A Dream Delayed Is Not A Dream Denied
Psalm 37:3-4 NKJV
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
God is a dreamer. He created the heavens and the earth out of the desires of His infinite imagination. This same God who created the world desires to create a prosperous future for His people. God created us in His image with a capacity to dream and imagine. In fact, He uses dreams, visions and desires as a means to communicate His infinite plans to our finite minds. This allows us to see beyond our limitations by imagining the possibilities of the future He has created for us.
In Psalm 37, David declared that we are to delight ourselves in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our heart. This wonderful promise from the Lord is to be understood from the proper perspective. Giving us the desires of our heart does not mean that God grants every thing we want. It means that He deposits dreams and desires in our heart regarding His plans for our future. This is why David said to “delight yourself in the Lord.” Our delight in Him connects His desires to us. It is then that God is able to shape our dreams and desires toward the future He has planned for us.
The word “Dream” means “the contemplation of doing something.” A dream, birthed in the heart of an individual, provides the idea of the possibility of doing or being something greater. Dreams are powerful forces that can propel people forward toward greatness. Throughout the Bible, we see the impact a dream from God had on the faith and hopes of His servants. However, we can also see the discouragement the delay of those dreams caused.
King Solomon said in Proverbs 13:12 that “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Dreams have the power to both inspire and discourage. A dream fulfilled is a source of great joy, and a dream delayed can be a source of great discouragement. There is one fact we all must keep in mind – every dream from God must go through a process to reach fulfillment. It is often in the process of a dream that people experience disappointment. What we refer to as “delay” is simply God’s process of fulfillment. God’s will for our lives is always unfolding toward our future. This means that the fulfillment of a dream is not a one time event as much as it is a development over time. The disappointment we feel is often the result of projecting our timetable on to God’s timing. When we trust His process it becomes easier to trust His timing and the less likely we will be to derail our dreams through discouragement.
You may feel as if you are in a season of delay, but be encouraged that A Dream Delayed Is Not A Dream Denied. Just because your dream is postponed does not mean it is not on track to be fulfilled. It is important to remember that God is not bound to fulfill any dream other than the one He has ordained. You cannot allow His timing to discourage you or allow a man-made dream to deceive you. King Solomon also said in Proverbs 19:21 – “many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” God’s dreams reveal His purpose. His dream in your heat reveals His purpose for your life. This process may take longer than you expected and lead you into situations you never anticipated, but in the end God’s purpose will always prevail and His dreams for your life will come true.
I want to encourage you with with 3-Principles that will help you in a season of delay…
#1 Be Faithful Where God Plants You
1 Samuel 16:6-13
11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”
After God rejected Saul from being king of Israel, He instructed the Prophet Samuel to go to the home of Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint one of his sons to be Saul’s replacement. Jesse had 8 sons but only presented 7 sons to Samuel. He left his eighth and youngest son in the sheep field. Jesse wrongly assumed that the youngest son would never be a candidate to replace Saul. Samuel, on the urgent mission, was dismayed when God rejected the 7 older sons. He asked Jesse if he had an additional son. Jesse responded – “There remains the youngest and there he is keeping the sheep.”
Much to the surprise of both Samuel and Jesse, God had chosen the youngest son David. It was David’s heart to which God was drawn. David demonstrated his heart through his faithfulness. His father had given him the task of keeping the sheep and he remained faithful to that task. God knew that David would be faithful to shepherd the nation, because he had been faithful to shepherd the sheep his father placed in his care. David’s example demonstrates that faithfulness on one level is the perquisite for the promotion to the next level.
The word “Faithfulness” means “to be steadfast.” One of the keys to seeing your dreams fulfilled is to be faithful and steadfast with each thing God places in your care along the way. How many times have we seen people’s dreams never come to fruition because they failed to be faithful where God planted them. So many people wander from place to place looking for the next thing to make them successful, failing to see the key to their success is in the place God planted them. The truth is God is not as fickle as some people claim. He is steadfast in His plans and faithful to His word.
