PREPARATION:- To put in proper condition or readiness. Waiting
“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” (Abraham Lincoln)
If we want to live a life of significance, we need to understand that it won’t happen by accident. We must be intentional about the choices we make in relation to our dreams. We need to set goals to ensure we are moving toward them daily. To plan our time according to our priorities rather than letting life just happen. We need to be intentional about the things we do or do not do.
Let your God given dream fuel you. Many people live life “going with the flow” or “taking life as it comes.” They have no strategy or infrastructure in place to facilitate the realization of their dream. The fact is, when it comes to fulfilling our destiny, we can’t hit a target that we cannot see. Esther had a plan to follow – 6 months of myrrh, 6 months of perfume. Myrrh was used embalm people and cover the smell of flesh. It also healed and removed impurities. It represented h represents repentance and dying to self. The 6 months of perfume represents praise and worship – intimacy with God.
Esther’s waiting time to meet the King was spent preparing, so when her turn came she was ready. She had 12 months to wait before her encounter with the King that would change her whole life and that of her people.
As you pursue your dreams set very specific goals along the way. Only a succession of small, daily, measured steps would take us into the future we envision.
And like Queen Esther, we will also see that our preparation is joined with God’s favour, anointing, and opportunity. Esther had to be in the palace for her opportunity to be Queen. We do our part, God does His.
It’s not enough to see the future we want; we have to be deliberate about the actions we take to make this future a reality. And who knows where our dreams will take us – Esther went on to step into her “For Such a Time as This” moment. Something that God has planned for all of us.
Above my kitchen sink sit 3 little tubs with bean plants sprouting out of them. Lovingly planted by my sons and now (lovingly?) watered and cared for by me. Despite the smallness of the tub they are planted in, they are growing. These seeds have been given the opportunity of becoming more than a seed. Planting these seeds has meant that they have transformed into living plants with roots and stalks and leaves and hopefully one day beans (that my sons will then want to eat?!)
Dreams are like seeds, carried around in our hearts like seeds left in their packets. If they just remain in our hearts they will but remain a dream. Dreams need to be planted to give them the opportunity to grow. They need to be planted to give God the opportunity to breathe life into them. Just like the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters waiting for God to speak out and the world to be created. So does He wait for us to take action.
And for dreams to be planted, it means that we have to put our brave on and maybe get a little dirty and get the potting soil out. It means that these treasures that are stored in our heart need to be brought into the open, to be whispered aloud to a trusted friend. It means even the littlest tiniest step of action needs to be made.
Christine Caine wrote this “some dreams are never realised because people do not position or place themselves in the very context necessary for the dream to be birthed.”
I need to be brave and you might need to be brave too, and let some of those dreams come to life.
Today I took my 6 year old son to the dentist. As we walked towards the clinic, a little hand slipped into mine and a voice whispered “I am scared”. I reassured my little chap and squeezed his hand in encouragement. I told him to be brave and in we went. He chatted happily to the Dentist about all sorts of things, he laughed at the glasses he had to wear. And soon enough he was sitting in the dentist chair as the dentist first checked and then cleaned his teeth. I quite decided he was no longer scared, and then I saw his hands. Two little hands tightly clenched. Two hands that remained so, until the Dentist was finished. My son was doing this afraid – he was doing this brave!
Bravery is great courage: courage in the face of danger, difficulty or pain.
Bravery means tightly clenching your hands while you do what you’re scared to do, yet must do. It means willingly climbing into that dentist chair or stepping onto the stage, or going for that job, or sharing that dream. It means ignoring the voice that tells you to run, or that you’re not good enough. It means listening to what God says and taking courage that He is there with you.
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Nelson Mandela said this “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Sometimes we just have to do it afraid, and by doing it afraid, we’re doing it brave.
Yes I know, it should really read a flock of seagulls or more correctly a colony of seagulls. But that doesn’t quite convey the feeling I had of seeing a flock descend on the houses around me. It felt like a swarm. Maybe it is just my dislike of seagulls manifesting that leads me to describe them as a swarm. You see, I was attacked by a seagull once, hunted down the beach in fact. Initially I thought I was having a St Francis of Assisi experience of being close to the bird. Apparently I was just close to its nest and was obviously a threat hence the attack. But I digress, needless to say though, I dislike seagulls, terrified of them in fact!
If you live inland as I do, the sight of seagulls means rain is imminent. But when you are at sea, the sight of seagulls is a good sign, a welcome sign for it means land is nearby. When you spot a seagull land is close, even if you can’t yet see it on the horizon. You are closing in on your destination. Given I don’t like being on the water, I would think in this circumstance even I would be rejoicing in the sight of seagulls!
You may be holding out for the fulfilment of a dream, a promise. There may be no sign of land, but keep an eye out for the seagulls. It’s your sign you’re nearing the end of your journey and your destination is approaching.
You’ll see it in heightened spiritual activity around you, coincidences that are God inspired, doors that begin to open, opportunities. So hang in there you’re soon to declare “Land Ahoy!”
My boys have discovered Minecraft. Ok, enabled by me, since I purchased the App. But, nonetheless they have discovered the joy of creating houses and farms, towers and castles and anything else that captures their imagination. Mining is an essential element of the game (apparently, I’m still coming up to speed with the intricacies of it all). Mining to obtain the elements needed to build.
It did remind me that it’s about time I did a bit of mining! Mining into my heart to the dormant dreams that lie there. I’ve been feeling a stirring recently, that there are just dreams that are just a dig or two away from coming into the open. So I’ve got my pickaxe and I’m doing a bit of digging, of exploring, and just seeing what perhaps is there. Sometimes we need to dig deep, to reconnect with the dreams, dreams we had as a child, dreams perhaps that we’ve buried because they’re “impossible.”
Potential is a priceless treasure, like gold. All of us have gold hidden within, but we have to dig to get it out. We have to act on those dreams and potential or they will never become part of the reality that we live in. Grasp your dreams. Reach for them. Face the fears and obstacles that have caused you to bury your treasures.
It is time to silence the voice of the dead dreams and let the voice of the Dream Giver speak again.
What is your dream? To write a book? To be a teacher? To travel to Paris? To learn to fly? To learn to cook Thai or speak French? To preach? To paint? To receive flowers? To write a cheque for someone for $100,000?
Whatever the dream – it is part of who God made you to be! Part of His plan as to how you will impact the World. It may be in millions, it may be just a few….It all matters…..God makes those dreams possible. Partnering with Him brings an impossible potential to life. And discovering and fulfilling your dreams is a journey and an adventure with God.
If God gives you a dream, you can be sure that He has already backed it up with the provision to go for it. Heaven is backing us. We just sometimes need to back ourselves up.
Sometimes we need to pick up that pickaxe and go digging.