Dreams: Sweet Spot Or Comfort Zone?

A few days ago I tossed out a definition:

A dream is the God-inspired desire to share your unique gifts and passions to serve and make a difference in the world.

Thanks to everyone who shared their responses.

A couple of folks wondered about God-inspired for those who aren’t followers of Jesus. Good point, though I lean toward believing God works in ALL lives. As I once told a friend, God doesn’t need your permission or even your acknowledgment to work within the circumstances of your life.

Another concern addressed the issue of motivation and the notion that dreams seem intensely personal. I completely agree—it’s absolutely essential to examine motives and be as certain as possible that you’re not adopting someone else’s dream.

One issue came up a few times. In summary:

Are fear and/or sacrifice intrinsic to dreams?

I’d say “Yes.” What do you think?

Dreams arise from our personal sweet spot, the intersection of gifts, passions, and needs. But “sweet spot” isn’t the same thing as “comfort zone.”

I believe dreams are God-inspired because He asks us to trust Him, to operate on faith. We can’t follow Jesus while insisting on a safety net. If you step out in faith you’re going to visit some scary places.

If you’re not afraid of falling, if there’s no risk of a skinned knee or a wounded heart, perhaps your vision isn’t big enough. Perhaps you’re limiting God and His inspiration to your safe little comfort zone.

Jesus didn’t play it safe. He didn’t seclude His closest friends within a protective bubble. It seems nearly certain that His invitation to “follow me” includes the probability of risk and sacrifice.

I think this matters. A lot. Sometimes there’s a perception that real faith means the absence of fear. Sometimes we interpret fear as a sign that we’re on the wrong path.

In one of the bible’s most well-known stories, the disciples see Jesus walking toward them after a night in a boat. Walking on the water wasn’t what they expected, and they thought it was a ghost.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)

“Take courage!”

Jesus wasn’t telling them they shouldn’t feel fear, because courage is the willingness to face fear and move forward. Why would they need courage if fear wasn’t present? He’s telling them that they won’t have to face their fear in isolation. “It is I” reminds them that they’re not alone.

God-inspired dreams require courage. Dreams are God’s invitation to step out of the boat and imagine something bigger than ourselves and our
capabilities.

When the disciples confronted fear, Jesus said, “It is I.”

I think He’s still saying that to us.

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Dixon
Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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