**A quick thought about something I read:
Jeff Goins is a blogger that I’ve recently started to follow. He is currently writing a series called “15 habits of Great Writers” (http://goinswriter.com/declare/). Today the topic was on declaration. In a nutshell he basically says that every writer must begin with a declaration: I am a writer! As I pondered what he was saying it made start to think—What will I declare? I have written a total of ten different devotionals (technically 11 if you count one that I translated into Spanish). I am currently brainstorming about more that I can write. I have never thought of myself as a writer before (I mean 11 short devotionals pales in comparison to the amount other mainstream authors have written). However, Jeff put it quite simply in his opening paragraphs, “If you have written, then you are already a writer.” So I guess here is my declaration: I am a writer!
So what else will I declare? What will you declare? I believe that there are three things that are very important when it comes to realizing our dreams. 1) Declaration, 2) Putting it in writing, 3) God (Note these are not in order of priority, God is definitely number one, however, I want to build up to that… Whoops, maybe I should have mentioned spoiler alert, oh well).
A declaration is something you say out loud. It is taking a stand or affirming a truth. When you declare something it provides meaning. It gives clarity to your dreams. A lot of times we say things like, “I wish I could be a writer,” “I wish I could be a photographer,” “I wish I could be a missionary,” and so on and so forth. The key two words here is I Wish. When you go from I Wish to I am, you move from a dream to reality—“I am a writer,” “I am a photographer,” “I am a missionary”. Now this is not some magic formula where you say a few key words and spin around and then all of sudden you are what you say you are. Rather, what you are doing is taking the dream, putting it into action, which then makes it a reality. It may not happen overnight. However, a declaration makes the dream more real and gives you more confidence that indeed you are what you say you are. You go from minimizing who you are, to maximizing your potential.
Putting it into writing
I recently read somewhere that a phenomenon occurs when you write your dreams down on paper. What usually happens is that a written dream is more likely to be accomplished than if it were not written down at all. First of all, when a dream is written down it can now be called a goal. Second, when you write down a dream or goal, you move from thinking to action. It is the first step, after making a declaration, in making the dream a reality. By writing down your dreams, you now have a daily reminder of what you want to accomplish. You also have a form of accountability. Steph and I completed a Daniel Fast last January. We went the whole month eating only certain types of foods. Before we began the fast we wrote down reasons why we were fasting (i.e. special prayer needs, guidance from God, etc…), and then signed the “contract.” We made it to day 31. It wasn’t easy and there were times where we wanted to cheat or quit. However, every time I saw the contract, I realized that I had made a commitment between God and myself. Now, I have tried fasting several times since without a contact, and have failed horribly. What I’m trying to say is that when you write things down, specifically dreams, you now have the beginnings of a strategy. You now have a reminder, a type of accountability partner. So that when the passion wanes, or you hit a stumbling block, you will be reminded of the commitment you have made.
I saved the best for last! Up until this point, this could seem like another self-help article. Now, there are many successful people out there who have implemented the first two steps (and have also added others of their own), and have done quite well. However, I am not satisfied in doing quite well. In fact, I am not satisfied in being successful according to the litmus test of the world. I serve a great, magnificent, awesome, powerful God, who has placed the dreams, ideas, and passions inside my heart. It is not about fame, money, or material gain; it is all about furthering the Kingdom of God and bringing glory to His name! God is the one who places those dreams in your spirit, and it is you who places the limits on whether the dream can be fulfilled or not. We serve a limitless God who wants to do great things for you. However, you have to be willing to put in some hard work. The dreams won’t become a reality if you simply sit on the sidelines and wait for things to happen. You need to trust God, get into the trenches, and started forging ahead with your dreams. As you put in the work, God will do the rest. He will make sure the right doors are opened. He will make sure the right people are in place. But if you never move forward you will miss those open doors, and you will miss those divine connections. As one of my favorite Christian writers, Mark Batterson, puts it: “If you don’t take the risk, you forfeit the miracle.”
Wrapping it all up
We all have dreams in our hearts. For some it is to be a writer who helps spread the Word of God, for others it may mean taking pictures of creation to reveal the Creator. Whatever it may be, you need to take the next step and move from I Wish to I am. The first step is making a formal declaration. Then write it down. However, in everything that you do remember where the dreams and inspiration came from and who needs to get the credit and glory: God!
- Pray, read the Bible, and meditate. This is the most important step, and fairly self-explanatory. Prayer is planting the seeds. Reading the Bible is providing the nutrients. Meditation is providing the sunlight for growth and maturity. This is where God will place the dreams in your heart. Where God will place the ministry into which you are being called. This is the starting point, and needs to be continued through each of the steps.
- Find someone today and make a declaration. This can be a spouse, friend, pastor, or maybe a naysayer who said you can’t do it. What will you declare?
- Write it down. Make a list of your life goals. Then work backwards making a 5-year list, then a 1-year list and finally a short-term list. These will become your goals. Review each list frequently and periodically and adjust when needed. Also, place the lists in prominent places where you will see them everyday.
May you be encouraged and take the next steps in making your God-given dreams a reality!!
If you want, write your declarations in the comments section below, or write a quick testimony about how you have turned your dreams into reality…
Please visit and follow my missionary friend, Erik Stanley’s blog at www.faithgardens.wordpress.com
His family, along with another friend of mine, Clara, have taken the next steps in making their dream a reality and you can follow along with them in their journey serving God in Mexico. You can follow Clara at http://clarra32b.wordpress.com/