When God gives you a dream to write a book, start a business or launch a project, it’s probably going to scare you, and that’s the point.
If your dream doesn’t scare you, then it’s probably just your creative idea because God is a God of ideas that seem wild and crazy to us. God’s ideas are often out of your reach and outside of what you could accomplish on your own.
If God gives you an idea, you’ll need Him to make it reality, and that’s scary because needing God to help you means giving up control.
I want to assure you that it’s okay to be scared, but don’t stay scared. Fear is paralysing and crippling. The antidote to fear is courage, and courage comes from knowing that in your weakness, God is strong.
When God gave me permission to dream
In 2015, God gave me permission to dream, and the dream I had really exceeded my ability. In fact, the dream scared the life out of me.
I remember sitting in my office when I felt a small impression ask me, “What’s your BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal?”
I looked around, but I was the only one in the room.
I responded, “The Digital Discipleship Conference.”
I had it written on my white board. It was so crazy, big and ambitious that it was totally out of my reach.
I was caught by surprise, overwhelmed and scared…really scared. The dream far exceeded what I could do…but that was the point.
Lately, I’ve become dependent upon my skill and forgotten how scared I was when I first started.
The intensity of my fears have waned.
The other day, God reminded me how it all started.
The reminder came because I was praying, and during my prayer, I felt an enormous sense of fear.
I was scared because of how big God is and how out of control I am when I stand in His presence.
So, I said, “God I’m scared. You scare me. Being in your presence–being so out of control–scares the life out of me.”
In response, the next day, God showed me a notebook from 2016, to remind me how I felt the first time I stood toe-to-toe with the dream He gave me permission to dream.
SPOILER ALERT: I was scared.
The notebook that I found took me back and reminded me that at the time the dream was so big and seemed so impossible, but my dependence on God’s ability is what made it possible.
God reminded me of what we had been through to encourage me for what’s ahead.
My hope is that in this post, as I re-visit the past, you will be encouraged to pursue the dream, book, business idea or project that God has put on your heart.
I’ll share what I prayed when I was first thinking about setting up the Digital Discipleship Conference (before I started my own business), which I’ve now run four times as an organiser in Australia and once as an adviser in New Zealand.
Since its beginning, it has grown from a ministry serving just Sydney, Australia to one that’s moved nationally to all of Australia and has now expanded regionally across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
The ministry attracts members into its Facebook group, on its Facebook page and on its mailing list from around the world.
Additionally, from my work with the ministry, I have been invited to speak about the topic of Digital Discipleship in different parts of the world, and it all began with a prayer.
What to pray when your idea scares you
When your idea scares you, you’re in the perfect place to begin praying. It means you’re vulnerable and dependent on God.
When I was in this position, this is what I prayed.
“God, my current dream, to have a successful Digital Discipleship Conference – is scaring the life and breath out of me! I don’t see how this can possibly be done. In my own human strength, this is impossible, but with God it is possible. You say in Matthew 19:26, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
“God, especially when it comes to events, I’ve seen you come through. With INSPIRE last year, I saw you make a way out of no way! You filled all of my workshop sessions. In Lebanon you brought people from around Sabtieh to attend when everyone else was doubtful.
So now I’m calling on you to be the same kind of on time God I’ve seen in the past. I’m not asking you to be different, just be more of yourself. Show up and show out.
In moments of doubt, when the situation is overwhelming remind God (and yourself) where you’ve been in the past because it will give you a roadmap of where you’re going in the future.
Pray with honesty to God
When your idea scares you, it’s important that you’re honest with God. At the time of the Conference, when I felt so overwhelmed, I told God:
God, if I’m honest with you, I’m really scared about this Conference. I have a baby on the way and I’m being torn in a million directions but you say in Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in your.” So God, that’s what I have to do – put my trust in you.
God, I feel like you asked me what was my big, hairy, audacious goal. Well, since that time, I’ve felt a bit stuck. Stuck with my business, stuck with my finances and stuck with this Conference.
So far, nothing about this Conference has been easy. Finding the venue was hard. We have speakers dropping out – so many things are not going quite right. God, I hope they’re not bad signs because we’ve already gone so far down the track.
Why am I doing this? Because I think creatives need to see they too can use their talents to glorify you God, just like singers, preachers, elders and deacons. I need you to make a way out of no way because right now, I can’t see my way out.
Praying to change your perspective from worry to prayer
When your idea scares you, pray to change your perspective. Move your thinking from worry to surrender and dependence on God. And answer your worries with God’s promises in the Bible.
At the time, I prayed:
God, I’m trying to change my perspective from one of worry to one of prayer. When I got to worry, may it drive me to pray. This is your Conference, your movement and therefore your responsibility.
“Who of you by worrying can add one single hour to his life.” Luke 12:25
God you say you’ll provide my needs! Well, I need 150 – 200 people at this Conference.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”
God, I feel burdened about this event and it not succeeding
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7
“Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
God, I commit this Conference, its presentations and its results to you. Please bring the people to it that you want to attend it to build your discipleship movement. Make it all about you and not at all about me.
How to move forward with your dream
So now, it’s your turn.
What dream do you have on your heart that seems so overwhelming? What ideas are you trying to sort? Where do you feel stuck?
If you’re looking to get started, but you don’t know how to do it, I’d love to invite you for a Dream. Spark. Fire. Session.
What is that, you ask?
Every great project, book and event began with a dream. Sometimes, sharing an idea can provide clarity, help you hone in on your message and propel you towards the next stage of growth. During our session, we will work together to gain clarity around your idea, understand the next steps to take in the process and help you take your idea to the next level.
If you’re interested, contact me, and we can talk about how to make sparks fly for your idea or business.