|Keys to Fulfilling Your Vision
by Lawrence Powell
Sight is a function of the eyes; vision is a function of the heart. Some people have eyes to see, but they have no vision. Faith is the ability to see farther than your natural eyes can look. Vision makes the unseen visible and the unknown possible. It is the bridge between the present and the future; without it, we perish or go unrestrained. The vision includes perimeters. When you understand your calling, you will know that every good idea is not a God idea. There are some things and some people that you will need to avoid when you are clear on vision. If you want to be wise, you’ve got to walk with the wise. And you have to walk with the visionaries if you want to have a clear vision.
Vision is seeing the ultimate purpose of God for your life. Often were so determined to do our own thing we head down the wrong path; that will always bring us to a Damascus Road experience. Remember Paul, a man who thought he was doing the work of God, but in reality was opposing Gods work? What got him on track? His encounter with God on the Damascus Road.
God has a vision for each of us. He that hath begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future. Vision gives us a clear sense of purpose and direction. What is it that you want to do with your life? As believers in Christ, we should have a vision beyond where we are right now. It doesn’t matter how old you are: you should have a vision for tomorrow.
Vision helps us to set meaningful goals and keep things in perspective. It helps us to avoid being defined by circumstances and people’s opinions. People will try to define and limit you. Don’t allow it. Stop believing the negative things people say. See yourself as God sees you as a citizen of the Kingdom, seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Stop seeing yourself as broken, busted and disgusted! If that’s all you can see in your future, then that’s all you will ever have.
There is much that we can learn from the prophet Habakkuk. He was discouraged with the nation of Israel. The people were double-minded, walking with God one day and turning their backs on Him the next. Habakkuk went to God about it, and the Lord gave him a vision. He needed that vision to bring him hope and purpose. Sometimes we need the same!
Let’s look at the principles involved in visions, as we consider Habakkuk’s experience in Habakkuk 2:1-4:
1) Pray: If you don’t know what your vision is, get in touch with God. Talk to your Creator. Proverbs 20:5 says, The purposes of a person heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. Proverbs 19:20-21, says, Many is the plans and purposes of a person’s heart, but its the Lords purpose that prevails. You might think you’re headed in one direction, but God says, I’ve got a different plan for you. So get quiet before the Lord. God doesn’t want you to live aimlessly. He will teach you and show you the way to go if you let Him (Psalm 32:8).
2) Identify your passion: Habakkuk 2:1 says, I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart and watch and see what He will say to me. Vision is often birthed out of a burden God places on our hearts or from a personal experience or particular problem. Some people see a problem and discover they have a passion to resolve that problem. What are you passionate about? Godly passion is the key to discovering your vision. Standing watch has to do with being intensely attentive; it also involves separation from crowds, people, and distractions. Why is this necessary? Because your vision is uncommon. You are uncommon!
3) Write the vision: If it was important to God that Habakkuk write out the vision and make it plain (v.2), then you should do it as well. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. And if it’s out of mind, you’re not doing anything about it. At first, your vision might not make a lot of sense to you, but write down what you see and hear. A vision that is not written will be a vision that is soon forgotten. A written vision gives you something that you can look at, pray over and declare. Writing your vision is an expression of your faith.
4) Run with the vision: Habakkuk was told to run with the vision, not run from it (v.2). Some people get a vision, then get scared and back off. But if God has given you a vision, He wants you to run with it. Your vision must be your constant focus. You must wake up in the morning with it and dream about it at night. Your activities must be in line with the vision to which God has called you. But be aware: If God has called you in one direction and you’re moving in another, then you need to get on track with the vision. Live for it every day. Vision + Action = Realization.
5) Rest in Gods timing: This is the most difficult, yet most important thing to do! Though it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come… (v.3). God’s timing and ways are rarely the same as ours. Waiting on God can be quite challenging because we’re impatient. We want things now; however, our lives must line up with Gods desires in His timing. We must be careful not to allow impatience to lead us astray like it did with Abraham and Sarah. Isaac was in the mind of God. But Abraham and Sarah, given the impatience that is often born out of delay, said, Maybe God wants us to help Him out. So they schemed and planned, and as a result, they produced Ishmael. Whenever we allow impatience to take the lead, it will produce Ishmaels in our lives, too.
6) Don’t give up: Wait for your vision to unfold. It will manifest. Wait without murmuring or complaining. While you wait, serve faithfully in the Kingdom. Often your vision will unfold in stages. Everything doesn’t happen overnight. One door leads to other open doors. Be sensitive, and you’ll be in the right place at the right time. Don’t hang out with people who aren’t going anywhere. If you do, you’ll end up in the same place nowhere! Instead, get with people who can speak into your life, encourage you, help you set the stage, and figure out some strategy they will help you to get where you need to go!
