The Women’s Ministry Council is pleased to introduce you to Dr. Naima Johnston Bush, from Refreshing Life with Naima. Naima is a supporter of our ministry work. If you will be attending our live training event in Florida, on June 30th, we will have a few door prizes from Naima to give away. PLUS… expect something special from her at our LeadHer Conference on October 6th in Hobe Sound, FL.
It is summer time, and perhaps your ministry is taking a break. This break from ministry obligations is a perfect time to lean in the Lord, seeking His guidance and direction for you personally. Dr. Naima Johnston Bush has a few words on what hinders us & how to move beyond those hinderances.
4 Things That Keep You From Achieving Your God Given Dreams!
Inside of each of us is a purpose, a destiny only we can fulfill. As the cares of life encompass us we often lose sight of those original dreams that the Lord has placed in our hearts and settle for living a life of just getting by. Take a moment and ask yourself right now, are you truly living a life filled with Christ’s purpose? Are you walking in the fullness of your ministry and applying your gifts to advance the kingdom of Christ?
Most of us are not. I wasn’t. Until I quit my job in 2002 to form Broken Box Ministries. It wasn’t always easy, I didn’t have the tools, resources or information to do what I felt God was calling me to do. Furthermore, I felt that I was just too old to move forward and begin pursuing my dream. It seemed impossible…. I was so unsure of what to do or how too even do it. I needed to trust the Lord. All this is summed up in one of my favorite Tweets;
“When nothing is sure, everything is possible!”
Maybe you’re not called to quit your job and go into fulltime ministry, but you still have a dream! To start a business or nonprofit? Be a missionary? Start or grow a ministry at your church? There is a problem you are assigned to fix, something only you can accomplish! So what’s holding you back? After traveling the country and talking to tons of people I’ve discovered 4 things that keep people from achieving their God given dreams, and I’m working hard to help people overcome these issues. Ask yourself, are any of these me?
Number 1 – Fear
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
We’re all afraid of something, but moving forward in spite of this fear is a true testament of not only courage but of faith. Perhaps you’re not moving forward to pursue that dream because you fear that God didn’t really call you to it, you’re not good enough, you don’t want to face rejection, you’re afraid it won’t work out… The list can go on and on.
Maybe you tried once and you believe you failed. But did you really fail? Ask yourself if there was any fruit at all from the situation, did you learn anything, get closer to God, bless anyone? What we think of as failure can be a part of God’s plan for us. Just look at Thomas Edison, how many times did he fail before he got the light bulb right? Look it up… and I’m sure we can believe that electric lights were part of God’s plan!
But the first step to overcoming fear is admitting it to the Lord; then taking a step in the direction you feel He’s calling you to. You can move forward to overcome your fears. God believes in you, so you just need to believe in yourself.
Answer the following questions:
What Are Your Greatest Fears? Take these fears to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help you move past them. After praying how do you feel? Keep praying and believing and you will see change!
List five practical ways you can overcome your fears. For example if you fear you’re not good enough to do what God is calling you to do or you don’t have the ability, make a list of all the scriptures you can find that tell you who you are in Christ and what you can do through Him. Read that list daily until the Word is hidden in your heart. What other ways can you think of?
Number 2 – Lack of Resources
You may feel you can’t go forward because you don’t have the proper resources to do what you know you’ve been called to do. There is always a way to get started, even if you don’t have a million bucks in your hand. If God called you to do it, then you have what you need in your hand – Read Judges Chapter 6 and use Gideon as role model, I do!
There is one simple fact that cannot be denied when you are facing a lack of resources to move forward in your God given dream. You know someone somewhere who has what you need or knows someone who has what you need. All you have to do is pray and then ask. I’ve gotten more stuff that I’ve needed in the last few months from folks simply by asking! Staff volunteers, recording equipment, financial donations, assistance in booking just to name a few. The Word tells us to ask and we shall receive, so get to asking. And remember God’s law of reaping and sowing, if someone asks you, be sure to give it if you got it!
Answer the following questions:
What are your biggest needs to get started?
