Who do think of when you hear the phrase “I have a dream”? If you’ve lived in this country for more than a day, you think of Martin Luther King, Jr. He used the phrase “I have a dream” throughout his famous speech on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. where he spoke of racial equality and unity of a nation. He gave his very life for the dream he spoke about and even though he didn’t live to see it himself, it has become a reality.
We all have things we dream of in this life. While some of them may be cooked up in our imagination, some of those dreams are from God. I believe the dreams we wrestle with and find we can’t release even if we wanted are dreams He planted in our hearts.
Some dreams are planted in our hearts at a young age, like Joseph. As a young boy he had a dream of his brothers bowing down to him [Genesis 37:1-12]. We don’t know much about Joseph at this point, but it appears he isn’t an arrogant boy, rather one who was simply excited about a dream he had. Other dreams come as a result of a revelation you’ve had about a situation [Nehemiah 1:1-2:10].
As with Joseph and Nehemiah, sometimes our dreams bring adversity from others [Genesis 37:19-36; Nehemiah 4:7-13]. Just because we encounter adversity doesn’t mean we should allow our dream to die. I had a pastor who once said, “You can’t run into who you’re walking beside.” He was basically saying if you run into Satan, it’s because you aren’t walking with him. If God plants a dream in our heart, the enemy isn’t going to let it come to fruition without a fight.
Our dreams can’t be just a passing thought if we truly expect to see them become reality. They require dedication and sacrifice [Nehemiah 5:16; 6:3]. There is always a cost involved.
Our dreams don’t always follow the time table we expect. Joseph had to go through years of service and bondage before he saw his dream become reality [Genesis 37:1-42:46]. Just because things aren’t happening to match our timeline doesn’t mean we shouldn’t dream. If a dream is from God, hold onto it and trust He will bring it to completion [1 Thessalonians 5:24].
While I share this message with you today, I must confess it is very near and dear to my heart. The Lord planted a dream in my heart less than two years ago. I have had to cling to it when I’ve encountered adversity and I have yet to see it come to fruition, but I believe God will do it. What is your dream? Are you willing to trust it to the only One who can do it?