Giving Up On Your Dream: 25 Questions To Ask Before You Do

http://larryshankle.com/giving-up-on-your-dream

So, you are thinking of giving up on your dream.
How long have you been waiting on God to bring your dream into reality? Some of you have been waiting weeks, months, and in many cases, years. You want to experience God do the impossible in your life. You’ve cried about your situation and longed for something to break open in what seems to be a dead, dormant, and dried up dream.

What do you do at this point?
You are thinking of giving up on your dream

If you have ever argued with yourself about the validity of your dream, you’re not alone. You are in the company of great people. Almost every single person I can think of from Scripture who God spoke to about great things happening in their life, had doubt.

They couldn’t see it happening. Oh, they wanted it to happen. They prayed that it would happen, but they could not “see” it. Giving up on your dream feels like the most difficult thing in the world, yet at the same time, it seems like a welcome relief to just release the pressure of believing for something that has yet to come to fruition.

The greatest barrier to your dream is a lack of faith. Not the sort of faith that it takes to believe God is real, but the kind of faith that continues to “see” the unseeable.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Giving up on your #dream will immediately stop God’s hand in your life. #faith #TrustGod” quote=”Giving up on your dream will immediately stop God’s hand in your life.” theme=”style3″]

You must be able to see the dream before you can reach the dream, and even if you achieve your dream, you still have to keep on “seeing” the dream in your heart.

Dreams are fragile. They don’t take root very quickly. Dreams need constant work and attention, and frankly, giving up on your dream might feel like the best route. But don’t. You will regret it. I promise you.

If you don’t feel like God is coming through anytime soon, I can relate. For many years my wife and I wanted children. We tried all we knew, but nothing happened. In fact, we went to doctors, spent all the money we could afford to pay, and still nothing.

Now, if you have a dream that you believe is from God, you are going to relate to what I’m about to say…Doesn’t it make you mad when you see others who have the same or a similar dream as you, and everything just works out for them? Don’t you get a little angry that things happened so effortlessly for them when you’ve been struggling to believe, trying all you know, and holding on to hope?

It isn’t that you want bad for them, not at all. You just want your dream too. You want God to show up in the middle of your pain and make the difference that you know he can make. This God who created the universe can make your dream come true whenever he wants to, and you know it. So when you see someone grab hold of their dream or their promise from God, you are happy for them. However, inside your heart, there is also a sense of resentment.

You want it too.

My wife and I prayed to have children for fourteen years…fourteen. That is a long time when you are living it. I finally came to the thought that maybe children and a family were something we weren’t supposed to have.

My wife and I are pastors, so we would continue to love God and celebrate all the other people who easily had children. We would cheer them on and be glad for them, but as for us, it just wasn’t the will of God. My dream began to die.

Now, let me say that along the way God stirred my spirit many, many times and reminded me of a promise he had given me years earlier. See, probably a decade earlier, God made me a clear promise. In fact, he made me four separate promises.

Some of you may not believe that God still speaks…sorry if you don’t. God does speak. He spoke to me. Not in an audible voice, but in my mind and my heart. I will never forget the day that I prayed about several very pressing wants and needs, and all of a sudden, God showed up.

Among the four promises God made to me that day was the promise that my wife and I would have children. You don’t know how many times over the years I’ve felt like Abraham (if you don’t know the story, read Genesis chapter 15). After around a decade of holding on to hope, it seemed that maybe the promise wasn’t true for us after all.

However, I couldn’t let go of it. Why? Because God had already miraculously came through on two of the four promises he made to me. They were also impossibilities, but nevertheless, God did it. Deep inside I knew God had something in store. Giving up on your dream will immediately stop God’s hand in your life. Keep believing even when it looks impossible.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Keep believing even when it looks impossible. #faith #Motivation #Jesus” quote=”Keep believing even when it looks impossible.” theme=”style3″]

God began to move our heart toward adoption. This is something I had never considered. I was even hesitant at first, but the Lord began to open up my heart to the possibility that adoption was his plan for our family.

We began our classes, got our home approved, went through the struggles and heartaches that come with the journey of adoption, and in the end, God came through miraculously again.

We adopted two of the most amazing boys that ever came into the world. When the cases closed and everything was final, it’s as if I could hear God say, “told you so.” He had given a dream, placed a vision, stirred an expectancy in my heart, and he had come through on it.

