Audacity and Imagination
In her book, Wild and Free, Jess Connolly describes a dream she received. In this dream, she and a friend stand over her concrete planter box, one filled with only deadpan soil and rocks. As she watches the soil, vibrant, colorful flowers and lush foliage begin bursting from the ground, and God says to her: “See things aren’t supposed to grow here, but they will.”
This dream stirred me up, reminded me of the dreams I’ve had since I was a little girl. It also restored the hope of a promise: what he does in our lives is not based on what already is or on the sheer sum of human sweat and physical materials, but on the abounding, extravagant possibilities of God’s miraculous intervention.
Over time, have you grown young in faith, with the imagination and confidence of a child, or more skeptical and self-reliant? What longings and hopes stirred your heart as a child?
With a deep trembling and awakening joy, I have begun claiming and praying for his miraculous abundance to spill over my family and relationships every day. What shouldn’t arise naturally from rocky soil will nonetheless spring up from a ground that is watered by our prayers.
It is by grace we are saved, but it is our faith-filled requests that give us access to all he longs to provide.
Jesus unpacks this truth in Luke 11, when the disciples implore him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” In reply, Jesus tells a parable of a man who gets out of bed to meet his friend’s need, saying, “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”
Likewise, we’re invited to ask, seek, and knock on the heart of God for what we need. It is not too audacious to persistently, boldly envision and pray for the marriage, parenting, ministry, world transformation, or (fill in the blank) you can scarcely imagine.
What do you long to see happen in your life, ministry, family, or business?
Do you dare ask with shameless audacity?
The thing that stands between a life of getting by on your own strength and a life born of His supernatural presence is requesting what you can scarcely imagine. Asking that he would far exceed your wildest dreams.
Underneath it all is a crazy measure of hope. Expecting his goodness. Dreaming, longing, and believing him in advance.
Instead of expectation, I have often prayed from a place of smallness and fear, finding reasons why my community might not need me to show up with my strengths and deepest longings.
This is not the abundance and the audacity God invites me to.
Are you waiting on your dreams for another day or are you waiting on God for your dreams today? Beth Moore, in Breaking Free, shares that waiting without expectation is just passing time. But a waiting on that is literally twisting into God, with full expectation and complete disclosure of our hopes, this is what Jesus has in mind for us
If you could paint a picture of your deepest dreams, what would they look like?
What symbols, colors, or words do you see?
Now describe this image to God. He invites you to audaciously, shamelessly ask for his presence to bring a fulfillment of that dream in ways even more beautiful than you can imagine.
We can’t wait to celebrate with you the ways he responds to this outpouring of your heart.
Sarah! I’m moved to tears. SO SO good sister. Thank you for digging into this to bless all of us.
So good. Thank you for processing this together! Love our shared journey!
Beautiful writing, Sarah. May God illuminate your dreams and continue to bless you with joy. I like your questions! I feel that I tightrope between the two every day– confidence and trust on the one side, doubt and striving on the other. And fall a lot, too! I also notice that I feel more playful and joyful and closer to that childlike trust in God when I take scary steps with God, even when I am not sure. Maybe especially when I am not sure. The audacity of asking and praying, and the audacity of doing, too. Thanks for writing this.
Melissa, I love the images you described, the tightrope and the playfulness of your childlike spirit when your trust is resting on him. So beautiful! Thank you for reading and for sharing your journey! I’m so inspired by you!
Great thoughts, Sarah. Thanks. I love the question about painting a picture. Need to sit with that one a little while. Change is coming and the adventure is in seeing where God will take it/me.
Susan, yes! It is such an adventure to imagine with God what great things he is unfolding before us. Dreaming with him with deep expectation brings fresh life to our soul. I’m excited for you as you sit with that question and see what starts to take shape in your imagination!