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living from a dream

God made people with a remarkable creative capacity. He designed you and I in his own image, and in doing so he imparted the creative spark. It’s the reason that we love new things. It’s the reason that we are happiest when we are ‘producing’ as opposed to simply going to the shopping mall and living life as a consumer. It’s the principle reason that we often experience times of boredom.

Boredom is the whisper of God in your life trying to convince you that you were made for more.

This is why it’s so important that we all live life from a place of dreaming, vision, and imagination. Dreams, vision, and imagination are all essential components of being creative, prophetic people – people who are able to bring the unseen realm into the present.

A couple of things about living from dreams:

Dreams are seeds.

Dreams are seeds. They are not the tree, and they are certainly not the fruit. When we get a dream or a vision for our life from God we are seeing the tree and we are seeing the fruit, but we are getting the seed. There is power and potential in the seed, but it’s just a seed.

Seeds take time.

Seeds don’t sprout instantly. Even germination takes a while. And once the seed has sprouted it could be weeks, months or even years for that seed to mature and become a plant capable of producing fruit. Likewise, your dreams are going to take time. Probably a lot of time. Malcolm Gladwell says 10,000 hours, to be specific.

Growing is hard.

Seeds have to push through the soil, which always contains a mixture of rocks and nutrient. The first thing to grow is always the root, which is unseen, and then, finally, a tender shoot emerges from the dirt.

In the beginning what God is doing in you will be hidden, like roots that break free from the seed capsule. David was hidden among his brothers for 16 years, then the word of promise was spoken over him, which lead to another 14-15 years of him being hunted, chased, and tormented by Saul. Jesus was hidden in Nazareth, among his relatives for 30 years before he began his ministry – the dream that had captured his life. Every dreamer will be hidden for a season. Embrace the hiddenness and let your roots go deep.

Even after the shoots emerge from the soil there is still a long period of time and difficulty ahead. Crazy weather, insects, and disease all will challenge the shoot.

There are things worse than difficulty.

Oddly enough, you actually want the process of living your life out of dreams to be long and difficult. I’m not talking about becoming some sort of ‘dream-martyr’ where one goes out looking to make things difficult. That’s stupid. The difficulty is built into life. Jesus promised that in this life there would be trouble.

What I’m talking about is having a dream or vision that is bigger than any difficulty, bigger than any amount of trouble.

When things take time and can withstand difficulty it means they are valuable. If it’s easy and quick, then you can be sure that there won’t be much in the way of value attached to the endeavor.

If your life dream is taking lots of time, and can’t be snuffed out by the difficulty of life, you can be sure that there is gold attached to it.

Why it always feels close.

When you get a dream or a vision for you life it almost always seems like it’s going to be easy. It almost always seems like it’s going to to take no time at all – like it may even happen next week, but then life sets in and we are left wondering if the dream was real at all. We can feel abandoned, like we didn’t really hear God at all.

This kind of disappointment is the number one enemy of seeing the god-dream in your heart emerge into fruitfulness.

The reason that it seems like it will be easy, and take very little time is actually pretty simple – God, who is eternal, and lives outside of time, steps into time, comes near, and places the future into your heart. It feels easy because the master of the universe was near you in that moment. Its feels immediate because, in that moment of conception, God brought your future into the present. You saw the picture. You saw the tree. You could even smell the faint sweetness of the fruit that was hanging on the tree, but what he deposited was a seed.

Don’t lose heart!


waking up

I’ve lived most of my life asleep. Eyes wide open, mouth filled with conversation, days and weeks and years filled with work, and distances traveled, but asleep – completely unaware of God.

Life has a rhythm – eat, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep – it’s a rhythm that can rock you into a permanent coma, and hold you like a mother holds her newborn baby girl, tightly, with affection. It’s so hard to wake up. Everything seems to be working within this rhythm, working to keep sleeping babies asleep. And things that don’t come into step with this march, struggle to be heard, silenced by the great machine of ‘life’ that really isn’t life, sequenced to the metronome of a billion little choices, some so small that hardly anyone would pay them notice.

But in my dreams, my sleeping dreams, I’ve seen a face and heard a voice. A face so brilliant that I could not look upon it and a voice so near I thought it was my own. There in the silence, with eyes closed and heart beating to the steady measure of rest I was vulnerable. My mind and body subdued to the point they could offer no resistance.

When I opened my eyes, I saw him. When I listened, I heard him. When I woke up, he was near. Rhythms remained – eating, working, sleeping, doing this, going there, all on repeat. But sitting on top of the rhythm, the hard tempos of ordinary life, sang the melody of communion, to which I am the harmony – following the tune, up and down, going where he leads, never alone, fully awake.



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