Dream or Mirage?

What’s your dream? I know you’ve got one. After all, you were created to dream.

So, c’mon! What’s your dream? A new house? Kid’s success? Better Career? Finish a triathlon? Finish off a box of chocolates?

What are you dreaming about? One of the easiest ways to discover your dreams is to notice what you find yourself daydreaming about.

I LOVE to dream (and daydream). My favorite conversations are when people share their dreams with me. Part of our national identify is the American DREAM. It’s a beautiful thing . . . mostly.

However, I’m learning with every dream comes this unexpected danger: When God gives me a dream I am tempted to love the dream more than the Dream Giver.

After all, every human heart is tempted to worship “created things rather than the Creator” (Rom 1:25). In the same way, I’m tempted to worship my dream more than my Dream Giver.

Anything that captures my heart and imagination more than God is a mirage. A mirage is when I ask my dream to give me what only God can give me.

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You know you’re chasing a mirage when you say things like, I can’t be happy unless . . .

. . . I am dating him/her

. . . I get into that university

. . . my kids turn out a certain way

. . . my business succeeds

. . . I experience this level of financial success

I was just given the opportunity to share a 3-part message series at my church. I shared my own struggles with dreams and what Scripture says about our dreams.

So, I thought I’d share a quick overview with you today.

#1 – The Mirage of Love (listen to message: website or iTunes)

Have you ever longed to be loved? Of course!

When we longed to be love we often ask one person to give us everything we need. That’s a mirage. Sometimes we put pressure on someone only God can bear (spouse, child, etc.). This pressure can cause a marriage and/or a family to collapse.

#2 – The Mirage of Success (listen to message: website or iTunes)

Here’s a belief within me: “If I achieve more, I matter more.”

If I believe that then I will feel justified condemning people who fail (including myself).

However, Scripture tells us that all success is on loan from God for the benefit of others. Success isn’t from me or for me.

No matter how hard you’ve worked, you’re not self-made. Neither am I.

If you had been born in a yurt in Outer Mongolia, instead of where you were, it wouldn’t have mattered how hard you worked or used your talents— you would have ended up poor and powerless. -Timothy Keller

You have some success (relational, financial, experiential, etc.). However, the only success that will outlive you is what you give away.

#3 – Replace the Mirage (listen to message: website or iTunes)

My dream can remain in my life as long as I keep God promoted above it.

No matter how great my dream is, my deepest desire is to have intimacy with the Father. However, if I pursue a dream more than the Dream Giver, my deepest desire goes unmet and I am left unsatisfied.

I know this but I’m gullible enough to get pumped about a new dream and before long, I’m making it the ultimate thing! Mirage.

I often forget that there are two parts to me: 1) an OUTER LIFE (work, hobbies, image, etc.) and 2) an INNER LIFE (though no one can see it – God meets me here).

My deepest desire is to connect with God in my INNER LIFE where I experience my deepest pain and greatest joy.

But it’s tempting to trust in my OUTER LIFE because it’s more visible.

However, “If our hope is not anchored in God, we will lower God to match our circumstances.” –Pastor Daniel Hahn

How do stop chasing the mirage? We must have a fresh encounter with the living God. That begins with desperate transparency.

  • When Abraham became desperate, he argued with God.
  • When Jacob became desperate, he refused to let go of God until He blessed Him.
  • When David became desperate, he questioned God’s justice.

Intimacy with God often begins with an Rated R prayer. Instead of telling God what you think He wants to hear, tell Him what you truly feel.

We are most satisfied when He fully reigns in us. Replace the mirage and discover what’s real.

You can listen to the entire series from our website or on iTunes.