Of course, dreaming alone isn’t enough. It’s the things you do every day to live the dream that’s important. Most people get discouraged and give up on their God-given dream because of one simple element that is a vital and undeniable part of seeing any dream come to pass: time. All great dreams take time.
One of my favorite leaders in Scripture is Joshua. The Bible book that bears his name begins with him taking over the reins of leadership of the children of Israel. “After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, ‘Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.’” (Joshua 1:1-2) That was an incredible moment! Joshua was about to see the fulfillment of a dream that had begun 40 years earlier when Moses sent him and 11 others into the Promised Land as spies.
The set up for this moment, for this dream fulfilled, started when the people of Israel were slaves for 400 years and it weakened them as a people. Moses sent a dozen spies into the Promised Land to scope things out, but only two of them returned enthusiastic about going into the land: Caleb and Joshua. The others couldn’t see past the potential problems to the dream God had for them.
A generation later, only Caleb and Joshua remained from the time God first gave the dream. The other spies, the ones who couldn’t see the dream, never saw the Promised Land. How did Joshua hold onto this dream for four decades? How did he stay faithful and protect the dream God had given when he was a spy? The key to successfully dreaming daily is trusting in the promises of God—recognizing that you possess God’s promises the same way Joshua did.
1. God’s Stated Purpose
Joshua had God’s stated purpose. Joshua possessed a commitment from God specifically about the Promised Land. “And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners.” (Exodus 6:4) I can picture Joshua dreaming of getting back to the Promised Land on a daily basis; his report to Moses upon their return from spying out the land echoing in his heart and mind, keeping the dream alive: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Numbers 13:27) Then when the moment arrives for Joshua to lead the people into the land, God gives him a new commitment. “I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you—from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon Mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites’.” (Joshua 1:3-4)
God’s promise for you is found in His stated purpose for you: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10) Remember this daily. Pray this daily. Make it personal and speak it daily. “Heavenly Father, I am your masterpiece. You have created me anew in Christ Jesus. I am doing the good thing you planned for me long ago.”
2. The Promise Of God’s Presence
Joshua had the promise of God’s presence in his life to encourage him toward the dream daily: “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses.” (Joshua 1:5) Some of Jesus’ last words to the disciples assure us of the promise of His presence in our lives as well. Remember them from earlier? “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Rely on His presence daily to ensure the dream He’s given you never dies. Tap into His presence through praying daily and reading His Word daily. Ask Him to empower you to clearly see the dream and vision He has for you and to help you navigate through today toward that end.
3. The Promise Of God’s Faithfulness
Joshua received the promise of God’s faithfulness. “I will not fail you or abandon you.” (Joshua 1:5) We see throughout Scripture that God is our faithful Heavenly Father. Paul says it this way in 2 Thessalonians 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.” God was faithful to the cause of getting Joshua and the children of Israel into the Promised Land; and He is faithful to the cause of you being and living as His masterpiece. God does not let His promises fail. Yet recall one thing was required of Joshua: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) The enemy would like nothing more than to discourage you and keep you from dreaming the dream of God daily, to give in to status quo and give up. Paul encourages you the same way God did Joshua: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12) Be strong. Stand firm. Dream daily the dream God has for you. As you do, it will lead to living consistently as the masterpiece God created you to be.