It is difficult but not impossible for a human being to dream dreams that are worthy of God’s partnership. Those dreams are first conceived in the heart of God and then birthed through the life of a person of faith. Faith is the key that unlocks the windows of heaven and allows its treasures to fall to the earth.

Perhaps we can learn to dream bigger dreams if we take a walk with a man whose dreams were not quite as large as the ones God was dreaming for him. We can certainly learn some lessons that will help us as we step into God’s divine purpose for each of us.

God had a big dream. This gargantuan dream was to establish a people—a nation—that would embrace him in a heart-to-heart relationship. He would be their God and they would be his people. That dream had begun with the creation of the first man and woman, but sadly they failed to dream much bigger than a bite of forbidden fruit. The dream remained open to anyone with faith enough to seize it, but unfortunately, there were no takers with any initiative.

So God dropped the dream into the lap of a man with three sons who lived in the great city of Ur in the land of Chaldea. Ur was a urban setting with everything a family could ever want. It was a center of culture, trade, finance, education, and entertainment. The only problem with the dream is that it required the family to pack up all their belongings and move a thousand miles to the west—a thousand miles to a place called Canaan.

As they were making plans to move—selling homes, liquidating business assets, and saying their goodbyes to cousins and neighbors, Terah’s youngest son, Haran, died. For the old man everything seemed to change with the death of his baby boy. His once optimistic outlook, his outgoing personality, and his bent for adventure all slid into neutral as a deadly depression gradually overwhelmed Terah. God had not forgotten Terah, but it seems in the grip of grief’s fist, Terah forgot God.

Once the mourning period was over, this family with the God-sized dream in their pocket set out for the long journey to Canaan. In all the excitement, no one noticed that the old patriarch’s eyes were frozen in the rear view mirror—locked on the ghost of what had been lost—what could or should have been, instead of what God said would be. Terah never embraced the dream that God had dropped in his lap, instead he choose to live the rest of his life looking back at the past.

Eventually Terah stopped chasing the dream altogether and settled in Assyria. And here is a principle you must learn if you plan to dream God-sized: God-sized dreams always have obstacles that seem humanly overwhelming. Terah hit the wall and things did not work out like he had dreamed they would. He buried his dream with his baby boy. He stopped in Assyria and built a city to honor the memory of his dead son. He called it Haran and every day for the rest of his life, Terah got up and invited anyone who would listen to visit his private museum of “could’ve, would’ve, or should’ve been.” He encountered an obstacle and settled for less.

As you dream you will encounter obstacles and most of them will come through the simple act being obedient to God—just doing what God told you to do. Obstacles often seem insurmountable, but they’re not if we trust God and obey. God told Terah to go to Canaan, but Terah took the Haran exit and built a monument to past—that was as far as the gas of his little dream could carry him.

What about you? Have you stopped following the dream God gave you? Why? Was it an obstacle? Was it something someone said or did? What was it? Listen—the problem is not with the dream—it’s not with God—it’s with your obedience. It’s your endurance—your willingness to do what God said no matter what. God-sized dreams always come with a hefty price tag, and that cost is total obedience. Don’t allow your obstacle to be a dead end. Use it to step into the will of God by trusting God and stepping through it as you would a door. The reality is most obstacles are veiled attempts by the enemy to camouflage and hide the next door God has opened for you.  Step though it—for you have need of endurance so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised (Hebrews 10:36).