And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28
As 2021 draws to a close, I find myself coming back to the Lord with a question that I have asked much of my adult life, “God where is it You want me to be and how can I best serve You?” It’s not that He needs me or any of us for that matter. And it’s not that I would ask the question in an effort to somehow earn His favor. It’s none of those things. But the motivation comes often at the close of one chapter and the beginning of another. The end of a year seems like a good time to evaluate and reevaluate. And that’s where I’m at as I write this blog.
The past 2 years have many of us asking the Lord for His plans and purposes. As we see a world growing darker by the day, we can sometimes feel hope is being snuffed out. Where is the Lord? What is His plan in all of this? How are we, each one of us individually and all collectively, meant to navigate these days? Lots of questions. Not a ton of answers. Sometimes that can wear at us. I know it has for me and it’s made me rethink much about where I’ve been these last few years.
As I have sought the Lord throughout the past few months and looked forward to 2022, I felt impressed to share this phrase (it’s the title of this blog): it’s time to dream again. I believe it’s a charge I’ve heard before but have been unwilling to walk out because of fear and the “what-if’s” that are unaccounted for. I heard the word “rebuild” numerous times from various sources as I considered 2021. And I resonated with that after 2020. We needed to rebuild. We needed to regroup. We needed to pick up the pieces left in the wake of 2020 and start moving forward again.
For awhile I think we did that. Following the Lord’s leading, we started moving out. But somewhere in the journey we allowed fear to settle into our lives again. Like Peter sinking as he walked towards Jesus, we started to take our eyes off the Lord and onto our problems (I know I did). We let the experiences of 2020 play out again in 2021.
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” Matthew 14:29,30
My heart in saying any of this is not to expose or chastise. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time (from 2017 on), I hope you know that. At the same time I cannot allow my life to grow cold or complacent. Fear starts to do that as we listen to its voice. It’s tempting, especially now, to wait for the all’s clear before we make any drastic decisions or choices. It’s been a time to just sit and wait and make sure life is good. Except I don’t know if we will ever get that “all clear.” I believe it’s time to advance with or without permission (from the world, our friends, even that doubting part of ourselves). It’s time to dream again.
I’ve included the verse from Joel 2 which prophecies the moment that takes place in Acts 2 which Peter quotes from (Acts 2:17). At Pentecost many dreams and visions became reality. But in actuality, this was just the start. Now the Spirit was upon them. Now they had power to do amazing things as the Spirit enabled them. From there, the Gospel exploded. Nothing could contain it. I believe we are at that sort of precipice again today.
So what is your dream? What is it that God has shared with you or laid on your heart, maybe even during the past few years? Is it possible to see this new year as the year you start taking some steps towards actualization of that thing? Is it possible to start turning those dreams into reality? If God is in it, the answer is undoubtedly yes! There is nothing impossible with Him!
Guys I’ve so enjoyed sharing what the Lord has laid on my heart over each week and I hope that it has blessed and encouraged you. Hopefully it has challenged you as well to know that we each have just this one life, this one opportunity. We either use it or lose it. But I believe we are going to give an account for what we did. Complacency is a word that must not be in our vocabulary.
***A quick note about the blog and AS BOLD AS LIONS. As mentioned, I’ve been doing these blogs since 2017. I started in January and basically have shared a new blog or a throwback article every week since the start (nearly 300 posts). I’ve loved it and have enjoyed putting these together. But I sense God leading me to change some parts of what I’m doing and feel like this means a format change as I continue. Therefore my weekly blogs are going to shift to a monthly format. If you are on my mailing list, devotionals will still go out twice weekly and the blog will come once at the beginning of the month. On top of all of this, I am going to keep doing the AS BOLD AS LIONS podcast, hoping to keep that as a weekly offering. I’ve put a lot of thought into this as I close out 2021 and sense this is the right direction. I thank you guys for understanding, for being supportive, and for walking this journey with me.***
Praying God’s blessing over you in the new year! As alway, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to hear from you!
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Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17