7) Live by faith: …but the just shall live by faith (v.4). We must live our faith and live by faith. That’s the Christian edict. We find in Scripture that we live, walk and stand by faith. When God gives you a vision, it will be God-sized! If it requires finances that you don’t have, God will supply them; wherever God guides you, He will provide for you. Faith without works is dead. Remember, the blessing is in the doing, according to James 1:25. Keep this in mind, my friend, as you go ahead in life to fulfill your vision.
By Alex Green
I’ve always enjoyed Oscar Wilde’s comedy An Ideal Husband. But New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is out to help women find the genuine item.
In a column, she shared the wisdom of Father Pat Connor, a Catholic priest with several decades of experience as a marriage counselor.
Too many women marry badly, he says, because infatuation trumps judgment. (I’m sure plenty of men have their own complaints, but today is Ladies’ Day.)
Father Conner advises women not to marry a man who has no friends, who is controlling or irresponsible with money, who is overly attached to his mother, or who has no sense of humor. He lists so many qualities to avoid, in fact, that one woman responded despairingly that he’d “eliminated everyone.”
The column generated a hailstorm of letters to the editor, including one from a Ms. Susan Striker of Easton, Connecticut. The twice-divorced woman insisted that Father Conner had only scratched the surface. She warned women:
Never marry a man who yells at you in front of his friends.
Never marry a man who is more affectionate in public than in private.
Never marry a man who notices all of your faults but never notices his own.
Never marry a man whose first wife had to sue him for child support.
Never marry a man who corrects you in public.
Never marry a man who sends birthday cards to his ex-girlfriends.
Never marry a man who doesn’t treat his dog nicely.
Never marry a man who is rude to waiters.
Never marry a man who doesn’t love music.
Never marry a man whose plants are all dead.
Never marry a man your mother doesn’t like.
Never marry a man your children don’t like.
Never marry a man who hates his job.
And so on…
Reading this laundry list, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.
Clearly, this was the voice of experience. And it made me think what, if anything, I could tell my own daughter to keep her from making a big mistake someday.
Of course, Hannah is only 17 now. But I already identify with comedian Bill Engvall. On one episode of his sitcom, he told his teenage daughter – to her utter mortification – that her date honking the horn out front needed to come inside and meet her parents first.
He does. But before the boy leaves, Engvall pulls him into another room and says, “That’s my only daughter right there and she is precious to me. So if you’ve got any ideas about making out or hooking up or whatever you call it these days, I just want you to know… I don’t mind going back to prison.”
I know more than a few fathers who can identify with that sentiment.
But the problem with the “never marry a man…” list is that it approaches the notion of an ideal man from a purely negative context.
Rather than telling my daughter what to beware of, I’ve only recommended that she marry “a gentleman.” But then what, exactly, is a gentleman in this day and age?
British born American writer Oliver Herford once remarked that a gentleman is someone “who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.” (This is always said with an emphasis on the word unintentionally so the listener understands that it’s okay if the recipient is deserving.)
But here’s a bit more specificity from John Walter Wayland, who defined the term in 1899:
The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.
Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
Perhaps the best thing for single men and women to do would be to cultivate these qualities of character in themselves. This would make them worthy of the affections of their ideal mate, should they have the good fortune to encounter him or her.
One final thought. You may remember Dr. Randy Pausch – the author of The Last Lecture – who succumbed to pancreatic cancer at 47 seven years ago this month.
He, too, struggled with this question and left behind this time capsule of advice for his daughter Chloe, then 2:
“When men are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.”
Pretty good advice. And not a bad way of sizing up people generally.
There’s a saying do not wake Adam from his sleep, what it means is if a man is not making the right move in a direction of a relationship or commitment do not push him or help him make up his mind.
In Theresa’s case Mat wasn’t ready for a relationship or marriage especially since he couldn’t come up with all the money for a down payment for the house that he wanted to buy. However Theresa went and took all her saving and lend it to him then she realized that he wasn’t to pay her back. She was already in a relationship with him and he acted like a good man at that time. She saw the potential so she decided to go for him, she was thirty years old and in her culture that’s consider an old maid if you’re not married.
Theresa’s mom told her that she was the oldest of nine children and the baby after her died stillborn. The next children are twins and they are very close and they support each other. After the twins is Theresa’s brother whom is the spitting image and personalities of Theresa’s dad. The next baby after her brother died also but Theresa’s mom didn’t know that the baby next to her was dead until her sister came to visit her at the hospital noticed that the baby was dead. Theresa’s mom told her that the baby was so beautiful and had long legs and arms. Her mother left the hospital without paying a dime because the hospital staffs were negligent so a friend of Theresa’s mom told her to just leave the hospital without any discharge paper so she didn’t have to pay the hospital. Soon Theresa’s mom got pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl by herself because in the last trimester Theresa’s dad died suddenly from pneumonia. Her other two brother’s are from a different father and we are brothers and sisters.
Their coworker friendship developed into a full bloom romance after Mat a married man life’s shatter suddently. He said his wife left him with two small children.