You have to hear my heart today: Don’t. Give. Up.
Giving up on your dream will be the worst mistake you ever make.

Things may not seem like they are working for you AT ALL. In fact, it might look like your situation is unraveling at the seams, but don’t give up. What I’ve come to realize over the years is that God works in the background of your life. He orchestrates situations and turns your heart. God directs your steps even when it feels like he is a million miles away, but in the end, you can know that he will come through for you.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Giving up on your #dream will be the worst #mistake you ever make. #HaveFaith #Jesus” quote=”Giving up on your dream will be the worst mistake you ever make.” theme=”style3″]

Most people have a dream, but they give up too soon, or they let their faith slump into a place where their dream feels unattainable and impossible. That may describe you today, but even in your doubt, God can still work. See, just because you give up on yourself, doesn’t mean that God has given up on you. Your dream is really his dream for you. Giving up on your dream is giving up on God’s dream for your life.

The greatest barrier to your dream is a lack of faith, but faith can be built! I’m so glad that I didn’t give up on the dream of having a family. So many times it would have been easy to do so, but my wife and I would never have had the opportunity to love and raise our amazing boys.

Now, if you are tracking along with me, you will know that I have mentioned three out of four promises God came through on. So what about the fourth one? I’m still waiting. Over a decade later, I’m still waiting. In fact, at the moment my doubts have looked bigger than the promise. However, I’ve noticed the same stirring beginning to happen in my spirit. God is moving. There is an encounter coming. God is about to come through on the promise. I can feel it.

But what about you? Are you giving up on your dream too soon?

Giving Up On Your Dream: 25 Questions To Ask Before You Do

Click here to get the PDF list of 25 Questions

I’m going to divide these questions up into five categories to help you use them more efficiently. I encourage you to go through these questions prayerfully…really answer them. Knowing the answers is not a guarantee that you will reach your dream, but rather they help you focus and understand yourself more in the process. The twenty-five questions are just designed to make you think. Ask God to open up your mind as your answer each one.

Heart

  1. Do you feel this dream is from God? (This is the most basic question you need to answer.)
  2. Are you willing to love God no matter the outcome of this dream?
  3. How often do you pray about this dream? (Not just wish and hope, but pray)
  4. Do you feel reaching this dream will fulfill part of God’s plan in your life?
  5. In what ways will you prepare your heart to go forward on your dream?

Soul

  1. Will giving up on your dream make your emotional state better or worse?
  2. Do you have the willpower to see this dream through to fulfillment?
  3. Is it possible that the reason you’ve thought of giving up on your dream is that you are afraid you will actually achieve it?
  4. How bad will you regret giving up on your dream?
  5. In what ways will you prepare your will and emotions to go forward on your dream?

Mind

  1. Can you “see” your dream in your mind?
  2. Are you able to visualize with detail and clarity, the way it will feel to reach your dream?
  3. Does your mind often gravitate to your dream, to the point that you think of it constantly?
  4. How would giving up on your dream make your mental state better? (If it wouldn’t, that may be a clear indicator to keep pursuing and believing.)
  5. In what ways can you prepare your mind to keep on believing?

Strength

  1. Are you prepared to keep believing for your dream, no matter what people think of you?
  2. Do you have a spiritual plan in place to give you strength and stamina? (You need a solid spiritual plan in place to continue pursuing your God-given dream. If you don’t have one, you are likely to give up.)
  3. Will you commit to praying about your dream daily?
  4. Do you have unforgiveness in your heart towards anyone? (If “yes,” then you need to forgive them immediately. Nothing stops your potential to reach a dream quicker than harboring this festering seed in your life.)
  5. In what ways can you prepare yourself to gain spiritual strength to achieve your dream?

Legacy

  1. Will you regret giving up on your dream?
  2. Are you spiritually able to move past it if you give up?
  3. How will you feel at the end of your life after giving up on your dream?
  4. Can you comprehend the reality of NOT living in your dream?
  5. What if the fulfillment of your dream were to happen tomorrow? How would you feel knowing that you gave up one day too soon?

I think we all realize that there comes a point in which letting go of a dream is the best option, but personally, I believe giving up should be the last option.

When it comes to my dream, my declaration and determination is to fight until there is only one man standing…and I intend to be that man.

[clickToTweet tweet=”I will fight for my dreams until there is one man standing and I will be that man. #faith #Jesus” quote=”I will fight for my dreams until there is one man standing and I will be that man.” theme=”style3″]

What about you?
What is your determination?

