Godly Aspirations

“They speak a vision of . . imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:16 NAS

“You embrace God’s dream when your aspiration engages your whole passion and perspiration.”

My thoughts today are about “Godly aspirations.”

You have probably read or heard it said, “If you can believe it, you can achieve it!” That is a great sound-bite, but is life that simple, or is that true, really? I confirm that you will not achieve much if you do not believe. “In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and poet, 1803-1882. It is imagination with execution, not without! But I also warn that you will not necessarily achieve an objective merely because you believed you could. Believing assists your efforts, encourages your diligence and perseverance, but believing alone cannot guarantee the level of success for which you believed.

Imagination is a good first step – in athletics, art, business, and in life – but there are multiple steps between that and achievement. That is called envisioning, seeing in your heart and mind what you have not yet seen in actuality. A golfer pictures his golf shot before swinging a club; an artist envisions the process and outcome before a brush is put to canvas, or a word to paper, or a chisel to stone; a business man consults, strategizes, and crunches numbers before proposing a business plan. And still it takes time, best efforts, diligence, ability, careful execution, with dependence on God’s provision and blessing. “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance; strong men believe in cause and effect.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. That is how life works best. Envisioning is where you start; hard work with God’s blessing is how you finish.

God warned the prophet, Jeremiah, of those people who, “. . leading you into futility, they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:16 NAS. Any dream is not enough unless God places His dream in your heart, rather than your following wishful thinking or personal desire for prominence or reward. Be careful that pursuit of your own dream does not become your nightmare. The best of your dreams is not equal to God’s dream for you. You might be sincere and well intentioned, but God is not responsible for making your own dreams come true. He is, however, committed to realize His purpose through those who trust their future into His hands, willing to serve Him obediently.

Ask any of the thousands who aspire to winning American Idol or America’s Got Talent’s grand prize of a million dollars with a recording contract and show in Las Vegas. Not all dreams come true, no matter how hard you believe or try. Some have only fantasies; many have dreams; fewer yet have excelling talent. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run? But only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV. When your aspirations fully engage your whole passion, preparation, and perspiration, you have embraced God’s dream.

My prayer for you today is that you aspire to obey God above all other personal desires and plans.