Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's Your Vision? Get Focused

“And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2

What’s your vision?

Few of us have 20/20 vision in the natural sense. I have worn glasses or contacts most of my life. In the morning the first thing I reach for are my glasses. Otherwise, the world is a little fuzzy around the edges. Things in the distance are hard to make out. I can function but not my full potential. For example, I wouldn’t dare attempt driving without the aid of corrective lenses. It would be dangerous for me and anyone in my path.

In the spiritual sense, some of our vision needs correcting.

Vision is the ability to see. It is also defined as a thought or concept formed by the imagination or a revelation.

In your life, what can you see? Are you seeing clearly? What do you imagine for your future? What is the revelation that God has given you about your purpose and how He wants you to use your gifts, passion and experience for His glory? Does your sight need some adjusting or correcting?

If you can’t see, how can you walk in your destiny? You stumble and bumble around in a blur—making out the vague outline but things never coming into clear focus.

Some of us are in dire need of a vision adjustment.

We have lost our vision which has been clouded by the distractions of life. We’ve lost clarity on who we are and the purpose God has given us.

What’s the best way to adjust your vision?

Focus.

When things are out of focus, it means we need corrective lenses or surgery to get things back in alignment so we can see clearly.

Our corrective lenses are prayer and God’s Word. Through prayer and God’s Word we can correct our vision and see who we are and clearly discern God’s purpose for our life. Through the corrective lenses of prayer and God’s Word, we receive instruction and encouragement.

If you’ve lost your vision or feel stuck in the pursuit of it, take some time to refocus. If you never had one, take some time to focus for the first time.

Application:

Focus on one thing at a time. After I started writing this posting, I saw an inspirational video message by Tyler Perry about focus. His words were right on time for me. Sometimes, especially as women, we multi-task and find ourselves juggling ten balls in the air at the same time. Sometimes it is unavoidable and necessary. You have to do laundry, cook dinner and help with homework simultaneously. But when it comes to reaching big goals, finishing large projects or focusing on our vision, we have to hone in on the one thing that’s most important. My husband often tells me, “Do one thing and get it done and then move to the next thing.”

What is your one thing? Identify it and get to work on it and don’t stop. Keep plugging away at it. As Tyler Perry said, plant that one seed and water it. God will give the increase.

Write the vision. Having a road map helps you get to your destination. If you get off track you can always refer to the map. Writing your vision gives you a road map. It will help you to focus on what your vision is and writing it will help you to focus and clarify your thoughts. Write your vision statement today.

Visualize. Do you want to write a book? Make the cover and put it where you can see it. Do you want to earn a degree? Make up a diploma with your name on it. Find a photo of how you want your body to look and put it on the refrigerator. Start to see not only in your mind but in a physical and tangible aspect what it is that you are working toward.

Pray and read God’s Word. Every day, whether it’s one minute or one hour, commit yourself to consistently seeking God through prayer and His Word for your vision and his revelation. I think too many of us, including myself, are guilty of underestimating the power of prayer. God said in his Word, if anyone seeks wisdom, let him ask and God said he would be more than willing to give it to you. Read His word so you know what to pray. Read his word for encouragement and wisdom. Pray back God’s word and memorize it so that it becomes a part of you. God wants to lead us and guide us. He wants to order our steps. One of the main ways that God speaks is through his word. But how can you hear him if you never listen?

Get focused and get busy and before you know it, you'll be seeing 20/20.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Steps to Success in 2012: See It, Say It, Believe It, Build It

"Without a vision, the people perish." Proverbs 29:18

As we enter a new year, we have a new opportunity. A new opportunity to fulfill the purpose that God has given us.

We start out the year with high hopes and in good spirits, but as the weeks go by our passion peters as plans don’t go as planned. Unexpected obstacles occur. Fear becomes a factor and prevents our progress. Negative naysayers prick our expectations, deflating our dreams and inflating our own fears as we start to rehearse in our minds all the reasons why we won’t succeed.

Whenever you are on a mission to fulfill God’s will and purpose, there will be challenges. The Bible says that our enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy. And he will use any tactic to achieve his goals including delay, discouragement and making you feel disqualified.

