You need to watch out for them because they are everywhere. You work with them. Some of them live in the same house as you. Churches can be filled with them and they are not content to remain quiet. For some strange reason, these people believe their job in life is to come down fast and hard on your dreams, and they are ready to pounce at every turn in the road. I personally believe that one ill-timed word from them can derail you for years if you choose to listen to them. Who are these people? I call them dream-squashers; they are experts at telling you why you will never beat the odds.
Do you remember Joseph from the book of Genesis? This young man had been given legitimate vision from God which involved his big brothers bowing down to him and reverencing him. He would one day rule over them according to God’s vision. Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob and was adorned by his daddy with a garment that set him apart as special. Elder brothers don’t like being reminded daily that they aren’t daddy’s favorite so animosity simmered in their hearts over time against Joseph. Ultimately, when Joseph shared his dreams with them, their pride could take it no longer and they decided to do something about the little man with big dreams.
“They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits.” – Genesis 37:19-20
Well, that will bless your heart, won’t it? Kill the guy with the dream because he had the audacity to believe it would become real. The rest of Joseph’s story involves his brothers taking him captive, selling him into slavery, and lying to Papa Jacob about his death. What type of person do you have to be that you would be so envious and enraged about God’s favor on another person, that you would be compelled to ruin that person? Though the brothers represent the extreme end of envy, you also may be susceptible to this same destructive force if you aren’t careful. Similarly, there may be people in your life who cannot stand the thought of God’s blessing resting upon you. So they put on the hat of a dream-squasher and exert energy, telling you all the reasons why you cannot be who God has destined you to be.
You aren’t smart enough. You aren’t gifted enough. There’s no history in your family of God’s mark of blessing. Your education is lacking. You aren’t pretty enough for that man, or you aren’t successful enough for that lady. The challenge is over your head and the potential is beyond your fingertips. You will never heal up. Trouble will never settle down. Resources will never flow in. Results will never pour out. Victory is for others but you…? You are average at best and you should recognize that great things never attach themselves to average people. Consider your dream squashed. Like Joseph, you are officially welcomed to “one of the pits”.
Friends, don’t believe the hype and continue to seek God’s face for the improbable. It is my observation that the Almighty delights to use the sub-mighty to accomplish some pretty spectacular stuff. A heart that is saturated with Scripture is fertile ground for receiving the seed of a God-ordained vision. Saints throughout history have seen by faith what could be and, as they commit that vision to God’s superintending, amazing things have happened. I believe that this same God is looking for people today who will hazard the response, ignore the naysayers, embrace the opportunity and receive the blessing. Why could it not be you through whom He does something great? Are you too young? Joseph and David were young. Are you too old? Abraham and Moses were elderly. Did somebody tell you, sister, that this is a man’s world? Deborah and Esther and Abigail and Priscilla and Lydia would tell you not to listen to them. The disciples were unlettered men who accomplished great things which changed the world forever. All of these were people who had God’s vision and experienced great and mighty things which were previously unknown to them.
God has not changed…but you may need to if your dreams will come true. Cynics and skeptics are everywhere. They are dreamless, aimless and fruitless. The only thing they do well is toss people with dreams into pits. My advice? Love them but don’t listen to them. You have bigger and better things on the horizon.