Dear WOW Subscribers and readers: with the blessings of Crossroad's Church, the WOW blog has expanded its scope of ministry and is no longer affiliated with one church or organization, but we will continue to bring you the same quality of devotions with the same biblical content. Please pray for us as we expand our vision and see what God has in store! Gail Purath, WOW blog manager
At the beginning of each New Year many people, including myself, set new goals or resolutions. For me, it is a multi-faceted event that usually takes a few hours to come up with the complete list. Some may think, “What a waste of time”. However, the four step process sets the tone for my entire year and it is well worth any sacrificed television watching time.
Begin with a DREAM
On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a seventeen minute speech that changed the course of our nation. The now famous “I Have a Dream” words inspired, challenged, and ushered in a new day for America. It was a powerful speech given by a wonderful orator and a believer who dared to believe that God had something better in mind. It was part of God’s purpose for Martin Luther King, Jr. to get involved in the Civil Rights Movement. God began by giving Dr. King a dream long before he wrote that speech. Dreams are powerful. They offer hope and courage to face the day. Some people have grand dreams of what God would like for them to do. Others struggle to figure out God’s will. In order to really live the full life we cannot live by either of these extremes.
What is your dream? Dare to imagine both big and small dreams. Allow your mind to wander and write down every thought that you can capture.
Next PURPOSE and PLAN
Sometimes I am tempted to stop with the dream. This is dangerous. Imagine what would have happened if Walt Disney would have stopped with just imagining the mouse. To make our dreams reality we must seek out God’s purpose and His plan behind the dream He gives us. We must double check our dreams with His truth and make sure that our ideas are truly from Him.
Over and over Scripture states that God has a purpose and a plan.
Job 36:5 states, “God is mighty, but does not despise men; He is mighty, and firm in His purpose.” God loves us and He knows exactly what His purpose for us is. He doesn’t desire for us to seek purpose, He desires for us to seek Him and as we seek Him, we will find Him and so much more.
When Jeremiah wrote the words of the Lord to the captives of Babylon, he penned this, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
Later during the promise of the restoration of Israel, Jeremiah writes, “Call to me (God) and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Proverbs 19:21 states, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails.”
Be encouraged God has a purpose and a plan for our lives. Begin praying and seeking God’s word to make sure your dream and plan is of God and not just something that you desire. Asking the following questions may help you hone in on some specifics.
Where is God at work in my life and circle of influence?
What is my purpose?
What are my priorities?
What do I need to do to accomplish what God has for me?
What do I need to give up?
DO the plan
Now comes the fun part. Working out the plan and actually accomplishing it can be a great source of joy and frustration. If you like for everything to go according to plan then get ready to be flexible. If you are more laid back in your approach the planning has already driven you crazy. Implementing the plan is the fun stuff. Pursuing the dream that God has put in your heart is a fantastic thrill. Remember through it all that you are the instrument and He is the player. He is the one who does all the work. Enjoy!
(1) 1964. Dick DeMarsico, photographer. Library of Congress.
Emily, wife of Hayden and mom to Coleman (8), Grace (6), and “Baby” due in April, loves to teach God’s Word. She leads Bible studies and works with young adults at Pitts Baptist Church in Concord, NC. Emily’s site: www.abundantlyhis.com.