Human beings are both blessed and burdened with short-term memory. Short-term memory allows us to more easily forget negative experiences so we more readily try again. However, the disadvantage is it also allows us to more easily forget foundational truths that help anchor our lives in seasons of uncertainty. For example, the prophet Isaiah reminds us that
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)
If we could remember this simple truth it would help us overcome so much anxiety and fear in our daily lives. If we trust in this world—the experts, the economic forecast, what our eyes can see—it would be very easy to convince ourselves that this is no time for dreaming. But if we look at what the Word of God says then we may well discover that this is our season to dream.
You may dream of starting a new business, owning a home, or investing in an opportunity that could be a blessing to you and others. What if now is the moment God has been waiting for you to take that next step of faith so that He can demonstrate, once again, that His ways are not our ways and His time is not our time?
Don’t let short-term memory loss cause you to forget what the Bible says about God’s ability to provide.
These three verses provide ample evidence that God is able to fund the resources of the dream that He has planted in your heart, even during the times when the financial experts say the risk is too great. Remember what Paul said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). But perhaps my favorite verse of all the financial promises found in the Word of God is: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
Think of how much potential is in that one promise.
1. “God is able”
That one statement alone will revolutionize our existence if we will allow its truth to be planted in our hearts. No matter what you are facing God is able.
When it comes to provision...God is able!
When it comes time to find that new job... God is able!
When others have to decide what to do without...God is able to sustain you!
When you are going to meet with the bank and need favor...God is able!
When you are looking to set a record for sales or reach a new level of success within your company and all the doubters say there’s just no way—that’s when you need to be reminded that GOD IS ABLE!
2. “To make all grace abound toward you”
The key word in this statement is “grace”. If there is one thing we should be thankful for every single day, it’s God’s grace. His grace is what gives us what we don’t deserve. We don’t deserve forgiveness for our sin, but we’ve received it by His grace. We don’t deserve the goodness and mercy of God, but He has made it available by His grace. We don’t deserve salvation, but it is the gift of God given to us by His grace.
When it’s time to dream, we need this reminder of grace. One of the first discouraging thoughts that crawl through our mind is what makes me think I deserve that? We have a natural tendency to place limitations on our lives based on a self- imposed sentence of guilt and condemnation.
You don’t deserve good things—you haven’t lived a perfect life . . . Thank God for grace!
You can’t expect more, you’re not worthy of what you have . . . Thank God for grace!
There’s no earthly reason for you to believe that your dream will ever come true! Thank God for grace!
If it wasn’t for the amazing grace of God, none of us would be here today and there would be no reason to dream. But because God makes “all grace abound toward you,” you have a Bible right to believe for great things in your life.
3. It’s about you . . . “That you, always having all sufficiency in all things”
When it comes to our dreams and desires we often feel guilty if it’s all about us. We’ve somehow convinced ourselves it’s OK to want something good for other people, but it’s selfish to desire anything good for our own lives. This is simply not true. It is not selfish to want something good in your own life. That isn’t selfish, it’s natural.
Look at it this way. When my four children sit down to eat dinner at my table each night they don’t look at their food and refuse to eat it because their brother or sister may or may not like what is on their plate. If their sibling doesn’t like the chicken that mom cooked for dinner, one of the kids is likely to say something like, “Well if you’re not going to eat that, you might as well pass it over here!” before they would ever consider joining those who are protesting the menu for the night.
It’s the same way with God’s children here on this earth. Just because some of His children choose not to enjoy the wonderful blessings He has made available to us all through His son Jesus Christ, doesn’t mean you also are required to forfeit your blessings. You have His permission to believe for all that His Word has promised, and you can stand upon this promise while you do it. “You will have All Sufficiency in All Things . . .” He does not limit your life with what someone else is willing to believe or not believe for. If God doesn’t limit you, then you shouldn’t either. If you’re going to dream, dream big!
