What are God’s dreams for us? If God’s dream from our lives is where we will discover true joy, then isn’t important for us to identify that dream? How do we discover God’s dream for our lives?
We do not relate to God by formula, and God does not reveal Truth to us through a formula. Through history God has used different methods to call and reveal Truth to people. These methods are unique and fit a person’s character and personality. Though all this is true it does not mean that God has not revealed general knowledge through the Bible. We can understand what God’s dream for our lives looks like through the pages of Scripture.
I believe in John 13-17 we can discover five characteristics of the dream we will discover when our dreams for our lives shatter.
1. God’s dreams will call us to be servants: ‘And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done’ (John 13:14, 15; NLT).
Jesus has just humbly taken on the role of a servant and washed His disciples’ feet. The command Jesus gives is not a call for us to be foot washers, but for us to be servants. Jesus expects from our lives, not acts of service, but a lifestyle of service. While we will dream of a life of being served; God’s dream for us is to be servants.
2. God’s dreams will call us to love each other: “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my friends” (John 13:34; 35; NLT).
Jesus loved people no matter who they were or what they had done. But Jesus showed His love most to His disciples, to the people who were with Him all the time. This call to love is first and foremost a call to love other Christians. It is through how we treat each other that we separate who we are from the rest of the world. Through loving each other we learn to love the rest of the world. While we will dream of a life of being loved, God’s dream for us is to love other people.
3. God’s dreams will call us to abide in Jesus: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5; NLT).
Jesus knew the weakness that is inherit in people. We are victims of our flesh, not having enough strength to do what is right. Sure we will have moments of unselfish behavior and right living, but we are not strong enough to live the life God has for us on our own. This requires remaining in Jesus. We have this by being committed to Bible Study, prayer, worship, fellowship, and communion. These things help take the focus off ourselves and put it on Jesus. We will dream of a life of doing our own thing, but God’s dream for us to be surrendered to Jesus.
4. God’s dreams will call us to be led by the Holy Spirit: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard” (John 16:13; NLT).
Jesus experienced the numerous different voices telling Him what to do. He has Satan offering Him all the Kingdoms of the Earth if Jesus would but bow and worship Satan. Jesus had the masses of people who called Him to be a King and deliver them from Rome. We are faced with all these voices, and often we are torn, not knowing what to do. Often we do what seems logical or reasonable rather than seeking the Counsel of God. Our dreams for our lives will be living a life of reason, but God’s dream for our lives have us following the Holy Spirit.
5. God’s dreams will call us to be united: “My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father—that just as you are in me, and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me” (John 17:21; NLT).
Jesus accomplished His mission only because of the relationship He had with His Father. Jesus’ mission was not just about Jesus, but it was about the love of the Trinity for His creation. Jesus wants His followers to work with each other and depend on one another. We will dream of a life of being the “Lone Ranger,” but God’s dreams for us have us being united in love and purpose.
Shattered dreams are painful. Most of the time that pain is needed to wake us up to the temporary dreams we have lived for and see the eternal dream God has for us. When we decide to live for God’s dream our lives will discover the joy and purpose we have longed to have in our lives.