How big are our dreams? And do we still dream? I remember a seminar where the facilitator asked us to list down our dreams. There were around ten lines on the manual for ten dreams to list. After reaching number seven, I struggled. I was having a hard time reaching ten.
This reminds me of how God dreams for us. The Israelites had been camping in the desert for forty years, with one generation dying. Another generation was rising up, and Joshua the son of Nun was going to lead them. God charged him, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” (Joshua 1:6)
God had a dream for the Israelites. It was a land where the nation could settle and finally call their own. It was a promise of territory given by God Himself to the people.
This young and new generation relied on stories and the gentle reminders of the Lord’s faithfulness. There were signs everywhere: manna that appeared on the ground, the provision of water, the occasional quail. Because this new generation was born in the desert, the only life they knew was a nomadic one where the sword was drawn often. Yet God knew there was another kind of life ahead of them—one where food was plentiful and where His people could rule well and find security.
God’s dream for Israel was more than a dwelling place. He wanted Israel to know what it meant to be a nation capable of exercising their own rule and authority based on His laws. God wanted to empower Israel to be the nation He dreamed for them to be.
God wanted Joshua to dream big. There was something about Joshua’s feet; a promise that God wanted to attach. He said to Joshua: “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.” (Joshua 1:3-4)
It was a good, vast area. It could hold a nation. God wasn’t just giving Joshua one, two, three, or five cities. He was giving him enough land for the nation to establish its identity. Joshua only had to walk on the ground. This meant fighting for God’s dream to become a reality. His feet had to move. He needed to be brave; to gather the troops. This was one dream where Joshua couldn’t just wait for fruit to fall from a tree. He needed to move in faith that the promise would be fulfilled through him.
God has placed the seeds of His dreams inside us. Have we paid attention to them? Have we acted on them? Or have we become lazy? Maybe we only dream of one little thing when God has ten on His list. God never lets go of His promises. If we have forgotten what it means to dream, it’s important that we go to our Heavenly Father. He is the Ultimate Dream Giver, and He knows how to align and adjust our dreams to fit His awesome, bigger ones. After all, life is really more about Him and His agenda than it is about us. As God downloads His dreams and promises to us, let’s not be afraid to move. Just like Joshua, our feet can claim each one of them.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.