· Rick Warren
Phase 1: Dream
How does God build your faith? He always starts with a dream. Nothing happens until you start dreaming. You have to get an idea, a vision, a goal, or a target. When God wants to work in your life, he gives you a dream about what he wants you to do and the impact he wants you to have in the world.
Phase 2: Decision
You have to make the decision to go for it! Nothing will happen to your dream until you wake up and put it into action. For every ten dreamers in the world, there is only one decision maker. The only way to move forward in faith is to decide to take a risk.
Phase 3: Delays
When you pursue your dream, there is always a waiting period. Why does God make you wait? Because God wants to work on you before he works on your project. The purpose of the delay phase is to teach you to trust God and to be patient with his timing. How you handle God’s waiting rooms of life is a clear measure of the strength of your faith.
Phase 4: Difficulties
Not only will you have to wait, but you will also have problems while you’re waiting. There are problems even when your dream lines up with God’s dream, because God is working on your faith and character. The difficulties will become so bad that you come to your limit. You’ve tried everything, you’ve exhausted all your options . . . and now you’ve reached the fifth phase of faith.
Phase 5: Dead Ends
In the dead-end phase, the situation deteriorates from difficult to impossible. If you are at this stage, congratulations! You are in good company. Even the apostle Paul experienced dead ends. He wrote, “At that time we were completely overwhelmed, the burden was more than we could bear, in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we believe now that we had this experience of coming to the end of our tether that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God who can raise the dead.” God not only can raise people from the dead physically but also can raise people from the dead emotionally. He can raise a dead marriage. He can resurrect a dead career. He can breathe new life where all hope has died.
Phase 6: Deliverance
In the end, God delivers. He performs a miracle. He provides a solution. God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections, hopelessness into victory, and dead ends into deliverance. Why? Because he gets the glory.
What Phase Are You in Today?
Has God given you a dream? That’s what phase one is about. If you don’t have a dream, then you’re not really living—you’re just existing.
Maybe you are in phase two. You have a dream from God but have not made the decision to pursue it. You’re still sitting on the fence. You think you’re waiting on God, but God is waiting on you. God’s word for you in the decision phase is, “Go for it!” Heaven is cheering you on!
You might be in phase three right now. You have a dream and have made the decision, but now it’s been delayed. You’re asking God, “Why hasn’t my prayer been answered yet?” If you’re in phase three, remember, you’re in God’s waiting room. Don’t detour, and don’t get ahead of God either. Wait for him to open the right door.
Perhaps you are in phase four—you are being tested. What difficulties are you facing while you wait for the dream to be fulfilled? God says, “I know exactly what you’re going through. I see it. I’m watching. Don’t think I’ve forgotten you, because I haven’t.”
Or maybe you are in phase five and are thinking, “I’ve hit the wall. I’m at a dead end. I’m ready to give up.” Well, you’re right where God wants you. God is saying to you, “Hang on! Keep on believing! Don’t give up!” You’re on the verge of phase six: deliverance.
Do you expect God to deliver you? God is faithful. What he promises to do, he will do. Where God guides, he provides. But it doesn’t happen overnight.
Are you ready to do what God created you to do? God’s dream awaits you.