Living the Dream Together

You Can Live the Dream

Nick NilsonBy Nick Nilson9 Minutes


Nilson, Live the DreamExcerpt taken from You Can Live the Dream: Trading Disappointment and Discontentment for Peace, Joy and Fulfillment by Nick Nilson

Chapter 10
Live Within the Margins

Making chocolate milk can change your life.

One day my son, Denver, wanted chocolate milk. So I poured some Nesquik chocolate syrup in the bottom of a large glass and filled it with milk. Denver grabbed a spoon and stirred it, but his spoon couldn’t reach the bottom where the syrup was.

He picked the glass up and tried the milk, which was not the rich flavor he was hoping for. I told him he needed a longer spoon that could reach the space at the bottom. He grabbed a large wooden spoon and gave it another try. This time when he tried it, it was the chocolate milk of his dreams. What happened? He discovered something that could reach the space at the bottom of the glass.

I like to think of the glass of milk as our heart and soul, and there’s a place in the bottom of our life where God put our value. The short spoon is man’s approval and attention. It’s good, and it feels great in the moment, but it cannot fully reach the bottom of our longing to be valued. It can never satisfy the deep need in our heart. Over time, the spoons change, the acclaim and ovations change. We get the titles, the promotion, the applause, and we get the car and the house and stuff. And they all stir us up and make us feel good for a while. But there’s still that inner place where those things cannot reach, and we’re left still feel­ing empty, unfulfilled, and unsatisfied. We can either continue to look to other people (short spoons) to applaud our efforts and cheer us on, or we can come to the realization that Someone is already giving us a standing ovation (big spoon). Whether we believe it or not, whether we feel it or not, God accepts, affirms, and delights in us. He sees who you are, and He claps. He is the only one who can satisfy your soul, who can meet your deep need for validation and acceptance. You can live your whole life seeking and living for other people’s approval, hoping those spoons somehow stir up your value. Or you can live knowing and believing the truth that God loves and approves of you. You can live as the person you were designed to be, fully confident in who you are in Jesus.

You Have Nothing to Prove

In John 7, Jesus “did not want to go about Judea because the Jew­ish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, ‘Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show your­self to the world.’ For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore Jesus told them, ‘ … You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.’ After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee” (vv. 1-9 NIV).

Even Jesus’ brothers didn’t believe He was who He said He was. They wanted Him to prove who He was, not just to those in Judea, but to themselves. It was what they expected He would do, because anytime there is unbelief about our lives, we will natu­rally try to perform to prove something. Many of us don’t believe we’re valuable; we can’t see or have forgotten our strengths and uniqueness. You may secretly feel that you have so much less to offer than you try to portray. Even when people pay you com­pliments, you may think, Oh, you don’t see who I really am. We all struggle with this and try to perform to measure up. We over­compensate because we don’t feel that we’re enough. Because we don’t believe we are unique, special, and valuable, we have to prove that we’re a good dad or mom, or that we’re intelligent, or that we have a significant position. We have to post about it and prove to others that we’re enough.

Jesus was going to Judea, but it would be in His time, and He had nothing to prove. He purposefully stayed away from Judea for the moment because He was not going to give the Jewish leaders an opportunity to kill Him before His time had come. He refused to give in to the temptation to prove Himself to his family or anyone else. He was saying, “I know who I am and the power I possess. I don’t need to prove it to other people, and I won’t move forward before the right time.”

Let me ask you: Whom or what do you need to purposefully stay away from? Whom do you need to purposefully stop comparing yourself to, or proving who you are to, or keeping up with? Are you waiting for God’s timing to shape you into the per- son He wants you to be? You are already approved and valued by God; therefore, you have nothing to prove to anyone. God leads an ovation in Heaven over your life today. It’s not because you are a scholar, or lead the company in sales, or because you are verified on Instagram. No, it’s sim­ply because you are His child. You don’t have to try to impress Him or other people. Just be who He’s created you to be, knowing where your worth and value come from and refusing to compare yourself with or perform for others.

If you do this, I believe and declare every chain that’s held you back is being broken. You’re going to live free, confident, secure and become the masterpiece that God created you to be. You are not who the world and social media and other people say you are, You are who God says you are. You are a victor, His beloved, wonderfully made, and because of Jesus, you are enough and you have, nothing to prove. You can say, “I’m livin’ the dream because_ know my worth and value. I’m not living for the approval of people. God already approves of me!”

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