Andrew Carnegie said “any idea held in the mind and emphasized, whether feared or revered will at once begin to clothe itself”. In other words what you think is what will manifest. If you are afraid of something like Job, it will come upon you. If you are desiring something in faith, it will come upon you. We need to dream big dreams.
I have a dream right now of running a family of one hundred churches in the UK and other churches across Europe, Africa and Asia. As I dream it, it is coming upon me. Our TV ministry is now available in well over 100 nations. We are seeing miracles on a regular basis, and I am in very high demand as a conference speaker. All of that is what I dreamed first. The picture was inside my mind, and now it is coming upon me. I am a long way away from my goals, but I act like I am there, and in my dreams I am there.
You need dreams that involve you going where you have never been. Now, I once heard Steve Jobs say you cannot connect the dots when you dream, you can only connect them after. In other words, dream big and stop worrying about how you are going to get there. You look back and see the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ when you start to get there.
When I started dreaming of five churches, I was also dreaming of five pastors. I didn’t even know five pastors – well I did probably know five, but not five who liked me, and certainly not five who would be willing to work for me! I look back now at the team of pastors that have been assembled in the Tree family and how they have been assembled, it’s genius. I could never have joined the dots looking forward, but now I can.
Listen carefully – STOP TRYING TO JOIN THE DOTS LOOKING FORWARD. You are not smart enough and not wise enough and not creative enough to see what God is about to do.
YOUR JOB IS TO DREAM – YOUR JOB IS TO HOLD THE IMAGE THAT YOU KNOW IS YOUR GOD-GIVEN DESTINY BEFORE YOU – then as the dream comes upon you, you will see how God did it.
Let’s look at it on a micro-level, let’s say you are in church this Sunday, you have already tithed this month and the offering bucket is being passed around, so you open your wallet or purse and get a fiver out to put in the bucket, and the Lord says “I want to get £1000 to you this month, give £100 in the offering”. You obey the LORD and give the £100 and now you are expecting the £1000. Your job is to see the £1000, not plan how it will come.
EVERY SECOND YOU PLAN HOW THE MONEY IS COMING – maybe God will tell Ben to give it to me, maybe God will tell my neighbour to give it to me, maybe God will tell this person to give it to me – every second you spend scheming in your mind HOW, every second you spend trying to join the dots is a second you are not dreaming. YOU ARE JOINING THE DOTS NOT HOLDING THE PICTURE IN YOUR MIND. That is not going to make anything come upon you.
Stop trying to work out how, stay with the whole picture in your mind and focus on it until it matters to you and sparks joy and life in you – and everything, and everyone you need, will turn up when you need it or them, but not before. God’s right on time!