Have you ever found yourself trying to control God’s plan for you or felt stuck and unable to take the first step toward your God-sized dreams? These are two very common obstacles when pursuing our dreams but they do not have to be our reality. In this episode of The Christian Mindset Coach, I am sharing some insights to help you overcome these obstacles so you can go for your dreams! My hope is that you’ll see how important it is to allow and trust God to help you pursue them. If you are looking for support in goal planning and stepping into these dreams, make sure to sign up for the virtual Goal Setting Workshop!
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- [03:53] Overcoming The Obstacle of Trying to Control The Outcome of Your Dreams
- [07:50] Asking God to Fulfill Our Dreams From The Right Perspective
- [11:10] Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands vs Trusting God to Help Us
- [17:10] Overcoming The Obstacle of Getting Stuck While Pursuing Your Dreams
- [21:45] God Is The Ultimate Connector
- [25:05] Impacting Others by Faithfully Following Our Dreams
- [31:21] Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes – You Won’t Be Perfect!
- [33:31] Helping You Step Into Your God-Sized Dreams In The Live Goal Setting Workshop
[03:53] Overcoming The Obstacle of Trying to Control The Outcome of Your Dreams
If you relate to trying to control the outcome of your dreams and make them happen on your timeline, this insight will be helpful for you! I want to start by reminding you that God can do miracles, He does not need us to control. He can do things that have nothing to do with the laws of science. He can work outside of space and time.
Instead of trying to orchestrate things, we can ask for what is on our hearts and let God dictate the way and timeline. Stop trying to force God's Will into action. Stop trying to figure it out, stop trying to set the agenda, and stop trying to make it happen outside of what God may already have planned for the situation.
Instead of trying to control, you can get wisdom, do your research, and put yourself in places where the next steps can happen. We have to adopt a different mindset that we do not need to know the timeline. We can absolutely be frustrated by things that are not happening but we can go to God with these frustrations and ask for His help in processing them.
As hard-working women, we often feel like we need to get it done and make it happen. We are often asked to lead families, lead teams, or lead ministries. It is interesting that sometimes God takes the women who are go-getters and tells us to sit back and trust the timeline so He can do the work.
[07:50] Asking God to Fulfill Our Dreams From The Right Perspective
God wants us to ask for big things but sometimes He has to work with our perspective and mindset first. James 4:2-3 says “You want what you don’t have. So you scheme and you kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have. But you can't get it. So you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don't have what you want, because you don't ask God for it. And even when you ask you don't get it. Because your motives are all wrong. You want only what will give you pleasure.”
We may think we know what is good for us but God says “Just trust me, there are things that need to be birthed in you from a different standpoint.” Do not try to move ahead and make it happen, do not get jealous that someone is already there, and do not scheme just because you are tired of waiting. I completely understand the tiredness of waiting and sitting in a dream while asking God, “When?” There can be deep pain and suffering in this waiting but we can also bring this to God and ask Him for support.
We are not sure why God allows these painful things to happen but we do know that God’s character does not change with our circumstances. If we go up and down, we still know that He is good, loving, and works things out for a purpose. We can always have Him help us process the things we are angry and frustrated about. We cannot let frustrations and anger creep in and build towards God and have us completely abandon our dreams.
[11:10] Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands vs Trusting God to Help Us
I want to share a few stories from the Bible to help us see the difference between taking matters into our own hands vs trusting God to help us. In the story of Sarah, we learn that Sarah and Abraham wanted to have a baby but Sarah could not get pregnant. She got tired of waiting and said, “I wonder if my servant could sleep with my husband and get pregnant so we could carry on the lineage.”
This completely blew up in her face and she was frustrated because her servant had this baby. She took matters into her own hands, tried to solve it, and division ended up happening. If she were to trust and wait like God wanted, this would not have happened.
Now with the story of Hannah, she was also infertile. She did not take matters into her own hands and even through her tears and frustrations, she kept coming to God. Eventually, God brought her baby Samuel who would become the prophet that would anoint the future king of Israel David. One of the things she says after returning her baby to the temple is “No one will succeed by strength alone. Those who fight against the Lord will be shattered.” (1 Samuel 2:9-10)
We cannot work against the Lord. We need to hold the dream with open hands and follow verses like Colossians 4:2 which says, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” We have to stay alert to what God is up to and slow down to notice what He is doing. How much more joy could we see in our lives if we could see Jesus work every day? We need to train our eyes to see Him at work, keep our dreams in the back of our minds, and ask Him to show us the next step.
We have to be open and thankful for what is currently in front of us. Our dreams are never going to be perfectly wrapped up with a nice bow like we expect. We cannot wait for perfection we have to be thankful right now. This changes how we pray, how we show up, and how we persevere. This keeps God as the center instead of our bitterness, jealousy, and frustration.
I guarantee that even in the darkest and hardest seasons, you can find even one tiny thing to hold onto and be thankful for. This can revitalize your hope and keep you going. We need to be open to pivoting and slowing down to see what we have right in front of us while leaving our agenda on the table, showing up expectantly, and letting God divinely direct our steps.
[17:10] Overcoming The Obstacle of Getting Stuck While Pursuing Your Dreams
If you relate to getting stuck and being afraid of taking the first step while pursuing your dreams, this insight will support you. Sometimes God tells us to stay or go and we have to be sensitive to His spirit by praying and asking Him to show us what the next step is. Being connected to Him is how we are going to know when to take a step or not.
