Joshua Swanson: Welcome to The Walk; a devotionals podcast for worshipers. In this episode, worship leaders, songwriter, and artist, Josh Baldwin, brings a word about trusting God with your dreams. Here we go.
Josh Baldwin: Hey, this is Josh Baldwin, and, um, I am here to share just a little bit of a devotional, but really just a little story and uh, just something the Lord showed me and is I feel like he’s consistently showing me. I was 25 years ago. I’m showing my age right now, but, 25 years ago, I was the worship pastor at this little church in the middle of nowhere in the mountains of North Carolina.
And, um, I had, you know, gone through years or a few years of, of ministry school, but also leading worship and being given, um, encouraging words and, and, and prayers and, and just, um, dreams of my own that just were really being told, said that like, okay, one day you’re gonna do this and you’re gonna write songs, or you’re gonna, you’re gonna lead worship for this many people, all these things that were definitely dreams in my heart.
And, um, and the words that I heard were, were things that encouraged me and gave me life, but also, they would, uh, would tend to like pull away my attention, and I would focus more on what I thought I should be doing and what, um, you know, maybe what I’d been told that was gonna happen with my life.
And, also looking at the fact that it wasn’t happening right then and what’s going on, Lord. And you also said that I would be married. You know, I’ve, I had this, this, this dream of being a father and a husband. And all through my 20’s I was, uh, the worship pastor at this little church in, uh, North Carolina and not married and single and, um, I remember this one day in particular just, um, I would pace this dirt road next to my house at night and just pray and talk with the Lord.
And, uh, a lot of those talks were just me being grateful for just even the opportunity to be there, in that, in that position, in that situation where I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do, I’m leading worship. I am. I’m, I’m working at a church with a team that just wants to, worship and minister to the Lord and, and to people, and I felt so privileged.
But then on the other end, I’m like, Lord, but you said I’d be doing this and all these grandiose things, and also I’m alone, God. Where’s my wife? Where, where are all these other things that I’ve, I really feel like you have for me? And, um, I just felt, I kept, I kept thinking of this scripture that we’ve all heard.
Uh, Jeremiah 29:11, but I wanna read it, and I wanna read it through, through verse 13. And the Message translation of it is really what I feel like just shaped a lot of how I went about, uh, praying for these things to happen, but not forgetting where I am.
And it says, uh, Jeremiah 29 11. It says, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out. Plans to take care of you, not to abandon you. Plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me and when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”
I remember reading that and just feeling like the Lord was like, “Hey, you, um, uh, you have all these dreams in your heart, and, and they’re there for a reason. I’ve placed them there. I’ve even told others about them and they’ve encouraged you and, uh, but you’re trying to pastor these dreams and I’ve actually called you to pastor the people and the worship that lives inside of them.”
“The people that I’ve placed right in front of you, you’re there to pastor them.” And so I felt like if he was, like he was saying to me if you will just look at where you are if you will pastor and do what I’ve, the last thing that you heard me tell you to do, then I will pastor these dreams over here.
I will pour into them. And I just, I remember, um, as I chose to pour into the people and pastor the community that the Lord had put before me and not take my eyes off that and look towards the future and how is that gonna happen? How are all these other things gonna happen that I see myself doing? I could see the Lord.
Just kind of watering the dreams. This, this garden that I had, uh, full of dreams, I could see him just watering them. And, um, doors started open. And it wasn’t because I was begging the Lord or striving for it, but it was because I was faithful in what he had originally called me to do. And I think so many times we, we, uh, we think that de that the delay, the delay in our calling or the delay in where we are, is a denial.
And it isn’t. It’s just. It’s not time yet. It’s in the Lord’s time and there’s, and there’s probably a strengthening of character that needs to be taken, needs to take place. And uh, if you stay faithful where the Lord has called you in that season, he’s, you’re going to move on to the next thing.
There’s a difference between leaving something and actually moving on to the next thing. And that’s what we want to do. We want to move. To what the Lord has for us and has laid out for us, and not leave something because maybe something isn’t happening fast enough or it’s not happening in the time that I need it to happen.
And uh, and a lot of times we think that that’s where our peace is gonna be found. It’s, it’s gonna be found in me striving and finding success and it’s not, our peace is not tied to that. Our pieces can be found in him and it can be found in being faithful to him.
Joshua Swanson: When we come back, Josh encourages us to focus on what God has put right in front of us.
But first, I wanted to quickly thank Soldiers for Faith who’s the sponsor of this episode. It’s a very special ministry motivated by the words of Philip. Come and see. It’s from John one. When Jesus is calling his disciples, they provide methods to come and see the Lord from their call in Bible studies to their special needs ministry and their at-home concert experience.
Everything they do is motivated by a call to bring people to come and see the Lord. I’d invite our listeners to join other believers seeking Biblical truths and guidance through the Holy Spirit by checking out soldiersforfaith.com for more details. We’ll put the link in the show notes on worshipleader.com, so be sure to check it out there, but again, soldiersforfaith.com.
Okay, back to Josh.
Josh Baldwin: If you’re in that situation or you’re in that time where you have these, these dreams, you have these words, you have this calling that’s inside of you that, that you feel like you’re not fully walking out and uh, but you’re discouraged. I just want to encourage you to just go back and remember what was the last thing the Lord told you?
Where is the last place that you felt like he plugged you in? And has he said anything different? Do you feel anything different to move on? Is there something to move on to? And if not, maybe just stay plugged in there and start working towards pastoring that area of your life and let the Lord pour into those dreams and he will. When we seek and knock and go looking for him he said that we will find him.
I just want to, um, I wanna encourage you where you are. I know. It can be easy to look ahead and miss where we are right now in the Lord and we don’t wanna do that. We don’t wanna miss any steps that he has for us. And, uh, so, Lord, I just pray right now that you would, that you would encourage, uh, everyone listening here, everyone who we know, that you’ve placed dreams in their heart.
And Lord, I pray that you would just begin to water those dreams as they just pour into the place that they’ve been, been given to, the things that they’ve been given. Lord I, we pray that you would, um, yeah, pour into our dreams as we just pour into what you’ve laid before us. And that we would, uh, we would trust in you and just know that your plans for us are good. You have, you want, you want even better than what we want for ourselves. And Lord, we just, we, I just speak peace and, uh, a grace for the journey over everyone listening right now. Yeah, in Jesus name, amen.
Joshua Swanson: With big dreams, comes big expectations, but I really love how Josh reframed that to say, focus on pastoring the people that are in front of you and let God be the champion of your dreams. That’s a great devotional. Thanks Josh so much for sharing. We’ll play out this episode with a song that Josh just released called I See The Light.
As always, special thanks to Matt McCarty for producing and editing today’s episode. Jacob Fairclough produced our theme song. The Walk is brought to you by Worship Leader, which is an Authentic Media brand. I’m Joshua Swanson. Here’s, I See The Light.