And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. –Joel 2:28
Between 1750 and 1850, America underwent a significant change known as The Industrial Revolution. There was a passion inherent in the people of this time to dream of things that never were, to discover new ideas and invent things that had never existed before. The zeal and drive in these people inspires me to think beyond my field of vision and often makes me wonder what has happened to our culture. It seems as though the passion jumped ship from America to India. In America we have kids studying to be doctors, lawyers, dentists and many more amiable careers. But what the young people of India have that we don’t is purpose. They go to school because they are inspired to become something great, we go because we were told to; because we are following suit in a business that has been passed down from generation to generation; or perhaps along the way, we were lost and picked an occupation out of fear. Whatever the case may be, without purpose we can neither create nor become anything worthwhile.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” What many of us Christians fail to realize is that God already has a purpose for us. He pre-destined our future before we were even a thought. Not only does He have a plan for us, but His plans are greater than we could ever dream of. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8,9). God wants to give us visions; he wants us to dream past our comfort zone and yearn to do the unthinkable. George Bernard Shaw said, “You see things that are and ask, why? But I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” We are not called to be cynics, but visionaries. God is pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh, giving us visions and dreams. He did not say go out into the world and make something of yourself on your own. He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5); “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17); “You shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace” (Isaiah 55:12). He has promised to never lead us down a path that He does not supply every need for.
Many of us young believers are led to believe that in order to show God that we love Him, we must give up everything, go to a third-world country and preach the gospel. I am not in any way degrading missionaries, nor am I discouraging missions. But this is not the only calling that God has put on our lives. He wants to see people rise up to lead nations. He wants to see His people spear-heading revival movements; to see wars cease; to see children all over the world with full bellies. It’s time for us to dream again. It’s time for us to see past our field of vision and pursue things that we cannot do on our own but only with God. People will always follow a great leader; it’s time for us to be those leaders. The time has come to stop living in fear, to step up, take risks, and be who God has called us to be.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me –Philippians 4:13