To dream is the fulfillment of our imaginations and minds, gifts and talents, callings and longings all intricately woven together. We were born dreamers as Christ image-bearers because all of humanity is longing for something better; people aching for the idealistic romance of dreams fulfilled – heaven.
This talk of dreams has been one appropriately placed in Christian circles. I will not deny that. The Church should be known for championing the dreamer because our future is Christ and He is most assuredly working all things out for good.
The Church should be cradling the most rich, outlandish dreams. Our dreams should be a government that drips of men and women submitting to Christ. Our churches, beacons of hope for the lost and marginalized. Our pregnancy clinics a source of hope for women who have believed the lie that they are worth nothing, and that some boy could possible fill the gap of eternity’s love written on her heart.
We should believe for light piercing our darkest neighboring streets. We can long for the day slavery is abolished and for us to taste peace. Shalom. And we can pray for strong male headship in homes and women flourishing in their care.
Church, we should be the dreamers.
But it came upon me one morning, this thought of whether or not we are telling the generations the whole story. Quite honestly, have we been missing the best part?
Imagine with me a two-chaptered book. We flip to the first chapter and it reads, “Chapter One: Jesus is Better Than Your Dreams.” After word upon word and page after page, we make it to Chapter Two titled, “The Dream Itself.”
And could it be that maybe we are harping on Chapter Two when we haven’t laid out the firmest foundation, Chapter One?
Chapter One: Jesus is Better Than Your Dreams
Most recently in my journal, I wrote simple words as I have felt God has been quiet around me. When this happens, I tend to go to paper. Pure, white paper as a conduit for divine connection. My journal read:
I am grateful for this quiet morning. I truly am. It feels peaceful. I am tired, Lord, but hear my prayer:
Would you make my heart believe what I am to believe?
Would you make my heart believe that Jesus is better?
Jesus, you are better than even my dreams. Make me believe. I need to believe that this moment with you is better.
And so I beg you to ponder, with our idealism toward “the best is yet to come” are we missing that the best is actually come?
Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.
If you and I miss this point, we miss that God is dwelling with us here and now.
“He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17)
We run ahead and forget that He is equipping us with all strength.
“For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
And in all of our fighting the battles, we grow lethargic and tired.
“Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
Dear Church, if we miss that His intimacy is better than any man’s, woman’s or child’s, or that His grace poured out on us fills more than any beautiful home, perfect body or dream fulfilled…then we have missed the mark.
Jesus is better than your dreams.
The pursuit of Him, the quiet moments with Abba, the breathing prayers throughout the day, the rest and peace bestowed by The Sustainer. The presence of Jehovah and magnificence in slowing down to recognize God in every detail: every smile, laugh, tear, and hug. Every giggle from a tickle fight with a toddler to slight gaze between husband and wife. God with us. God is better.
The pursuit of Him alone is better.
Chapter Two: The Dream Itself
In my analysis, I believe what happens is many of us taste God and His goodness; His passion begins to burn and fuel the injustices we see around us, and we begin to dream, fight and be the change. We sense the call to go and make disciples. We gather the troops and we storm the bastille knowing that justice is God’s heart and we will fight! We will fight to the death! Storm the gates!
And we give way to the call.
And in the giving, the call becomes greater than the Caller.
We can easily slip into a place where we love ministry more than we love God. And this hangs differently on each of us. Could it be that we love being hospitable and opening our homes than we love being in His presence and opening His Word? Or maybe it is the feeling we get when the fight for justice becomes more imperative than the fight to be among the One who is just? Or is it the head knowledge that comes from hours of classes among wise professors; a puffed-up sense of knowing that trumps a humble spirit of being known by God?
Whatever your dream, whatever your source of achievement, it will fall short of a life well-lived under the banner of Christ every time.
The Greater Measure
Child of God, may we remember the whole story. Let’s stop living in Chapter Two without ever going back to Chapter One. Because if God is Chapter One, this chapter alone is the greater measure.
And to be terribly honest with you, He doesn’t need you to accomplish anything. He is God. He died to bring you to Him.
“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18
His purposes will be accomplished with or without you. And as His aroma fills your nose and mind and heart, the more you will long for Chapter Two. Because God will be filling you and so will the longing of His heart.
But let us not forget, Chapter One is the chapter that gives way to the most fulfilling life, the complete destiny of your destiny.
And if you make it to Chapter Two then so be it.