Reach Your Dreams
About fifteen years ago I was rummaging through some old boxes in my basement when I discovered a stack of poems that I had written during my childhood. As I began reading, I discovered a long-forgotten world - one that sang with romance, adventure, and mystery. It was a world of princesses, heroes, and castles, where the princess was always rescued and the dragon always slain.
I felt an aching sense of loss. A part of me was packed away with these poems, neatly mummified in coffins of mediocrity. Somewhere along the way, my world had begun to shrink from one that sang with unlimited possibilities to one that conformed to narrow, predictable boundaries. Dream thieves had skulked into my heart and captured the inner visionary.
Most of us become prey to the dream thieves at one time or another. They infiltrate our hearts through failure and heartache, setbacks and tragedy, criticism, and pressure to conform to the status quo.
I had to make a decision that I was no longer willing to be held hostage by the dream thieves. Once I made that decision, I was launched on an adventure of discovery, transformation, and growth. Along the way, my inner dreamer awoke from slumber, shook off the grave clothes, and learned to dance again.
What about you? Do you have a passion that grips your heart, a clear sense of purpose for your life? Are you living your dream? Or have the dream thieves robbed you of your destiny?
You may think God didn't give you a dream. But the Bible says that God has "called us with a holy calling, not according to our own works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9).
KEYS TO REACHING YOUR DREAMS
Intimacy with the Holy Spirit
Jesus said, "I am the Vine, you are the branches. If a man abides in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
Fruit must continually draw nourishment from the vine to grow. Likewise, we must remain intimately connected with Jesus to bear fruit and reach our purpose.
You can never truly know yourself - or your passions, dreams, and calling - without also intimately knowing God.
Also, the pathway of purpose is fraught with obstacles, setbacks, and demonic traps. As Frank A. Clark said, "If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." To have the faith and wisdom to overcome these obstacles, you must continually fill yourself with the Word and the Holy Spirit.
Explore Your Passions
A calling is not something you choose; it is something you discover. And one of the truest evidences of a calling is having a passion for it.
"It is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you - energizing and creating in you the power and desire - both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." Phil 2:13 AMP
God places desires in us to motivate, inspire, and equip us to fulfill our destiny. Ask yourself, What makes my heart sing? What produces a deep inner assurance that this is what I was born to do? What inspires creativity, ideas and vision?
Sometimes, God-inspired passions and dreams can be buried under the rubble of fears and brokenness. The Holy Spirit is the only One who can excavate these precious jewels from their hiding place. So pray for revelation. In Ephesians 1:18, Paul prayed that "the eyes or your heart would be enlightened." Why? The Message paraphrase says, "to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes and focused and clear, so you can see exactly what he is calling you to do."
Face Your Fears
Fear is the number one reason why many people never reach their dreams and purpose. No wonder the Bible has 366 verses of scripture that say fear not, or similar verses such as be bold, be strong and courageous, do not be anxious.
Courage is not the absence of fear; it is boldly obeying God despite feelings of fear and inadequacy. Each time you step out in faith despite fear, your faith and courage grow. Each step of obedience propels your further along your personal pathway of purpose.
Remember, the desire security and comfort will stand between you and your dreams. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. ... You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
Choose Your Path
In "The Road Less Travelled," the famous poet Robert Frost wrote, "Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."
Each day we stand at the intersection of two paths - the path of mediocrity, and the path of purpose. Each day we must choose which way we will go.
The path of mediocrity is much easier, of course. Safe, wide, and predictable, it is the path of least resistance and the road most travelled.
The pathway of purpose, on the other hand, is often difficult, dangerous, and lonely. You will be challenged to step out of your comfort zone. Fears and doubts will emerge when you enter uncharted territory. Critics will mock you from without and discouragement will assail you from within.
But your life will also change in ways you never dared imagine! God will liberate your inner dreamer from captivity, ignite vision in your heart, and release you to soar into your destiny.
If you yearn to step out of your comfort zone and reach your dreams, get ready for the most exciting adventure of your life. You will never be the same!
Judy Rushfeldt is an author, speaker, and publisher of the online women's magazine, LifeToolsforWomen.com. Her passion is to inspire and equip women to reach their dreams. Her latest book, Making Your Dreams Your Destiny - a woman's guide to awakening your passions and fulfilling your purpose, is available in quality bookstores. For more information about this life-changing book, or to order online, visit: www.MakingYourDreams.com">http://www.MakingYourDreams.com