“And the Lord answered me and said, ‘Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by. For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.’ ” ~ Habakkuk 2:2-3

Ciara Lilly is a Charlotte-area writer. Her faith-based column, Fishers of Men, is published here each Monday. Opinions expressed are solely her own.

“That sounds cute and all, Ciara, but God wasn’t referring to my vision.”

“I have dreams, but I also have bills. I don’t have time to entertain my dreams.”

“God hasn’t given me a dream, I’m just here.”

Maybe I didn’t include your excuse, but I think it’s fair to say that we have all greeted the idea of fulfilling our dreams with excuses, and we’ve had some help.

Here’s an experiment: Flip through your television channels and spend 10 minutes on each of the major and local news stations. Jot down how many stories leave you thrilled about the future.

I tried this experiment and found that I spent hours hearing about failing economies, high unemployment rates and joblessness — nothing that would encourage me to then sit down with my pen and pad and start doodling my aspirations. No, in fact, it pushed me away from dreaming and into the arms of settling for a mediocre life. I, like many people, lost sight of my dreams because of fear.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying that we should all quit our jobs and run after our dreams. I will not be responsible for our next economic downfall. However, I am saying that it’s time that we start believing in our dreams again. According to 2 Corinthians 5:7, we are called to “walk by faith, not by sight,” so whatever we see happening on the news should not serve as the basis of our faith. Our God is bigger than that.

Just recall His track record throughout the Bible. When God gave His people visions, He never gave them visions that appeared possible in the natural. When He gave Abraham the vision that he would become a father of many nations, He knew that Abraham’s wife, Sarah, could not bear children. He also knew that Abraham was 100-years-old and Sarah was in her nineties. Imagine how impossible that looked to Abraham and Sarah. But to God it was simple; all He required from Abraham and Sarah was faith, to believe in His Word despite what it looked like.

Let’s purpose to believe in our dreams again. Start by just writing down the dream. Refrain from making any changes or placing any limits on it; just write unfiltered. So what if it looks impossible. Remember Mark 9:23, which states, “all things are possible to Him who believes.”

It’s not according to your abilities; it’s according to your faith. Once you’ve written the vision, pray about it. Don’t go into “grind mode,” simply embrace that there’s already an appointed time for the manifestation of your dream; you just have to use God as your compass.

Most important, don’t stop believing. It’s going to take time, and you’ll be faced with situations that are designed to make you quit. But you must make a decision that you’re not going to live your life settling for less than God’s best. Live out your dreams and trust that “though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.”

If it were not true, God would not have said it.

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