"When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, DISCRETION will preserve you; understanding will keep you."
I've always fancied myself to be an open book. For years, I've lived with the self-perception that I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, and I've got NOTHIN' when it comes to a poker face.
Consequently, setting boundaries when it comes to relations with others and determining whom-to-share-what-with is a concept that has long been somewhat unfamiliar to me. For years, I thought that by establishing structure regarding whom I allow myself to fully trust to confide in, whom I invite into the telling of the most personal and sacred aspects of my life, would somehow make me ingenuine, overly-guarded, seemingly defensive, or simply seem unwelcoming.
Recently though, I'm starting to realize that keeping some things to ourselves, and others within the confines of our wisely pruned inner circles, does not make us any of those things; it DOES, however, keeps us in alignment with scripture.
Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet."
Scripture points to the notion that there is value in protecting the things that are important to us; we can do so by establishing boundaries as to how we relate to and reveal the things that God is showing us to others.
It is not about isolation - we were meant to live in communion and fellowship with one another. We would have no testimony, no ministry, if we weren't willing to open up about what God is doing in and through our lives. It's about recognizing that our intimacy with God, our discernment, our own faith, our own spiritual and mental wellness, and the lives of those people - children, spouses, family, and the dearest of friends- who have been entrusted to our care, are our primary responsibilities. We have to cherish and protect those areas FIRST.
It's also about timing.
Some dreams, while they truly are from God - and you may be completely certain of their validity - just aren't yet ready to be exposed completely.
The visions-for-our-lives God plants within our hearts are like seeds. These sacred dreams need time to grow in their roots before they can breakout of the fertile soil - the protection - of His word and into the elements of the inconsistent natural world.
Just like the seed of a flower has to grow first in the dirt, sinking its roots into the soil that sustains it, before it can spring up and sprout and bloom into the beautiful, colorful, and fragrant flower that it's meant to be, that brings joy to the world, the secrets Holy Spirit reveals to us need this protected space to flourish, too.
It's not that a dream-exposed-too-soon loses its ability to come to pass; it's just that it becomes more vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy, the more thinly it is spread around.
In the garden, sometimes a seedling may sprout quickly and eagerly. It may seem fine at first, when the sun is shining softly and the morning dew is just enough of the water it needs. But when the elements of nature come- and they will- the sprout that exalted itself prematurely may not have the firm foundations it needs to stand against harsh winds, frigid nights, and heavy rains. A seedling sprout too soon is at risk for being blown off course by a busty breeze, freezing over in its place, or being drowned out in overwhelming rains.
So it is with a dream, a mission, a secret, a calling, a whisper upon your heart, that is not yet ready to be open and accessible to all. The more people who have access to the things developing within your heart, the more susceptible those things become to lies from the enemy, false prophecy, and misdirection. Even though the people speaking into your situation may have the best of intentions, the truth is, they don't know what's in your heart. They don't know what our sweet friend, Holy Spirit, has spoken to you. They don't know what reading God's promises has written on the tablet of your heart.
Think of the story of Joseph, found in Genesis 37. He had a call from God, revealed as a dream, and he KNEW it, knew it. He was eager for it. He assumed that it was true, and not to be kept hidden. Without considering the usefulness of revealing the dream to unsuspecting others, Joseph went to his father and his brothers to tell them of his dream. How did they respond?
"So they hated him even more
for his dreams and for his words." Genesis 37:8
Joseph's brothers hatred led them to respond to his revelation by selling him as a slave. Though God is sovereign and the dream was from the Lord, Joseph's dream did ultimately come to pass (Genesis 41), but only after much of his time was spent in slavery and imprisonment. I can't help but to wonder what Joseph's journey might have looked like if he had been able to access the wisdom we have from scripture today, which forewarns us to guard our hearts, practice discretion, and hold on to our dreams in faith.
The truth is, we can't be angry when we share a God-sized dream with people and they don't jump on board with it immediately with an action plan. It's not their duty to cultivate and encourage and protect that dream. God didn't plant it in them, asking THEM to have faith in YOUR dream. He gave it to YOU. He sowed that seed into your heart.
Your dream is your entrustment, therefore it's your responsibility.
It is your assignment. Your duty.
Something God has entrusted you with
to be protected, cultivated, and held onto with FAITH.
Ask God to help you discern the dreams within your heart, to determine if they truly came from Him, or if some other seed was planted there. The Bible says time and time again that the heart is deceitful among all things. Process the whims of your heart with the Lord, by reading scripture and spending time in prayer. Ask God to confirm or alter them for you. See that they align with scripture. Ask Holy Spirit to interpret the word for you. And always, always, be open to asking God to intervene, and swiftly, should some dream you THOUGHT was certainly from Him is revealed to NOT be His best for you in your walk and season (hey, it happens).
When we allow our dreams to grow - to be expanded, confirmed, redirected, or tweaked - in a protected space, yielding intimacy between just us and our Creator, it allows their roots to be established strongly and deeply, in His will, in His anointing, and in our hearts. A firmly rooted plant is not easily stolen, steered, or shaken.
Let your conversations with God retain their sacredness by allowing them to first dwell under the protective shadow of His leading.