Books The Arts

Chapter 9: Good Dreams

Trillia Newbell

“I want you to keep dreaming big, but to do so in line with God’s will. I want you to dream big by faith.”

How we measure success has been heavily influenced by how our culture measures success. Trip Lee uses the example of two athletes. We might consider a famous an athlete successful but the coach of a middle school team not as much. God doesn’t view work or success by those terms. His word says to work heartily (Colossians 3:23). So whether you are a CEO or a janitor, God’s desire would be that you would be faithful to your work. There are times when our work will not be seen or rewarded on this earth. Most of us work steadily in obscurity. But our reward will be in heaven.

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Unfortunately, some preachers have shared that if you work hard enough or obey God enough, the Lord will give you everything you ever dreamed of. But Proverbs 16:1 says, “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.”  As Trip says, “Not every dream is from God, and He3 doesn’t owe it to us to make any of them happen.” Furthermore, “At the cross, Jesus died for our glory-seeking and selfish ambition.” Jesus is the ultimate example of faithfulness. The God-Man knew he would die a sinner’s death and yet he faithful served until the bitter end.

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So the questions is; how do you measure success?

More questions: Do you struggle with judging your life by the success of others? Have you ever evaluated your dreams to determine whose glory you might be chasing?  And if you aren’t dreaming big, why not? How might you continue to pursue your dreams with the Lord in view? Are there things you are chasing that you might need to stop?

1 Comment

  1. Avery

    One additional question that comes to my mind is this: “Even with a wealth of success, are we obligated to remind men and women who provided the resources and wisdom to apply the success?” Personally, in my short-lived life of 19 years, I’ve struggled with trying to please my family members. From my grandparents to my aunts and uncles, and to my parents. It’s because of the fact that they’re very successful in their profession, and I’ve always felt this inevitable “pressure” to please them, and accomplish everything they’ve taught me. Which, in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad, but my goal has always been, “succeed, and leave Jesus in 2nd place.” But, I had to realize, in January of 2013, that Jesus has to come first, and everything– my goals, dreams, and concerns– have to come second. So, for every person that deals with trying to satisfy everyone, remember what Trip mentions very often in the few sermons I’ve heard him preach: “We need to trust and rely on a good God, and believe that He is Sovereign over everything. When we know that, and affirm that, we’ll finally understand what it means to live the good life.”

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