From Dream to Deliverance
“God … is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” (Ephesians 3:20b TLB)
If you want your faith to grow so you can claim God’s promise in Mark 9:23 — “Everything is possible for the person who has faith” (GNT) — then you must first understand that God takes you through six phases of faith.
Phase 1: Dream
What is the dream God has given you? If you don’t have a dream you’re working toward, you just exist. You need to start praying, “God, give me your dream.” You’re here on Earth for a purpose. When you discover that purpose, you’ll discover the dream God wants you to go after.
“God … is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes” (Ephesians 3:20b TLB).
Phase 2: Decision
Maybe you have a dream from God, but you’ve not yet made a decision to go after it. God’s word for you in phase 2 is, “Go for it!” You may need to make the decision to give your life to Christ or be baptized or join a church or get involved in ministry.
“If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:7-8 GNT).
Phase 3: Delay
When things don’t happen on our timetable, we tend to run ahead of God and create detours to make it happen. Do not detour! You may end up making the wrong decision. You’re in God’s waiting room. Wait for God to work his hand.
God says in Habakkuk 2:3, “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled” (TLB).
Phase 4: Difficulty
What difficulties have you faced waiting for your dream to be fulfilled? You’ll go through many tests in life, but God knows what you’re going through. He’s watching, and he hasn’t forgotten you.
“Even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident — it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold” (1 Peter 1:6-7 Phillips).
Phase 5: Dead End
Some of you are at your dead end, and you’re ready to give up. But you’re right where God wants you! He is preparing you for deliverance. God’s word for you is, “Hang on! Don’t give up!”
“At that time we were completely overwhelmed, the burden was more than we could bear, in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we now believe that we had this experience of coming to the end of our tether that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God who can raise the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
Phase 6: Deliverance
Do you expect and trust God to deliver you? He will. But it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to go through all six stages before God brings you to deliverance.
“I know that I will live to see the LORD’s goodness in this present life” (Psalm 27:13 GNT).
Talk It Over
- How do you know if a dream is from you or from God?
- Why do you think God tests you when you are in the “difficulty” phase?
- What have you learned about yourself and about God when you have been delayed in your dream?
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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