Vision and Perspective for the Year Ahead

vision, perspective, Romans 5:20Believe 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.

The Choice Between Vision And Blindness

vision, goals, sinHopefully by the time that you read this today you will have eaten and drunk something.  Can I ask you a silly question?  Why did you do it?  Why did you eat or drink what you did?  My guess is, it was because you were hungry and thirsty and your body was telling you that you needed nourishment.  In other words, you had physical motivation to eat and drink.  Motivation is important, both in the physical realm and in the spiritual realm.  With that in mind, let’s consider the following quote by a fellow blogger:

It’s the vision that motivates the practice. – Tom Smith

Do you know what else can serve as an excellent motivator?  A vision, or a goal (I will use these two terms interchangeably from here on out).  As Mr Tom Smith so aptly stated, the practical work of whatever it happens to be can be motivated by the goal that we have in mind or the vision that we have been given.  This is an important truth that is applicable in many areas so I will ask you, do you have a vision?  Do you have a goal or goals that you are working towards that helps to shape your thoughts and actions?

Using a very relevant example, I write these posts and run this blog because God gave me a vision of sharpening and encouraging His people by writing and speaking His truth.  I have been charged to teach and to edify both with the written and the spoken word until the Lord tells me to stop or calls me home to be with Him.  For me, this is an excellent motivator to do as He has asked.

I believe that God wants the very best for us.  I believe He wants us to be who He created us to be before Sin entered the world and caused us to be evil and less.  I believe that He has a vision for each of us based on the talents and abilities that He has given us.  He wants to use our experiences, our personalities and even our worst failures in combination with His power and His grace to produce something marvelous and something unique to each of us.

Do you have a God-given vision and purpose?  Have you asked for one and sought it out?  I am certain that He has one for you but until you come to the place where you are ready to receive it, you will remain blind and directionless.  The great news is that you have a choice.  You can choose to receive all that God offers by crying out to Him and seeking His will for your life.  When you want it more than anything else, you will have it.