Your actions, habits, and practices accomplish the things in your heart. Spiritually minded people are good at experiencing God, but often, not so good at obeying God. Obedience always translates into actions, and if you have a dream or an intention that just never gets translated into reality, what you need to work on is taking action.
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You have a lot of great intentions. You love talking about your vision, dreams, and the things you hope to accomplish. Those dreams motivate you and keep you moving forward.
Those same dreams turn to discouragement when you see no forward motion. When year, after year, after year pass with little to no progress. You consider your three options:
- Stay the course, don’t give up, keep believing.
- Reboot and re-fire the vision or the dream, create new paths, try new things, and get it moving again.
- Give up. Realize it is never going to happen and adopt a new set of expectations.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13.12 ESV
“And (Jesus) told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”” Luke 13.6-9 ESV
You wonder, how much manure do I spread before I decide to cut down this tree?
Dreams and vision do have an expiration date… but YOU do not! Yes, we have an appointment with death, but we are eternal beings, and God has a plan for us in the land of the living right up until we draw that last breath.
We have to be people with a dream or a vision that we believe is from God, and we have to be action takers. Sometimes we don’t move important things forward simply because we have not taken action.
Hey, before you cut that fruitless tree down, let’s spread a little manure around it and see what happens.
First, the ONLY thing that turns dreams and vision into reality are your actions, habits, and practices.
What actions, habits, and practices must you consistently implement to bring your vision into the land of reality?
Here are the steps to moving a vision forward:
If you do not strategically plan, then there’s no actions to take. What is your plan?
God brings transformation to the world through the revelations he gives you. God is divinely strategic. Often, spiritually minded people are good at experiencing God, but sometimes not so good at obeying God.
“Spiritually minded people are good at experiencing God, but often, not so good at obeying God.”
When we have a dream or a vision that we believe is God-inspired, then we must engage divine strategy to move it into reality.
What’s the plan? We must engineer a plan.
Once the plan is “drafted” it is time to execute. What are the actions, habits, and practices necessary to move this plan forward?
Before you “lock-in,” before you establish the routines you will do forever, before you perfect your plan, you have to take action. This is the biggest thing that keeps people from fulfilling their dreams—they think they have to get it perfect before they can take action.
As soon as you have a plan you have to start taking some action. That’s how you learn if what you are doing works or not.
After you execute, after you take action, that’s when you evaluate.
Did it work? Were my actions effective? Do we need to do this differently? Is this producing the fruit we hoped for?
If you are working alone or with a team, take the action the plan calls for, then pull back and evaluate. Make adjustments.
Many leaders think executing is the finality of a plan. Nope. Executing is trying out an idea. It is taking an action you think is a good action. THEN, you evaluate in light of the results and outcomes and decide whether this is a good plan or not.
When you take an action, it works and it is good, that is when you establish habits and practices. You spread the manure, it helped the tree, it is bearing fruit. Let’s keep spreading the manure!
Don’t lock into something until you evaluate whether it is working or not. You will try a lot of things in pursuit of your dreams that do not work. Doesn’t mean the dream is bad, but it might tell you that your actions simply do not work.
What’s more important, the mission or the methods. The methods are tools. Yes, our methods must have integrity, that should go almost without saying, but the mission is more important than the methods.
Establish the methods that move the plan forward. Keep an eye on the fruit being produced. Evaluate your methods often, and re-establish your actions, habits, and practices.
You have to take action. You have to execute. Every plan has to have a set of accountable actions. The path to every God-given dream involves your actions.
One more thing, why does God not just make things happen. Why did he not just take instantly take away our grief? Why does God not just sent one mega-donor to us who will fund our entire mission… I mean, I’ve figured it out, over the next 10 years or so this entire mission could be funded with one simple million dollar check.
If we need a new facility, why not just pray and go buy a lottery ticket that will cover the whole shebang? Can God not make that happen? God CAN do anything… so, why doesn’t he?
Trust is not about what we hold in our hands. Trust is about obeying God. Trust is about believing that God has equipped us with “everything we need for life and godliness.”
I cannot say that I fully understand it, but I have learned this sequence:
- We need a divine strategy to guide us in our God-dreams.
- We have to trust enough to take action, to execute, to implement what we know to do.
- We have to take a step back and look at the results, and prayerfully consider what we will embrace and what we will adjust or abandon.
- We have to lock in the non-negotiables, the actions, habits, and practices that become our path.
And in all of this, we are pursuing God’s purposes; therefore, we need his revelation, his guidance, his plan… and then… YOU have to obediently take action; otherwise, your dream remains a dream, and eventually, that will just make your heart sick.