Having a dream or sense of vision is often a part of discovering your calling. But dreams do not come to pass by themselves.
Some people think that all you need is a dream and the rest will take care of itself. They talk about their vision, but never seem to move forward with it.
There is a fine line between following a dream and chasing a delusion. And if you don’t know the difference, you may end up in a perpetual cycle of frustration.
How can you tell if you are following a dream or chasing a delusion? Here are four things to consider:
Dreams don’t happen by themselves. Like New Year’s resolutions, if there is no discipline they will never get accomplished. It will take focus, discipline, and sacrifice to accomplish your vision.
Do you have the discipline it takes to bring your vision to reality? If you are not passionate enough about your dream to put in the required effort, it will always be a dream and never come to fruition.
If you do not have the discipline to bring forth your dream, you are chasing a delusion.
If you are not gifted in the area of your dream, you need to reevaluate some things. If your dream is to be a singer; can you carry a tune? If your dream is to own a business; do you have an entrepreneurial mind? If your dream is to be a pastor; can you lead and shepherd God’s people?
When talking about gifting, the Apostle Paul said this: “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). We need to have a realistic perspective of what our gifts are and what they are not.
Even if you have great discipline and focus, if you are not gifted in the area of your dream, you will keep running into dead ends. Just like being gifted in an area does not give you a pass on hard work, hard work does not make up for lack of gifting.
If your dream does not match your gifts, you are chasing a delusion.
The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). But I have also come to see that without the right people the vision perishes. No one accomplishes anything of significance on their own.
Many people who have a big dream neglect the relationships that are necessary to accomplish the dream. God works through relationships. It is not about using people to get what you want; but over the course of time the relationships you have been building will help your dream come to fruition.
If you are not cultivating healthy relationships, you are chasing a delusion.
Are you willing to submit to the preparation process? Your dream will not come to pass overnight. There is often a rigorous process of training and preparation before the dream is fulfilled. We must actively participate in and submit to this process.
Joseph dreamed that he would be a ruler. But what happened next was the opposite—he became a slave. He went through many years of preparation before he was released into the fullness of the dream God gave him. This pattern is seen throughout the Bible.
If you are not willing to submit to God’s preparation process, you are chasing a delusion.
Don’t get me wrong; this article is not meant to discourage you from following your dreams. On the contrary, if you are pursuing a God-given dream I encourage you to persevere. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Submit to God’s process, follow His ways, and seek first His kingdom.
But if you are chasing a delusion, please–for your own sake and the sake of those around you–stop it!