4. “That you may have an abundance for every good work”
The fourth promise in this verse is that you would have abundance. By definition abundance is more than is required. When God provides it is not a just enough type of provision. When He is the one behind the work, it’s a more than enough, abundant type of blessing. To me, one of the greatest indicators that the work I’m engaged in is God ordained is based on this thought: Is there abundance for the work? If the answer is yes, then I know that what I am engaged in is being blessed of God. If the answer is no, then I must reevaluate the project and consider if this is the right time to pursue it.
It will be the same with your dream. If it is the dream God has for your life, then there will be abundance because it is a good work, the kind of work He has promised in His Word to support. He may not give you the resources all at once, but He will be faithful to provide as you are faithful to believe and continue the work. What I am sure of—based upon His Word and personal experience—is that our God is able to provide.
When it comes to dreaming you must consider the words of the prophet Joel:
“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28)
Understand that it does not matter whether you are awake and dreaming or asleep and dreaming. What matters is that it’s a dream or vision given to you by God Almighty based on His Word and His Word alone.
Based on this verse, dreams and visions are something that occurs when we have received the spirit of God in our lives. According to the scientific definition, a dream is an event that occurs in your subconscious during certain stages of sleep. Scientists say there is any number of reasons for this—from an overactive imagination to too much red sauce on your pizza or even what you watched last on television before you fell asleep. While there may be moments when this is true, according to what we find in this text, there are dreams and visions that are a result of God pouring out His spirit on us.
When is the right time to dream? If we keep reading in the book of Joel, the following verses are very specific about what is happening in the world around us during the exact time that God’s spirit would be poured out.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Joel 2:30–32)
You don’t have to search too far to find these exact things happening all around us today. Take for example the one statement about the moon being turned to blood. In 2014 and 2015 the world experienced a celestial phenomenon known in science as a tetrad— in layman’s terms: “Four Blood Moons.” Without getting too far into that topic, the fact that we are seeing those signs in the heavens is proof positive that God is saying to His children on earth: It’s time for you to dream.
God wants to give you a glimpse of what He has in your future. He wants you to believe that He will provide the very best of things in the very worst of times. He wants you o remember that He is faithful to keep His promises even if the experts don’t agree with His position. He certainly didn’t require their permission to make the promise and He doesn’t need their help bringing it to pass.
Do you dare to believe that there is a brighter day in your tomorrow? God wants you to. His grace, abundance, and favor are available to make your dream into a reality. All God is asking you to do is believe that He will do what He has said He will do, and then act like it. Watch Him do the rest.
“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Scriptures to Remember
Matthew 7:11, Haggai 2:8, Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:19, Isaiah 55:9, Romans 8:31 Deuteronomy 8:18, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Joel 2:28
Things to Do
Think about what you consider your greatest dream to be. Write it down in plain and simple language that can be easily understood by anyone who reads it. For Example: “I want to use my talent for the glory of God, to be a blessing to His Kingdom, to win the lost to Christ, and support my family.” As we continue through this journal, and as you continue to pray over the areas of your dream, you will be able to add more details to your dream as they become clearer. Right now, it is not as important for you to know every detail of your dream as much as it is important for you to believe God wants you to dream and to believe He can make your dream a reality.
Things to Pray
Dreaming and praying go hand in hand. For one to come true you must be willing to engage faithfully in the other. People often wonder what they should pray. That’s actually one of the many tricks of the enemy—to convince you that you don’t know how to pray well enough so you give up before you ever begin. That’s why I believe in praying the Word of God. You have a promise that it will not return void. So once you have written out your dream, write out the verses you want to pray over that dream and insert yourself in those words. For example:
“If God is for Matthew, then who can be against Matthew.” (Romans 8:31)
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward Matthew, that I, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Once you have done this, simply read what you have written aloud, beginning with this opening prayer: “In the name of Jesus, based on the promise of Your Word, I declare that God is able to make all grace abound toward me when it comes to my dream. I can see my talents used for the glory of His Kingdom, and souls will be won to Christ because of it.”
As we begin this journal, let’s fulfill what the Word requires of us: to apply effort to our belief because faith without works is dead. Now get to work and let’s start dreaming!