A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to teach about Abraham at chapel for our church’s school. Abraham had a dream. He wanted to be a father. In Abraham’s mind this was a BIG dream. You see Abraham was old and in the natural eye, way beyond the ideal age for beginning fatherhood. It was an important dream to Abraham, one that he had had for many years. But to God it was a small and limited dream. God had plans for something much bigger!
One day Abraham talked to God pretty plainly about his unfulfilled dream. In Genesis 15:2-3 it says, “But Abram replied, ‘O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”
Abraham was heavily focused on one minor, but extremely important detail. To be a great nation it has to start with a son, something he currently did not possess. I love how God responds to Abraham. God wanted Abraham to think BIG and to not limit his dream to just one son but to expect a nation. In Genesis 15:4-5 we read God’s response, “Then the Lord said to him, ‘No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.’ Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, ‘Look up into the sky and count the starts if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have.”
God wanted to do more than Abraham could dream about. Abraham was so focused on his current circumstance that all he could fathom that could happen was having one son. He was too old and too far into his life to imagine anything else could happen. But God was not limited by Abraham’s circumstance.
In chapel that day, I decided to ask the kids a question. “What dreams do you have? What do you want to do when you get older?” One sweet girl boldly and confidently raised her hand and said, “I want to be a doctor, teacher, vet and an artist!” In her mind this was a realistic goal. It never crossed her mind that it would take her 20 plus years of college and graduate school and an insane amount of money to accomplish those goals. And in all reality this goal was virtually impossible to accomplish. But she was not alone. Most of the kids listed off 2-4 professions they wanted to master or major life goals that they wanted to accomplish. Now their goals were not impossible, but in my adult brain I immediately began to think about all the reasons on why their dreams would not become reality. Maybe one of them would but definitely not all of them. I thought to myself, “What sweet, innocent minds. One day you will figure it out that those dreams won’t happen and you will come up with some more realistic goals.”
After chapel I was reflecting on the kids’ answers and I felt God asking me, “Why not?”
Why not dream big? Abraham believed God for one son but God wanted to give him a nation. Why not dream big? I do believe we do limit God when we put boundaries and limitations on our dreams. When we focus more on the how, instead of asking why not? I am not saying that God actually wants the little girl to earn all those degrees, but it did challenge me to not immediately throw out the whole idea. When we immediate start thinking about all the reasons on why it won’t work we don’t allow God to shape and direct the possibilities.
I love how Abraham responds to God’s ridiculously, wonderful dream for Abraham. In Genesis 15:6 it says, “And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Abraham didn’t re-ask “How?” He just believed.
Don’t limit God. Dream big. God is a big God with unlimited resources. We have no idea the wonderful plans God has for our lives. Don’t limit Him to your current circumstances. Don’t let your past failures and disappointments prevent you from believing there is a better and brighter future ahead.
Be like Abraham and take your current, limited dreams to God. Then allow Him to paint a picture of the bigger and better dream He has for your life. And then believe that God’s Word is true and that what He says will come to past. All you have to do is believe and trust the process. Why not dream big? What do you have to lose?
What Big Dreams does God have for you? How are you thinking small? How can you start dreaming big?
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.