Luke 22:33-34 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
As I walk through transitions in my life, I notice that I have some sort of goal or vision in mind. However, I do not always reach that goal or the fruition for that vision within the time I expect. Or, sometimes I do not reach that destination at all. It is here that I become discouraged and at times retreat to not even dreaming or trying to follow the spirit’s lead. My fear of rejection and further discouragement gets in the way and I succumb to that fear through inaction.
When I dream of what I might do next in the Kingdom of God, I need to run these dreams through two questions: The first is, “Is this what I am supposed to do?” The second is, “Am I ready?” I also have to look at what is coming up for me. Is this a dream? Is this a vision? Is this a goal? Dave Ramsey in his book EntreLeadership gives a description of the three. Dreaming is good if it leads to a vision and a goal. If a dream does not lead down this path, it is only a dream. The vision is what the end may look like. The goal is a dream and vision “with work clothes on.”
Answering the first question is basically my deciding if what has come up for me is merely a dream or if it has a vision attached. This takes prayer; time; paying attention to what’s going on around me; inquiring of scripture; and tapping into my advisors for feedback. Answering the second question is many times what happens for me. I see that God has some plan for me, I see a vision and many times I have a goal. However, the timing may not fit what I had planned. SO the burning question for me is, “Am I ready?”
For encouragement, I connect with the above passage. Peter felt he was ready to die for and with Jesus. However, Jesus knew that Peter was not ready yet. Peter had much more to accomplish before his martyr. I can imagine how emotional the weeping was for Peter when he heard the roster crow. He was so sure he was ready, yet he went against his word to Jesus. We know the end of the story. We know how Peter’s life turned out. Peter was the foundation builder of the first Church.
When I reflect back on some of the work I have been able to take part in God’s Kingdom, I realize that the timing has not always been what I envisioned. Yet, I see where I reached a goal even if it wasn’t when or how I envisioned it to be reached. The Spirit was leading, but God had to get me ready. There are certain experiences I must go through in order to be used by God. Peter is not the only example we have. Joseph, Moses, Jacob, etc. had to be prepared by God to face the task He had for them.
The next time I face discouragement, I need to remember the two questions. If I find this is what I supposed to do, then I need to ask God to prepare me. I need to ask for His guidance and an extra measure of patience as I wait upon Him and His timing. I must ask myself, “Am I ready?” If not, I wait, learn, and prepare.
1. What dreams and visions have you been discouraged about?
2. What visions and goals have come to fruition but not the way you envisioned?
3. How are you encouraged by the human qualities of the stories of Joseph, Moses, Jacob, Peter, etc.?
4. Name and explain a vision you currently have.
5. Where are you toward reaching the goal of that vision?
6. Where and how do you think God is preparing you?
7. Take inventory this week on your dreams, visions, and goals. Walk yourself through the two questions: Is this what I am supposed to do? Am I ready? Visit with God and see where what comes up for you.
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