God has come through for me too many times for me to give up on my dreams now.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc

8 Ways To Reach Your Dream Starting Today

LARRYSHANKLE.COM

You don’t want to look back in 10 years and realize you were the reason you didn’t reach your dreams.

I’m a dreamer. On some level, I believe I’ve always been a person of dreams and vision. But just because a person can dream doesn’t mean they will automatically reach their dreams.

To reach a dream involves work. You cannot sit on the sidelines and do nothing. So many people do this very thing. They hope, and pray, and wish for something new and amazing to happen in their life. They may even have a mental picture of what they want their life to look like, but the reality is, you have to do something about your dreams.

Dreams are just pictures of what could be. They are the visions of a future you desire for yourself, and while it’s great to be a dreamer, you’ll never make it to the place you hope for fueled only by desire.

I’ve had the opportunity to counsel with those who have marriage problems like issues with trust, intimacy; even verbal abuse. They want their relationship to get better. They desire to be closer to their spouse, but they never put in the work to make it happen. They’ve told me they want to build trust or stop saying hurtful words, but without the work they never get the result.

You’ve probably known others who really wanted to create a strong relationship with their children, but they refused to take the time to do it.

The list could go on and on:
– Dreams of a more loving home
– Dreams of a more stable income
– Dreams of a better spiritual life and deeper relationship with God
– Dreams of becoming healthier and whole
– Dreams of helping others and making a bigger impact

Dreams are noble. And many times, your dream is completely attainable. However, you can’t allow yourself to be the lid that stops your hopes. Too many people become the lid that caps off their future and their potential.

For over twenty years in pastoral ministry, I’ve had the opportunity to see people do this, and on occasions, to work with them. Most never realize that they are the problem. So before you become your own stumbling block, allow me to give you a few things I’ve observed over the years that we all have the tendency to do.
These things block your dreams and sometimes kill your dream altogether.

Here are eight ways to reach your dream starting today:

1. Have the willingness to risk things.

Dreams require risk, period. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and do things that are risky. If you want to develop a deeper marriage relationship, for instance, you cannot remain distant, emotionally closed, and untouchable. To have deeper friendships you have to risk your feelings and the potential that you might get hurt.

Playing everything safe and inside the lines may keep your life where it currently is, but it will never advance you forward. Taking a risk is a necessary part of the work required to reach a dream and pursue a vision.

2. Stop being afraid.

Fear will hold your life hostage if you allow it to. This was one of my problems for years. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly haven’t reached all my dreams, but I can say with excitement that I have reached some of them.

Fear will be the stumbling block that keeps you from launching out. It’s not that you don’t have the talent or ability. In some cases that might be true, but most people who dare to dream of something more, something bigger, have already put in the work to develop their talents and abilities.

You can do it, but you let fear stop you, and it’s a shame.

The world needs your dream. We need to see you live up to your potential. We WANT to see you live up to it.

The people closest to you need you to reach your dream because 90% of the time a dream impacts them for the better too. Don’t let fear make you miss your it. Ten years from now, you don’t want to be that guy or that girl who WISHES they’d have had the guts to launch.

3. Be vocal about your dream.

Listen…you have to speak up about your dreams. No one is going to get out there and do it for you. God has gifted you, and placed something special in your heart. It is a desire that has the potential to change things in your life, but you have to believe in your dream enough to speak up about it.

Too many dreams have silently slipped into nothingness because their owner never had the courage to speak them out.

Here’s the thing: When you speak something out of your mouth, it becomes more real. The more you talk about it, the greater you convince yourself of its reality. Scripture says that, “faith comes by hearing.” This principle holds true no matter what you apply it to.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Many dreams silently slip into nothingness because you don’t have the courage to speak them out. ” quote=”Many dreams silently slip into nothingness because you don’t have the courage to speak them out.” theme=”style2″]

It’s true that you shouldn’t tell your dreams to just anyone. Some people will discourage you from reaching for them. They won’t believe in you. But you have to be willing to speak to yourself.

I remember when I first began “declaring” things in my life. It felt silly like I was just talking to myself or something. In reality, when you speak out or maintain your belief in your dreams, it’s a form of prayer that not only speaks to God but also builds up your faith. Your dreams take on a reality that they would not have otherwise.

