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Miranda Writes: What to Do When God Asks You to Give Up Your Dream, Part 1




by Omar Miranda



Last week we talked about what to do when you don’t know what to do. We looked at four larger points that will anchor our understanding of who God is and His plans for us as we go through this series:

1. God has your best interest at heart and wants to do good things for you.

2. God is all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful. There’s nothing that happens to you that God hasn’t already known about, purposely planned, or actively allows.

3. The devil is our enemy and wants to kill us.

4. Everything bad that happens to us isn’t always because God makes it happen or because of the devil—sometimes bad things happen because of consequences of our own stupid choices.

With this refresher as a backdrop, let’s dive right into our first story. This is the story of a guy named Abram (later called Abraham). Now, Abram was just an old nobody, desert dude, minding his own business when God showed up and made him an incredible promise. It’s found in Genesis 12:1-9: “The Lord said to Abram: Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you. Abram was seventy-five years old when the Lord told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram went as far as the sacred tree of Moreh in a place called Shechem. The Canaanites were still living in the land at that time, but the Lord appeared to Abram and promised, ‘I will give this land to your family forever.’ Abram then built an altar there for the Lord. Abram traveled to the hill country east of Bethel and camped between Bethel and Ai, where he built another altar and worshiped the Lord. Later, Abram started out toward the Southern Desert.”*

What a promise! God told Abram exactly what His dream for him would be, didn’t He? That was easy for Abram to know, since he got it straight from God, but what about you and me? What is our God-given dream? Well, we have to be able to define it before we can know what it is. Simply put, a God-given dream typically flows out of things you enjoy, things that you’re good at, or things you have an interest in. A God-given dream can be something that you’ve always known you would do when you grew up, or a God-given dream can be something you find out about later in life. Either way, God gives us these dreams for three purposes:

1. To ultimately bring honor and glory to God.

2. To make disciples for Him and spread the good news of His grace, mercy, and salvation (aka “the gospel”).

3. To bring true and lasting fulfillment, joy, peace, purpose, and power to our lives.

Do you know what your God-given dream is? If you know what it is, the best way to achieve that dream is to get to know God really well, because He created you (and everything else, by the way)—therefore, He knows you and what’s best for you. If you don’t know what your God-given dream is, that’s OK too. How do you find out? Just keep on getting to know God better and better; when the time is right, He’ll let you know.

OK, now that we’ve described what a God-given dream is, let’s get back to our story. God told Abram that He would bless him and his descendants. That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you like God to tell you that He’ll bless you and that you’ll be a blessing to others? But hold on a minute. This promise was not so easy for Abram to believe; you’ll see why later on.

God told Abram something to do, and his doing it was dependent upon the fulfillment of God’s promise. Did you notice what it says in verses 4 and 5: “Abram was seventy-five years old when the Lord told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran.” What incredible obedience! The Bible doesn’t record that Abram questioned or hesitated. In fact, it records the total opposite: Abram and his family left with all their stuff—just like that. Do you and I have that kind of faith when all we know is what God told us, but don’t know the plan? Wow! And by the way, here’s a little important detail that I don’t want you to miss, because it makes Abram’s behavior even more incredible: Did you notice that Abram didn’t have any children? It’s kind of hard to have descendants without, well . . . descendants. Again, we’ll get to that more in detail next week.

We haven’t gotten to the end of our story, but already there are a couple of important things we can learn from Abraham and Sarah’s story:

1. God has given you a specific dream to serve Him, increase His kingdom, and bring honor and glory to His name.

2. God will likely not tell you all the details and plans up front; He’s looking for you to give Him your total trust and obedience.

I hope that you’re really letting this story soak in and that you apply it to your life. Remember what I said before—everything in the Bible is written for a purpose, and that is to help you live a better life for God. There’s more coming next week.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

* Scripture quotations in this article are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.   
 





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