It started with a burning passion, an urge to do, that arose so strong, you felt you’d explode. So, with heart-felt surrender, you knelt at His alter and responded, “Here I am, Lord! Send me!”
But then life hit with its obstacles and setbacks and suddenly that clear call began to grow dim, muddled by fears and insecurities and all the what-ifs that come from living in a fallen world.
What if I never make it?
Did God really call me, or was I merely justifying my selfish ambitions?
What if I pour everything I am and have into this thing and end my life with nothing to show for it?
Seriously, if God’s really in this thing, shouldn’t it be easy?
Ha. Right. If that were the case, a good chunk of the Bible wouldn’t exist, for I believe the pursuit of every dream comes after a great deal of struggle. In fact, chances are, the moment you took that first step of obedience, trials and troubles started raining down. Whether this was by God’s design in His efforts to strengthen and mold you for the path ahead or the forces of evil bearing down upon you in an attempt to thwart God’s plans, I don’t know. But either way, we know God’s sovereign, faithful, and true, so…
Consider Solomon, King David’s son. As his father was coming to the end of his life, the political waters started swirling. You can read the full account here, but to paraphrase, his brother, who had not been raised to fear or love the Lord, decided he wanted to be king, and he planned to take it by force.
This created a ripple of fear and chaos that soon had the entire palace in an uproar.
Fearing for her life, Solomon’s mother Bathsheba approached his father with trembling and tears. “If you do not act,” she said, “my son Solomon and I will be treated as criminals as soon as my lord the king has died.”
So King David immediately crowned Solomon, his God-chosen successor, king. He then gathered all the officials of Israel to Jerusalem—the leaders of the tribes, army commanders, generals, mighty men, and warriors…
And began a ferocious military campaign, right?
Wrong. Once all these powerful military men had been gathered, David turned to his son. Knowing he would soon die, knowing all the pressure and responsibility his son would soon shoulder, he proceeded to instruct him in the most important thing—loving and honoring God with all his heart and completing the task God had given him. (1 Chron. 28:8-10)
That task was huge! God wanted Solomon to build the first permanent temple, one designed to mirror that which stood in heaven.
No pressure there.
I can’t imagine the stress—the terror—this situation would’ve sparked, to which David replied, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. … Others with skills of every kind will volunteer, and the officials and the entire nation are at your command” (1 Chron. 29:20-21).
Do not be afraid.
God will help you. He will complete the job He has assigned to you, and He will complete it well. He will never fail you or forsake you.
You don’t have to do this alone. He will bring others to come alongside to help you.
I believe God is saying the same to you. So do not fear. Do not grow discouraged. Simply keep walking, keep trusting, whether the journey takes you five or twenty years.
He will perfect that which concerns you.
We all have God-given dreams. Maybe it’s to see our children or grandchildren come to Christ, to climb out of debt, or to start or join a new ministry. What passion has God stirred within you? Are you pursuing it with courage, strength, determination, and surrender?
Jennifer Slattery writes Missional Romance for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available for preorder at a 26% off discount. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-I-Do-Jennifer-Slattery/dp/1596694173/
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
Beyond I Do:
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more. Ainsley Meadow’s encounter with a woman, her child, and their abuser sparks a passion that threatens her engagement. Will seeing beyond the present unite her and her fiancé or tear them apart? Raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignites a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.