For years I dreamed of pastoring a community of Christ followers who were Christ-centered and deeply engaged in the mission of God’s kingdom, of “putting the world to rights” in our locality in amazing and sacrificial ways. And I think both of those desires were God-ordained passions, but they sure have been taking a long time.
I think there has been an important reason for this. I have wanted it for the wrong reasons. I realize now that you’re not ready for your dream until you are willing to let the dream die. And when you are willing to let the dream die, God often resurrects it. I’m certainly not suggesting that my motives are 100% sanctified now. Not there yet, God is still doing a work in me. My journalling has helped me when I noticed this pattern in the first place – a good reason to journal, by the way! God had to do a work in me first. Personal renewal comes first. I realized that I had to have a change of mind. Rather than thinking that my fellow Christ-followers as not doing X or not doing Y, I had to think how was I leading them to do X, how was I modeling to do Y.
As I look back and look forward, I wonder how many of our dreams never happen for one simple reason. We want it more than we want God. We want our agenda, not God’s. We want our little kingdom, not God’s Kingdom. God becomes a means to an end. And our dream, which was meant to be a form of worship to God, becomes our idol. It becomes an affirmation of the self. This is especially true of pastors. We go into ministry to serve God, but ministry can become a god. Your church becomes your idol.
Yes, God wants your dream to become reality more than you do. God is not a means to your dream. It isn’t the end. God is the end.
Is your dream your god? Or is God your God? If you want what God wants for the wrong reasons it won’t happen. It’s not until you lay your motives and your thinking at the foot of the cross and throw yourself face down on that holy ground that God will bless it.
Are you willing to sacrifice Isaac?