“What desires has God put in your heart?”
Do you have a dream? If I were to ask you this question, how would you answer? What desires has God put in your heart? I am amazed at how many people can’t answer this question. They have lost their joy and allowed the cares of the world to weigh them down. If we don’t know what our dreams and desires are, we lose sight of our purpose. As we approach the holidays, I’m going to give you some tips on how to clear the blur, start dreaming again, and get back on track.
In March of 1998, I attended a motivational prayer conference. I came home with a tabbed three-ring binder to organize my prayer life (yes, I know… so old school). The binder had everything: a praise section, pages for prayers and requests, the books of the Bible, and a to-do section at the end. The goal of the planner was to spend time with God, write down what He was saying to me, and — through practice and experience — see God bring my dreams and desires to completion. The ministry was even called “Change Your Life Ministry,” and I was in need of a change.
In the Praise section, God spoke to me about praise, worship, music, and singing. This made sense since we were worship leaders and songwriter. Then the Lord gave me this verse from Psalm 45:1: “My heart
is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the King; my tongue is the pen of a skilled writer.” Interesting… I suddenly began to see many other verses God gave me about Him wanting me to write.
In the Request section, I noticed I’d written something and even put a star by it. I wrote: “I want to write children’s books. Would you confirm something to me about that, Lord? Also, I feel another book stirring and I need some help (a title and confirmation in that area too please.)” …As you can tell, I’m very specific when I talk to God. Throughout the planner I found other verses I had starred where God spoke to me about writing; it was right there in front of me. I had all but forgotten about this after shelving the full journal until God led me to my bookcase the other day. I pulled out this notebook and there it was! He had spoken over and over about writing throughout the notebook, yet there it was, forgotten on the shelf.
Why do I tell you this?
God has given us all dreams to help fulfill His call on our lives. When we walk in our purpose, we help others do the same. The thing to remember is God’s timing is not always our timing. If you have a dream in your heart it may manifest quickly, or you might have to wait a little while God works something out in you. The good news is, if He put it there, He will bring it to pass — there is a reason for it! Sometimes our dreams involve others too. He may be working something out in them as well before you can see the dream come to pass. If you have an unfulfilled dream or you want to dream again, the main thing is to not lose hope. God will finish what He started!
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13:12 AMP
Don’t lose hope! We are to be a tree of life to those around us. Remain hopeful and full of joy, (especially during the holidays). Hope opens the door for conversation to testify to the goodness of God. As we walk out the plan of God for our lives, we will see things change. They will change in our homes, our workplace, and our relationships. God has divine appointments for us during the holiday season — don’t miss them!
Here are some Mama Swan tips (with action steps) to encourage you to dream big during this holiday season:
Tip: Parents, this is a great time to do this with your kids! This might even be good conversation with the relatives or friends around the table to as well!
1. Allow yourself to dream. Really give yourself permission because you are worth it. God has things for you to do, people to meet, and places to go.
Action step: Say this out loud: “I give myself permission to dream. God has things for me to do, people to meet, and places to go.”
2. Take time alone with God. Find out what is really in your heart. He put the desires and dreams there for a reason. No matter your age, you are never too early or too late to start dreaming.
Action step: Identify at least three dreams you have in your heart and write them down. Some questions to ponder: What am I good at? What do I like doing? What would I like to be doing? What comes naturally to me? If money were no object, what would I be doing right now?
3. Ask God specifically for dreams. Dreams in the day or dreams at night. Be more aware of Him talking to you. God is always trying to get creative ideas, inventions, strategies, and other important things to us daily. Ask Him to reveal the desires He has placed in your heart. Seems simple but the bible says, “Ask and you shall receive” (Matthew 7:7) If you don’t know what they are, ask Him!
Action step: Ask, listen, and write down your dreams. Don’t analyze too much; just write down impressions that come to mind or you will talk yourself out of it. Things don’t always make sense at first. He may talk to you about something over the course of time, but He will make it clear. It’s always on His timetable.
4. What problem were you created to solve? What do you lie awake at night thinking about? What gets you instantly excited or riled up about something? If you are passionate about something and that passion doesn’t go away, that is a clue to how you are wired. Dreaming creates forward motion. What you think about, you will move toward.
Action step: Answer these questions and write down your answers. You create forward motion when you write things down…
5. Write down 50 things you want to do. You want to go, experiences you want to have, people you want to meet. Go for it! This is fun for kids to do! (Adults have a much harder time doing this.) This is where we need child-like faith. Kids can learn to dream and believe God just like their parents. If you write it down, you will be more likely to do it!
6. If you are one who makes a New Year’s resolution, (which are really dreams of what you want the year to look like), start writing them early. Encourage your whole household to do it too.
Action step: Make a copy of your dreams and resolutions so everyone can pray about them through the year. Then next year, get them out and see what God did!
7. Every few months or so, check to see if you are on track with what God has put in your heart.
Action step: Get a friend, prayer partner or your family to hold you accountable to keep moving forward.
8. Don’t lose hope; step out in faith and do it! God will meet you every step of the way! You will be like the tree of life, flourishing and bearing fruit that you can share with others.
9. Dream big and have fun while dreaming! Nothing is impossible with God! If you are moving toward the dreams God put in your heart, you will be a blessing to those around you!
Say this with me: “Father, in the Name of Jesus I thank you for the dreams and desires you have put in my heart. I thank you that as I walk them out, I will be a blessing to those around me. As I walk in my calling, I will testify to those around me of your goodness and faithfulness. I will bear much fruit for the Kingdom, and I will share it with others.