But most of the time, the biggest obstacle is ourselves. Our fears. Our focus on past failures. But God has not given us a spirit of fear and if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.

In 2012, make a decision to step into your destiny every day with determination, redeeming the time. God will give you visions and dreams and the strength by His Spirit to walk in and fulfill his purpose for your life. Whatever your God-given goal is in 2012—a new career, quit smoking, lose weight, start a business, complete a degree—see it, say it, believe it and then build it.

See it

Without a vision the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18) Another translation of that verse says when people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. (New Living Translation). If we do not have a vision for our lives we will run around wild and undisciplined with no direction. Without God’s direction, our possibilities and purpose perish.

Helen Keller famously said, “It is a terrible thing to see but have no vision.” Many of us have eyesight but we do not have a vision for our lives. Like the Israelites who first surveyed the Promised Land, we see ourselves as grasshoppers instead of the conquerors that God has called us. Ask God for his vision, his revelation, guidance, will and view of our life.

Application: Pray for God’s vision for your life. Create a vision board. Put the cover of your book, a copy of the diploma you want, other things that you want to see happen where you literally can see them.


Say it

 Once you see the vision that God has given you for your life, say it. Write it down. Tell trusted friends who can encourage you and keep you accountable. God said to write the vision and make it plain so you can run and not faint. (Habakkkuk 2:2) When you get discouraged, look at what you’ve written and remember where you’re going. Tell others so that it’s real and not just something in your mind.

Our words are powerful. God’s word brings things into existence that weren’t there before. God spoke a word and galaxies appeared. Jesus spoke and people were healed. If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe God has raised him from the dead, we are saved and our eternal destiny changed. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. (John 1:1).

Don’t just say what you’re going to do, but start confessing God’s word over your life. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14) Say, “I am more than a conqueror through Christ”. Say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Application: Write down the vision God has given you. Write what you want to see happen in 2012. Write and memorize scriptures that will encourage you. Put them where you can see them and say them out loud. Tell 2-3 trusted friends your vision.

Believe it

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6). Believe that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above what we ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20) Believe even if things don’t go as you wanted or expected that God is faithful, that he loves you and has a plan for you and wants to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Application: Pray that God will help your unbelief and increase your faith.

Build it

Get to work. Nehemiah was able to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem because “the people had a mind to work.” Seeing it, saying it and believing it mean nothing if you don’t do something. “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. “ (Proverbs 14:23) God will bless the work of your hand. He will open up Red Seas but there’s no need to open up the sea if you’re still in Egypt. God will give the increase, but you have to plant something. Building is a process. It is done, step by step, brick by brick. A foundation has to be laid and built upon. God will establish the work of your hands (Psalm 90:17), but you have to work.

Application: Even if it’s a small step, do something every day. Set small achievable goals. Don’t try to run a marathon the first day. Just walk around the block. Get the help that you need. Find resources. Start. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your dream likely won’t either.

All of these steps are undergirded by prayer and planning. We have to do the internal and external work. Prayer provides direction, encouragement, motivation and information. Planning helps us to put our prayers into action.

In 2012, step into your destiny: See it, say it, believe it and build it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Top At the Well postings for December 2011

Here are the top three At the Well postings for December 2011. Two of the top three were not written in the month of December but are actually earlier posts from September 2011 and 2009.  Since August my goal has been to post at least once a week and for the most part I have. During the month of November, At the Well had the 21 days of praise challenge on the At the Well Facebook page, so although not on the web site, I was posting every day in November on Facebook and it was a great blessing as we saw our praises turn  into prayer and a Facebook group become a community.

If this is your first time reading these postings, enjoy. If it's not the first time, enjoy again. And either way, please share them with a friend.

Peace and Blessings,
Monica

1. Baggie Books
My experience reading to my son's first grade class and important lessons for children and parents. (June 4, 2009)




2. Tending Our Gardens: Got Fruit?
Jesus is looking for fruit in the lives of those who call on his name. But are we producing fruit or just flowers? (Sept. 23, 2011)



3. The Ministry of Naps: Sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is take a nap. (Dec. 8, 2011)

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