God will not force us to take the next step but He may do some intense work to teach us a lesson. In my life, He had to cause my vertebral arteries to dissect so He could get my attention. It was a wake-up call to work on my people-pleasing and perfectionist tendencies. I was in bed for nine months and He was speaking to me while letting me know this was a second chance.
We get to decide what we do with these steps and visions. Jonah was given a vision by God to go to Nineveh and preach but He did the opposite. This led God to cause the storm, throw him overboard, have the whale eat him, and hen spit him out right at Ninevah. So yes, there are extreme cases that God has to get our attention but it is a lot easier when you cooperate with Him.
He is not going to force you to make a decision or follow Him. He did not drag Peter out of the boat to walk on water. Peter had to trust that Jesus was not crazy and that He was going to help him. Just like Peter had to take the first step in faith and believe that God will direct him, we need to do the same.
[21:45] God Is The Ultimate Connector
God wants to partner with us on our dreams and help make them happen. He wants to speak to us and this may come in unexplainable ways like dropping people in our laps. Have you ever been in a small group and you can all relate to something similar? I have seen this happen many times and I know that God is the ultimate person of connecting people and bringing resources to you.
I was recently at a conference and I had the intention of going in there being business-minded. I was trying to get myself to be in that mode but I was not feeling it. I started talking to God and said “I know I am supposed to be here because you have moved some things around in my schedule that were not supposed to be moved around. Can you direct me to the people that I am meant to connect with?”
It ended up being the most exciting part of the conference for me. God was flooding me with these divine appointments and people who were speaking life into me, providing me with resources, and I was also being put in situations where I would help others. All God wants from us is to trust him with our dreams and goals.
[25:05] Impacting Others by Faithfully Following Dreams
I want to remind you that you have no idea how your decision to faithfully follow a dream will impact someone's life. If we are pursuing a dream that is Kingdom-driven, then that dream is going to affect people in the Kingdom in negative or positive ways depending on if we follow it or not. We are responsible for following our dreams from God because it is not just our future on the line, others will be affected as well.
I have two stories that show this. I was listening to a dynamic speaker at a conference and I really liked her. I thought I would be bold and ask her to lunch and she said yes. She told me about some things that she was involved in, we kept in contact, and I ended up being a part of an event with her a few months later. This was a little prompting from God where He put something in front of me and I took the step to follow Him in that moment. I would have missed out if I had not followed that step He laid out for me.
The second story is that I have a board of letters from ladies that I have coached over the years or women who were impacted by the podcast. Today I looked over a few of those letters and I wanted to read you a couple so you can hear the point I am trying to make:
“Alicia, this note is long overdue. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your patience, your compassion, your insight, and your love. My life has dramatically changed over the last year thanks to you and God's work through you. So many walls and barriers to His love, at last down.”
There have been so many lifelong walls and barriers that have come down and I cannot help but think “What if I had not chosen to be a coach? Would she still be stuck in those places?” We do not know the impact we have on others when we follow our dreams.
Another note says:
“Alicia, you are an answer to prayer.”
What if this next step God has for you is an answer to someone's prayer? Or what if God is calling you to be patient and wait until you are the person He needs you to be for someone else? So much is happening behind the scenes that we do not know about. We need to take one step without knowing the whole picture. If you are looking for support in doing that, I recommend this book: Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On.
[31:21] Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes – You Won’t Be Perfect!
Do not be afraid to make mistakes in this process of working with God to pursue your dreams. You are going to mess up because you are human. It does not matter that you cannot do everything perfectly, it matters that you work with excellence, intention, and stay focused. I want to set you free from this fear of “messing up” by telling you that you cannot derail God’s plan for your life. God's Will is supreme and it is powerful over all things.
There is nothing we can do to mess up God's plans for our lives. Even the unplanned detours are part of His process. Let the Lord guide you, serve Him with excellence, stay connected, and take that next step. Let Him show you what is next because He is your partner in this dream!
[33:31] Helping You Step Into Your God-Sized Dreams In The Live Goal Setting Workshop
I want to help you step into this part of your life by offering a Live Goal Setting Workshop. On November 9th at 1 pm PST, we will be going through a goal planning process and looking ahead to what God has planned for us this next year.
As I have explained in other episodes, I do goal planning differently. We are not going to sit down and ask “What is your dream?” First, we’re going to look back at what God has done for us, including the experiences, the blessings, and the things that have been frustrating. We are then going to look around and see what is happening right now, including the opportunities that are right in front of us, the people that He has put in our lives, and the promptings that are in our hearts. Then we’ll ask “What is He calling me to do next?” and this includes writing all of our crazy dreams down to see what has been in our hearts.
Then we say “Lord, in light of what has happened in the past, in light of what is going on around me, what is it that you want me to do next?” It may be that you are already on the path to something or it might just be a baby step where you cannot see the whole picture. I would love it if you joined us and if you cannot make it live there will be a replay!
OTHER RELATED EPISODES:
Live Goal Setting Workshop:
What if goal setting allowed you to honor your life, celebrate God’s blessings, and renew your perspective on what’s possible? This is how goal planning was meant to be.
I want to help you become more energized and joyful in the coming year, help you create a specific plan for change, and celebrate your wins.
Join us in this Goal Setting Workshop and let's discover a healing, Gospel-based approach to asking God to direct our next steps.
I can't wait to help you find clarity, renewal, and a new passion to love God and enjoy your life!