PLUG IN - The Vision
Happy 2016! As we start the new year, many of us reflect on our lives of the past and commit to new resolutions for the future. The truth is, our life is a journey and every journey has a destination. A few people end up somewhere on purpose through a clear vision, while others drift. 'Vision' is that elusive thing that dares to dream big despite the odds. The Bible states "... where there is no vision, the people perish." Proverbs 29:18 KJV.
Consider the people of Israel: they had been given a clear vision from God, from as early as Abraham. God had told him, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." Genesis 12:1 NIV.
Abraham believed God and set out for the Promised Land. He did not make it, but the same vision was passed down to Moses and then Joshua. The Lord called Joshua and said, "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them ..." Joshua 1:2 NIV.
The vision, however, of possessing the Promised Land was not for Joshua, but for the people; Joshua was only called to lead the people. Though we are not all visionaries, God has a vision for all of us. And when God gives us a vision, it is up to you and me to execute.
What is your spiritual vision? What does God want to achieve through you? Too many of us live an unfulfilled Christian life because we are not walking in our Divine Purpose. God wants to shoot us like an arrow to a particular destination, but we are aimless and this causes unhappiness and unfulfilment. Although you might not recognise it, you "...are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 NIV.
Sometimes, the nightmare we are living today is because we are busy without a God-given vision. His vision gives us hope, stability, guidance, joy and excitement. A true vision from God is not self-seeking, but praises God and brings glory to Jesus Christ. Having a vision does a number of things: vision moves you forward, helps you to mark and measure your success; gives you the drive to push, when the personal desire is to quit; and, vision gives you the ability to grow and to dream great dreams.
We need the God-kind of vision that will enable us to find our self-worth, to find our place and to find our purpose in helping to build the kingdom of God. John Maxwell defines vision in a three-fold manner: The ability to see - awareness. The ability to believe - attitude. The ability to do - action.
So, to find our God-given vision, we must:
1. DARE TO SEE
In Joshua 1:11 NASB, Joshua said to the people: "... within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess." Verse 16 (NASB) records the answer from the people: "All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go..." The people saw themselves as part of the plan and were committed to it. We have to dare to see ourselves as part of God's plan and get involved. We each have a part to play with the skills and talents that He has given us.
2. DARE TO BELIEVE
The actual crossing of the River Jordan called for an attitude of belief. The river was overflowing its banks and any attempt to cross it was impossible. But when God is involved, the impossible becomes possible. Joshua tells them, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God... you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go..." Joshua 3:3-5 NIV. Joshua was culturing an attitude of dependence on God and the Israelites made themselves available. When the Lord calls you to do things for Him, the ability to do it belongs to Him. We need to become less self-conscious and more God-conscious, understanding that "I can do all things through Him ..." Philippians 4:13 NIV.
3. DARE TO DO
"... when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan ... and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing... all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground." Joshua 3:14-17 NIV.
All they did was obey and God did the impossible among His people. What they could not do on their own, God did through them. It took courage yet as soon as they made the first move with their eyes on God. He did more than they could ask or imagine. God is responsible for the fact of free choice, but we are responsible for our acts of free choice.
What has God called you to do? What are your unique talents and gifts that God has endowed you with for the changing of this great nation? You are here and called by God, on purpose for purpose. So I encourage you to get up, stand up and sign up for the vision that God is calling you to.