Who can you ask for assistance to get moving? List those folks:
Select a concrete date on when you’ll ask them for what you need:
Don’t be afraid to ask them for suggestions if they don’t have what you need
Take what they are willing to give, God can do much with a little
Apply the 2 Step Approach, “Pray and Then Ask!”
Number 3 – You Think It’s Too Late
One of the things I hear from people is that they think it is too late for them to achieve their God given dream. But, I believe that as long as there is breath in your body there is time to achieve some part of the dream that God has placed on your heart, for the advancement of the Kingdom. It may be modified, it may not grow to be exactly what you thought it would be, but if you still have strength, you still have time.
I always think of Abraham and the promise that the Lord gave him and Sarah, the promise became Abraham’s dream and although he saw some of it come to pass, he didn’t see it all come into fruition. But he did what God called him to do after getting hemmed up in Egypt, messing around with his nephew Lot and having a child with the handmaid. Delays, these were delays, but they did not take the Lord by surprise! God still brought forth His promise to Abraham, his dream of being a father. In essence Abraham set the foundation for a dream that would belong to the entire world. A dream that would turn into a blessing for the whole world.
So the past does not matter, the time to start is today. What if the dream in your heart, is simply this, the foundation of a bigger dream that will meet the needs of millions of others?
Get Moving! Don’t wait another minute, the Bible tells us…
If you wait for perfect conditions you will never get anything done.
(Ecclesiastes 11: 4)
Ask yourself, what does your dream entail that you feel is limited by time? For example, what if you felt you were suppose to be a champion figure skater, you love ice skating, but now in your 40’s you’re to old to pursue that dream. But you know the Lord has placed that passion in your heart. After much prayer, you could found a ministry that reaches out to figure skaters, or arranges free lessons to children who can’t afford lessons while also training them in the truths of the Word of God. Or maybe you could become a coach’s assistant and win a future world champion to the Lord, who will then share the gospel with millions through their athletic efforts. Time does not diminish the promise of God!
Answer the following questions:
List the limitations you feel you’re facing because you feel it’s to late.
Spend some serious time in prayer asking the Lord to reveal to you how your original dream should look now. Journal those answers, then make a commitment to do one thing everyday to achieve the dream.
Number 4 – Lack of Trust
Ultimately, the real reason we don’t move forward to achieve our God given dreams is a lack of trust. We either don’t trust ourselves or we don’t trust the Lord. Nobody wants to admit that they are having trouble trusting God, but I think most of us are not even aware that we’re not trusting the Lord.
Maybe you don’t trust that you heard from the Lord and you don’t want to make a mistake. Maybe you’re not sure what the Lord is telling you to do. Maybe you don’t trust that you can do what God has called you to do. But this is where your faith must kick in. This is where you have to walk by faith. I’m sure Noah must have wondered if he was really hearing from the Lord when he began building the ark. But God had placed in his heart a dream and the dream saved the future.
The truth of the matter is if you really desire to please God, if you really want to follow Him and you start to take steps to do what He’s placed in your heart to do if you are out of order the Lord will correct you. Failures may occur, and things may not always work out like you think they should but that does not mean God has not called you to move forward in this dream.
Nothing replaces prayer and fasting and the word for getting direction from the Lord. Make up your mind that you will walk by faith and not by sight, trusting that Lord will lead you, outline the dream and lay it on the altar, pray over it, speak life over it and then begin to move forward in faith!
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
(James 2 :17)
To Build Trust:
Spend time practicing listening to and for the voice of the Lord, so that you are attuned to hearing His direction for the advancement of the dream that He has given you.
Commit each step to the Lord and ask for confirmation of those things, which He has called you to do. Get wise counsel.
Remember you can hear from the Lord for yourself, sometimes you have to just trust that you know and take a step.
Simply take a step in faith and see where God takes you!
Answer the following questions:
Give your dream a name, describe it, what is it and what does it look like?
List all of the ways that God has come through for you in the past:
Ask yourself, how is this any different?
For Further Reading: The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkerson
Remember, your God given dream is not for you alone, but for the advancement of the Kingdom, the glory of the Lord and in the service of His people. On that last day you want to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant!”
So get cracking, the HARVEST is ripe and the LABORERS are few!