“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them–to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates–all the Hittite country–to the Great Sea on the west. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:1-9, NIV).
I believe the Lord has a purpose and plan for every person. Jeremiah 29:11 (some of the most powerful words in the Bible) says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future). The first key for tapping into that divine flow and guidance is to experience the new birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “you must be born again” (John 3:7). We know from Ephesians 2:10 that we are created from the foundation of the world unto good works that expand the Kingdom of God in the earth. It is, however, impossible to discern and walk in God’s will until we become alive spiritually. We simply do not have the spiritual hardware to hear God’s voice and follow His direction.
Once we are saved, the Lord begins to move us in the direction of the best life possible for us. We now have the eyes to see and the ears to hear, and we have the added ability to receive a dream or vision from God into our hearts. That dream now becomes an internal guidance system taking us in easy stages down a path that will bring about the fulfillment of God’s will and dream for our lives. The dream says, “I can make a difference.” The dream declares, “I can become everything God has created me to be.” The dream boldly proclaims, “I will impact lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” The dream is ultimately what connects believers to God’s future and hope for their lives.
The problem is that we do not live in a spiritual vacuum or bubble insulated from the operation of the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). It would be nice if we had that kind of utopian existence where everyone was pulling for us and there was no opposition to the dream in our hearts. But that would be fantasy, not faith. The reality is that the enemy will do everything he can, use anyone he can, and employ any and every tactic he can to stop us all from living lives of spiritual significance in the earth. One of his most effective and consistent weapons is the weapon of fear. The same dream of God that inspires us to action and directs our course is also a bullseye for the enemy and his devices. But we are not ignorant of his schemes and possessing that knowledge we do not have to allow him to compromise the dream of God in our hearts (2 Corinthians 2:11).
A brief review of great leaders of the Bible reveals that every one of them had to deal with the fear issue. Moses was certainly intimidated to stand before Pharaoh and demand the release of the people of God. The Lord countered that spirit of fear by reminding Moses in Exodus 33 that He would personally go with Moses. Joshua must have certainly felt all alone and afraid as he realized that his leader, mentor and friend Moses was now with the Lord. Immediately in Joshua 1 the Lord spoke to remind Joshua to be courageous and to stay out of fear. God told him that He would be with him like He was with Moses. The Lord also gave Joshua the antidote to fear – meditating on and speaking the Word without ceasing. In doing this he would literally make his own way successful or prosperous. Jeremiah, when called by God as a prophet, hesitated reminding the Lord that he was only a child. The Lord promised that He would watch over His Word to perform it and challenged Jeremiah to not be afraid of the people but stand up and proclaim what he is told to say. In the New Testament Paul admonished Timothy to not be afraid to stand up and witness. He was told directly that he has not been given the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
The people of God today are exposed to the same kind of fear mongering by the enemy. Every believer that receives a dream from God and wants to do something great for God will be challenged by fear. Some are afraid of a lack of resources. Some are afraid of the opinions of people. Others are afraid that they will be rejected if they take a stand for the Lord in these challenging days. Still others are afraid of failure. I have found that the enemy will always use some kind of manifestation of fear to try to stop the dream in the heart of the believer. Fear, being a form of perverted faith, will bend our lives away from God’s best, compromise the dream, and imprison us in a jail of uncertainly, confusion, and inactivity. Our only other option is to stay in faith by focusing on the dream and staying in Word like Joshua was commanded. Whatever we give our attention to the most will determine whether we walk in faith or fear. Faith will cause the dream to come to pass. Fear will cause the dream to die. Why? Because fear causes us to question the dream and fail to act in the direction of the dream. Unless we add action to our dream (faith in picture form), we will never see the fulfillment of it.
I want to encourage you to treasure the dream in your heart and protect it. Guard your heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4) and when you notice even the slightest tinge of fear trying to move in regarding your dream open up your mouth and say, “I reject this fear in Jesus name and choose to maintain the spirit of faith regarding the dream of God for my life.” The moment you open your mouth your mind and emotions will stop to listen to what your mouth is saying. Don’t allow even a smidgen of fear to reside in your heart because like mold in a dark, damp place, fear tends to grow and expand. Be diligent to feed on the Word of God because faith grows as the Word is received into the human heart. Focus also on the development of your love walk because perfect love (mature, developed) casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). The prevalence of fear in our lives, even regarding our dream, is an indication that we are not walking in love as we should. The season where the dream is cultivated until it becomes reality is a prime time for the enemy to try to introduce fear into your life through some situation, setback, or even some person. We need to make sure at this time that we are living free of unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, envy, or hatred. Quite frankly, what someone did to you or said about you is not worth losing the dream, destiny, or blessing.