Believe it or not, we have almost completed one full month in the new year. One twelfth of the allotted time for this calendar year is nearly gone even though it feels like we just finished putting away the Christmas decorations. The hours and days continue to move forward at what seems to be a faster and faster rate and I have to wonder what the rest of the year will bring.
Am I ready for what God has in store for me? Do I have the vision to stay the course that God has laid out for me and the perspective to know where I fit in to His grand design?
Vision and perspective. I’ve been thinking a lot about those two words lately and how they relate to this new year. Taken individually, vision (or a vision) can be thought of as direction, inspiration and a goal or goals. Setting goals according to worldly desires and ideas can lead to short term gain but is not of eternal significance. Letting God give us a vision and inspiration for our future path and then setting goals based on that is always going to lead to eternal and everlasting reward.
We can and should pray for a God-given vision and inspiration for the future. This is the starting point for an amazing journey of faith and whatever that vision from God happens to be it will be personally significant and tailored for each of us individually.
What about perspective? How does it relate?
Proper perspective helps to keep us humble and to honor God with everything that we have. We may have a grand vision that God has given us but if we allow our perspective to change (and because of our human nature our perspective will change for the worse unless we work to maintain it through the power of the Holy Spirit) then we will not be able to move forward towards our goals in a way that would please God and bless others.
This is especially dangerous for anyone in a ministry position and is the cause of so many troubles in our churches today. We’ve been called to teach, to pray, to serve, to preach, to lead and we may start out with the best intentions but because we aren’t taking our daily walk with God seriously and aren’t guarding our hearts and lives from the evil one our perspective shifts away from God and towards something else. And once that happens, sin inevitably follows and there are always consequences for sin.
The truly great news is this: where sin abounds, grace abounds more! God’s grace is always greater than any sin that we can commit and His forgiveness and mercy are ready for every person who repents and turns away from their sin and towards Him.
Right now, while we still have time and most of the year in front of us let us recommit to following God’s vision and keeping our perspective aligned with His. More lives than ours depend on what we decide to do today.