What is the dream that you have for your life? What is the vision God has given you for your life? What is your dream for your church or ministry?
If those dreams don't give you butterflies and make you feel fairly uncomfortable, they're probably making God yawn. Better yet, they are probably insulting to Him.
I was reading some of Jesus' last words to his inner circle before he was arrested and crucified, and came across this verse in John 15: "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples." In this verse, Jesus is telling his closest followers that God is glorified when they advance His Kingdom on earth in big ways. In many Christian circles today, big dreams (lots of salvations, baptisms, lots of people in your church, etc.) are viewed as carnal and somehow unspiritual. I just don't see that when I read the bible (the whole book of Acts), and want to show you that Jesus gives you the permission (and encouragement) to dream bigger.
Let's just stop for a minute to think about the characteristics of God. He's infinitely powerful! He's holding up every piece of dust in the room you're sitting in right now with no effort. He made literally everything with a breath. He is in control of everything (every planet, every star, every molecule). He is the reason why you're breathing right now. He knows everything. He's sublimely beautiful. I just don't understand how we can look at an awe-inspiring God like that and dream small things and have mediocre visions for our lives, ministries, and churches. I believe it is inconsistent with Scripture to think nothing extraordinary will happen with our lives and our churches. "For nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37).
Five years ago, I was a 20-year-old heroin addict that had such a severe stuttering problem that I couldn't even tell you my name. For twenty years of my life, I couldn't order food at restaurants, wouldn't answer questions out loud in school, and was in a constant state of anxiety that I might have to have a conversation with someone. On Christmas Eve of 2010, Jesus snatched me out of hell and became the source of life, joy, and purpose in my life. Shortly after this, He called me to preach (I still could barely talk). God put a dream in my heart to be a traveling evangelist. Over the past couple of years, I've learned that God can do ANYTHING. He has almost completely healed my speech impediment and has let me see hundreds of salvations through the foolishness of my preaching. I am now a traveling evangelist and Jesus gets all of the glory. God still does miracles.
Before my pastor planted the church he now pastors, he was asked the same question I was asked before I started preaching… "What would you do for God if you knew you couldn't fail?" Well, I am now asking you that same question. What would YOU do for God if you knew you couldn't fail? If you believe the previous paragraphs, you are a coward if you don't do it.
Jesus said over and over again, "According to YOUR faith it will be done unto you…" I heard a pastor recently ask a group of church leaders, "You want to know how much God is going to use you? …exactly how much you expect him to." Jesus said, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." What are you asking God to do through your life and ministry right now? "Without faith it is impossible to please God." What if you actually believed God and stepped out on faith with the dream He's placed in your heart?
Most people stop there. They have a big dream, but sit in their parents basement eating Easy-Mac talking more about their dream than actually putting their head down and working for it. Most people would rather live a safe mediocre life than step out on faith and work for the vision God has put in your heart. Paul said, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me" (1 Corinthians 15:10). What if we not only got dreaming and got daring, but also we got grinding.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" -Jesus (John 15:5). The most important thing for us to remember when dreaming big, daring to step out on faith, and working our tails off to see it actually happen, is that apart from closeness with Jesus, we can do absolutely nothing. If Jesus isn't our source of life, joy, and satisfaction, everything we do will be like a dead branch trying to will itself into producing fruit. A person that isn't connected to Jesus (not just in title and word, but has Him as the source of their life and pleasure) will never accomplish anything of significance. "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain" (Psalm 127:1).
Jesus gives you permission to dream big and not feel guilty about it. Don't waste your life in mediocrity. "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples."
Questions to ask yourself:
-Where am I dreaming small because of my small view of God? (get alone with God; gaze into the eyes of an infinitely powerful and infinitely beautiful God; and then really get dreaming).
-What would I do for God if I knew I couldn't fail?
-What do I need to start doing today to make this a reality?