Tragically, a whole lifetime can pass without a person ever accomplishing the Great Things he or she was put on earth to do-and wants to do.

What keeps people from embracing and pursuing their God-given Dreams? I've noticed five common but deadly misconceptions:

  • "I don't have a Dream."
  • "I have to invent my Dream."
  • "I have a Dream, but it's not that important."
  • "I have a Dream, but it's up to God to make it happen."
  • "I had a Dream, but it's too late."
  • Take a minute to check your own beliefs. Read each statement carefully. Do any of these describe your beliefs about a Big Dream for your life? (If you're not sure, look at your actions. What you do is usually a result of what you actually believe.)

    But each of these five misconceptions is a trap. If you're caught in one of them, you will never leave Familiar until you reject your wrong thinking and embrace the truth.

    So let's look at the truths that can set a Dreamer free.

    You do have a Dream. It's part of what it means to be human, created in the image of God.

    You don't have to invent your Dream. Like the color of your eyes or your one-of-a-kind smile, your Big Dream was planted in you before you were born. The psalmist David wrote that all the days of his life had been "fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them."

    Your Dream is unique and important. You have been handcrafted by God to accomplish a part of His Big Dream for the world. How? Your Big Dream is meant to fulfill a Big Need he cares deeply about. The reason you're here is to take a part of His Dream from Point A to Point B. No one else can do it quite like you.

    Your Dream is yours to act on. God is waiting for you to value His gift of your Dream enough to live it. He will not force you to choose. Nor will he "make it happen" for you. You must choose. You must act. Paul's amazingly productive life was shaped by a single, driving commitment-to "lay hold" of that for which God had laid hold of him.

    You Big Dream is what God laid hold of you to do.

    And fortunately, while you still draw a breath, it's never too late to act on your Dream! Just ask Moses.

    Israel's epic journey to the Promised Land is the story of a nation in pursuit of its Big Dream. Their goal? To reclaim the land "flowing with milk and honey" God had already given them.

    But it is also the story of one man, a leader with a Big Dream-a dream to help Israel escape their bondage and find that future. His name was Moses. You've probably heard or read about the day when God reminded him of his Dream. Moses, then 80 years old, heard his Dream through a burning bush. God said, "I have surely seen the oppression of My people.... I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."

    You can imagine Moses' shock. In fact, he responded with one excuse after another.

    Did you notice that I said God reminded Moses of his Dream to be a deliverer? That's because from birth, Moses had been uniquely prepared and motivated for that very purpose. He knew it; he even thought other Israelites knew it! But as a young man, he had pursued it in the wrong way.

    Now 40 years had passed. I'm sure Moses thought his Big Dream had crumbled to dust. Then God interrupted Moses' life with an amazing message from the burning bush. It's as if God said, "My Dream is not dead because the Big Need is still there. And so your Dream is not dead, either."

    But how was an aging sheepherder going to rescue an entire nation from the most powerful king on earth? Like all Big Dreams, Moses' assignment seemed far too big.

    Here are three insights into every God-given Big Dream that we can glean from Moses' story:

  • A Big Dream always seems overwhelming at first.
  • Ultimately, a Big Dream is aimed at meeting a Big Need in the world.
  • While you still have breath, it's never too late to act on your Dream!
  • I'm so glad God returns again and again to present us with the gift of our life. Our Dream matters greatly to Him. There's no other you or me, just like there was no other Moses.

    Your Dream may not look quite the same as it did years ago. But the essence of the Dream-the tug of longing you feel to do what God made you to do-is still there. No matter what's happened in your past, or what circumstance you're in now, you can turn your heart toward your Dream, starting now.

    I've known people who can point to one conversation or spiritual experience when their future suddenly came into focus. But most of us don't see it all at once. We start with an inkling, a cluster of interests, a longing that won't go away. If we start there and set out, we give God a chance to show us more.One thing I know: God is not intentionally hiding your Dream from you. It's already in you. It's already who you are. Your opportunity is to discover it.