Last year, I wrote a post about the importance and goodness of dreaming (see here). In this post, I am encouraging you to not stop there, but to continue through with those dreams, not settling for false sensations, because we were made to live for the gospel, not a trailer of it.
I think most of us have probably been there.
We dream of the day when we will ________________.
You fill it in. Pray without ceasing, live without a certain sin, climb that mountain, go to and serve Africa, pray deeply for that person, donate that money, write that book about that thing that needs to be heard, adopt that child, visit that place and care for that person, start that ministry…
The danger of all of this dreaming, along with the virtual sensations we have through modern technology is that it’s so easy to have the illusion of doing. Getting a little taste of our God-given desires can come so effortlessly through the endless inspirational articles, sensational pictures, heartfelt videos, and what have you found on the big World Wide Web. While it’s great to share these experiences, watching and reading all these things can give the illusion of reaching ___________, without really achieving it. Leaving you and me with a placebo instead of the real thing, and never knowing the fullness of Christ in that situation that we deeply yearn for.
I’ve been thinking about the effect of this lately. The endless articles, telling me why I so need to travel when I’m young, what I should do in college, how I should read the Bible, which way to pray, how to simplify my life, etc. The list never ends.
And all the while, the world that is telling me, “Go! Do it all! Be the adventurer! Climb that mountain Make those A’s! Go to that med school!” isn’t doing much of that adventuring and mountain climbing themselves.
So I’m beginning to discover the danger in all this telling, writing, speaking, etc. without the doing world that we so often participate in, fellow Christians. It’s really a toxic cycle, this talking and never doing, this dreaming and never pursuing.
So all these thoughts are running through my mind, and I decided to see what Jesus said/did about this, and I began to discover that Jesus almost always began his words with action. He healed, and then ministered. He performed miracles, then he preached. He restored, then he gave his benediction. And those times when he didn’t act and spoke only, was usually to his disciplines who had seen it all anyway.
He knew that words without action were toxic, empty, and never fulfilling.
He knew this world needed much more restoring than an “it’ll all be okay.”
He knew the crowds were much more thirsty for real water than a picture of a stream.
He knew that his children needed much more than good intentions.
He knew humanity was in much greater need of redeeming sacrifice than the thought of it.
I’m sure that there are multiple reasons that we don’t “do” as much as we talk about doing. Maybe we aren’t sure where to start. Maybe we aren’t moved enough. Or maybe it’s simply because we are just darn lazy.
As for me, I know the reason. I am so afraid of “doing” because I’m not sure where it leads. God promises it’s a good place. He says that so much joy is found in the struggle of doing, but my heart is so afraid of the unknown, of rejection, of failure. My heart can’t let go of what it knows in this toxic cycle of dreaming without doing.
St. Francis of Assisi once said “Preach the gospel, and when necessary use words.”
Choose to believe it or not, but we are living in an anti-Christian world. Very few of those that claim Christ love even a little like He does. And the people of my generation, and really any person with a rational mind, have learned that talk is cheap. Although beautiful, it requires very little sacrifice. I’ve begun to learn myself that sure, the little things matter, but the big things matter the most. The big things say the most, because this broken world needs much more than a hand full of change thrown into the offering plate. This world is oozing blood, and no cutesy Hello Kitty bandaid is going to fix this gap.
This world needs men and women who tackle this hurting word with gentle passion, deep love, unwavering faith, and a yearning for true righteousness.
I could tell you what that looks like, but that might be for a different post. I think I need to figure that out a little more myself before I try to tell you. Just know God is faithful, and His kingdom stretches far and wide– so don’t hold back.
So dream on, dear friends. Dream, dream, dream, but I beg of you: don’t stop there. Don’t let fear get in the way. He didn’t give us that spirit of fear, but one of love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Just do it. Do, do, do it.
Because He didn’t just consider us His children; He made us His sons and daughters.
God didn’t just say He was going to send us a Savior; He sent us a Savior.
He didn’t just accidentally go to the cross; He gave himself up for us.
It’s time that we give ourselves up to a God that didn’t just intend to.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. – James 2: 14-17
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:18
And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. – Hebrews 6: 11-12