By Alexis A. Goring, Crosswalk.com
Following Your Dreams
By Alexis A. Goring
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” - Proverbs 19:21 NLT
We all have dreams and high aspirations for our lives. Some may dream of being a ballerina, a singer, an actress, a teacher, or a doctor. The possibilities are endless. They say you can do anything when you put your mind to something. College students are often encouraged to have a five-year or ten-year plan for their life and a backup plan if their first career goal doesn’t happen. Ultimately, we are encouraged to go for our dreams and not to be distracted. But what happens when our dreams don’t come true? Is all hope lost? Should we just give up and throw in the towel? Should we settle for a life less than we imagined?I believe that depends on your perspective. Are you making your own plans without consulting God first? Or are you praying to the Lord, asking Him to align your will with His plan?
The Bible says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33 NIV). I believe those things include the dreams of our hearts. However, pursuing your dreams can be a great adventure that will only work if you put God first. A few years ago, I heard a sermon from Pastor Steven Furtick. In it, he said something that still resonates with me today. In so many words, he explained, “The Bible doesn’t tell us to follow our dreams. It tells us to follow Jesus!” I found that to be true. Raised in the USA, I’ve always heard phrases like, “Follow your heart” and “Take your passion and make it happen!” But the older I get, the more I remember how the Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). So, why are we so focused on what our heart desires? What if those desires are not part of our destiny? We can be led astray if we let our hearts lead us instead of Jesus.
However, the Bible also advises us to delight ourselves in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4) So there is hope, right? God cares about everything that affects you, including your 5-to-10-year plan. He wants you to dream, not by following your heart but by following Him. The Bible doesn’t say we need to have everything figured out. But it does say we need to trust God in everything, and He’ll make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). It gives me comfort and hopes to know God cares about my dreams and that He’s willing to give me the desires of my heart according to His will. If my dreams and plans are outside God’s will for my life, they will not happen. I’m more than okay with that because the Bible says in Proverbs 14:12, “What you think is the right road may lead to death.” (GNT)
What a powerful point! It helps me remember God knows best. Sometimes the dream we desperately want to come true could end our lives. We cannot see that from our limited human perspective. However, we serve a God who can see the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), so asking Him for His plans for our lives is vital. You can rest assured God knows you better than you know yourself. He knows what path will bring you the most joy and peace. He knows the gifts and talents He’s given you and the best way those blessings can be shared. Remember, God’s dreams for you are not just to help you but to help the world. If we ask Him to align our will with His, we will want the same dreams He wants. Often, you may discover the dream God has for you is far greater than you could ever imagine and will make you happiest.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
What dream has God placed on your heart? How does it bring you hope to know following God’s plan for your life is best?
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Siri Stafford
Alexis A. Goring is an author, blogger, editor, photographer, trained journalist, and total foodie. She specializes in Contemporary Christian Romance (fiction) and devotionals (nonfiction). Her first devotional book, Stories and Songs of Faith: My Journey with God, was published in April 2020. Alexis hopes that her life’s work will lead people to Jesus Christ and teach them about the God who loves humankind with all of His heart. When she’s not sharing words that inspire and encourage the heart, you can find her in the kitchen cooking up something tasty, or in a café or restaurant, either dining solo or sharing a meal with loved ones. Connect with Alexis online via her website (https://alexisagoring.
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