David was called to be a king, but he remained faithful to keep his father’s sheep. Everyone has experienced the frustration of being anointed for a future season. The test is wether or not you can remain faithful in your present season, while you carry an anointing for a future season. If a person cannot be faithful where God plants them, then how can he be faithful in the future plan of God?
Being faithful where God plants you will cause you to be steadfast where you are and prevent you from wandering away from the place where opportunity will come looking for you. The best thing to do when facing the discouragement of delay is to remain faithful where God plants you.
#2 Fruitful Where God Plants You
1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
When Jospeh was 17, God birthed a dream of rulership in his heart. His older brothers were jealous of him and sought to kill him. They seized him, threw him into a pit and then decided to sell him to a caravan traveling to Egypt. Upon arrival in Egypt, Joseph was sold as a slave to a man named Potiphar. Genesis 17:2 is a scripture that has always amazed me. It states that “Jospeh was a successful man because God was with him.” A man sold as a slave would not appear to be successful by society’s standards. Yet, Joseph’s testimony proves that circumstances do not determine success. Success is achieved by the presence of God with us in our circumstances. God was with Joseph and that made him successful. Difficult circumstances can become an opportunity if we can learn to be fruitful where we are planted.
Notice how Jospeh flourished in his service to Potiphar…
3 And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. 5 So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field.
Being sold to a caravan and sold as a slave was beyond Joseph’s control. However, the one thing he could control was his reaction to the conditions in which he found himself. God was with Joseph, therefore his decision to be diligent caused him to be fruitful where God planted him.
When Jospeh was falsely accused and thrown into prison, he responded to prison as he did to Potiphar’s house…
20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing.
When Joseph first dreamed of rulership, he could have never imagined where the process of his dream would take him. He never foresaw the toil of slavery or the pain of prison in his future. Fortunately for Joseph, he had 2-things working for him when everything else seemed to be working against him: 1) God was with him and 2) he was fruitful where God planted him.
When we are fruitful where God plants us it allows us to develop the necessary skills and experience we need for our future. In Potiphar’s House Joseph learned to manage resources and in Prison he learned how to manage people. These were two skill sets that Jospeh would one day successfully employ as the governor of Egypt.
The truth is because we are fruitful where God plants us on one level, then we will be fruitful in the place our dreams desire to take us.
#3 Fervent Where God Plants You
One of the most discouraging aspects of a dream is when you can see your dream on the inside, but can only see your limitations on the outside. Where we are in life in relation to our dreams can seem at times to be an impossible leap. It is in those seasons that we must remain fervent where God plants us.
David was approximately 15 years old when he was called out of the sheep field and anointed king. He was not prepared to be king at that moment. The Prophet Samuel’s visit did not place him on the fast track to the throne. In fact, after Samuel left, David returned to the sheep field. Although his circumstances did not change the difference was he changed. He left the sheep field as a faithful shepherd, he returned to the same sheep field as an anointed shepherd. David did not let his ordinary surroundings cause him to grow complacent toward his dream. He began urgently preparing himself for his future. He became a marksman with a slingshot, an anointed musician with his harp and developed the heart of a valiant warrior. He killed both a lion and a bear when they attempted to attack his flock. The anointing accelerated his gifts and his preparation. This caused him to gain the reputation as a valiant and skilled man. 1 Samuel 16:18 testifies to David’s progress – “Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.”
This verse provides an important insight – human dreams are dependent on talent, but divine dreams are empowered by the anointing. Talent may take you far, but it will not take you far enough. It is the anointing that will take you beyond your talent level and cause you to be more gifted than you naturally are. If you allow yourself to become complacent in a season of delay, then you lose the sense of fervency to prepare yourself for your future. Fervency is the urgency that fuels preparation. It doesn’t matter what your surroundings look like, you must remain fervent where God plants you.
A Dream Delayed Is Not A Dream Denied. God’s dream for your life is never off track. The important thing to remember is to keep yourself on track by being Faithful Where God Plants You, Fruitful Where God Plants You and Fervent Where God Plants You!
Believing With You,