Vision With A Purpose

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A man comes up with an idea to start a business. He sees a market for an item. He puts a lot of energy and time into getting his business off the ground. He works long hours and comes up with creative ideas. He’s willing to step out and lead his business, but soon he grows older and is no longer able to put the amount of energy into his business that it needs. So he hands it down to his son who has been helping him. The son does well with the business but eventually grows old and needs to hand it down another generation. The grandson receives the well-established business but is careless with the money and assets. He does not plan ahead for the future, and soon the company runs into a hard financial crisis and ends up being auctioned off. It’s a familiar story of many businesses. The vision is lost for the business, and the younger people only see the immediate gain that they will get from it. In reality, businesses are not that important. How is our vision of God’s Kingdom? Have we lost it?
First, what is vision? Having a vision for our lives means we have a purpose or goal we are heading for and a strategy to get there. A person with vision is someone who can peer beyond the present into the future. He does things today that will affect life in the coming years. Take a business man for example. He needs to be able to visualize worthy goals for the business that will help it succeed. But business aside, God wants and needs visionary people in his kingdom. “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Mat 9:37-38).He wants people who are willing to live a life dedicated to his service. He wants people that are ready to sacrifice their lives for him. We need to have the vision to live a meaningful, fulfilled Christian life. We wouldn’t hop on a train that said its destination was “somewhere down the track.” But sometimes we do that very thing in our lives.
Let’s take a look at the vision that Jesus had here on this earth. I love the verses in Luke when Christ read about Himself from the prophet Isaiah.“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).When we look at His life we see that it was all revolving around these points. It is what His time was consumed with. It is what He talked about with others. Notice that Christ is doing nothing for Himself. It is all for God and to others. Our vision for our lives needs to be worthy of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who had this for a vision while He was on earth.
Some things hinder us from having a worthy vision for our lives. Sometimes unsuccessful things in the past keep us from trying something again in the future. Maybe we feel discouraged because our congregation was trying to reach out to a particular area and there seem to be no noticeable effects from our efforts. Maybe we feel like we are small and wouldn't make much of a difference anyway, or maybe we remember the flop we made of ourselves last time.
Another hindrance to a worthy vision is having a small, limited vision. Are we content with just maintaining a church for us to worship in on Sunday mornings and have a group of youth to play volleyball with on Friday evenings? Do we see the need to gather and pray on Wednesdays? Do we expect to be able just to sit and listen, rather than taking part and sharing? Do we love to worship God on Sunday but worry about our houses and businesses the rest of the time?
Fear can also keep us from being visionary. Fear of what other people will think of us if we do this. Fear that we will not know what to say when talking to someone. Fear that someone may get angry with us. Am afraid that I will make a fool of myself up front, or that I might get hurt physically. We need to turn these fears over to God and go ahead in His strength. There are more things that we could list that hinder our vision, but they all have one thing in common. Satan is the one planting them in our hearts. We need to refuse them and go to God for strength.
Let’s think about some things that will help us pursue our vision for our lives. We need to have specific things we are going to do. Sure, going to heaven is our desire, but we need to take action, or it’s just a dream. We can ask Christ to show us specific things to do for Him and then step out and do them. As we fulfill the small things Christ calls us to, we become worthy of doing larger things for Him.
We need faith in the power of God. We cannot accomplish anything in our strength. We will need God’s power to accomplish His purpose for our lives. He promises to give us strength when we come before Him and realize how weak we are. “And he said unto me; My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor 12:9).We can only be truly successful in life if God’s power is with us and we daily choose to appropriate it. We have nothing to boast about in our strength; in fact, the Bible says our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. Outside of Christ, we have nothing to offer.
We must boldly follow Christ being willing to step out of our comfort zone to follow him. The early Christians left us some good examples of being bold for Christ. We do not need to fear what people may think of us. “Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” (Acts 28:31). We may have to do some uncomfortable things as we accept a godly vision for our lives. There may be those who get angry at us or those that will just ignore us, but they cannot stop us from following Christ’s commandments.
We need persistence. Having a kingdom focused vision will not always be what is the easiest. It may not even be what seems to be working out the best for us. It may be something that just doesn’t make any human sense. It may be that we are tired of doing it. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal 6:9). We need to follow His will for our lives even when it is difficult. Sometimes we may not see any results from what we are doing, but by following Him, we know that there will be results.
What does God want our vision to be? Christ gives radical teaching on what to focus our lives. Our vision needs to be elevated to Christ’s standards, not what looks possible or easy by our standards. We need to pray and ask God what His will is for our lives. We need to have all our desires and comforts laid aside. We need to put aside a new vehicle, a hobby, our family, or the next party. When we totally open our lives to His will, we will be useful to Him. Christ wants people who will take up the work of the Church and make it a lasting heritage that will go forward. Christ wants people to preach the Gospel to the sinners in this world. Christ wants people to encourage those who are sick or hurting from painful experiences in their lives. Christ wants people to guide children to grow up and to serve Him. Christ wants youth who sacrifice to reach a hurting soul. Christ wants adults who sacrifice their businesses to serve Him in this world better.
Do you have Christ’s vision? Or has that vision been lost and you no longer have the same goals for your life that Christ had for His? Now is the time to embrace His complete vision as joyful servants looking for ways to keep His kingdom growing.