January 06, Kathmandu-
Your vision—you must ‘find’ it!
Notice two important things about vision: (1)Your vision must come from God.There’s a difference between setting your own goals and having a God-given vision. When your vision is of God,‘…it will surely come…’(Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV) You won’t have to orchestrate events; God will provide the resources and open doors at the right time. Your steps will be directed by Him. Here’s an interesting Scripture:‘…time and chance happen to them all. For man also does not know his time: like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time…’(Ecclesiastes 9:11–12 NKJV) God will reveal to you your destiny and give you an opportunity to fulfil it. But you can resist it, or postpone it, or give your life to other things and end up missing your ‘time’ and ‘chance’. Don’t get caught in that net or trapped in that snare and miss what God has for you.
(2)Your vision will be connected to a certain field. Joseph’s dream started with a field of wheat (Genesis 37:6–7). What’s your field? Whether God calls you to the field of medicine, education, finance, leadership, or some other field, it’s to be a blessing to others. God told Abraham,‘…I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.’(Genesis 12:2 NIV) Don’t seek fame, seek to serve others. If you do your impact will be greater than your image and your eternal reward greater than anything this world can give you.
Jesus said,‘…for this reason I was born…’(John 18:37 NIV) When you know why you’re here and what your God-given purpose is, you become virtually unstoppable. You won’t be flawless, but you’ll have the naturalpower to overcome each obstacle as you proceed. If you get turned around, God loves you enough to get your attention, correct and redirect you, and get you back on track. But to find the right answers you must first ask the right questions, such as:
(1) What desires have been living in me most of my life? (2) What motivates me to be productive? (3) What keeps me going forward when I’m worn out? (4) What makes me refuse to quit when I meet with resistance or opposition? (5) What do I do that doesn’t seem like work? (6) What do I do that brings positive response and support from others? (7) What am I doing, or what’s happening in my life, when doors seem to open automatically and effortlessly? (8) What do discerning leaders and godly counsellors think about my work? (9) What makes me feel good about being who I am? (10) What makes my creative juices flow? (11) What am I willing to sacrifice to accomplish it? (12) What am I doing that I’d be proud to offer for God’s approval? (13) What would I do without being paid for, if I could afford to? (14) What would I be willing to withstand Satan over, in order to accomplish it? What is God saying to you? It’s not too late; ‘find’ your vision and follow it!
You must ‘follow’ it! (1)
Paul was on a mission. He travelled light, practiced personal discipline, avoided distractions and kept his eye on the ball.‘…one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal...’(Philippians 3:13–14 NKJV) Successful companies live by aMission Statementevery team member can understand; they keep it before them at all times. God told Habakkuk,‘Write the vision and make it plain…that he may run who reads it.’(Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV) You must write your vision down, read it regularly, remember it at all times and run with it. Your greatest enemy isn’t the opposition, it’s the distractions.
Ever heard of ‘a white elephant’? When the King of Siam wanted to destroy an enemy, he supposedly gave them a white elephant. In those days white elephants were considered sacred, and nobody dared refuse a king’s gift. The trouble was, white elephants couldn’t be put to work but they had to be fed—a lot! So the king’s ‘gift’ ended up causing his enemy’s downfall. So, guard against ‘white elephants’ that drain your time, energy and resources.
In order to protect your vision, live by these words,‘…let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends… He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary… He thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and He is now seated at the right side of God’s throne. Think of what He went through… So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up.’(Hebrews 12:1–3 GNT)
Your vision—you must ‘follow’ it! (2)
Five times in Genesis 39 we read that the Lord‘was with’Joseph. Be encouraged: God is at work in what you’re going through right now. Where did Joseph get the wisdom to lead a nation? By dealing with his own family problems, by handling Potiphar’s household staff, and by running a prison system. Like the stepson a ladder, each one took him closer to the top. Notice how it worked: his brothers sold him to Ishmaelite slave traders, who sold him to Potiphar, who put him in prison where he met the butler, who introduced him to Pharaoh, who made him Prime Minister of Egypt, fulfilling his dream.
Was it easy? No, until the time came,’…the word of the Lord tested him.’(Psalm 105:19 NAS) Your vision will be ‘tried’ by situations that either make or break you. The birth of the vision is often followed by its death and then its resurrection. When you’ve no funds, no friends, and no fight left in you (the death stage), remember the words of Jesus:‘…unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies [to self], it produces much grain.’(John 12:24 NKJV) When your vision dies and God resurrects it, you begin to talk and act differently. With your ego subtracted and grace added, you start saying with the Psalmist,‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’(Psalm 27:13 KJV) At that point God smiles and says, ‘You’re finally getting it right!’