Where are your thoughts today? What is the overriding feeling in your heart? Are you feeling bold and courageous, or are there fears lingering in the corners, whispering to you and keeping you from joy?
What is this fear anyway? Why does it creep into us in these weak and weary days when really we just need a solid pillar of hope to grab onto, something to keep us from sinking into the deep?
Oh, dear dreamer, you are bold, you are courageous, but the thoughts of fear are trying to convince you of lies – lies that you have failed, lies that you are forgotten, lies that you are not worth it. But we have to remember (come on, please remember with me!) the promises of God – the REAL of who we are because of who He is – are sure, steady, unmovable, unchanging.
You have a promising future.
Isn’t faith the place where hope even begins? What did the scripture say? Oh yes…
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Heb. 11:1, ESV
The conviction. Conviction. Huh. I never saw this before, did you? You can’t have conviction about something that’s tangible, because it just…is. If it’s raining outside, do you say, “I have a deep conviction that it’s raining outside”? No – oh why didn’t I see this before? That’s not how this faith thing works. You have to have conviction for the unseen things, not the seen. I have to have a conviction about how I live my life, about what I believe.
Look at the heroes, the greats who changed history. Martin Luther King, Jr….he didn’t alter history because of something that was obvious and seen by everyone. No! He had a conviction about the unseen, a conviction that “all men are created equal”, though in the world around him the reality of this was so far from seen.
Isn’t this what he meant, isn’t this what he saw when he said,
“I have a dream!”
It’s unraveling now, like a scarlet thread through our hearts and our days: if we are dreamers, then isn’t it just simply obvious that we must be living out of a deep place of faith, that we must have a conviction of things not seen?! If our hope lies in the things we can hold onto in the here and now, that isn’t really hope, is it? And it’s not faith, for it requires none. True hope is birthed by true faith, which has been granted to us by the very heart of Love Himself.
So how do we keep coming back to this place of, I have lost my hope because I don’t see anything happening?
Or…if God had meant this to be, then this wouldn’t be so hard.
Or…if He hasn’t taken me to the place of the dream, then I must have taken a wrong turn. I wouldn’t be here in this non-dream place if God really wanted me to be living the dream.
NO, oh no. The very essence of a God-dreamer is her ability to see by faith that which was promised and deposited inside of her by the great Dream-Weaver. It is a conviction that the calling, the dream, the destiny is real even if it cannot be seen, not yet, not here, not right now.
We do not live by our place, we live by our promise.
If the place I’m in screams LACK, I live by the promise of “…God… will supply all [my] needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19, NLT)
If the place I am in screams FORGOTTEN, I live by the promise of… “Every single moment you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!” (Psalm 139:17)
If the place I am in screams TERRIFYING, I live by the promise of… “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.” (Psalm 91:3-7, NKJV)
If the place I am in screams ABANDONED, I live by the promise of… “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” (Psalm 27:10, NLT) and “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deut. 31:8, NLT)
If the place I am in screams CONFUSED, I live by the promise of… “God is the God of harmony, not confusion.” (1 Cor. 14:33)
If the place I am in screams UNWORTHY, I live by the promise of… “And he chose us to be his very own, joining us to himself even before he laid the foundation of the universe! Because of his great love, he ordained us, so that we would be seen as holy in his eyes with an unstained innocence.” (Ephesians 1:14)
If the place I am in screams FEAR, I live by the promise of… “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NLT)
If the place I am in screams SICKNESS, I live by the promise of… “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19, ESV) and “He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Isaiah 53:5b, NLT)
If the place I am in screams GUILTY, I live by the promise of… “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:12, NLT) and “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NIV)
If the place I am in screams WEAK, I live by the promise of… “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9b, NLT)
If the place I am in screams DESOLATE, I live by the promise of… “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matt. 5:4, NIV)
And if the place I am in screams DREAMLESS, I live by the promise of… “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11, NLT)
Oh dear dreamer, we must understand this, we cannot live by what we see, for that is not faith at all. If you, like me, find yourself in a place and a season that requires 100% living by faith, not by senses – OH – rejoice!!! For it is in this exercising of our faith that our spirit-eyes begin to see clearly, that our eternal selves remember that we belong to heaven and its King. Our callings will not look like those of this world, they will look like impossibilities, like Narnia, like Neverland. Because that is who we are, that is what we’ve been called to.
Open your eyes to see it. Open your heart to the wonder of it. Just because you don’t see the dream now, just because you have no clue how it will happen, does not mean that it’s not real, that it won’t be.
It could, in fact, be the very factor pointing you to the dream’s reality. Because it requires you live by faith, not by sight.
Live by the promises, dear dreamer. Will you make this pact with me to live by the promises? Our assurance, the ground beneath our feet, is invisible to the eye of flesh, but it is more real than anything this temporal world can offer or display.
Our assurance is Christ and His eternal promises.
They cannot be altered.
They cannot be changed.
They cannot be moved.
They are eternal, forever, immutable.
Make them the bricks with which you build your dream-road.
Yes. Yes! On Christ the solid rock we stand.
It’s true…it’s so true…
ALL other ground is sinking sand.
We are people of the promise. Not of the place. We have a promising future! Hallelujah – this is living! Promise living. Faith living. True living.