Mademoiselle Savelle” – that was my name all through college in all those French classes at Texas Tech University. I like how it kinda rhymes! I studied French in college and even got a degree in it; however, I didn’t really do much with it. I always thought that my French degree was nothing but a waste! The first time my parents took me to France, I ordered our meal in French and my Dad jokingly said, “There’s a semester paid for!” But God knew all along that one day He would use it!
In my quiet time with the Lord one day, I heard these words, “When I know you’re ready, get ready!” I wasn’t sure what all that meant, but I knew I needed to devote more time to getting my vision and my dreams on paper and preparing myself to go after them.
In fact, in a recent study from a professor at Virginia Tech, he found that people who wrote their goals (vision) earned nine times as much as those who didn’t! His research went on to reveal that when asked, “what are your goals for life” – he found:
• 80% said they didn’t know
• 16% said they have goals but they’ve never written them down
• Only 4% said they’ve written the goals but never gone back to look at them
• 1% said they wrote the goals and they review them on a weekly basis
He went on to say… “Do you know who those 1% are?” MILLIONAIRES!
So, one day as I was just sitting quietly at home thinking about my vision, I actually wrote that I would like to make a difference in the nation of France. When I wrote that, I felt a little ridiculous because I didn’t know anyone in France, I didn’t have any plans to go to France, and I’m just a little redhead in Crowley, Texas with a dream. Where do you even start?
So, I started by sowing seed. I knew of a church that my Dad ministered in, so I gave to the Pastors of this great church because of the impact they were already making in France. Every dream begins with a seed.
Then, I bought a map of France and framed it in my office. I was putting the vision in front of me. (Not to mention that I have “Eiffel Towers” all over my office and home!)
Then, I began to “think” and “pray” about what God would want me to do. During that time, an idea came to me to write a mini-book in French and give it away all over Paris . . . some day.
I began writing the book for the people of France, “You’re Valuable to God” or “Vous Avez de la Valeur a Dieu”. I scheduled time in the mornings to devote at least one hour of writing two days a week. One Saturday morning I penciled in my calendar, “Write French book from 7:00-9:00”. And I kept the commitment.
Habbakuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on paper – for the vision is yet for an appointed time!” You have to ‘appoint a time’ to go after your dreams!
Instead of just waiting for someone to call me and say, “Can you preach in Paris this year?” I began preparing for the dream. I wrote it in less than 2 weeks, and I believed God for an opportunity to preach in Paris so I could distribute this book all over the city. As I was writing the book, I received donations from people who believed in my vision and paid for the printing of the books. Thank you, Jesus! We got the books printed and we were ready!
And you can imagine what happened next: I received invitations to preach in Paris, France! In other words, “When I know you’re ready, get ready.”
Last September, we distributed nearly 2000 books all over Paris! We were ready when God called! When the invitations came, I didn’t have to say, “Oh my goodness, can we postpone the meeting? I don’t have my books written yet because I didn’t think you would call.” We were ready when they called!
When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare! – Henry Ford
There’s something God wants you to do and he wants you to get ready now! You don’t have any more time to waste. I want to share a few simple steps that I believe you need to give attention to in order to be ready. I have applied this to my own life and I am amazed at the dreams that are actually coming to pass right now!
#1. Picture It! In other words – what do you see? You’ve got to SEE something before you can BUILD something. When Rodney and I were building our house, the first thing the builder said to us was, “What do you see?” I just sat there. I didn’t have a clue. Rodney had some ideas about what he wanted, but I didn’t. I hadn’t spent any time thinking about it, dreaming about it, planning it. I was so BUSY with work, etc. I didn’t devote time to planning my dream.
I’ve discovered that the timing of our dreams is pretty much up to us. We delayed our own “dream house” by not being ready! Our builder was so patient with us. He even said one day, “If I didn’t like you so much, I would have told you to leave a long time ago.” Why? We weren’t ready. We didn’t have a “picture in our minds” of what we wanted.
I recently heard an interesting fact about the African Impala. It said that they can jump as far as 30 feet long and 10 feet high! However, the Impala stays securely behind a four foot fence at the zoo and never even tries to get out. Why? Because he can’t see over the fence, he will not even attempt to jump. He has to SEE where’s he’s headed before he’ll jump! You need to see where you’re headed before you step out!
Einstein said, “Your imagination is a preview of life’s coming attractions.” Your imagination, or picturing what you want, acts as a GPS system. Once you begin to see yourself doing what you want to do – your mind begins to head in that direction. It’s like you’ve finally given yourself a “destination” to enter and now, you can begin driving towards it. Rather than just sit there in NEUTRAL for another year – you can begin driving toward your goals!
God wants you to get to your original destination – but he needs you to see where he wants to take you. That requires TIME with Him. Just like it took time to develop the blueprints for that house, it takes time with the Lord to discover His next step for your life. Time with God is not about a clock! It’s about consistency!
God said to Abraham in Genesis 13 – “Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are…” In other words, get a vision of where you want to be. And then He asked Jeremiah: “More over the word of the Lord came to me saying “Jeremiah, what do you see?”
God doesn’t want you to stay where you are. You should be able to look back next year at this time and say, “Wow! Look what God has done in my life in one year’s time!” Get a picture of what you want!
#2. Start today. I heard someone say, “It’s not where you start, but whether you start.” In other words, you may have a dream of writing books and publishing them all over the world. If that’s your dream, then what have you written? Have you written the book yet? Are you still waiting for that perfect time to start writing? Start even if it’s 10 minutes of preparing. Be ready when the Publisher calls! More than that, be ready when God says, “It’s time!”
Louis L’Amour said, “The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
The Message Bible says in Proverbs 6:6-11, “You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. ..So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy – do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent house guest!”
Jimmy Lyons said, “Tomorrow is the only day in the year that appeals to a lazy man.” Don’t wait until tomorrow . . . every day that you live is another day you don’t have left to pursue God’s assignment on your life.
#3. Schedule time in your daily agenda. Never set a goal without scheduling a specific time go after it. I believe laziness and procrastination will be one of the biggest regrets of our lives – if we don’t wake up and get serious about going after God’s plan. And that requires scheduling time to do it! “Monday at 8:00 p.m., I will start writing chapter 1 of my book!” And practice having integrity with yourself. I know what it’s like to procrastinate, wish things would change, get mad because things weren’t changing, and wait for things to change! None of it produces results!
“To move the world, we must first move ourselves.” – Socrates
Plan for your success. Set a plan to go to the bookstore Monday after work. Schedule time to start those guitar lessons. Schedule time to begin reading a chapter in the Bible. Schedule time to begin working out – put it on your calendar. Schedule the day you will open that savings account, go to the bank, and deposit the money. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect to begin moving towards your dreams. Schedule time to pursue them.
#4. Sow towards your dreams. Every dream I’ve seen come to pass in my life has required that I sow a seed towards it. If you want apple trees in your backyard, you can’t just wish for them or hope they’ll appear one day. You can’t just speak to the ground and command the apple tree to appear! You have to sow a seed for it. It’s the same with the dreams God has for our lives. We must sow towards them.
What are you doing to prepare for what you believe God has called you to do? Don’t put it off another day, another month, another year. Make this your year to prepare for what God’s called you to do. Get a picture of your dreams and your goals and put them on paper. Start preparing today. And listen for God saying, “When I know you’re ready, get ready!” God wants to do something significant with your life and the time to get ready is now.