i'll never follow my dreams //04

I have never followed my dreams, and I never will.

I’ve been in full time ministry for about two and a half years now. It has been two and a half of the hardest years of my life, but also the most rewarding. I’ve learned that sometimes in order to grow, you have to die to your dreams. One year ago, I would have told you that I was living the dream; my wife, Chelsea and I, were living 5 minutes from the beach, were in the process of buying a house, worked together in ministry and were absolutely loving life. It felt like a dream.

But God never called us to follow our dreams; he called us to follow Him.

One of the biggest problems with our generation is that we think the way to fulfillment is chasing and following our dreams. We look within ourselves to find answers.

It wasn't long before Chelsea and I realized that on paper we were living the dream, but in our hearts God had something else stirring. He had a different assignment in store for us. And he chose to speak not through His word, not through His spirit, but through a person.

Don’t get me wrong, God speaks in a multitude of ways. God is completely capable and willing to speak to people through His word, through Jesus, through circumstances, through nature, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and even through a toilet if he had to. But I think people underestimate God’s intentionality in speaking to us through others.

I think one of the terrible truths today is that people have an inability to hear God through other people. From the moment that sin entered the world, God consistently chose to speak to people through others. He spoke to Pharaoh through Moses, to David through Nathan, and so on. Today, due to rampant mistrust of authority and almost unlimited access to information, many people are reluctant to hear God speak through other people.

I wouldn’t say I was reluctant to hear God through others, but I definitely didn’t understand the value of God wanting to speak to me that way.

After the last few months, I’m beginning to notice more and more that much of the growth in my life came from simply hearing God through other people in my life.

And that’s how we ended up in Mandeville, Louisiana. In October of 2014, we were in a tough place. The peace and grace that had led us to Florida was suddenly gone. We prayed and prayed, and tried to hear God’s next assignment for us. The last day of 2014, we had a conversation with my mentor, who said “I think it’s time for you guys to move on.”

Not two months later, we had accepted a position at Church of the King and moved to Mandeville, Louisiana. Never in a million years did we think we would end up in Louisiana.

What does this have to do with not following your dreams?

What I’ve learned in the last season of my life is that God hasn’t called us to follow our dreams; he’s called us to die to our dreams and follow the assignments that He gives us. My job isn’t to seek and fulfill my own dreams, but to seek, fulfill and ultimately just be faithful to the assignments that God lays in front of me. And in the kingdom of God, faithfulness leads to fruitfulness, and fruitfulness leads to growth.

Follow your assignment, be faithful to what’s been given to you, and one day you will wake up and realize you are living a dream. The best way to live out your dreams is to follow your assignment and be faithful. 

I hope you hear my heart: there is nothing wrong with following your dreams. Following your dreams can potentially bring you happiness. But the peace of God that comes with following your assignments far outweighs anything that comes with following your dreams.

I don’t know about you, but at the end of my life I want to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Sometimes being faithful means dying to your dreams. But if you are faithful in God’s assignments, one day you will wake up and realize you’ve been living the dream all along.

I have never followed my dreams, and I never will.

I'll follow Jesus.

-Jake