Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time to Prepare

I like the month of January for a number of reasons. Not only for the hope it offers for a new beginning but also for the opportunity it provides to dream—to look beyond the realm of the physical—and see our desires and goals fulfilled. It is also a time of preparing what is needed for dreams to come true, that is, a time to set the platform from which to launch a pursuit of our dreams in the New Year.
A time to dream: In our dreaming—conscious and deliberate—we see a vision of what we desire beyond our existing realities and there, in our dream, we set in motion the path needed to see what we desire come to pass. When we dream big we have the potential to impact not only our own lives but the lives of others around us. It is seeing the end from the beginning—envisioning the manifestation of the things hoped for. It is like possessing the promise, claiming what has been given or seeing it fulfilled before it becomes manifested physically. Dreaming of the kind I am referring to here is not a set of wishful thinking. It is forming a mental image of something or events that are yet to be perceived in reality—to conceive, imagine and have deep aspiration for a desire to be fulfilled.
A time to make it plain: Having seen with our inner eyes—seeing by faith the promise fulfilled, we must then come to the beginning and make the vision plain or tangible by writing it down. It is not sufficient to dream alone if we are not prepared to take the next steps to make the dream come to pass by initiating the requisite actions. Dream that is not supported or followed with actions is a wasteful venture because it is the action that will connect our dreams to reality.
One of the things we therefore want to do in January, after a time of dreaming, is to set realistic goals that will take us towards our dreams. This is not just making a list of New Year resolutions but a process of breaking the dreams down into chunks that are achievable and planning towards each of them. I have found it useful to write down all my dreams, desires and goals in every sphere of my life.
A time to receive encouragement: Joshua was giving the task of leading the Israelites into the land God had promised their forefathers to give to them - Promised Land. His task was not an easy one, he knew the Canaanites and others who lived in the land were battle ready people, he had seen them before. But he had an assurance of a promise from a God of integrity who does not renege on His promised or go back on His Word. He was told it is God who will go before him—“He will go with you. He will not leave you. He will not fail you. He will not forsake you. He will not abandon you.” So in addition to the Promised Land, he had the promise of God’s unfailing presence and help. Along with that also came the encouragement—be courageous, be strong and be firm – Deut. 31: 6-8.
The situation around you may be discouraging or terrifying. Your circumstances may dictate a limitation your dreams. Yet in that situation God is charging you not to be discouraged or terrified, but to be strong, bold, and full of courage. Do not let challenges deter you. Get rid of the cowardice, doubt, shyness, timidity and fear. These will hinder you from going forward to possess the promise. Do not flinch or become broken in the spirit. This is the time to receive encouragement for the task ahead. It is the time for hope, courage and faith to be stirred up. It is the will of God for us to possess the things He has promised us according to His Word.
A time to retreat into the place of prayer: It is a time to wait expectantly to hear the voice of God for direction on how to move forward. God always communicates, when we take time to listen. He speaks through His written Word. He also speaks through dreams, visions, His servants and in still voice into our hearts but these channels too must align with His Word. It is also time to ensure that our desires are aligned with the will of God. He has promised to grant us the desires of our heart in accordance to His will for our lives. Taking time to seek His face in prayers is therefore an important element of the preparation. I lift before God at this time the goals and dreams I have written down. It provides a reference point to count my blessings later on in the year.
Do not be afraid to dream big as we go on in 2012. It is possible that the dreams and desires God has placed in our hearts are so mind-bungling and beyond the ordinary. God specializes in doing the extraordinary. No one can question God’s right to do the never-done-before and jaw-dropping act of wonder in our lives that will cause people around us to be amazed and bring praise to His name. So we must not limit God or allow our circumstances to set limits for what God can do in our lives in 2012.
We need strength and courage for the journey ahead of us in 2012 but no matter how strenuous the journey may be we know from the onset that we have been promised victory and success. We can keep our gaze focused on that promise—come what may!!!
Let this be your time to prepare to launch out in pursuit of your dreams.

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