"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.