I am what some call a “visionary” or “futuristic.” This means I tend to view life through a lens where I see how my decisions and actions today can take me in the future. It is a great quality to have because it helps me plan to advance towards fulfillment in my calling and dreams. It gives purpose to my seasons.
The problem, though, is that I tend to also feel like I never arrive because I’m always reaching for the horizon. Like that dang donkey with a carrot hanging out front.
I have big dreams for my life. And, as children of God, we all should. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
I remember a few years ago, I was dreaming intently of where I felt like God was calling me. I yearned for it to happen. I wanted to be a full-time missionary in Japan. With that, among other dreams God has promised me, I needed to advance towards this calling, or I would die. It was so intense that I just couldn’t enjoy life until my dream was fulfilled.
Then God stopped me one day. He said, “You are always living for a glory yet to come. But you are missing the glory of today. You can’t enjoy life because you feel like all that you value will come in some season other than the one you are in. You need to learn how to stop and smell the roses that I’ve planted around you.”
He continued, “You think you will be fulfilled once you reach a dream, as if that’s how My glory will be revealed. Don’t you know that My glory remains at My throne always? Don’t you know you have access to Me now? I am not the God of the distant future; I am the Ever-Present God!”
God reminded me of Moses in the desert. He was fed up with the rebellious, discontented hearts of Israel. All they did was complain about some discomforts of life, yet they had front row seats to the manifest Shekinah glory of Yahweh God. I’ll trade comfort for that encounter any day!
God decided He is done with those people and that He wasn’t going to escort them into the Promised Land as planned. He was going to send His best angel to lead them in, but He was staying behind (see Exodus 33:1-3).
Moses pled with the Lord and said, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (verse 15).
Moses was so desperate for God that he didn’t want anything to separate him from God’s presence. He told God that he would forfeit the Promised Land if that were what it would take. He would rather remain in the desert to stay in God’s presence than to inherit his 400 year-old promise.
Thankfully, at Moses’ intercessions, God changed His mind and stayed with the people.
Moses’ forefather, Abraham, had also received a mighty promise from God—countless descendants and this same Promised Land for them to dwell in.
Yet, after decades of receiving the greatest promises ever, God said to him, “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward!” (Genesis 15:1).
Let me tell you, my friends, no dream house, dream car, dream job, dream ministry, dream vacation, dream marriage, dream anything can fill the void of the heart’s deepest longing. Only knowing God intimately can do this. It is no disappointment for God to say, “Of all the blessings I want to give you, I am your exceedingly great reward!”
I have found that whether I live in a small apartment or a larger house, work a clerical job or my dream of full-time ministry, drive a ’91 Honda Civic or a new Nissan Altima, I still retain the same need—time in the presence of God. I find that actively and simply knowing God makes everything else I’m doing become vibrant and full of life.
If thinking a dream fulfilled will be the “great arrival point” of fulfillment, we will be extremely disappointed when we arrive. We have access now to the only thing that can bring true satisfaction. The glory that we truly long for is already available! God intended that to be our starting point in this journey of life. It’s the only way to truly enjoy our Promised Land.
I don’t need the next greatest dream fulfilled in order to feel fulfilled. I need God.
What roses are in your life today that you should stop and enjoy? I encourage you to take time to express gratitude to God for them.
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