dream box on the shelf and pursue it with all your joy in the Lord!
**WM uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations.
You might also enjoy reading – Choosing A Guiding Word for 2020 – it applies to any year.