“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” -Philippians 3:7-8
It seems like fall is settling in across most of the country, and I can’t believe it! We turned the calendars to October this past week, and we’re less than three months away from 2019. Where did this year go?!
Also! Please read all the way to the end of this post for a couple P.S.! notes I included.
Alright, let’s dig in.
Today I want to talk about something that I’ve been walking through lately, something that I believe many of us are walking through. It seems like my generation, (Gen Z/Millennial depending on what you read), is a generation of dreamers. And I love that! I love that my generation isn’t working tooth and nail for the “American Dream” of being married with two kids, a dog, and a house. Instead, we’re creating our own dreams. We’re trying to create new things, find better ways to do old things, and light sparks of revival in places that need flames. And I’m right there with the rest of them. I have dreams of revival in the church, in encouraging the church to run after Jesus, to encourage the church to pursue God’s best for their lives. But I think sometimes we have to be cautious in chasing our dreams and we need to remember why we have these dreams, and Who ultimately gave us them.
Instead of chasing dreams, what if we just start chasing Jesus?
I believe the difference in chasing dreams and chasing Jesus is dependent on what we’re actually chasing. For example, say your dream is to go on a missions trip. Awesome! God may very well have given you a dream to go on a missions trip. So you do everything necessary to chase that dream: You raise the funds, you prepare your things, you arrange your accommodations, and you’re ready to go. But sometimes in the midst of these preparations, we get so excited that we forget about Jesus, the One we’re supposed to be preparing all this for anyway. Let’s look at another example. Say you want to write a book … a book that’s even about Jesus! That’s great! But we need to take caution to becoming so obsessed with the writing/selling of the book that we neglect spending time with Jesus, the One who will help us do anything with the book in the first place.
The Difference in Mentality
How can we know if we have misplaced chasing Jesus with chasing the dream? Let’s look at our mission trip example. When we go on a missions trip, are we more concerned about the selfies for social media, the weather that’s probably uncomfortable, or about the mud and dirt that might end up clothing us toward the end of the day? Or are we focused on the people we’re serving, eyes fixed on Jesus, continually in prayer to Him so we can follow His lead in the mission field?
Or if we take our book example: If one person reads the book, and their life is changed, do we celebrate? Or do we complain because we don’t have more book sales and it’s not trending on the bestsellers list? When we’re chasing Jesus, it’s the little things that He’s doing that we’re after, not the success or acclaim. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things–because there’s not. It’s a matter of where our heart and focus are at in the process of it all.
When we chase Jesus, we give Him our whole heart to use how, where, and when He wants. It means the book, the mission trip, [or insert your dream here] is not central to our lives. Instead, it’s about the God who gave us the dream. And in the end, it’s all about Him anyway. When the sun sets, when this life is over, only God and His Word and what was done for Him will remain (Isaiah 40:8).
When we chase Jesus, we’re after His heart. Our relationship with Him is priority. Everything we’ll ever want to do for Him is going to come out of that relationship with Him. Let’s keep chasing our dreams, but let’s also make sure that in it all, we’re chasing Jesus first. We’re keeping Him central. We’re listening to His leading. We’re keeping our hearts humble. And let’s live for what counts. He’s worthy, after all.
I’d love to hear about the dreams God has put in your heart. I’m a firm believer in God-given dreams. And when we keep our eyes on Jesus and our hearts obedient to Him while pursuing those dreams, there’s no limit to what God can do in us and through us. Comment below to let me know YOUR God-given dreams.
When we chase Jesus first and follow His leading on our dreams, you never know, someday we might just change the world. ❤
Until next time,
P.S.!! Please note that I changed my twitter handle from @stephaniejtay to @stephanie_jacqu this last week. Same me, just making room for some exciting changes 🙂
P.P.S!! If you didn’t know, I’m also a writer for 412teens.org. This week, one of my most personal articles I’ve written for the site was posted. If you find yourself in a season of disappointment or in need of some hope, check out the article, here.