Steven Furtick, Sun Stand Still:
There’s always a trade-off. Before God can bring his promises to pass in your life, he has to strip away all the stuff that keeps you from trusting him wholeheartedly. And that stuff is on the inside. God’s invisible work in you prepares you for his visible works through you.
Certain components of spiritual success are easy to see. These are the tangible, public, and obvious victories that inspire you to admire well-loved heroes. But the training ground for those victories is the stuff you can’t see. Crossing over into God’s promise is always accompanied by a cutting-away process. And once you’ve crossed over the Jordan by embracing your [God-given] vision, there are some intense internal challenges waiting for you on the other side.
I don’t know exactly what this cutting-away process will look like for you. God has a personalized calling for your life, so the sacrifices he calls you to make will be specific and unique. All sorts of variables play into this. The things that God will call you to lay down or walk away from will depend a lot on where you’ve come from and where he’s taking you. And only he knows that.
God may have to cut away some of your self-centered dreams to make room for his bigger and better dreams. Maybe the desires of your heart are wrapped in ambition for status instead of passion for Jesus.
God has scheduled me for open heart surgery on many occasions to deal with my distorted priorities and superficial motives. At times, he’s graciously allowed me to get my heart right by inspiring me to humble myself through fasting, prayer and repentance. But other times, he chooses to strip away the ego and pride in my life through more drastic measures.
The thing is, sometimes God has to let your dream die so that his vision for you can come alive.