On Saturday, I encouraged you to dream big. To follow after your dream with perseverance and confidence, with one word of caution. God blesses our obedience, not our independence. If the dream’s from Him, He will bring it about. If it’s not, you may end your days crashing against barrier after barrier. The answer is simple, really. Find out what God wants you to do then do it.
Okay, so maybe that’s not so simple. Outside of righteous living, how can we know if what we’re doing pleases God? How can we know if our dreams come from within ourselves or are divinely planted? Today Henry McLaughlin, author of the Journey to Riverbend shares some insightful indicators:
Is Your Dream From God? by Henry McLaughlin
We all have dreams, some small, some large, some humongous. But dreams are not just for the young. The dream I’m walking out now—the dream to write—was birthed when I was in my fifties. So we’re never too old to dream. The only thing that limits my dream is me.
But questions haunt writers, especially as we stare at blank screens with fingers poised and brain frozen or when we get that rejection letter that says “doesn’t fit our needs at this time.” The big question is: Is this dream from God or last night’s pizza?
Recently I came across an article that gave seven keys to answer the question is this dream from God. It’s by Evangelist Jerry Savelle in his magazine, Adventures in Faith (Winter 2012). I think they’ll be helpful in answering the question: Is this you God?
1. If it captures your imagination and inspires and motivates you everyday of your life, then it is most likely a dream from God.
2. If it seems impossible and you are unable to fulfill it on your own, then it is most likely a dream from God.
3. If it seems as though it will never come to pass but deep down inside you’re unwilling to give up on it, then it is most likely a dream from God.
4. If not everyone is as enthusiastic about it as you are, then most likely it is a dream from God.
5. If you have experienced resistance, setbacks, difficulty and sometimes even frustration over it, then it is most likely a dream from God.
6. If it seems to consume your thinking and even seems to get bigger and bigger on the inside of you, then it is most likely a dream from God.
7. If it seems to define and shape your life, then it is most likely a dream from God.
Each of these keys set off fireworks of confirmation in me and I can approach 2012 with renewed and deeper confidence that I am in His plan for my life.
How about you? Do you have a dream? Do these keys help you see if your dream is from God?
Journey to Riverbend:
Michael Archer might not have been able to save Ben Carstairs, but he vowed to carry out Ben’s dying wish: to be reconciled with his father. What he doesn’t know is that Sam Carstairs—the most ruthless businessman on the frontier—has no use for his own son, much less a man of God seeking reconciliation.
Soon after arriving in the booming town of Riverbend, Michael meets the stunning Rachel Stone while waiting for Sam to return from a business trip. Beautiful yet guarded, Rachel is running from a past as dark as Michael’s, and the last thing she expects—or thinks she deserves—is a chance at love.
When word reaches town that Sam has been kidnapped on the stagecoach home, Michael joins the search posse. But the trail ahead is more dangerous than any imagined, and making it back alive will require Michael to face his past and overcome his deepest fear.
Henry McLaughlin’s debut novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Award. He brings a love of history and a background of social services and ministry into his writing. Henry enjoys working with other writers to sharpen his craft and to teach, coach and mentor. Besides writing, he also enjoys reading and traveling. Born in Rhode Island, he now lives in Saginaw, Texas, with his wife of forty-three years. Four of their five children and grandson are scattered across New England, New Jersey, and Missouri. Their eldest is in heaven.
WordServe client since 2011
Member: ACFW, CWG, NTCW
(North Texas Christian Writers)