Here is a post from Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life. In each point, see if I am responding according to the will of God or if this is all just made up by my earthly desires...
The Six Phases of Faith
Phase 1—Dream: Do I have a dream planted in me by God? If you don't have a dream, start praying, "God give me your dream." If you can't write down the dream God has given you, you need to be praying. If you don't have a dream, you're not living, you're just existing. God placed you on this earth for a purpose.
My response then: I dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina. Since I was 9, that's all I ever dreamed of. It's an earthly desire to have self satisfaction...
My response now: I am dreaming of girls in tutus, dancing to glorify our Lord, girls encouraging each other to be their best, girls who are in love with God's word and sharing them to their audience thru dance. I dream to be with these girls and grow as a Christian with them.
With this dream, I believe it was planted by God, it is His dream too, and since I was 9, or even from birth, He already had it blueprinted... it was no accident that I took ballet lessons and loved it, there was a purpose. And this dream, He will make it happen.
Phase 2—Decision: Do I need to make a faith-decision that will help that dream become a reality? Some of you have a dream from God, but you haven't made a decision to follow it. You're still on the fence. God's word for you is "Go for it!" Some of you may need to make the decision to give your life to Christ. Some of you may need to make the decision to join a church. Some of you may need to make the decision to get involved in ministry.
My response then: It took a lot of faith when we had to leave a comfortable life in the Philippines, but sometimes our faith is tested, and we fail... We did not have enough money to support a family of five (plus a dog) and that situation, sadly, crumbled our faith, even though God would always show us His miracles in the form of shelter, transportation, food and clothing. We jumped off decisions without consulting the Lord, and of course, those decisions did not turn out as planned.
My response now: I am focusing on the dream that He planted in me. I will go for it! Here's a clear picture... I lost the job I wasn't made for, and He showed me His church...and a glimpse of the reality to the dream through my new job, back to teaching ballet... Readers, I ask you to pray for me, that I may not lose track again and jump ahead.
Phase 3—Delay: What has caused my dream to be delayed? If your prayer hasn't been answered, that's okay. It just means you're in God's waiting room. Now is not the time to detour. When things don't happen on our timetable, we tend to run ahead of God and create detours to make it happen. You may end up making the wrong decision. Wait, wait, and wait for God to work his hand.
My response then: When I had the wrong dreams, I take actions to get it. When my wallet was almost empty, I call on my relatives and friends to help me. I can't even remember if I prayed.
My response now: My wallet is empty... wait on the Lord, let Him perform a miracle. And He does! And my dream? I'm sure He will deliver so for now, I am in the waiting room after doing what was only necessary.
Phase 4—Difficulty: What difficulties have I faced waiting for the dream to be fulfilled? You are being tested, but it's not going to be the last time. You'll go through many, many tests in life. God says, "I know exactly what you're going through. I see it. I'm watching. Don't think I've forgotten you—I haven't."
My response then: I have lost track so many times by listening to others - "you should do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that..." they may mean well, but back then, I did not know who I was dealing with...
My response now: I believe that God is watching and hasn't forgotten. The dream was conceived, it will be born.
Phase 5—Dead End: Have I come to a dead end yet? Some of you are there ready to give up. But the truth is—you're right where God wants you. You're getting prepared for deliverance. God's word for you is "Hang on! Keep on believing! Don't give up!"
My response then: No, it can't be the dead end, there must be a way. And I dig holes which just made me deeper into it. And then I came to a point of almost giving up. I almost gave up things that are so important in my life! And this was when I did not have Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Mt response now: Looking at my present dream, it may look like a dead end as there's really nothing more I can do but wait. I won't dare dig deeper holes because I learned... deeper holes means its darker, and that's where I lose track. So believe me, I'm hangin' in there!
Phase 6—Deliverance: Do I expect and trust God to deliver me? "According to your faith will it be done to you." (Matthew 9:29 NIV) God is faithful. What he tells us to do, he will do. But it doesn't happen overnight. You go through the faith-phases of Dream, Decision, Delay, Difficulty, and Dead End . . . and then comes Deliverance.
... looks like I've been through the process! Oh I can't wait... ooops, I have to wait! My faith just grew a muscle, yeah!!!
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