Did you ever get disciplined at school for daydreaming? I can remember looking out of the window of my classroom, deep in thought and being woken by the teacher’s voice. “Mayers, focus boy! Generally if you ask me what I am dreaming about or what I want in various categories, I could tell you. Why – not because I can think of things spontaneously, not because I spend my life brainstorming all the possibilities, not because I am opinionated (well lets not go there)… no but because I take time to intentionally think about it. My wife is much more of a dreamer than I am. She dreams about things that are totally off my radar. I tend to dream about things that I can see happening with a little miracle. We will all have our limits of dreaming. One thing I know is this – God wants us to dream. We are made in his image, and he has always been a dreamer!
When we hear the phrase ¨I have a dream¨, we think of one person – Martin Luther King Jr. “I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood…. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today….”
Do you have a dream? A dream for your life, your ideal future, your marriage, your family, the destiny of your kids, or the ministry that you are engaged in right now? Do you have a dream for what your life will look like in 5 years time?
You can try this at home: Imagine laying in your bed tonight and an angel appears to you. He tells you that the Lord wants to make you a blessing and you have 3 wishes. There are no limitations, no budget to keep to and you can think totally out of the box. The only condition is that these wishes can only be spent on others. What would you wish for?
Many of us tend to create our own boundaries and only think what is practically possible to do. Our other tendency is to think in terms of the time that we have right now to accomplish something. So what you would like to do if you had all the time you needed?
God gave a dream to Joseph that gave him a glimpse of his future. Joseph was going to be a leader and in the dream he saw his family bowing down to him. His response perhaps should have been, ‘Lord I don’t understand this’. Perhaps he should have gone privately to his Dad and shared what he had received. Some dreams are to be put on the shelf for a while and meditated on until the right time to bring it into the open. It is said of Mary, that she kept all these things to herself and pondered them. Abraham was shown the stars of the heaven and told that his descendants would similarly be countless. His response wasn’t to proudly proclaim his new status – father of the nations! No, he stood back in wonder.
You can try this at home too: Last year Rite and I went through a marriage course and one of the exercises was to dream together. The dreams could be simple desires for today, tomorrow or next month, or dreams that need real imagination to see them coming to reality years from now. We were encouraged to just ask the question of one another – what do you want? It sounded so simple that we didn’t think much of it. However as we got into the exercise we began hearing things from one another that were enlightening, encouraging and challenging. We have been married for 33 years and suddenly we were hearing new dreams from one another.
And what about this with your team: Last week we went through the exercise again but this time as a leadership resource centre team. We went around in a circle sharing personal and ministry dreams and kept going for quite some time. We listened without comment but noted them all down. We were so blessed hearing one another´s desires and dreams and finished feeling very inspired and wanting to see them all come to reality. We commented that just speaking out our thoughts raised our faith level. The next step can be to give everyone in the team 3 votes each. They can vote on any of the dreams heard. Then you can see as a team what are the dreams holding the greatest ownership from everyone. Perhaps you can begin to pursue the top 3 voted dreams – at least to start praying about them. Words can be very creative.
Even as an exercise on your own it can be very fruitful. Take half an hour to dream and journal as you go. I just sat down and wrote the following paragraph in 5 minutes. As you write you will find your values and desires all converging in your words on the paper.
My dream for leaders: I have a dream, where leaders will love their followers and serve them in order to see them come to their full potential in God, where leaders will work in team in complimentary relationships and function in synergy together, where leaders will clothe themselves with humility, give honour and prefer one another in love, where leaders will only do what they see the Father doing and their passion will be to live it out, where leaders will be quick to listen and slow to speak, quick to affirm and quick to seek to put things right, where leaders are known as people who share the fragrance of heaven.
I did the same for my desires for YWAM Europe: In YWAM Europe, I want to see every nation having at least 1 major training centre that operates DTS´s and a number of UofN schools. I want to see these major centres sending out pioneer teams into their own cities and nation as well as to other nations that God puts on their hearts. As they go, these teams will be a prophetic voice, presenting the gospel in dynamics ways, reaching the unreached, planting churches, converging and convening the body of Christ to meet felt needs and penetrate every sphere of society.
Let’s return to Martin Luther´s dream. He had a passion, a dream that he lived and died for. He put all his energy into pursuing it, talking about it, planning for it, recruiting for it and developing it.
Some dreams are called pipe dreams that are not really worth much. We have the expression in English ¨In your dreams!¨ These are crazy thoughts that will never happen. Other dreams are nice ideas but not something we will put our effort into. Others dreams remain as dreams – like learning to play an instrument or speak a language. What we really want is to wake up with the skill. If we want to see our passionate dreams take place we have to get out of bed and get into action and begin to work with that dream.
Out of all the dreams we write down, there will be some that catch our passion and inspire us to put energy and time into making them a reality. How badly do we want to see it happen? What is it worth to us? How much energy are we willing to give it? If there is a depth to our desire then explore the dream and envisage what it will look like in the future. What can we start doing now to begin to move one step closer to seeing the dream become a reality? How can we prioritise our time in order to focus some energy on the dream?
Some dreams take our whole life´s work. People like William Wilberforce spent his lifetime working towards his dream of ridding England of slavery. Joshua spent his life claiming the ‘promised land’ for the people of Israel. David spent his life in uniting the tribes of Israel. Paul spent his life in establishing the early church in strategic cities around the Mediterranean. God has dreams for you too. So make time to be a dreamer.
Talk to you in a month,