4. Put in the effort necessary to reach your dream.

Over the years, I’ve heard people talk about their dreams, but somewhere along the way, talk becomes all they do. They talk about it but never take action.

This is one of the saddest things of all, because you know they have the potential to reach what they’re talking about. Don’t you hate it when you see someone who obviously has the ability, skill, talent, and connections, just throw away their potential? I do. I’ve seen so many people do this, but what’s worse is I’ve heard them complain at the same time about not going anywhere in life.

Listen, don’t complain. If you’re not going to do anything to reach your dream then stop complaining about it. You could reach it if you just tried.

5. If you fail, get back up and try again.

This involves some of the fear that we talked about earlier. If you’ve tried before and your attempts failed, I can understand and relate. You may not want to try again, but remember, there have been so many others who stood in your place and made a successful go of it just because they made an effort to try again.
It is cliche to talk about how many times Thomas Edison failed before he developed the light bulb, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Where would we be if everyone who failed, simply gave up?

The unwillingness to try again can come from several different sources. One time I tried something, and it failed. I didn’t have the resources to try that particular idea again, at least not in the same way. It doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the notion though.

You can raise funds, put down your pride, get the help, go a different route, make a change, or whatever, but don’t quit just because you failed one time.

6. Be the example of sacrifice.

Dreams require sacrifice. You have to give up to go up. Every dream worth reaching always involves other people too. If you won’t sacrifice, don’t think that those around you will.

The lack of sacrifice comes from one of two places: You either don’t believe in your dream enough to sacrifice for it, or you’re selfish.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Dreams require sacrifice.” quote=”Dreams require sacrifice.” theme=”style2″]

If you believed in your dream deep down in your heart, I mean really believed it was possible, you would sacrifice. A sacrifice isn’t as much a sacrifice if it has the potential of great reward. Having a belief in your dream is critical because reaching it will always take things out of you and from you, at first.

Vision and dreams don’t pay off in the short-term outlook. Their reward comes when you stick with them over the long haul.

On the other hand, if you’re too selfish to sacrifice, just quit talking about your dreams and save us all some time.

7. Lead yourself well.

The other quality that dreams will always require is discipline. Good, old fashioned, hardcore, discipline is the ability to lead yourself. If you can’t lead yourself, you’ll never reach your dream.

Here’s the reason: Reaching a dream takes motivation.

Nobody is going to be your cheerleader or motivator all the time; it’s going to be up to you. You have to get good at motivating yourself and leading yourself to change where change is necessary. It takes discipline to do this.

What qualities will it take to reach the dream that’s in your heart? Whatever they are I bet it will take the leadership of discipline to build them into your life. If you can’t lead yourself, you’ll never make it. The thing is, having discipline, motivation, and leading yourself are a choice. You can choose to have or do these things. If you really want to live in that dream of yours, be willing to lead yourself into the qualities that will make it happen.

8. Sell out to your dream.

Selling out to your dream is the deepest form of faith, sacrifice, and risk. It is saying, “I’m all in.” Selling out is holding nothing back, giving all you have, and betting the farm.

Few people are willing to sell out to reach their dreams, but those who do usually reach them.

I don’t know what selling out will mean for you. It’s something that you have to calculate on your own.

Studying scripture has made me realize that Jesus had a dream. His dream was that humanity would have a bridge to get to God. So Jesus spent every waking hour taking risks, enduring arguments, giving up his personal rights, developing those around him, and sacrificing.

In the end, Jesus sold out to his dream. He died for it. Jesus died for you. He created the bridge to God. His dream for humanity become a reality.

You probably won’t have to die for your dream, but your pride may have to. Your frivolous wants and desires may have to die for you to reach your dream. Your fear will certainly have to die.

If you really want to reach your dream, then sell out to it.

[clickToTweet tweet=”In the end, Jesus sold out to his dream. He died for it. Jesus died for you.” quote=”In the end, Jesus sold out to his dream. He died for it. Jesus died for you.” theme=”style2″]

My hope is that you reach your fullest potential and live your dream. My prayer is that this post helps make it a little more possible.

Would you mind to do two things for me?
First, if this post has pushed you to take some steps toward your dream, or encouraged you, if you’ve received value from it, share it on your social media so it can help someone else.

Second, let me keep pushing you to reach your dream by signing up for my Faith Building Challenge. You can do that below.

Faith Building Challenge

5 Secrets That Will Help You Reach Your Dream And Why You Should

If you’ve ever had a burning passion to do something with your life…You’ve had a dream. Maybe you have a secret wish to change something about your life. That’s a dream. Do you have an idea that will change someone’s life? If you do then you have a dream, and you can reach your dream.

Whether they recognize it or not, most people have a dream. It’s something that they want out of life. The bad thing about having a dream is that most people never reach them. You’ve probably seen someone you know spend their entire life wanting to launch out and do what it is they feel compelled to do; but they never got to it.

This post contains 5 secrets to reaching your dream; but before we get to those I have to admit that there’s one thing that’s a deal breaker for any dream. To reach your dream you must do this one thing first. What is it?

Commit.

You have to commit to your dream to reach your dream. It’s the real first step.

It seems like the word, commit, gets bad reviews. Maybe there’s a reason for that. Here’s what I think about it…

Everything and everyone wants a solid, strong commitment from you. They want it now. And their worthy cause is better than anyone else’s. Your time is stretched between family, church, work, school, career, activities and endless other possibilities. But here’s the deal…

It’s not possible to fully commit to everything.

By committing to everything, you are actually committing to nothing. You can’t do everything in life effectively at one time. There’s only so much of you to go around. And for sure…you’ll never reach your real dream by spreading pieces of yourself in all directions. To reach your dream is going to require commitment so be ready to give it.

Now…I promised you 5 secrets…and I’m just about to give them to you. Here’s the trick to them…They’re not just secrets to help you reach your dream. They’re actually secrets to help you commit to reaching your dream, because unless you do…it won’t happen for you. So here they are…

5 Secrets That Will Reach Your Dream Sooner Rather Than Later:

1.) Contribute to someone else’s dream.

There’s something you’ve always wanted to do. Until you can do it, you should help someone else do it. There’s nothing like pouring yourself into someone’s life for the sole purpose of helping them reach their dream.

You’ll never feel more important or make a greater impact than you will by helping someone else reach their dream. And here’s the deal…As you reach out to help someone else, I guarantee that in time, someone will reach out to help you with your dream.

This is a simple scriptural principle called sowing and reaping. You reap what you sow. So start sowing into someone’s life and help them toward something they can’t do on their own. Believe me, you’ll be rewarded and you’ll be planting seeds for your own help in the future.

2.) Keep working at it.

Ok…This may sound a little bit too simple…But the number one way to kill your dream is to quit. You’ll never reach it if you just give up.

If you aren’t committed enough to keep working at your dream, you won’t be committed enough to keep it if you get it.

Listen…It’s hard work to keep working at it. Sometimes it seems like you’ll never reach what you really want…But I can guarantee that you won’t reach it if you take yourself out of the game by quitting. But…If you won’t commit, you might as well quit.

3.) Expect setbacks…but expect to overcome them.

You have to remember this: If the dream you’re chasing is something you’re meant to do, you can overcome setbacks!

No one who ever reached a worthwhile dream did it without having a few setbacks.

Maybe your dream is to have a specific prayer answered. I know that’s been my dream at various stages in my life…And I saw plenty of setbacks before I reached the answer to my prayer. But the answer did come.

Your dream may be a new job, to have a family, to get a degree, or maybe you have the same dream that I do now…to be an author. Here’s what I know from experience…God has a way of pushing you past your setbacks when your eyes are focused in the right direction.

4.) Answer the question – “Why do I want it?”

Don’t miss this…it’s really important.

You need to understand and fully believe in the compelling reason behind your dream.

Having a strong “why” will keep you going in the tough times when it feels like nothing is happening. Having a strong “why” lends moral authority to you. You’re doing something for a higher purpose.

And the bottomline is this…If you don’t have a compelling enough reason to fully commit to your dream…you won’t.

5.) Keep your heart right.

Scripture says this:

Proverbs 4:23

23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Everything about your life stems from your heart. Your level of commitment is no exception. As a follower of Jesus Christ I believe that getting and keeping our heart right with God is the starting point of everything. Really it’s the secret to everything else in your life. When your heart is right with God…He will supply the strength to stay committed to your dream even when you don’t think you can.

Why should you commit to reach your dream?

Because in the end your dream is not just about you. It will inspire others too, and give you the insight to give encouragement to your friends, family, and those closest to you who need it most. Your dream is never just about you.

If you’ll put these five secrets to work in your life, in no time at all you’ll be seeing results in reaching your dream. It starts and flourishes when you have commitment.

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc