It's time to dream
How do you know your dreams are from God and how do you process them? Mark Pugh shares his five-step plan.
There have been numerous times I’ve had dreams which I believe God has formed in me – and seeing them become a reality has always provided so much joy.
But, to be honest, in the early stages of these dreams, I’ve not always been sure whether they are from God or simply the result of an overactive imagination.
God gives dreams! – Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no prophetic vision, the people cast off restraint.” God has often revealed his plans and purposes ahead of time to his people and these revelations have given understanding, context and focus to his people. Without an understanding of the prophetic purposes of God, we are likely to wander in an ‘unrestrained’ or ‘unfocused’ way.
If you have breath you have a purpose – someone once said, “If our memories are greater than our dreams then we’ve already begun to die.” The ‘abundant life’ Jesus came to bring (John 10:10) involves us being invited into his prophetic purposes.
God’s Word measures our dreams – he will never give a revelation that contradicts the Bible, which is the measure of all prophetic invitations. We should never ‘sit around’ saying God hasn’t asked us to do anything – God’s Word clearly says he has.
I believe the Holy Spirit is looking for his people to open their hearts to God-inspired revelatory ideas, and his Church is meant to be a place that incubates these dreams.
It is my experience that people can hide their dreams for the following reasons:
We are unsure if it is a God idea.
We feel inadequate. ‘Why me?’ is an intimidating question we often ask ourselves.
We fear criticism. ‘Why you?’ is a question we often fear others asking us.
We fear failure if it doesn’t work out as we hope.
5 steps to turn your dreams into reality
Fear is a terrible bully and we must stand up against it. If churches can incubate dreams, leaders encourage them, and each member rises up to fulfil them, I’ve no doubt that the days ahead will be very special. So what are your dreams?
Dare to share. Unshared dreams will likely stay hidden. We need to find people we can trust, people who will give us godly counsel. People who will share honestly and either help us see the folly of our daft ideas or encourage us about the possibilities.
Recruit a team. One of the first things Jesus did at the start of his earthly ministry was to recruit a team. Every dream needs a team – you can’t do it by yourself so look for those who can get involved.
Establish a plan. Too many people think ‘if it is God’s will then it will just happen’. The reality is, God is looking for you to steward the dream with a plan and think through how this could happen. You will probably be able to list a number of needs that go beyond your resources when you make a plan which will help you focus your next actions.
Ask for miracles. If you don’t need a few miracles to see your dream become a reality then it is probably more of an idea than a vision. Dreams usually involve a need for miracles and we serve a God who specialises in these. Take these needs to God in prayer: Pray righteously, pray often, pray surrendered and pray believing.
Move out in faith. Great plans, great teams, great prayers but NO action will mean nothing. We have to step out and move by faith.
What dream do you want to see come into reality?
Mark Pugh, along with his wife Nita, are lead pastors at Rediscover Church, Exeter. Mark has been in church leadership for over 25 years and also led Elim's national youth ministry for 10 of these. He also served on Elim's National Leadership Team from 2010 to 2018. He believes in team and seeks to inspire and empower those around him to step into their God-given potential.
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