So, I've always considered myself a dreamer. A visionary. One who sees things as they are, dreams up the impossible, and desires to change things into the way that they should be.
Yes, I've always considered myself to be a dreamer. And, yet, I've never allowed myself to dream.
I remember days in Chuuk when I would stand and throw a frisbee with a little girl, my little LeAnne. As she laughed and ran to catch the frisbee that I had thrown to her, I remember feeling right at home... surrounded by children who simply need the love of Christ and being able to show it to them.
I remember days in Haiti, surrounded by swarms of children who were simply excited to be loved, to be held, to be smiled at, to be talked to, and to be given attention to. And that's exactly what I did. It's in the moments of being in the intense heat of the sun, surrounded by a swarm of sweaty children, holding a child, trying to please the three children who were trying to hold my two hands... It's in these moments that I felt more joy than I could ever remember feeling.
I remember days in Bolivia. Well, one in particular, really. I felt so utterly and completely helpless and lost on the trails of the Andes Mountains when my team got split up. And, yet, the Lord's hand guided me and gave me a peace that truly passes all understanding. He is faithful. It's in these moments that I felt the closest to God, for it's in these moments that I realize my great and dependant need of Him.
Through these experiences, I have not only been able to realize dreams of mine, but my mind has come up with all sorts of dreams. Big dreams. Dreams that I would still love to realize one day. However, I have realized that I have thought so much into the future that it has caused me to not enjoy today and, even more than that, it has caused me to not realize the desires that the Lord has placed in my heart.
Dreams come from the heart. Ideas come from the mind. I have never allowed my heart to dream for fear that my dreams would not be God's dreams for my life. Instead, I let the logic of my mind overrule the desires of my heart. While I understand that if I want to live my life in complete surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ, which I have commited to do, then I cannot simply do whatever it is that my heart desires to do. I must guard my heart, as Proverbs 4:23 instructs me to do. I must offer myself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to the Lord, as Romans 12:1 commands me to do. However, I am also instructed to delight myself in the Lord, "and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).
This is a verse that I have always usually highly disregarded out of skepticism and fear that my desires would not be His desires. Yet, I have come to find that if I am delighting myself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4) and abiding in Him (John 15:7), His desires for my life will become my desires. As I grow deeper and deeper in intimacy with the Lord, my heart's desires will become those desires that HE wants for my life. This does not mean that what He desires is going to be something that I am going to initially want for my life. Oftentimes, what He asks is hard. Uncomfortable. Terrifying. Yet, when I am delighting in Him and abiding in Him, I will obey Him because I love Him (John 14:15).
I have experienced this over and over again in my life. Being here at Moody Bible Institute has been a huge part of this, because Moody was never in my plans for my life. Moody was never in the logical dreams that came from ideas out of my head. The life that I am living here is a result of delighting myself in the Lord, of abiding in Him, and of Him giving me the desires of my heart - some of which I never knew that I had.
Some of the desires of my heart have never happened because the Lord did not see them as best. Others have turned into realities beyond what I could have ever logically thought of in my own mind. Still others are desires that I never knew that I had, but as I have learned to delight myself in the Lord and abide myself in Him, He has changed my heart into more of His.
Out of the legalism of my past and the life of control that I have tried to live, I have come to realize that God wants my heart. He wants my heart. This heart, that has been scared to dream out of fear that it would not dream His dreams. This heart, that desires to become more and more like His heart, so that I will live out His desires for my life. This heart, that is so full of dreams. Some are even illogical. Some have not even been His desires for my life, but as I have drawn nearer to Him and nearer to the Cross in surrender, He has exchanged my futile dreams for His big dreams.
My heart is full. It is not full of tiny, logical "dreams" which can only stem from the mind. No, my heart is finally full of big dreams, envisioning a renewal and a revival that only the Lord can accomplish. It is full of the fruit of fulfilled dreams, some of which have been dreams that I never knew that I had, but when they were fulfilled I knew that there could be nothing better. It is full of anticipated dreams, some of which are so illogical and impossible that only the Lord could accomplish them if they are in His Will. And it is full of dreams that I already see happening, unfolding right before my very eyes.
"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." -John 15:7
"Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." -Psalm 37:4
These verses are not to be taken out of context. However, I can take Jesus at His Word and know that if my heart is connected to His heart and if I am delighting in Him and His Kingdom purposes, then my dreams will not simply be my dreams - they will be His. And He will see His dreams to fulfillment for His Kingdom purposes. And that is what we are here for.
So, dream on.