Between the period of childhood and adulthood, something pretty amazing happens, and it’s more than just getting taller and wiser. It seems as if the world at some point, comes down and crushes our childhood capacity to dream that we can make a difference in the world. Age certainly brings with it a proper understanding of reality. At the age of ten, I realized that, as much as I loved baseball, I just wasn’t good enough to ever make it into the major league – this is an acceptance of reality. But the world (a system that leaves God out, 1 Jn.2:15-16) goes further than this. It destroys our more ambitious dreams to change the world, or to offer people freedom in Christ, or to do something more in this life than just pass time.
Believing in your potential in Christ isn’t locking onto in a fantasy future. Every man, no matter how small or shy he may feel, has a God given desire to make a difference that lasts for eternity. It can look like something as seemingly insignificant as giving a friend advice or as momentous as saving someone’s life. We all want to be heroes … we want our lives to count for something important. But the world doesn’t like people with lofty ambitions that flow from their relationship with God. The world whispers in our ear, telling us that we need to “grow up” and put away such dreams. It exhorts us to help others, but without God. It urges us to put away the belief that we can make a difference for eternity and focus our energy on providing for ourselves or our families – as if the choice is either/or.
But this isn’t the only option. The world is wrong. Each and every one of us can impact human history for Christ. We can affect the world for God’s kingdom. We can satisfy our deepest dreams. But there’s one condition, we can’t let this desire die. King David, writing in the book of Psalms, tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4) These desires – these dreams – are more than just childhood fantasies. They are placed in our hearts to drive you towards specific actions for which you were designed. And when you flesh out these dreams, you’re living in accordance with God’s purpose for your life. It makes sense, then, that the only way you can truly fulfill these deep desires is by focusing on the Lord of life.
When we do this we will face resistance. We will encounter push-back. Jesus warned us of the world’s pessimism, and he declared that “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 10:18-19) There are two sides in this battle: the world’s and God’s. It all comes down to this question: whose side do you want to be on? If you want what Jesus offers, then you must recognize that you don’t belong to the world, and because of this, the world will hate you – it will hate your desires and dreams, because through these, you will be living out your potential in Christ, which is not something the world wants. You must reject the world’s pessimism and mediocrity. You must realize that Jesus offers another way – a way that is not just more fulfilling, but a way that will unleash your potential to fulfill those cherished childlike dreams of significance.
So stoke your dreams and look to God to bring them into reality.