When God gives you a burden that becomes a calling, a vision of something you believe He wants to do in your life, one of the first things you need to do is to protect it. These visions are most vulnerable when they are in their nascent state, before they have begun to take shape. Like a polar bear hunting a baby seal, the enemy would love to destroy what God wants to do, before it has a chance to grow up, and so you must take steps to protect it.
I believe that one of the greatest things you can do to protect your vision is to employ strategic silence until the opportune time. You see this in scripture. When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem with a vision to rebuild the walls he said nothing for three days. He didn’t even tell the people who were going to do the work until the time was right. (Nehemiah 2:11,16) It would have been easy to let it slip, but he didn’t want any neigh-sayers to put their own spin on it as they broadcasted the news. He wouldn’t forfeit the right to be the one to impart the vision to the people himself.
When God revealed to Mary that she was raising the Messiah it would have been easy to respond to that annoying mom who had a “my kid is on the honor roll at Nazareth elementary” bumper sticker with a nonchalant, that’s nice. Oh and did I mention that my kid is ‘destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel?’ But she didn’t. Luke 2:51 specifically says she, “kept all these things in her heart.” She protected the vision of what God was going to do with strategic silence for a period of time.
If you want to know what can happen when you share your dreams too early, look no further than Joseph. Over a bowl of fruit-loops one morning he casually mentioned to his family that they were all going to bow down and worship him one day. Joseph was sharing exactly what God had revealed to him, and it would come to pass exactly as he saw it, but his family wasn’t too keen on the idea at the time. Sharing the dream so early on lead to some rocky days for young Joseph as his brothers took steps to keep it from coming to pass and that is what can happen when you don’t protect the vision with silence early on.
Looking back on my life, I can think of times where I let dreams out of my heart too early or with the wrong people and got discouraged as a result. It’s easy to do. You want affirmation. In fear you desire to hear from others that you aren’t crazy, that they think it will work, that you should ‘totally go for it.’ And because “in the multitude of counselors there is safety” you seek out feedback. Be careful. To all but the eye of faith a God-sized vision looks impossible. The eye of the flesh will see the problems, the reasons why it won’t work, those who have tried it before. And you can easily end up bailing on your calling because some hater told you that there is no way you can kill a goliath with a sling-shot. It just can’t be done. And they are right, you can’t. But God can.
Check this out, Psalm 115:3 says, “Our god is in Heaven, He does as He wishes.” If God wants to do the impossible in your life–that’s exactly what He will do. Nothing is too hard for him. I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek out godly counsel, before you take action, you should. But when you do make sure it’s from those with gutsy faith who won’t just see all the reasons why it won’t work. Seek out advice from people who have taken risks that God has blessed.
To use a coffee illustration, there might be a season where you need to just keep things brewing before you push the plunger down and pour it out. There are dreams in my heart, I believe God is going to do in my life and ministry one day, that only a select group of individuals are privy to and there are other ones that no one knows about but my wife. If I said them out loud in public I would probably scare myself right now. I am protecting them with silence until the time is right. Protect the vision God has given you!
“There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish… it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter.