I love to see people dream. To use their imagination. To create things that don’t yet exist. To watch someone rise to their passion and purpose is exhilarating, and to play even a small role in releasing that potential is intoxicating.
But what if I’m drawing that stream out of a polluted well?
One of the dangers I personally face as a spiritual leader is creating and communicating via isogesis. Now there’s a fun theological word. Isogesis refers to starting with a specific belief, and then searching (typically Scripture) for evidence to support my already pre-determined supposition.
This can be a dangerous way to approach God because it starts with me and then makes a vain attempt to bring Him into the equation.
A lot of us dream that way, too. And as you can see from this passage of Scripture, I can be a dangerous origin.
“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” (James 4:1-3 NLT)
I’m messed up. And while the things that naturally reside inside of me are undoubtedly part of my God-design, they’re also polluted with misguided motivation and selfish agendas. With sin. My dreams need redemption right along with the rest of me.
Jesus calls us to repentance, to realignment with Him. And not just as a one-time event, but a daily surrender. Then my imagination begins to emerge from a healthy well. My dreams naturally become sourced by God and I stop desperately seeking a “blessing” for things that originated with me.
So what about you? Do you dreams emerge from The Source, or are you “isogeting?” Starting with you and desperately hoping God will come along for the ride?
Tough one for me. But that’s the problem with dreaming.