Is it possible to live the dream?
When you were young, do you remember sitting under a tree daydreaming? I can remember as a child I had some pretty big dreams. I was young and innocent; what a dreamer I was. Obviously, with most of us, as we grew up, many things in our environment shaped us, causing us to downsize our dreams; either trashing our dreams to pursue our “career-paths” or pursuing our parents’ or school counselor’s dreams – not ours. They meant well. When our innocence slipped away, our dreams were affected.
Have you ever stopped to think where those dreams came from? Why were they so big then and now just survival dreams – dreams of making ends meet? What changed?
God Gave You the Ability to Dream
God created you uniquely; there is no other person alive like you. He gave you the ability to dream, and dream big, because you are created in His very image and likeness. The very life of God was breathed into you, including His creativity and even His sense of adventure. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have always desired for man to enjoy the very same life that They as One enjoy. Discovering His grace and love for you will set you free to see the dream He has given you come to pass. Jer. 29:11: “For I know the thoughts I think towards you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” In Christ we are one with Him, joint heirs, all that He has is ours, and our innocence is restored in Christ.
God has placed in us gifts, talents, and desires from birth that form our dreams. Have you ever watched a talented singer or musician at a concert; one who wasn’t a Christian? You can see the talent and passion; you can even sense an anointing on the person’s life. They are just blinded as to who they are. On the other hand, I have met gifted musicians with a God-given gift who thought if they followed their passion and dream they might “backslide.” That’s what many were taught, so they shelved their passion. Some were even told “you can never make a living at that.” Why? The reasons are usually fear and lack, not aware that they have a Father who loves them, and gave them the talent. His love is the only antidote for fear (1 John 4:18), and His endless unconditional love will bring life to you and your dreams.
I recently read a Gallup study showing workplace morale heading downward: “70% of Americans negative about their jobs.” That is huge, yet not at all surprising. One news organization reporting the poll results said, “70% hate their jobs.” Let me also add that this is a worldwide issue. (Google this topic and you will see.) Is it any wonder that depression, sickness, and all kinds of issues are plaguing people and nations? Does this resemble anything at all like what you would think that a loving father had envisioned for His children? Absolutely not! John 10:10 Amplified says, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” Is this discontentment what He had in mind for humanity? Clearly John 10:10 shouts NO, not at all! We need to see this through the eyes of our Father – the eyes of grace.
Live the Dream by His Grace
This discontentment I described is because people in the world and religious people don’t know who they are in Christ, and God’s impressive view and opinion of them. God has no desire to manipulate or control you; He doesn’t even want to change you. What God does want for you is your discovery of your true redeemed identity – the real you, the image and likeness of God! Paul said in Rom. 7: “The things I want to do I do not do, and the things I don’t want to do, that I do.”
Paul was describing being bound by the law. We have always looked at the last part of this verse, “the things that I do not want to do, that I do,” missing the first part. There were things that he wanted to do but could not – not until he discovered he was free from the law, by grace. We find ourselves wanting to live the dream God has given us which we can only do by His grace, not by our efforts. God will not force you into a mold that you must do or else. He made you free; your life is His plan! Once you discover this, then effortless change takes place in your life, your dream unfolds and becomes reality before your eyes.
Many people live their lives doing things they don’t like doing. They think that when they retire they can then do what they always wanted; then they can “afford” to do it. They end up wasting many years because they could not see fulfilling their God-given dream as a possibility. The only thing that can successfully change this is the gospel of grace, and it is never too late!
Christ in You
The cross completely changed everything, and yet we still think, “I’m just an ordinary, common man.” There are no ordinary men (or women), just those blinded or veiled from their redeemed identity – not knowing who they are. Because of the cross, Jesus is forever a flesh and blood extraordinary man, AND as He is so are we in this world. Let that statement sink in! Jesus did not come to be an example for us, but OF us! As He is, so are we, in this world.
Having this revelation can only come through understanding that you are and always were priceless to God, loved unconditionally, and have been made righteous in Him. You cannot have a quality relationship with anyone under the burden of guilt. If you declare that you are under grace but burdened with guilt and not fully persuaded about what the finished work of the cross has actually done, then guilt will be the voice you hear and follow. That guilt will give birth to a guilt-driven life in you. There is no guilt or condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1). Living in His grace, (not law, nor a mixture of law and grace), will empower you to see your dream come to pass. If you have been born from above, simply by believing what Jesus did for you at the cross, then you are forever in Christ.
All things are possible to them that believe. Believe what? Believe that we have been perfectly redeemed and restored to our original design; we are the God kind. Faith is a persuasion that what Jesus completed is now ours. This faith of His, or persuasion of the truth, can only be fully realized in knowing His unconditional love for us! This will cast out fear, bringing us from death to life, for it is His perfect love! We live by faith not by sight! Knowing God’s true unconditional love for us is a must to be fully persuaded that we can do all things. John G. Lake said, “The only difference between Christ and us was His understanding of who He was.” Jesus became us (at the cross), and died our death so that we could become Him!
I hope your dream is beginning to resurface at this point. This as I said is not something you have to strive at to live your dream; it is something that actually comes about by your discovery of yourself in Christ and what that actually means. The unveiling of the mystery of this gospel – Christ in you!
Laboring Under the Law
Many Christians, bound by religion, think that to enjoy their dream, or “God’s best,” they must set goals and design their plan, painstakingly determining all the effort (self-effort) they must put toward this endeavor. Each step they must take is planned by them in great detail; planning for every possible obstacle. This is a very laborious task. I know. I spent a good part of my life doing it. It is laboring under the law system. This may work to a certain degree, but at what price? Let me ask you this: if it works, who gets the glory – you or God? You! You pat yourself on the back for a job well done. After all, you developed, and followed your seven-step plan to success in life, and, yes, “you did it!” It was full of hardships, labors and annoyances, but it was sure worth it. Was it really?
Before I share my experience under the law, let me say that every person on earth has a common God-given dream. To really live life to the fullest, we need to know that God fulfilled this dream – a dream that sets us free to be ourselves. This is man’s greatest dream: to be “somebody” and to be unconditionally loved and accepted just as we are. In order to be somebody, we must recognize our value to God. We are priceless to Him!
Here is what I accomplished: first, I labored under a system known as the law. Everything is based on what I can do in my own effort (2 Cor. 3:7: the law system is defined as the “ministry of death” full of “labors, annoyances and hardships.” These three words are the Thayer definition of evil in much of the New Testament, as well as a “mode of thinking, feeling, acting” based on what we believe.). I achieved all this at a great price. Relationships were neglected, health was affected, and more importantly than all of that, I had a veil on my eyes that veiled the truth of the gospel – my true identity. I was too busy planning the work, and working the plan, so that “I” could make “my” way in life.
A Life of Rest
Had I only let that veil fall off my religious eyes and discovered that Jesus did it all for me. He completed my redemption at the cross, utterly defeated the enemy, and handed me the victory. He completely redeemed me, made me righteous and holy; He became me so that I could become Him! Wow! Why? So I could enjoy abundant life instead of striving to have a life. He gave me His life! YES, HIS LIFE!! Now I have a life of rest, my greatest dream is realized and fulfilled as I grow in my understanding of my new amazing identity – therefore making my life dream a reality, effortlessly. There is nothing that I can’t do, and my provision is from my Father.
Is this dream big enough for you? It is actually bigger than we could ask or think, especially as we see it unfold in our lives. You see, when we see our “greatest dream” unfold before our eyes, there is such joy and excitement. Many of our life’s dreams that we had prior to this discovery, reshape. Why?
Because we were living under a different system. The old system was “you are what you do,” a works, self- effort based system. Because of the new system of grace, old desires fall by the wayside. Our new identity in grace reveals our real-redeemed identity that is shockingly different from who we thought we were, and what we thought we had to do to succeed. We discover all that He has is already ours and He has blessed us with every blessing pertaining to life and godliness. Both of these statements cover everything. No plans to work and no steps to complete – just believe. Once you learn who you really are, then be yourself – do what you want to do. Realizing our greatest dream fulfilled will lead us to our dreams and passions being fulfilled. Crazy? Maybe to some but certainly not to us who understand this revelation of God’s love and grace. Start living the dream today!