by Jason Voong
A few years ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. I was telling him a dream that I had to one day preach at a specific church. He responded, “Who do you think you are?” and “What makes you think they would even let you?” The combination of that conversation, struggles I had, and events that had occurred up to that point – led me to a place where I began to lay that dream down – and other dreams with it. I thought I was disqualified. I thought that maybe I wasn’t the right guy for the job. Because if I was, shouldn’t everyone be on board and everything line up exactly the way I want them to?
We buy into lies like that all the time don’t we? As a result, many of us have laid down dreams that we were never meant to lay down.
There’s a guy in the Bible named Peter. In the very beginning of the Gospels, Peter is sitting in a boat and fishing. Jesus comes and calls Peter out of the boat. He gives him an invitation to not fish for fish, but to become a fisher of men. This is Jesus inviting Peter into a dream. And not just any dream, but a dream that’s bigger than himself. God’s dreams are always bigger and better than anything we could ever imagine.
A little bit later, Jesus blows the dream up (in a good way), and says, “Oh by the way Peter, you’re gonna be the rock on which I build my Church.” What? So not only is Peter going to be a fisher of men, he’s going to be foundational to building of the Church and God’s Kingdom. Peter’s a pretty big deal. If I’m Peter, I’m feeling pretty good about myself.
But then something happens. Jesus gets taken and is crucified. On three separate occasions, Peter outright denies Jesus. Wait a minute. Hold the phone. Isn’t Peter supposed to be a fisher of men? Isn’t he supposed to be the rock? Well, so much for that…
Later on, we find Peter sitting in a boat and fishing. For Peter to get back into the boat, he’s actually going back to the life he knew before Jesus. Peter’s completely mailed it in by getting back into the boat. And real talk, he has every right to. He was supposed to be the steady rock, not someone who ran the moment things got tough. If anyone could disqualify themselves, it would be Peter. Maybe he isn’t the guy for the job.
Then Jesus shows up in the most beautiful way. He walks along the shore and calls Peter back out of the boat. The very same shore and the very same boat from the beginning. For as many times as we get back into the boat, Jesus will be there to call us back out of the boat. After this, Jesus sits with Peter and reinstates Him. Any Jesus takes the dream a bit further here. “Peter, you’ll be a fisher of men, foundational to my Church, and you’re going to feed and lead my sheep.”
When God gives you a dream, He does it because He believes you’re capable and worthy of running with that dream. Whether we feel like we’re the right person for that dream or not, God seems to think so. I’ve heard it said many times that God doesn’t call the qualified, but He qualifies the called. That means that if God is the only one who can qualify us, He’s the only one who can disqualify us. And the good news is that He doesn’t.
About a year after my conversation with that friend, I ended up at a conference at the church I’d always wanted to speak at. At some point during one of the worship sessions, I heard the Lord speak sonship over me. That my voice matters. That it was time to dream again. Toward the end of the conference, I was invited to preach a word. You could say it was a dream come true.
I share that story to tell you that many of us are on the brink of seeing our dreams turn into reality. It’s time to pick up the dreams you’ve laid down. It’s time to stop disqualifying yourself and ask the Lord what He says about you. It’s time to shake off the lies and false expectations we’ve bought into.
It’s time to dream again.