Vision for our lives is a clear mental picture of what could be. A vision for our lives is an inspiring picture of what could happen through our service to God and to others. Vision is also an inner longing for something you have not yet experienced but believe God wants to see happen through you.
Vision is not limited to those who serve as ministers or missionaries. God has a specific vision for every person who follows Jesus.
On December 17, 1903 Orville Wright flew the first sustained airplane flight from level ground. He flew 37 meters for 12 seconds. The Wright brothers had a clear mental picture of what could be. That picture, and the inner longing to see it happen is what motivated them to dedicate their lives to ‘flight’ becoming a reality.
Every time I step onto an airplane I marvel that the Wright brothers had such an outlandish vision. I am thankful they gave their lives for the vision to become a reality because it means that I can travel the world, fulfilling my vision.
Vision without commitment is actually just fantasy. The Wright brothers had to have commitment and endurance to go with their vision. It took years of sacrifice and rejection by friends for their vision to become a reality.
Vision precedes reality. How do you picture your life in ten years? What do you picture yourself accomplishing? Take a moment to write it down - that is your vision.
Vision is powerful because it gives significance to the mundane details and the not-so-mundane difficulties of our lives.
Without a vision people languish in mediocrity and mundaneness.
Whatever you do, get a vision for your life!
Vision weaves four things into the fabric of our lives:
- Passion. Vision evokes intense emotion. There is no such thing as an emotionless vision. A clear, focused vision allows us to experience ahead of time the emotions associated with our anticipated future. Passion is more than intense desire, it is the willingness to suffer and sacrifice for our desire to be fulfilled.
- Motivation. Vision provides inspiration. It gives us a reason to do things, to make sacrifices, to say no to other opportunities. Vision driven people are very motivated. They WANT to get things done.
- Direction. Vision takes us in a particular direction. It serves as a roadmap. Vision leads us to our destiny. Vision simplifies decision-making. I love sports. I loved and played basketball. But when I got a vision for my life, I did something that shocked my friends. I gave up basketball. I quit my team in the middle of season. Something more important had taken hold of my heart. I went back to basketball later in the season, but then it was a means to a far greater end goal: my God given vision.
- Purpose. Vision gives you a reason to do what you do. Vision gives purpose and purpose gives us momentum to move in a direction. A vision gives you the clarity of purpose to overcome barriers and make sacrifices. Another way to say this is vision gives us a reason for what we do.
The Divine Element
God has a vision for your life. You were dreamed over by God before you were born. His part was to create us with purpose and vision, and our part is to discover it. When God speaks to us He turns possibilities in our lives into a conviction and a hope for our future. God has a mental picture of who you can be and what can be accomplished through your life. By hearing from God we begin to believe in our vision.
Knowing your vision is from God turns a possible dream into a must-do conviction. Above all things, seek God for His vision for your life... but remember, He won't reveal it to the casual person who doesn't care enough to ask Him and to seek him diligently.
Practically speaking, how does God use the circumstances of our lives to give us vision?
- By seeing a need and responding to the need - doing something about it
- Being dissatisfied with what is happening around you in life
- Hearing from God that He wants to use you to make a difference
How do you discover your vision?
Take some time to LOOK…
- Look within you - what is your passion? What has God already spoken to you about? What strong desire is growing in you? Submit it to the Lord and if it grows, accept it as a calling, a vision from God for your life. Psalm 37:4-5
- Look behind you - how have past lessons and experiences prepared you to pursue your vision? What experiences and people has God used to speak to you and grow certain desires and convictions in you?
- Look around you - what’s happening around you in the circumstances and relationships of your life that God has used to stir vision in you? There are people that God has placed in your life to speak vision into your life.
- Look ahead of you - what do you want to accomplish with your life? It may be that the desires and dreams you have for you future are God's way of speaking to you, of giving you vision for your life.
- Look above you - what part does God play in your life and dream? How has God spoken to you in the past? Write down the promises God has given you. If you don't have any, ask God for them and keep your ears alert to note them when He speaks. Read the Bible with expectancy... what would God like to speak to you from His Word?
- Look beside you - what resources are available to you? What skills and abilities do you have that you can use to make a difference in people's lives? Use them. Offer them in service. Get involved.
- Look alongside you - who can partner with you in this pursuit? Are you part of a community of faith? Are their great people who share your concerns and convictions? They are there for a reason.
The Vision and Calling of All Nations:
In 1993 God impressed on Sally and I this simple but huge vision: Jesus worshipped by all the nations of the earth.
So, with a few friends, we started on a journey to turn that vision into a reality. Today, All Nations works in 35 countries - and is growing. Our workers have seen tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of people come to faith, discipled and gathered in communities of faith that are impacting villages, cities and nations.
Working closely with friends and co-workers in the All Nations family of churches, we defined some specific goals to turn our vision into a mission: to make disciples and train leaders to ignite church planting movements among the neglected peoples of the earth.
That is our vision... we invite you to join us to see it become a reality. But if not with us, then you live out your vision with others who share your vision. As we all live our visions for the Lord, as varied as they may be, we are in this together!
All of life is spiritual if it is lived for God! There are no secular or sacred visions. Every vision from God is sacred, is spiritual. The market place is a spiritual place to live out your vision if that is where God wants you.
Don't be intimidated or think of yourself as less than "full time" for God if you serve Him in the market place. That is GOD'S vision for you!
Whatever vision God has given you, wherever He has placed you to follow that vision, if it is from God, it is worth giving your life for! Go for it!