Follow Your God, Not Your Dreams
“…If anyone wants to come with [or after] Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.” –Luke 9:23
“Trust in the LORD and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” –Psalm 37:3-4
“Follow your dreams, you can be whatever you want,” resonates throughout the media outlets today, especially among me-centered Christians. The Bible teaches differently: selflessly follow your God.
Contrasting the popular “follow your dreams” rhetoric, the Bible teaches moldable Christians to daily lay down their life to follow God. In Luke 9:23 Jesus taught, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.” Jesus consistently taught Christians that living for Him meant they needed to deny themselves in order to obey His commandments, serve Him, and follow Him through the leading of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the command to “follow Me” is repeated more times in the Gospels than any other saying of Christ. Furthermore, Jesus emphasized that surrendering one’s will was a daily requirement, not an occasional one.
When a Christian lays down their dreams, it doesn’t mean Christians will not dream or have desires, but rather they crucify them and follow God instead. As they radically surrender to God, His heart becomes their own, and God will give each God-pursuing individual His desires and dreams for them. Psalm 37:3-4 proclaims, “Trust in the LORD, and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” The Psalmist is saying that when Christians delight in God, He will give them His desires and satisfy them.
Don’t move forward pursuing your dreams; pursue God instead, and follow God’s direction for your life. As you learn to delight yourself in Him, and He becomes your portion, He will carefully place desires and dreams in your heart that will bring Him glory. Therefore, follow God’s will for your life as laid out in the Bible, and follow God’s personal direction for your life by following supernatural, consistent peace, as given by the Holy Spirit. Your dreams aren’t worth sacrificing God’s plan for your life.
As you surrender your personal hopes and dreams to God, trust that He will unreservedly lavish new desires and dreams in your heart that will give Him glory. Don’t follow your dreams, follow your God and “…take delight in Him, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Dreams are good–when they are God-inspired!
Surrender: Reread both key verses until they sink deep into your heart. Surrender your personal desires and dreams to God. Trust Him to give you new desires and dreams as you pursue Him, or He will renew the desires and dreams that He has already given you.
Praise God: Praise God for who He is–allow the Holy Spirit to energize your praise and adoration.
Thank Him: Thank Him that God restores us and makes us whole. Also, Thank Him that He brings purpose to our lives. Look at what God has done for you and thank Him.
Repent: Turn away from living for yourself, and choose to live for God. Surrender you life to Him, giving back the life God gave you.
Ask: Ask God to renew dreams that He has given you, or for new desires that come from Him.