I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you. -Genesis 22:16-17 (NIV)
Dreams are powerful. If you’ve read through this blog for a while, dreams are a subject I tend to touch upon from time to time, because they are so important and inspiring, especially to believers.
When God plants a dream in your heart, it’s rooted deep. It’s not like a simple aspiration or desire you may have on your own. It becomes a driving force that can keep you motivated in the face of apparent hopelessness. It can also become a serious anchor if you let it distract you from your daily service to the Lord.
As I’ve written about before, because it’s such an inspiring event in the bible, Abram’s dream of having a child was fulfilled, despite his (and his wife’s) age. That child was Isaac.
You want me to what, Lord?
The true test, as I’ve written about earlier, is when Abraham was called to surrender his God-given dream–his precious, God-given son, Isaac–as a sacrifice to the Lord in faith and obedience. What? That makes no sense at all. God would never ask us to do something like that, right?
Oh, but God’s ways and thoughts are far higher than ours, are they not (Isaiah 55:8)?
As we know, Abraham followed the Lord’s commands to the letter, raising the knife up to sacrifice Isaac. An angel stopped him in the nick of time. And then, God declared that because Abraham acted in faith and obedience, not only was his first God-given dream (Isaac) returned to him, but his second God-given dream (fathering many children and nations) would come to pass!
This excerpt from a Ray Stedman devotional expands on this:
This is a struggle, but Abraham’s faith says that if God asks you to do it, then there is blessing beyond if you obey. Maybe you are living in a situation of comfort and happiness, but you are needed in another place that is not as pleasant, and you say, “Lord, why do I have to give up my home and my relationships that I enjoy and go there?” Remember, however, that if God calls, you must obey.
Beyond the apparent heartbreak and death lies resurrection. In the resurrection of that experience, God will give you back that gift and make it a blessing. Is not this the record of every man and woman whose life has ever counted for God, who have been willing to give up the very areas they thought were God’s choice blessing for them when God called? In so doing, God made them a blessing.
Surrendered dreams are surrendered burdens
There is an additional benefit to surrendering dreams to God in faith: if you truly believe in Him, and see in His Word that He is faithful, then surrendering your dreams to Him is immensely freeing. By doing this, you are not burdening yourself with the distraction and emotional weight of, “but how? when? why?” which can derail you from what the Lord needs you to do for Him now as He lays your steps before you toward answered prayers.
You can fly higher when your heart knows the Lord has got your life and dreams in His hands, and when your heart knows that His Word is inerrant.
Dare to surrender
Surrendering is the opposite of what the world tells us to do with our dreams. But we have a God whom we can trust with the dreams and desires He’s planted in our hearts. We can entrust them and surrender them to Him in faith and obedience, knowing–KNOWING!–that He will return them fulfilled manyfold according to His will and timing. His Word documents His consistency in this over and over.
Take the dare with me! We are believers. We live daring lives of faith in the face of a doubting, condemning world that is lost in sin and self-importance. Let us make God known in the inexplicable blessings of fulfilled dreams that we faithfully and obediently entrust to our Father, and in the supernatural motivation those dreams give us as we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
We come before you with thanks and praise.
We bring you in confession the burden of sin that weigh down our hearts, repent of them, and ask for your forgiveness, so we may take up your yoke once more. Thank you, Lord, for dashing our sins from us as far as the east is from the west!
We declare your blessings and plead the blood of Jesus over our families, friends, loved ones, and your children around the world.
As always, Lord, we come boldly before your throne of grace to petition you with the desires and dreams you have placed in our hearts. And we ask you in Jesus’ holy and powerful name, knowing it will be done, that you take these dreams you have given us–which we give back in faith and obedience, as did Abraham–to fulfill them according to your will and timing.
As your Word says, there is nothing too hard for you! And as your children and servants, we ask that you hear our persistent cries and prayers, and strengthen us as we struggle in our daily walk.
We thank you for inspiring us with these dreams in our hearts, Lord, and we thank you for making a way when we see no way, just like Abraham. Please show us the way!
We love and praise you, and in Jesus’ holy and powerful name we pray.