3 Ways to Know Your Ambition is From God

How do I know my dream for my life is from God?

As a child, I wanted to be so many different things. There was a season where I wanted to be a world-famous magician. I wasted hundreds of dollars at magic shops and I nearly drove all my friends away because I couldn't help but show them the latest illusion I mastered.

Thankfully, that vision for my life only lasted a year or two.

Then there was a time I wanted to be a stuntman. I killed many brain cells rolling down large hills and jumping out of moving vehicles.

That dream lasted until my mom put an end to it.

I wanted to be a comedian. A rock star. A circus lion tamer.

Yes, those ambitions were childish. No, I don't think God placed those dreams in my heart. But I do believe there was a thin line connecting each of those silly professions that spoke to the real dream God had for me. He had put certain drives and dispositions inside me that would ultimately lead to the plans He had for me.

So the obvious question is, “How do I know my dream for my life is from God?"

It's an important question. If your dream isn't from God, it isn't worth pursuing. It would be a waste of time and energy. It would ultimately lead to frustration and discouragement.

It’s not always easy to disentangle our selfish ambitions from our God-given dreams and desires, but there are a few filters you can run your idea through to begin to figure out if it’s really from God:

1. It Will Ultimately Bring Glory to God.

God made everything for His glory. So a God-given dream will bring Him glory in the end.

God made everything for His glory. So a God-given dream will bring Him glory in the end.

That doesn’t mean your dream has to be labeled with the Christian fish or cluttered with crucifixes. But it also means your dream won’t reflect poorly on God.

For instance, a dream that skirts legal lines and flirts with something unethical isn’t from God. God will never ask you to do something contrary to His Word. But a dream that demonstrates hope, love, peace—God gets glory in that.

“For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36).

2. It Will Benefit Others.

God’s heartbeat is people, and He’s more concerned with how we treat others than with material success.

Any dream that involves taking advantage of people or capitalizing on someone else’s misfortune isn’t from God. Stay away from any business endeavor or plan like that.

Instead, God will ask you to do something that meets people’s needs. That might mean writing a book that offers hope. It might mean creating a truly decaffeinated cup of coffee. It might mean becoming a foster parent.

Look for ways others can benefit from your dream, and you’re one step closer to reaching the dreams and plans God has for you.

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows” (Isaiah 1:17).

3. It Will Seem Bigger Than What You Can Handle On Your Own.

God doesn’t give little dreams. God loves doing significant things through seemingly insignificant people.

God loves doing significant things through seemingly insignificant people.

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For some, an audacious dream would be to raise godly children. For others, it might be to love their spouse in a way they never saw their parents love. Still for another, it could be to write a book. To make a movie. To start an orphanage. God loves giving us big dreams so that when we see them come to pass, we know it was because of God’s hand and not our own.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

Take a moment to evaluate the dream that’s in your heart right now. Does your dream fulfill these qualities? I'm willing to bet it does if you think about it. And I'm willing to bet that scares you a little bit. Doesn't it? Knowing God has given you a dream increases your level of responsibility in the matter.

A dream from God is not trivial. It's vital. It's not childish. It's powerful.

If God gave you a dream, you should pursue it. You should fight for it. Don’t ignore a dream God has given you. Your dream matters.

Top Comments

Ron Kent


Ron Kent commented…

This article, though solid on intention, is incomplete and can really mislead followers of Christ.

I can go start an orphanage in sierra lione. This is something that in essence would bring Glory to God. It would most definitely benefit others. And It would probably be a pretty scary but noble undertaking. It's actually somthing that I would love to do one day. But just because it fits all that criteria does not mean it is the perfect will of God. Simply, God's perfect will and his desire for your life can not be minimized to these things.

None of these 3 things require communication with God. I can fulfill this checklist without asking God about any of it. Hypothetically, if all humanity followed these 3 rules, the world would be a good looking place where people are loved and needs are met but people don't necessarily have personal relationships with the Trinity.

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Until we all decide that our dreams our weak and every desire of our own has to die, we aren't even capable of knowing God's will. Our own flesh will confuse us.

Last thought of my comment that is far too long. haha. Jesus knew the perfect will of the Father because he had perfect communication with his Father. Jesus did not ask himself these 3 things, question if his actions fit the criteria, and then made his decision based off of his interpretation. He asked what the will of his Father was in each situation he encountered and then he was obedient in that moment.

Let's not summarize the will of God into something we can grasp rather, seek to grasp pure communication with our Father God. Peace and Love.

Scott St Onge


Scott St Onge commented…

"That doesn’t mean your dream has to be labeled with the Christian fish or cluttered with crucifixes."

"God’s heartbeat is people."

"God doesn’t give little dreams."

Sir, these are wonderful words.


Jessica Rutledge


Jessica Rutledge commented…

Excellent piece!!!! Thank you!!!!

Irvin Boudreaux


Irvin Boudreaux commented…

Jonathan's article is quite good, and embodies the heart of Christian discipleship. Let us not pretend that any of us really know the perfect will of God.

Andy Pull


Andy Pull commented…

This sounds impressive, and I like the Christ-centered heart behind especially number two, but at least the third one is misleading at best.

God does give little 'dreams,' and I'm afraid we demoralize a lot of faithful Christ-followers when we claim otherwise. Listen to Paul's advice to the Thessalonians:

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:11–12 NIV)

Malchishuah New


Malchishuah New replied to Andy Pull's comment

It never ceases to amaze me how one person can perceive an article to mean one thing and another something completely different.

The author wrote the following:

3. It Will Seem Bigger Than What You Can Handle On Your Own.

"God doesn’t give little dreams. God loves doing significant things through seemingly insignificant people."

Upon my reading of the following statements, it was quite clear that the writer was not condescendingly sneering upon "little" dreams but simply making the point that it would be a dream outside your own human abilities, causing one to forsake the arm of the flesh to lean solely on the grace of God for its fulfillment -- ultimately bringing God glory, which leads back to Bullet #1.

Malchishuah New


Malchishuah New commented…

Thank you for this article. It has eliminated some of my apprehensions.

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