God revealed to me a frustration that exists among the Body of Christ. He allowed me to feel the frustration many of us feel at having dreams go unfulfilled. Award-winning poet and activist Langston Hughes once posed the question: “What happens to a dream deferred?” I believe it turns into bitterness in the hearts and minds of the people. A bitterness that leads to disobedience and sin. Many of us have been taught all of our lives to “chase our dreams.” That if there was something out “there” that we wanted, we had to do whatever necessary to go and get it. This is the world’s way; God does not want us to chase dreams, He wants us to chase Him and He will make all of our dreams come true.
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” (KJV) Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (NKJV). Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (NKJV) Over and over, God gives us the secret to having everything we ever dreamed of: find contentment in pursuing Him, and He will do the rest, yet we continue to chase things and dreams and invite Him along for the ride: an inverted Gospel.
The definition of chase (v.): to pursue in order to catch or catch up with. 2. To try and make contact with someone or something to get something owed or required. Many of us spend our lives trying to make contact with what we believe God owes us. We think to ourselves: “I’ve been faithful; I’ve ended toxic relationships; I’ve sown seeds I couldn’t afford to give; I’ve forgiven those who have wronged me; I’ve given my life to God, and yet nothing seems to be getting any better. God, I want what you owe me.” We would never admit these thoughts aloud, but we think them, and it shows up in our actions. When we are most frustrated with God, we can’t love people the way we are supposed to or even the way we know we should because we’re tired. Tired of working without increase, planting with no harvest, giving without receiving. Where’s the promotion, God? Where’s the elevation? When will it be my turn? When will it be my season to receive everything you promised me?
God never asked us to chase our dreams, but through His favor, he has given us the ability to BUILD our dreams. The definition of build (v.): to construct something large by putting parts or materials together over a period of time. He has been giving us the pieces a little at a time. Every season holds pieces to our dreams, to the final product. We miss it; because we are so anxious to get to the next season, we leave pieces behind. We want to wake up one morning, and see our dream manifested, sitting right in front of us. We think if we get that raise, if we attain just one more degree, everything will finally work out. If we just go on one more date, the next guy or girl will be the “one”and everything will finally work out. It didn’t work out this year, but the next year will be “my year”. Meanwhile, pieces of our dream are lying all around us.
We are so busy trying to catch a glimpse of our promise,we never take the time to activate the favor of God that produces it. Pastor Bill Johnson, author of Charisma Magazine, wrote very powerfully on the topic of favor. He said, “I believe the failure to understand and pursue the journey of stewarding the favor of God has led so many people to die in the unnecessary tragedy of never having their God-given dreams and desires fulfilled.” God loves all of His children equally and has given all of us a measure of favor, but not all of us end up with the same amount of favor. What are you doing with the favor that you have? Are you growing your favor? Your dreams are being deferred not because God doesn’t hear your cries or see your work, but because you have not been growing in the favor of God and Man. It is the favor of God that produces the “exceeding abundantly” experience in your life.
In order for us to grow in favor with God, who will grant us increased favor with Man, we must pursue Him. Draw close to God in our minds and in our hearts, with our words and our deeds. Seek to truly represent and reproduce Him in our homes, on our jobs, in our communities. And, receive from God all that He has for us. Be obedient to the still, small voice that urges you toward righteousness and away from even the presence of evil. Allow His Holy Spirit to cleanse you from the inside out. As you begin to conform to the image of Christ, you will not only grow in grace with God, you will also grow in grace with men and God will begin to cause even your enemies to be at peace with you. (Proverbs 16:7)
Don’t spend your life chasing the life you dream about. Chase the God who has the power to make your dreams chase you. These blessings will not only chase you, but Deuteronomy 28:2 says they will overtake you. God sees you right where you are. He sees you in your frustration and He’s waiting to give you what your heart desires. He wants you to build right where you are and in His hand is everything you need, only seek His face and watch Him make all of your dreams come true.