So when God gives you a dream, a vision, an idea, a passion, a calling, whatever you want to call it…we tend to see the end goal picture first. We get excited.
We want to shout from the rooftops, LOOK AT WHAT GOD IS GOING TO GIVE ME!
It’s like when you see a picture of a house that you want to own. Like looking at the virtual online tour of your perfect dream home.
I love floor plans. Since I was a kid, I have always been obsessed with floor plans. I have drawn out the floor plan of almost every house I have lived in. When I think of how I will arrange a house or room before I move in, I draw a rough floor plan. When I got tired of living in junky old rent houses, I would dream of homeownership and look at floor plans online. Even floor plans of modular or mobile homes got me excited.
I get annoyed when I can’t visualize the layout of a house that I am viewing online and there is no floor plan. I see a room here, but does it connect there? Or there? Is that a closet? Or a bathroom?
I like to see the whole plan, how it’s laid out, the flow from room to room.
And God has been talking with me A LOT lately about the dreams he’s given me. When He gave me those dreams, he didn’t let me peek at the floor plan. He let me see some snapshots of the end result. Where I could be when he wanted me there, if I followed his plan for me.
Of course, I decided that jumping to the end was going to happen right away.
After all, I am supposed to be the next joyce meyers/kim walker smith plus nurse missionary, right? I knew the nursing dream would have to wait…I have to be trained and have a degree and license to do all that…..
But it didn’t occur to me that my knowledge of God’s word had to be strengthened, my relationship with God had to get closer, my voice range/tone and other technique issues had to improve. I was going to chase after that final picture of what God showed me!
I sat down to write a book I felt God wanted me to write and the first several chapters flowed so easily. Then the next few were harder, and then the items that were next on the list, I had to slow down on because, Father forgive me, I had not yet finished walking them out in my life.
I had to put it down. I had to walk out those areas of my life with God. Then we would circle back around to an area I had already “mastered”. The “why does this keep happening to me?” started changing to “No. I’ve already beaten you enemy, why do you come back?” and I had to face the fact that I was allowing him to come back, by my own habits. My stewardship sucked. I got frustrated. “Where are the promises of God? I believe they are for me! Where are they?”
Then I begged God to show me his plan. I begged him to give me a sign. He showed me my end picture again. So I would jump up and chase after it like I had already mastered the steps to get there. And fall flat again.
In the midst of that, I was pursuing my dream of nursing. And I got so close to starting nursing school. I graduated from community college, I started at a university and only had two classes that I needed before starting. Only, they couldn’t be taken together. I had to take one, then the other. So I went to the adviser. I asked what I could do. She told me that I could take these other courses with them that were part of my nursing program. And I foolishly thought that it would mean a shorter time on the other side of nursing school. I took all those courses along with my two science classes. I got accepted into nursing school and when I went to register for classes, I find that I could only take ONE nursing course my first semester. I had 4 hours….BUT I WORKED AHEAD! I started early. I asked, if I only have 4 hours this semester, and only 9 hours the next semester, then Why can I not take them together? And they explained very nicely that in order to do the nine hours worth of coursework, I had to have the knowledge from that 4 hour class. Without that, I would not be equipped to take the next classes.
And now you see where this dream ties with the others. I needed a foundation of knowledge before I could know what to do next. I kept circling around to the same stumbling blocks because I hadn’t laid down that foundation. There’s no skipping ahead. There’s no cheating the system. You have to learn what you have to learn before you can move forward.
That’s when they handed me this nifty piece of paper that said “Degree Plan Course Sequence” And it laid out the next two and a half years worth of classes for me that I must take in that exact order to get my degree. And I came to accept this, because I could not change it and because I had a piece of paper that laid out a plan for me.
God didn’t give me a neat little piece of paper that said “Dream Plan Life Sequence”. But he did give me his word. He laid out a way I should live this life in his word. He tells me that he has plans for me. (Jeremiah 29:11) Those plans for my good and to make me prosperous and give me hope and a future. He tells me who I am. He tells me I am loved and that I CAN DO ALL THE THINGS THAT HE WANTS ME TO DO.
You see, God didn’t show me that picture of a future for me to dangle a carrot in front of me. He showed it to me to give me hope. He is saying “when I see you, I see the potential you have and the plan I have for you and the things you will do for my kingdom. You’re not there yet, sweetie, but look how far you’ve come. Now, are you going to trust me? Are you going to do the work?”
God doesn’t give me the floor plan because he knows I might start making changes to it where I don’t like things. It’s too uncomfortable to learn how to walk under authority, so I’m just going to be the boss. It’s to expensive to do this, so let’s just pull back the budget on this vision. We don’t need a 5 bedroom house right now, so let’s cut costs and go with a four….but do you know what God’s going to do with that extra room? Do you know where God’s going to pour out provision in your life? Do you know the people God is going to use to get you where you’re gonna be? God knows I’d get impatient and start settling for less that what he wants for me. I’d pick the “close enough” that the enemy offers me.
God doesn’t give me my floor plan because he knows I’ll only work on building up me. My focus and my attention switches from the cross and furthering the kingdom and spreading love to others and focuses on what God is going to do for me.
So instead, he gives me a snapshot of the future and some small steps in the right direction.
Along the way, he gives me opportunities to see what he’s doing in someone else and help them slap on some dry wall. While I’m focused on Him, reading his word and pouring it out into others. While I help build someone else up, he’s pouring a foundation for who he wants me to be. While I learn to walk in obedience to those in authority over me on earth, I learn to walk in obedience to God. He pulls in some mentors, some other believers who help me walk out the hard areas of my life and who start building a framework of the person he needs me to be. He doesn’t send me the yes men, who will wallow in pity with me. He sends me the people who say, “no. this is what the word says. This is what God says.” They patch up the holes where I am letting the enemy throw stones into my house. He shapes me into who he wants me to be. Why do I have to be the person He needs me to be to get where I need to go? Because, it was never about me. This dream. This call. It was never about me. It’s about Jesus. I’m always a work in progress. I’m not gonna reach that end goal and just rest. That’s just the beginning of the next floor. I’m never going to be perfect. I just a reflection of the son.