Stop Living For Your Dream And Start Living For This Instead

Moses’ dream died. He longed to enter the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey, with his people. He miraculously marched them out of torturous slavery, endured 40 years of grueling journeys, grumbling doubters, and glorious moments with the God of heaven. He paid the price, but his dream still died. He would not enter the Promised Land, period.

Our dreams die too. We craved a certain achievement, and it won’t happen. We pictured family looking a certain way, but it will never any longer. We ached to attain that new level, and might not be able to.

You are probably used to hearing the common self-help voice with this matter, “don’t ever let that dream die, you can do it, go for it, try again!” I agree with that message, “don’t give up too easily!” However, maybe the dream was the wrong dream. Or maybe it was the right dream but there is nothing you can change that will bring it back. Maybe you can’t do it. Maybe it’s God’s plan for the dream to not work out. Or maybe it is just circumstance, maybe there is no explanation and never will be. Some dreams just die.

There is something worth living for when dreams die, legacy. Legacy is the long play, legacy is what we intently devote ourselves to for the benefit of other people, not just a dream for ourselves. Legacy is what we live for when we are no longer living. Legacy is where we turn when we realize our dream was too small. Legacy is the redwood forest in a landscape of come and go dreams.

Moses let go of demanding the Promised Land for himself. Moses couldn’t set foot on that soil, but he could influence every step of the people who would. Moses devoted himself to giving the law, building the tabernacle, and developing Joshua. Moses made three legacy plays into dreams that will outlast time itself; the word of God embodied, the church of God emboldened, and the people of God empowered. His work was the foundation of a nation and he became known as the Peyton Manning of the prophets! And, Moses had to let his dream die to make room for legacy.

It might be because I’m turning 40 this year! But I’m letting the tectonic plates of my deepest desires shift. No more achieve this, attain that, arrive there thinking. I’m asking, “what will I leave behind that matters, that lasts, that builds into the things of God? What regenerative vision can I sink my teeth into that will multiply His work in this world for decades after I am gone?” I know this, the legacy I must live for will be centered around Moses’ discovery, the word of God embodied (immerse myself in scripture), the church of God emboldened (build the church) and the people of God empowered (raise up leaders who raise up leaders who raise up leaders).

God allowed Moses to look in the direction of the Promised Land from a mountaintop, it was beautiful but not his to hold. Then he looked back at what He had built, it would last and his every breath of effort was worth it knowing that the promises of God would continue to be fulfilled.

Is it time for you to let a dream die and live for legacy in its place too?


  1. Thank you SO much for this, Craig. I have often wrestled with Moses’ banishment from the promised land, and have wondered if I too, have been banished from experiencing the fullness of a dream I had hoped for. This post has really hit home for me; I am challenged AND blessed by your words and will allow this new idea to wash over the years of sadness and disappointment I have carried. Thank you, thank you….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a subtle insight and distinction. “One door closes another door opens.” I’ve started to open up to the idea that not only is this principle true, but that the new door actually opens to a better space.


  3. Such a subtle and insightful distinction. I’ve heard, “when one door closes another door opens.” Though naturally skeptical, I’ve started to open up to the idea that this principle might actually be true. And not only does a door open, but it might even open to a better place. I hope I can apply it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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