Your Dream - Sharing with Lead222 in Toronto

Last week I had the opportunity to lead the evening session for Lead222 SL (Servant Leadership) Trip that took place here in Toronto. I led the third session that was entitled Your Dream which was a part of a week long series.

Dream Wildly
Live Differently | Love Recklessly | Lead Courageously   

The goal of the session I was asked to lead the group through was to help them discover their dream. Discovering your dream in life whether long term or short term can be extremely difficult and it made me think a lot about my dream as my life moves forward. However, this was a great opportunity to talk with a bunch of youth about the the difference in dreams rooted in this world and dreams that are KINGDOM dreams. These are dreams that build up the kingdom rather than dreams that are rooted in the false truth of media and this world. Another thing I wanted to stress was that when you dream for the advancement of God's kingdom we embrace the uniqueness that in within each and everyone one of us. 

Here are my notes from the session that grew out of the amazing message outlines that Lead222 provided. 

I started with this quote from Biz Stone. 

Real opportunities in the world aren’t listed on job boards, and they don’t pop up in your in-box with the subject line: Great Opportunity Could Be Yours. Inventing your dream is the biggest step toward making it come true.
— Biz Stone from Things A Little Bird Told Me

I sometimes think that in the culture we live in today we expect everything to come in an instant. Whether it is our love of being connected to email, text, social media and our phone all day everyday I can see how we would expect our dreams to fall into our laps. However, our dreams take work, they take time to percolate and come to fruition and I think we have lost a little bit of patience with our love of always being connected. Our dreams are more like a work of art. I showed these three photos of some works of art I love. 

The first one is Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh painted in 1889. The sky in this paing keeps the viewer's eyes moving about the painting, following the curves and creating a visual dot to dot with the stars. I find that to be absolutely amazing. The second piece of art is Marko Djurdjević's variant cover to Thor #601. I just love this cover and I have a signed copy in my office. It is my favorite painted cover from Djurdjević. The last photo is a movie poster from Star Wars. It isn't the poster that I was referencing in the talk, but the movies themselves as a work of art.  

All these pieces of art started in the same place. They started as a blank canvas, piece of paper and were developed over time by the artist. Just like a piece of art our dreams need to be worked at over time and crafted so they develop into their full potential. 

I asked some of the youth that have helped us out in our ministry what they dreamed about for their life and the general consensus was that they dreamed about one of the following:

  • Money
  • Job
  • Success
  • Getting into the right school
  • Girlfriend/boyfriend
  • To change the world

The next question I asked them was:

What are you being asked to dream about?

Many times our dreams are not just our dreams. There are many people in our lives that try to speak into what our dreams should be and there is enough pressure from the media telling us what would make our lives complete.

we have to be careful where or who we take direction from when it comes to our dreams for the future. Proverbs tells us this:

Where there is no message from God, people don’t control themselves.
But blessed is the one who obeys wisdom’s instruction.
— Proverbs 29:18

Do we take the time to ask God to lead us towards our dreams? 

Are we patient enough to let God's plans come to fruition? 

What desires has God given you?

What gifts and talents has God placed in your life that you can see, or others have confirmed that you can use to create your kingdom dream? 

We started the evening singing worship songs and one song says,

You’ve never failed and you won’t start now.
— Oceans by Hillsong United

Have you ever shared your dream with someone and heard one or more of these statements,

  • That will never happen.
  • How would you ever make a living off that?
  • People just don't do that.
  • That's impossible.
  • It's just so unrealistic.

If you are going to dream a dream that will help build up the kingdom and change your life why not take a risk. When we step out and take a risk in faith we get the opportunity to discover courage and build a level of trust that up until this point seemed impossible. 

God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by His power that is working in us.
— Ephesians 3:20

Christ in us and working through us is how our biggest dreams will become kingdom builders. These are the dreams that not only change our life, but change the lives of those around us. They change things for the better. 

When we make room for instead of shunning it, the unknown can bring inspiration and originality.
— Ed Catnull in Creativity Inc.

When we step out into the unknown we get the opportunity to become creators of our own dreams. God is already at work in all of us and we need to allow Him to work through our gifts and talents so our dreams honor Him. Take Nehemiah for example. 

In chapter 1 Nehemiah is told the walls of Jerusalem have been destroyed and he is forced to think about his home town and what could be happening. Nehemiah takes the first step towards establishing a kingdom dream by going straight to God in prayer.

4 When I heard about these things, I sat down and wept. For several days I was very sad. I didn’t eat any food. And I prayed to the God of heaven.
— Nehemiah 1:4

Nehemiah goes straight to God for direction. Now Nehemiah wasn't an architect he was a cupbearer to the king. However, in Chapter 2 we see Nehemiah take a bold step towards his kingdom dream. 

4 The king said to me, “What do you want?”

I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I answered the king, “Are you pleased with me, King Artaxerxes? If it pleases you, send me to Judah. Let me go to the city of Jerusalem. That’s where my people are buried. I want to rebuild it.”
— Nehemiah 2:4-5

Nehemiah makes his bold kingdom dream known, but only after seeking God and following his plans for him. God is about to work in and through Nehemiah to change everything his people knew. Go uses His creations to make himself known and it is through our actions and words that people will know how big our God truly is. 

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill can’t be hidden. 15 Also, people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand. Then it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine so others can see it. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will bring glory to your Father who is in heaven.
— Matthew 5:14-16

Martin Luther King Jr. gave us one of the most inspiring words when it comes to searching out your dream and taking steps to make that dream come true. 

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!
— Martin Luther King Jr.

He continued. 

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

You might be thinking that you could never have a dream that is as vivid as that, or your dream could never compare to the words spoken above. God works in all of us and Ephesians tells us how much God is capable of. 

20 God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us. 21 Give him glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. Give him glory through all time and for ever and ever. Amen.
— Ephesians 3:20-21

We need to trust that God is doing something bigger than us and something that is far bigger than our perspective. 

I closed with these words from Psalm 139.

God, see what is in my heart.
Know what is there.
Test me.
Know what I’m thinking.
24 See if there’s anything in my life you don’t like.
Help me live in the way that is always right.
— Psalm 139:23-24

Take some time this week to think through what God has placed in your heart for a kingdom dream in your life. Maybe it is for this week, the upcoming semester, this school year, or maybe it is something greater.