Is “living your dream” a cliche? I don’t think so.

God made you for a reason. You were made to matter. It’s why you love watching Dr. Who, why your heart is drawn to fantasy, to epic stories, and to adventures. Geeks are in touch with this longing more than most.

It’s also why living lunch to lunch, sleep to sleep, day to day, month to month, year to year, is such a tragedy. Steven Furtick calls that aimless cycle “your lesser, loser life,” and it’s killing you. Suffocating you.

What I’m saying is, you’re not truly living if you’re not on the way to living your dream.

I’m not talking about a Disney-esque, Hakuna-Matata, princess dream. You can live without fluff and cartoonish utopia. I’m talking about figuring out why God put you here in the first place.

Living your dream begins with God

What does God want for your life? Because I believe God looked at the world, saw a problem in it, and sent you in as part of the solution to that problem. I believe God saw what is, dreamed of what could be, and created you to help make that happen. Before a single day of your life ever came to be (see Psalm 139).

So you don’t have to come up with your own dream. In fact, you shouldn’t. What you should do is ask God to help you get in touch with your deepest longings. He put them there so that his plan would resonate with your heart. Living your dream is also living God’s dream, because he’s the one who gave you the dream in the first place.

This is important, because good dreams are God-sized. God-sized dreams are worth living and dying for, and they always require God’s miraculous touch to achieve. Paul said, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” He set the bar high because he knew God would help him get there. As C.S. Lewis said in his essay The Weight of Glory,

Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

With that in mind, let’s set our sights higher.

5 big questions that kick-starts living your dream

  1. Living your dream often begins with frustration. When you look at the world, what isn’t right? What injustice or problem sucks you in most powerfully? What need cries out for you to meet it? Which battles need a new champion? What message needs a voice?
  2. Living your dream always becomes a who. Who is God calling you to be? What role are you being called to play in this larger story? A leader? A giver? An artist? A community-builder? Who? And who is your dream for? Not just you. So who will be touched and changed by you living your dream?
  3. Living your dream builds on the who by adding the what. What is God calling you to do? In other words, what change are you called to make in the world? How will the world be a better place when you’re done with it? Over time, this will become more specific. It may begin with, “Eliminate poverty” and evolve into “Provide water wells in Africa” to “Service ten villages with drinking water.”
  4. Living your dream requires daily investments starting right now. Your bigger, God-sized dream may inspire you day to day, but you’ll never get there if you don’t put it into action. So where and how should you begin? What would have to happen for those ten wells to get placed in those ten villages? Back up from the dream, step by step, until you have something to do today. It could be as small as, “Put the first ten bucks in a can.”
  5. Living your dream also requires sacrifice. What do you need to change or give up to move towards your dream? What price are you willing to pay to achieve it? When will you start paying that price? Sometimes the biggest obstacle between us and living our dream… is us.
  6. Living your dream doesn’t happen without a fight. If God gave you the dream, and it will leave the world a better place, everyone will love it. Right? Wrong. Satan can’t afford for you to go on living your dream and he will enlist people to keep you from fulfilling it. Brace yourself, stand in the strength of Christ, and persevere. The world is counting on it.

It’s time to start living your dream by getting on the path that will lead you there. Tomorrow: If Your Dream is From God.

Do you have a dream? Do tell! Comment below…