The Year of Righteous Victory

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A man without dreams is a man without hope; a walking dead man. He might as well have one foot inside the grave because death is no respecter of dreams. It lies in shadow, patiently waiting for man to give up.

Psalm 23:4 reads, “even though I walk through the valley, of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”. There’s peace in knowing the Lord is with me, come what may. No matter what the challenges of the world around me may present (sometimes impossible challenges), the Lord reminds me that He is walking the road with me. That knowledge makes it okay for me to dream. The Lord tells me to dream big.

I wasn’t always comfortable with dreaming big, in fact I can honestly tell you that up until recently, I didn’t think I deserved the privilege of dreaming big. I thought my past deeds and sins negated my right to dream astronomically. In retrospect, I understand now, holding back on dreaming big has probably kept me in a constant state of mediocrity for years.

I don’t want to just get by anymore. I don’t want to watch from the sidelines as others fulfill their God-given call while I sit back and wonder why I’m not among that crowd. I was made for so much more than what I am today. I have talents that obviously were given as gifts, and the time has come to share those gifts not just for my own benefit, but to glorify the Lord’s work in me as a shining example of what He can do with anyone.

Lately, God has made it perfectly clear that it’s okay for me to dream outside the boundaries of my nature reach. I decided to follow a mantra I’ve heard before, but never put into practice. It goes something like this: “to get what you’ve never had, you have to do what you’ve never done before”. I took a blank notebook and labeled it, “Written Goals”. Saying a little prayer, I began to write. It was amazing to watch these ridiculously crazy and wonderful ideas stack up on the pages. There was magic in actually being able to read my big dreams, out loud. Freedom. It was like…for the first time, I didn’t restrict myself from going all out.

I carried that feeling off the pages of my journal, and into everyday life. Yesterday was my first day back at Planet Fitness in over two months. Knowing all the junk food I’ve eaten in that time, I set a simple and realistic goal for myself, for day one on the elliptical: 20 minutes or two miles; which ever came first. I figured any more than that would do some damage. Once the run started, my mind began dreaming. I heard the Lord tell me, “You can do better than that”. I ran between 8 and 10 miles per hours for 22 minutes straight before I realized I had reached a distance of 3.5 miles. I didn’t stop until 35 minutes and 4.6 miles, and when I did, the Lord spoke into my heart as clear as day.

“Bring me your big dreams, then watch what I do with them.”

The elliptical episode may mean nothing to some of you athletes out there. For me, it was amazing to see the Lord show up in something as small as my exercise routine. If He can do that for me, what will He get behind when I devote my talents and dreams toward His kingdom, without any more restrictions? The possibilities are endless. Maybe I can achieve half the big dreams I’ve written about. Maybe He was simply waiting for me to take my foot out of the grave. Maybe His faith in me is really more than I can comprehend.

With the new year arriving, I want to make a declaration out loud. This will be the year of righteous victory. I plan to dream big and give those dreams to the Lord. I plan to grow in the Lord, not for the sake of seeing my dreams fulfilled, but for the sake of fulfilling my destiny to be a soldier of Christ; one of His redeemed saints. Though the world is full of broken dreams and shattered hopes, my resolve will be unwavering. I know that the Lord is with me.   
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