Five Tips to Go From Dream to Plan
PROVERBS 16:1-16 – 6/22/21
“The preparations of the heart belong to man…” Proverbs 16:1a
Because we are created in God’s image, like him, we are planners. We love to do, to make arrangements, to make things happen. What a glorious trait. What a great responsibility. We alter and impact our environment to suit our needs. Both those we seek God and those who do not are capable of this. We don’t “need” God to do so. Within his sovereignty, we can even do things that are contrary to him and what he stands for.
King David had a plan. His plan makes a wonderful case study. He eagerly desired to build a permanent structure for Yahweh to be worshipped in. “King David rose to his feet and said: “… I had it in my heart to build a [Temple] … and I made plans to build it,” 1 Chron. 28:2. 3
1. Know what lights up your heart? What dream can you not get off your mind, even year after year? God loves to place a seed in your heart and then to partner with you to bring it about, for his glory. Dream. Seek his plan for you. Rise up above the crowd that mindlessly flows along and does only what others have planned and worked at. Your plan may be to support others in their plans. If so, find a worthy Dream to come alongside. Follow your dreams and don’t hop from one to another without ever accomplishing any. If you must change plans, use what you’ve learned to feed the next plan.
2. Mindfully make plans to bring your Dream to life. Cast your vision forward. Visualize your dream as reality. Teach your children to dream and practice making dreams come true whether it’s preparing a great dinner or planning a play date. That shows them the hard work it takes to make even a small dream come true. It teaches them to be leaders and problem solvers. Demonstrate it by verbalizing and performing your dreams/plans. Ask teenagers their opinions (as though you have to 😊) and engage them in intelligent conversation so they can learn how to think.
3. Plan for course-correction.
It helps to know that The Dream is not about you. I say it again: The Dream is not about you. It is about God and his glory.
a. Your Dream may be so grand that you cannot accomplish it from beginning to end. Embrace that. Be like Asaph and be open to being part of a team to achieve The Dream (https://tribalminded.com/2021/06/03/put-that-in-your-pipe-and-smoke-it/.) Any dream worth dreaming will entail a team.
b. David says,
“God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood,’”
1 Chron. 28:3.
There are times when he will need you to step out of the way. He gave David a reason why he would not be the one to fulfill The Dream. He may or may not give you a reason. Be okay with that too. Our fleshly motives and egos easily get entangled with our dreams and plans. Hold them loosely to God to detangle that for you.
4. Step down when it is time
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work,” 1 Chron. 28:9, 10.
Bow out graciously when your role in The Dream is over. Do not be like an actor who will not exit the stage when their lines are done. Prepare your successor. Prepare him or her physically, mentally, and spiritually. Prepare them for more in life than just The Dream. Empower them verbally and in deed and remind them it’s not just about them either. Prepare them for difficulty. Every Dream worth having is difficult and daunting. You will be afraid and discouraged along the way.
5. Give them The Plans
“Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. He gave him the plans of ALL that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. He gave him instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the Lord, as well as for all the articles to be used in its service. He designated the weight of gold for all the gold articles to be used in various kinds of service, and the weight of silver for all the silver articles to be used in various kinds of service: the weight of gold for the gold lampstands and their lamps, with the weight for each lampstand and its lamps; and the weight of silver for each silver lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand; the weight of gold for each table for consecrated bread; the weight of silver for the silver tables; the weight of pure gold for the forks, sprinkling bowls and pitchers; the weight of gold for each gold dish; the weight of silver for each silver dish; and the weight of the refined gold for the altar of incense. He also gave him the plan for the chariot, that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and overshadow the ark of the covenant of the Lord,” 1 Chron. 28:11-18.
Can you imagine how long it took David to prepare all this? It is easy to keep things in our mind/heart. What happens when life happens and we’re not there anymore to continue The Dream.
a. Use discretion and share important aspects of The Dream along the way. When you are ready to pick a successor, share ALL that the Spirit has laid on your heart. Did I say that it is not your Dream and that it is not about you? The Dream is Spirit work. Do not hoard parts of it to make yourself indispensable.
What if they take it and run with it? Again, use much discretion regarding who you share with. The Dream is sacred and special. It is not to be broadcast all over the place. Find trusted people to share with. If they do take it and run with it, glorify God that his Dream is coming true. Trust him to right what wrongs have been done to you. He will guard both you and The Dream. You are more than The Dream.
b. Write things down. If it’s important, it’s worth writing. If your life is important, keep a journal. Someone will greatly value that someday. That someone may be you!
“All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.” David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.
1 Chron. 28:19, 20.
In closing, consider these wonderful words from our passage today. Invoke the Master of the Dreams in yours. He will blow you away!
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:3, 9.