In August 2017, I received a letter of a refusal for a visa that I had applied for five months earlier. During that five-month process, I worked hard and did everything in my ability to get this visa so I could go back to Australia. I was shocked and disappointed when I received the letter. I couldn`t quite believe it, as living in Australia and building a life there was one of my biggest dreams.
Even as I gave up that particular dream, I was jumping into the next one without knowing it. My biggest dream, since I was a teenager in fact, has always been to inspire people around the globe to live life to the fullest. And that dream is unfolding right here from Switzerland in more ways than I could have ever imagined! It’s amazing!
But, there are also side effects to living out a dream. Dreams often start in our imaginings and don`t turn into reality unless we turn those imaginings into action steps. The action steps for “living the dream” include paying a high price, being sacrificial, having persistence, developing patience, being determined, staying focused, stepping into the uncomfortable and dealing with frustration every now and then.
Over the last few months I have to come to realise that all of the above are more intense than I would have thought! Despite the fact that many big breakthroughs have happened, new doors have opened and opportunities have unfolded so that I can live out the dream, several times I have also felt a strong desire to quit! I don’t want to quit because things haven’t worked out the way I wanted them to but because of the heavy costs being involved physically, mentally and spiritually in seeing the dream come true.
I have learnt a lot during this time and am still learning. I have especially learnt what it means to trust God, to follow Him and to abide in His Word and in the promise that He has given me.
In this blog, I want to talk to your heart about what it means to abide, and how not to give up when your feelings don`t align with the words and promises of God.
1. To abide means to stay on track
Another word for abide is obedience. Obedience is doing what someone tells you to do. Simply put, abiding is staying on the journey that God has given to you and entrusted you with.
Abiding sounds more simple than it is. But once stepped into abiding, the devil on the opposite is trying to do everything he can do to stop you abiding. But we are not alone on this journey and we will get exactly the support we need to stay on track!
John 15:7 says: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (ESV)
I don`t know about you but I often want things quickly and can hardly wait for them! Being on the journey of living out the dream takes our patience to a whole new level! It`s one thing to simply abide while you are on the journey. It`s another thing to keep abiding when you have asked God for things that you need, but they do not arrive quickly! Have you experienced that?
I want to encourage you to continue to abide whilst on the journey, regardless of your feelings, circumstances, the pressure or the desire to quit! God’s timing is perfect and He will give you exactly what you need at exactly the right time.
2. Abiding brings the best rewards
Abiding has a good side effect too, although your act of abiding might not make sense right now. I can promise you one thing: The reward for abiding under any intense circumstances is amazing! Things might take longer than you imagined they would but it`s worth abiding while you wait. Fight forward and keep on going through the difficult times!
John 15.2 says:“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit].“ (AMP)
It`s amazing what happens when we abide! God cuts off the bad things from us in order to shape us to be ready to enter the dream or the promise. It’s during these moments on the journey that we often feel uncomfortable. However, the good fruit we become in those times, will then bear even greater, finer and better fruit. This is our reward!
I want to encourage you to never give up when you are overwhelmed because you feel uncomfortable, impatient or like you are losing the control; or if you are getting tired of fighting or are exhausted from how things have happened so far! Those moments are moments where God is working deeply in, through and around you. The dream He has put in your heart is never too far away for Him. He is the one that will bring you to the places, opportunities, open doors, breakthroughs, restoration and positions you never dreamed of – at the perfect time!
Abide in Him and it will give you the best rewards in life!