We all want to achieve something in life.
Some people desire to launch their own businesses, some want to find that special someone they can marry and start a family with while others want to rid themselves of debt. When you really think about all the many desires we have as humans, the list could go on forever. The thing about these desires, or ambitions if you want to use another word, is that they don’t just come to life on their own. There is always some level of action that must be taken in order to see them come to pass.
The word ambition* means “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.”
Personally I have many ambitions but making it to Heaven and being a mentally and financially thriving entrepreneur definitely are at the top of my list. I work hard everyday to reach these (and other) goals of mine. But yesterday after hearing a sermon at CityHeart Church, I realized that I’ve been doing it all wrong. There was once a time when I would get in my feelings about being corrected by the Word, but yesterday I felt like Pastor Kevin had screwed all of our metaphorical light bulbs on and given us the real key to success. (Sorry, DJ Khaled.)
According to the world, we’ve been brought up, taught, conditioned… whatever term you want to use… that we must achieve something then receive whatever our particular desire is. Think about it.
To get the dream job the formula usually is to finish school, get a degree and an entry level job, work your way up and then BAM! You’ll get the offer to work the position of your dreams.
To get married you must transform yourself into someone who is marriage material, date someone and show them how worthy you are of the ultimate commitment and then BAM! You’ll be walking down the aisle in no time.
To become a successful entrepreneur you have to first work a crappy job then have an epiphany that you should be doing something else, quit said job, hustle and starve for a few years and then BAM! You get the million dollar contract and all your work has finally paid off.
The major flaw with this pattern of thinking, especially if you’re a Christian, is that God doesn’t work the same way that the world does. When we think about achieving our ambitions in the pattern the world has set, we run the risk of viewing God through a worldly lens and blaming our lack of receiving although we’ve achieved what we were “supposed to” on Him. We get frustrated and sometimes even discouraged to the point where we give up on our dreams.
I’m totally guilty of this – but not the giving up part, the frustrated part.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you probably remember when I took the leap of faith and became a full-time entrepreneur in 2014. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, yet I felt so much peace about it. I did consult God that time around but eventually I stopped making decisions in the right order. I started to make them based off what I’ve been conditioned to think about success and things began to go a little…no I’m lying, a lot left. So left that I’ve been considering returning to a regular job because I’m just over all the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, not to mention that I have a little one that is scheduled to arrive soon.
So what is the right way?
It’s going to take some practice but in order to really see all of our desires come alive in our lives, we have to take a different approach to working toward our ambitions. Instead of achieving then waiting to receive, we must receive first and then achieve. Sounds absolutely crazy, right? That’s usually how God works LOL.
The thing is, God has already freely given us the greatest key to success there is – Jesus Christ. And according to the Bible, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22 NIV). So all it takes is believing in and receiving Jesus Christ and then asking for whatever it is that we desire. But it doesn’t stop there. After you ask for it, you must understand that God has a particular way to get it to you and that path may look nothing and be nothing like you thought and always imagined it would. And you have to be ok with that. It takes patience and obedience, but most of all it takes you listening and waiting on God before you make any decision in life but for the context of this post, any decision for your ambitions. It kind of echoes the words and lessons of my favorite book, The Dream Giver.
My plan is to do exactly what Pastor Kevin advised: write down all of my goals/desires/ambitions and pray over them. I think I’ll do the highest priority ones first and then follow up with the others. No matter what the outcome is, I’ll be sure to share how it worked out for me when the time is right.
In the comments section, tell me about a time you felt frustrated about a dream and what you did about it. Did the dream ever come to life? What would you do differently? I’d love to know. You can also visit CityHeart Church on Facebook by clicking here or in real life for a Sunday service or small group Bible study. Tell them Jessica sent you! ;)
*As defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary