We dare not miss an important dimension to hanging tough. It is the thing that keeps you going. I call it a dream.
I don’t mean those things we experience at night while we’re asleep. No, by dream, I mean a God-given idea, plan, agenda, or goal that leads to God-honoring results.
Most pastors I know don’t dream enough. If someone were to ask you, “What are your dreams for this year? What are your hopes . . . your agenda? What are you trusting God for?” could you give a specific answer? I don’t have in mind just ministry objectives or goals, although there’s everything right with those. But what about the kind of dreaming that results in character building, the kind that cultivates God’s righteousness and God’s rule in your life?
Here are a few more ideas about dreams. Dreams are specific, not general. Dreams are personal, not public. God doesn’t give anyone else my dreams on some blog or Web site. He gives them to me—personally. They’re intimate images and ideas. In fact, dreams can easily appear to others as extreme and illogical. If you share your dreams with others, they may laugh at you because you can’t make logical sense out of them (think of Noah or Joseph, for example). Dreams are often accompanied by a strong desire to fulfill them. And they are always outside the realm of the expected.
Sometimes dreams are downright shocking! They cause people to suck in their breath, to stand staring at you with their mouths open. A common response when you share a dream is, “You’ve gotta be kidding! Are you serious?”
Dreams are the stuff of which leaders are made. If you don’t dream, your leadership is seriously limited. To make things even more complicated, those who refuse to dream the impossible are always in the majority. Those who choose to live by sight will always outnumber those who live by faith.
So once you’ve decided to live differently, let God be your guide and hang tough. Follow your dreams with determination.