Almost every week someone approaches me with a dream to write a novel or make a movie, start a business or launch a ministry ... I offer my advice, but mostly I rally their faith to go after the dream.
In the back of my mind I'm wondering if I'm wasting my words. I've seen the odds of those who will actually do something and those who will live the rest of their lives with the dream still "out there" somewhere ... unfulfilled.
Who knows the countless lives they could have touched if they had stepped out in faith and believed God?
Dreams are the stuff of life. Without vision (a revelation of what God is doing in the earth) people perish. Hope dies, faith has nothing to attach itself to and eventually the joy of living seeps away.
My dream has always been to impact the nations with God's presence. I've been in full-time ministry, written books and developed Bible college courses, but in 2006 the dream took on a new expression when God began dropping movie ideas into my heart.
It was a busy season in my life, but when the stories came, I chose to obey and start writing! I learned the formatting, honed my screenwriting skills by attending seminars and intensives in Hollywood and dedicated my free time to writing the movies God was breathing into my spirit.
Fast-forward to today, I've completed post-graduate work in UCLA's Professional Program in Producing Film and Television, started a production company with my husband and am now producing an award-winning short screenplay I wrote.
Two Keys is about two teenage girls—one Israeli and one Palestinian—whose worlds collide as they struggle to make their lives count in Jerusalem. It's a bold topic, but at this point in my life it's either go big or go home. Even though we're still crowd-funding the project, Hollywood talent is already attached to the film as well as Integrity Music artist Dustin Smith as composer!
Sounds like a dream come true, right? But behind the dream is a lot of faith, a ton of courage, and loads of self-discipline to move toward the dream. Did I say LOADS of self-discipline?
What has God put in your heart? What is he stirring deep inside you? Here are things I've learned that can help you step towards your dream.
Write the dream down.
Have you written your dream down? God told the prophet Habakkuk, "Write the vision..."
If the dream seems incredible or too far out of reach—good. The bigger it is, the better. Stretch yourself past who you are to reach into the infinite realms of who he is.
Come up with a plan.
Have you thought the dream through? Start mapping a path towards it.
Start with an easy 1-2-3 list of small and manageable steps. Your faith will grow as you pull the dream into the believable with bite-sized chunks of action.
Research your options.
Check out the possibilities of how your dream can play out and develop a well-researched strategy to accomplish it. Think vision, mission statement, long and short-term goals.
The extra time spent in development will serve the dream well. What's the sense of writing a blog if nobody reads it? Do your homework and get serious about doing something of excellence for the Lord.
Get good counsel.
I'm not talking about listening to all the naysayers. There will always be somebody ready to squelch your zeal and construct a low ceiling over your life.
At the same time, it's important to share your dream with people that will give you reliable input. The wisdom from God is first pure, then peaceable, willing to yield and full of good fruits. Good counsel, even if it's not what we want to hear, will bring peace. And in the end, if you're willing to yield to it, it will bear abundant fruit.
Pray over the vision.
Make sure your dream is thoroughly prayed over and not rushed into. Take the time to let the Lord speak and refine and even correct points where necessary.
Sometimes the dream is "now" and sometimes "not yet." Do you trust the Lord? As you pray, he'll lead and guide so you avoid missteps in this journey of faith.
Can you hear me cheering you on? Quit dreaming and take action! Press in and go after your dreams—and the One who inspires and provides for the impossible to become reality.
Laura Woodworth is an award-winning screenwriter and producer with Source Entertainment. Her film project Two Keys brings hope to this generation that even in the most impossible situations your life matters. Your faith can make a difference. You can support this outreach project with a tax-deductible contribution at www.twokeysmovie.com.
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