Listen to ““CAN YOU BE SURE YOUR DREAMS AND GOALS ARE FROM GOD?” #ChurchOfTheUndead” on Spreaker.
Did your dream come from God? I’m not referring to activities that occur within REM sleep. Instead, I’d like to chat with you about any desire, aspiration, or goal you’d love to pursue. The timing is always apropos to brush off past disappointments and start afresh. But before you commit your time—or a small fortune—to actualize your dream, it’s prudent to pause and ponder the question… did your dream come from God?
Hello, Weirdos – I’m Pastor Darren – welcome to the Church of the Undead.
Here in the Church of the Undead I can share ideas which are relevant to those who suffer with depression, need some encouragement, and for those who love (or are just curious about) the God of the Bible. And it doesn’t matter if you are a Weirdo-in-Christ or just a Weirdo – everyone is welcome here at the Church of the Undead. And I use the word “undead” because here we are DEAD to sin and ALIVE in Christ! If you want to join this Weirdo congregation, just click that subscribe or follow button – and visit us online at WeirdDarkness.com/CHURCH.
Full disclosure – I might use the term “pastor” because I’ve branded this feature as a church – but I do not have a theology degree, nor did I ever go to Bible college. I’m just a guy who gave his life to Christ in 1989 and has tried to “walk the walk” every since – and has stumbled a lot along the way – because, like everybody else, I am an imperfect, heavily-flawed human being. So please don’t take what I say as gospel; dig into God’s word yourself for confirmation, inspiration, and revelation.
That being said, welcome to the Church of the Undead.
God isn’t obligated to bankroll or bless any objective you have that He doesn’t call you to. Let’s make sure we don’t squander our resources to go after our own whims.
At least three sources can inspire dreams.
Number one, God. He has tucked dreams into the heart of humanity since the dawn of time. This was the case for Joseph, one of Jacob’s twelve sons (Genesis 37:5-9).
“Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.
He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had:
We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
hen he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
But dreams can also be your own. Maybe your family tree boasts famous artists, which explains why you desire to make it big with your watercolors. Or perhaps you came from a long line of pastors and missionaries, making you itch to do anything but ministry.
The third possible source of desires is the Enemy. Judas, known throughout history as Jesus’ betrayer, is the best example of this category. The idea behind his betrayal came straight from Satan (Luke 22:3-6).
“Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.
And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.
They were delighted and agreed to give him money.
He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
Who designed your dream? God, yourself, or the Enemy of your soul?
You can test your dream against the following checkpoints for the answer. This list isn’t exclusive or all-inclusive. But when your dream passes all five of these points, God is likely the Author of your dream or aspiration:
It Feels Impossible: It’s one thing to tell a virile teenager he’ll father so many people they’ll turn into nations. But when the recipient of said message is an elderly man, Abraham, with an equally elderly wife, Sarah, then this dream is so unlikely it can only come from the God of the impossible.
Let me clarify: our less-than-lofty dreams can also originate from God. Not everyone is called to command a worldwide ministry, chair a foundation, or wear an Olympic gold medal.
Sometimes smaller dreams can serve as a stepping stool before God unleashes a bigger dream in our hearts. It’s as though He’s waiting to see what we do with these smaller dreams first. If we’re faithful with little, He’ll give us much (Luke 16:10), right?
But if the dream you’re nursing makes you wonder how you can even begin to tackle it, good news! Yours may have originated from our genius God.
It’s Unreasonable: If God authored your dream, when the impulse comes to you, it can feel weird. Maybe even nonsensical.
Back in 1990, some friends working at a radio station inspired me – so I walked into the radio station and asked for a job. They said they weren’t hiring, so I said, “I’ll work for free!” Suddenly I had a radio career and have been in radio ever since – which has also led me to doing standup comedy, film, television, and of course podcasting. Why would I take a job and work for free???? No idea – but I felt led to offer that, and now I’m glad I did. And who knows what God might have for me in the future, utilizing everything I’ve learned since that fateful day in 1990 of offering to work for free!
It Lingers: Whether we’re talking about literal dreams—scenes unfolding in the mind while we’re asleep—or figurative ones, as in goals and desires, I’ve noticed a curious common thread.
If God is the Giver, the dream will tend to stick around.
This trait makes sense in light of His own character. God is the epitome of patience. For instance, the book of Judges can be summarized into one theme: God commissioning a slew of judges to safeguard His people from backsliding.
Prior to them, God had to endure 40 years of hearing their ancestors grumble. The ones who experienced a miraculous release from slavery also traveled the desert with doubt, frequently wishing they’d die, testing His patience at every turn (Hebrews 3:7-11).
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
No wonder God persistently drops the same ideas and desires into our hearts, no matter how many times we swat them away.
It Gives You Persistent Peace: Don’t mistake this to mean that things will always flow your way or that you can always count on others to surround you with a steady stream of affirmation.
When you’re pursuing a God-given dream, the opposite is often the case.
If Joseph had to endure years of unjust imprisonment (Genesis 37-41) and Simon Peter had to learn hard lessons before he qualified to become a seasoned apostle, we can expect to confront trials prior to living out our dreams.
But here is what distinguishes God-given dreams from any other. Even when things are challenging, you won’t lack the peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). Including if you’re ready to quit because door after door seems to stubbornly shut in your face, making you secretly vow to forget it. No more pitching, painting, practicing. You won’t toss even one more dime into your dream.
There’s no telling how many times these moments have unnerved me—times when I felt tempted to ditch my God-given dream.
One event stands out among many. A literal dream, in fact, that I could not shake – an idea for a TV show, a sitcom. God would not let me forget it – so I found friends to help me try and make it a reality, and we even went so far as to film a short pilotesque episode starring Jim Breuer from SNL and Eddie Steeples from “My Name Is Earl”. Nothing has come from it so far, and that was several years ago, but I’m still in touch with those I worked with and you never know what doors God may eventually open in His own perfect timing.
Another example… a pastor’s wife received a book deal by a major publishing house—seemingly only because her husband’s death had made the news. And I’m sure she’d rather pick her husband over the contract.
Where’s the fairness for that widow to gain instant fame—through no effort of her own—while others who strive to improve their skills and clout continue to wait for a breakthrough to become discovered authors?
It Has Scriptural Support: Even if your dream passes the previous four, if it doesn’t pass this final test, it’s not of God.
For instance, you may long to marry a man, but this desire feels impossible to fulfill. That’s because the man you’re after is already married.
His wife may be a literal or figurative witch. A real Karen. Or in a coma. But if he is married, no matter how long this desire persists, your dream can’t have come from God. Even if you feel a semblance of peace when his face pops into your mind.
How can I be so sure? Because God forbids us from coveting another person’s spouse or belongings (Exodus 20:17).
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Your dream can’t be from God if it violates His Word.
The Lord has numerous ways to fuel your hope as you faithfully steward the dream He has entrusted into your care.
So, from one dreamer to another, never give up.
If you like what you heard, share this episode with others whom you think might also like it. Maybe the person you share it with will want to join this Weirdo congregation too! To join this Weirdo family yourself, find us on Facebook, listen to previous messages, even find out how to join me in my daily bible studies, visit WeirdDarkness.com/CHURCH. That’s WeirdDarkness.com/CHURCH. You can find the sources I used for this week’s message in the show notes. I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me, Weirdos. Until next time, Jesus loves you and so do I. God bless.