Search Results for: six tests for a god given dream

Encore Episode: Six Tests for a God-Given Dream

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While I’m touring the US on my Resurrection Year speaking tour, I’m running a series of ‘encore’ episodes of the More Than This podcast which have proven particularly popular during the year. Enjoy!


As we explored last week, we all have dreams for our lives, our families, our businesses or church ministries. For some those dreams lie dormant and quiet, but they’re there. For others, the challenge is deciding which dream to follow out of the many they have each week. For Christians, one question rises above all others on the topic: How do I know my dream is God’s dream for me? How do I discern between the dreams God places on my heart and those of my ego or my culture? In this article and podcast I offer some pointers.

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Test Your Dreams

Question: What have I missed? Tell me now

I was never expecting to write or speak about dreams. But over the years I’ve seen some dreams fulfilled, some left unfilled, and some needing relinquishment. Then I wrote a book about starting again after broken dreams – the topic chose me! And the question of when a dream is mine or God’s has always intrigued me. 

God’s dream for our lives is better than our own. Here are some ‘tests’ I’ve come up with so far to discern between the two. I share some personal examples in the podcast.

1. The Dream Passes the Test of Love

The dream is not about you, your significance, fame, or even your benefit alone. The dream is about God. The dream is about others. You’ll benefit from it alright, but it may also cost you significantly. God is love and his ultimate command is to love. Our dreams need to be sifted through love to ensure they’re not just the result of ego alone.

2. The Dream Passes the Test of Time

The dream lingers. It quietly pursues you. It isn’t one of many ideas, but the one idea that rises persistently above the many. Like me, you might enjoy dreaming up new ideas and ventures yet find many of those dreams evaporate over time. But if there is one dream that will not leave you, even for years, it may be God’s whisper to you.

3. The Dream Passes the Test of Peace

Yes, you may feel excited about the dream. Or overwhelmed. Even fearful. But when you pray about the dream the dominant sense you have is one of ‘weighty peace’. You feel passionate but not driven.  The dream may be vitally important but it isn’t burdensome in your spirit. Weighty prayerful peacefulness.

4. The Dream Passes the Test of Faith

The dream is bigger than you, your abilities and resources. While it should be in line with your giftings and talents (please, no more singers who feel ‘called’ but can’t sing in tune), the dream takes you beyond your level of ability. You won’t be able to achieve it without God and others. You will feel vulnerable at times at the thought of it all falling in a heap. The dream will only be possible by faith.

5. The Dream is Confirmed by Others

Some won’t support the dream, and may even oppose it. But wise, godly, prayerful people support the dream. They confirm it’s God voice and not your ego that’s speaking. There is objective confirmation, not just subjective.

6. The Decision is Truly in God’s Hands

In his Spiritual Exercises St Ignatius talks about godly decision making by describing three kinds of people. The first know they need to make a decision before God but never get around to doing it. The second bargain with God, ensuring they get at least a little of what they want while feeling they’ve ‘taken the matter’ to Him. The third group seek God’s will alone. Their first priority is not what is decided but who decides it. It’s a good image to keep in mind when pursuing our dreams.

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032 Six Tests for a God-Given Dream

We all have dreams for our lives, families, businesses or church ministries. One thing is sure: God’s dream for us is better than our own. But how can we know whether the dream we have for our lives is God’s dream, or simply the product of our own ego-driven imaginations? Here are 6 tests to try. More…

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Woman's hand holding a compass - pic by Heidi Sandstrom

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Photo by Brooke Cagle - Unsplash

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Sheridan at Riverview 1_840w

Sheridan speaking at Riverview Church, Perth

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In Resurrection Year I shared how Merryn and I brought our dream of having a family to an end. But one major question remains: When do you know it’s time to let a dream die? That’s what I share in this ‘encore’ episode of More Than This – one of my more popular podcasts this year. More…

033 When Do You Let a Dream Die?

In Resurrection Year I shared how Merryn and I brought our dream of having a family to an end. Since then I’ve even advised people that giving up a dream can be important for their healing. But one major question remains, one I’ve been reluctant to address until now: When do you know it’s time to let a dream die? More…

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065 Why You Should Keep a Journal (But NOT Every Day)

Writing in a journal

If you’re a journal-keeper from way back, you’ll probably nod in sage agreement at these 7 great benefits of journaling. But if you’re thinking “Oh, journaling? I tried that once but couldn’t keep it up”—then here are the reasons to give it another try. There’s also 8 tips to get you started, and a sneak peek into what I write about in my own journals… More…

034 Will I Regret it?

It’s time to talk about regret. Or more specifically, the fear of future regret. If you decide it’s time to let your unfulfilled dream go, will you one day regret it? Read this touching letter from Renee. What advice would you give her?