Unafraid to Dream

Unafraid to Dream

From what I post it may seem like I’m always the hopeful optimistic: seeing everything half full and overflowing with positivity.

In actuality, I tend toward the opposite. It’s easy for me to see flaws. Many times, I’m slow at celebrating the good, I speak up quicker on weakness, and I lean towards worry and over analyzing. The current political climate that we are in, despite our location in the world, does not help in this area either.

Yet, because I am prone to that, I am intentional about disciplining myself to see from a hopeful kingdom perspective. The circumstances around me can be very real and painful and concerning, yet I have to believe that as a follower of Christ, this is what I’m made for. I have been fashioned to not just endure and persevere, but to climb up out of the fray in a sense and be reminded that we are seated in heavenly places with Christ.

This position gives us a significant vantage point through which to view our lives, our circumstances and our sphere of influence. We are invited to have kingdom perspective, to see with eyes of hope and to not agree with fear.

I’ve been chewing on this a lot, along with Icelandic salted caramel dark chocolate because #surrendertojoy. It’s quite evident that there are webs of fear and anxiety being laid at every turn. As if our own personal struggles and cultural roles weren’t enough, we are dealing with governmental systems, uprisings, unrest, and the shocking global ripples of a nasty virus. There is an agenda being driven and it’s not based on conspiracy theory or rumor.

We followers of Christ are all too aware that the enemy of our souls rages against us through any means necessary and often through the tactic of fear. We can get drawn in through a myriad of ways and then trapped in a web that keeps us from moving forward. This fear can be paralyzing, snuffing out our hopes and thoughts for the future before we have a chance to light the flame. But it’s not the kingdom way. It is not God’s intention for us to agree with fear. Or in other words, I don’t have to hold on to what is trying to grab a hold of me.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

Paul was not in a place of comfort or safety when he penned those words. He wrote them from prison. In a place of isolation and suffering, he was adamant that this fear was a spirit that had no place in his life despite his prison. He reminded Timothy that this type of spiritual fear was not from God and instead, what he’d actually been given was power, love, and a sound, self-controlled, self-disciplined mind.

Paul’s words remind me that I don’t have to lose control to fear. I have the choice to intentionally see the way that Christ sees. To see the hope that he brings. I can trust that he holds my future and even now holds me. Therefore, I don’t have to be afraid to dream, whatever the outcome.

In the verse before the one above, Paul tells Timothy to “stir up the gift of God that is within you.” Other translations say to “fan it into flame.” He wanted Timothy to understand that God had placed something significant in him that he did not need to be afraid to stir up and pursue for the sake of the gospel. How would we dream, what would we do out of the overflow of God’s gift within us if we weren’t afraid?

Here are some questions to consider:

  1. What gave you delight as a child? What is a way you can bring that into your current context?
  2. What is one thing that you enjoy that fear has stopped you from doing? What step can you take to do that thing?
  3. As you spend time with the Lord, what thoughts, imaginative leanings, and longings overflow in your mind?
  4. Has there been an article, blog, song, movie, book, etc. that touched you in a core place and/or ignited hope in you? What did it make you want to do?
  5. What skills, gifting, experiences do you have that you enjoy using in various ways? Where can you see that fitting in God’s expansive kingdom?

Because we are a part of a greater kingdom, I have to remember that my call and purpose is not diminished by external circumstances. But it’s hard to see past these moments at times, especially wondering how the decisions being made in the coming days and weeks and months will affect us. But maybe now is the time for us to let go of lingering fear, however that has looked. Maybe it’s time to stir up hope by tapping into the dreams God has put in our hearts, intentionally engaging in the things that bring Him delight and glory.

Consider again the questions within this post. If you are struggling with fear, what is one tangible step you can take toward hope?

4 Comments

  1. Ruth November 2, 2020

    Yes yes yes! What a powerful read – thank you for sharing! It reminds me of two things – Russell Moore pointed out that we don’t get to choose whether we experience fear, but we get to choose how we respond to it, and remembering that some things are true, some are truer and One is truest. The fears are real, the bad things are true but other things are truer and God is truest.
    And what brilliant questions! Thank you!

    1. Jenny November 2, 2020

      Yes, God is definitely the truest! Such a good reminder that we seats have the choice to respond well.

  2. Courtney November 3, 2020

    Beautifully written and thoughtful. I appreciate the call to recognize that we have the power through Jesus to control fear and put it in its rightful place…fear doesn’t have to call the shots. Your challenges to curb fear as Paul did from prison, juxtaposed with the questions to dream, is a powerful reminder that the hope God puts in us can not only cast away fear , but also give us hope and breath to dream toward the future. We all need to hear that.

    1. Jenny November 3, 2020

      Wow thank you for your own beautifully written words. I appreciate this response and thankful that we are all being reminded in this season.

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