At our community group last night, we had a great discussion on the topic from many different vantage points - 20 somethings who are on the front edge of their dreams; 30 somethings who are in the first stages of doubts about their dreams; and 50 somethings who have dreamed again and again.
It brought to mind something I have been rereading this week: George Barna's "A Fish Out of Water." Barna was an early influence on my understanding of vision, and his comments from this book on the difference between God's vision and ours seem to be a fitting part of my group's discussion. Here's what Barna had to say:
How can you tell if a vision that moves you is from God or something of your own creation? Here are some hallmarks of God's vision:
- Human vision is based on trying to maximize our resources and skills. God's vision is based on using us beyond our capacity.
- Human vision is based on accomplishing the most appealing dream. God's vision challenges us to accomplish an impossible or improbable dream.
- Human vision is often based on what brings us delight. God's vision is a reflection of what brings Him delight.
- Human vision is dangerous because it inflates our ego. God's vision is dangerous because it demonstrates His power at work within us - and our complete inadequacy.
- Human vision drives us to push ourselves to the limit. God's vision drives us to our knees in submission, humility, and obedience.
- Human vision represents a commitment we develop and pursue until we tire of the battle. God's vision becomes an obsession we embrace until He enables us to fulfill it or He brings us home.
- Human vision reflects our cultural obsessions: size, speed, status, and success. God's vision reflects biblical obsessions: people, holiness, love, and transformation.