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February 25, 2009 / beidson

Recognizing Ministry Mirages and Realizing Ministry Dreams

It is easy to get discouraged when you believe God has given you a dream for ministry and yet,mirage1 due to whatever reasons, you don’t see how that dream can possibly come true.  Though the dream may be on your mind continually, equally as pressing is the realization of seemingly grand obstacles.  Many times these grand obstacles may simply be the sum of a million small things that seem to be holding you back.  But this is no reason to lay aside the dream for ministry God is preparing you to actualize.  As cliche as it sounds, we just need to stick with it, being faithful in every small thing the Lord has given us.  Faithfulness, not greatness, is what God is preparing us for and expecting of us.

However, having a dream doesn’t mean anything unless you are pursuing it.  Dreaming about life-changing ministry doesn’t do any good unless you are continually changing your life in order to move yourself closer to where it seems God is calling you.  Otherwise, your dream of ministry may only be a mirage.  It may appear you are getting somewhere, that there is something to be done, but alas, in the end you will find it was not what you thought it was.

Here are a few questions you might ask yourself when trying to discern if you are truly pursuing the desires for ministry God has placed within you:

  • Is your dream for Jesus’  glory or your glory?
  • Are you completely faithful with every small and insignificant responsibility the Lord has placed upon you at this time?  Do you realize that these are, in fact, part of God’s purposes in bringing about the dream for ministry?
  • Are you manipulating people and circumstances to hasten the realization of your dream?  Or do you honestly intend to do good to others, not as means to an end, but for the love of Christ and his church?
  • Are you casting off every hindrance to progress, such as sin, debt, etc.?  Conversely, are you “picking up” every aid to progress, such as experience, education, connections, etc.?
  • Are you hoping to be “transported” to your dream ministry, or are you really doing the hard and necessary things that are prerequisite to your dream?
  • Are you keeping your dream in sight?  Or, are you hoping to get to Boston by way of Dallas?  It’s not going to happen.  You must be headed in the right direction.
  • Would other people agree that you are headed in the right direction?  Have you sought the wisdom and affirmation of other faithful believers in regard to your dream for ministry?
  • Do you have a dream mentor?  Is there a person or people to whom you look who are doing what you one day hope to do?  Are you doing, to a degree, what they did to get there?
  • Is God continually pressing the dream on you, so that you feel as if you might explode if it doesn’t happen soon?  Are you desperate to see this thing through?
  • Do you continually pray about and evaluate your life to see if you are on track to one day be where you now only dream of being?  Are you continually before the Lord in special pleading over this matter?

Someone has said, “You will one day be what you are now becoming.”  In light of this proverbial truth, do you expect to do great things for God, or should you only expect to find a mirage, a dream that sifts through your fingers?

Dreams for ministry do not come true without faithfulness in ministry.  God will use every believer to conquer the dark kingdom of the Serpent, and whatever dream for ministry he has given us, we can be sure he will equip and enable us to see it through.  But we must be faithful.  We must be moving toward Boston if Boston is our destination, even if only an inch at a time.

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