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The Power Of Vision
If you were to take a train trip, the first thing you would have to know is your destination. You would have to know where you are going. And you have to go to the station, you have to show up there on time, which means before the train leaves. You have to have to have bought your ticket or buy your ticket before the train leaves. But the most important thing is that you've got to get on the train. Cause if you've done all the previous things, yet you don't get on the train, you'll never get to your destination.
And what we are talking about in this series is simply getting on board of God's train. That means understanding and embracing the destination that God has for His church and for your life. And how you get on that, helping you to understand that and to discern that. The goal is to equip you to carry out God's call on your life.
The verse we're using as a theme verse for this series is Jeremiah 29:11. And it says this: "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. Plans for prosperity and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
God has a plan. So far we have looked at two things last time. God does have a plan for you and that plan is not for calamity but it is to give you a future and a hope. God has a future for you. God actually has a plan. And this is the first thing that we have to come to grips with is that God really does have a plan for me. I'm not an accident and I am not a mistake. I didn't just show up one day and slip through God's hands. God actually did plan me.
And we looked at that word, "plan" and that word, "plan" and that word means an ingenious plan, it's thought out, it is intentional in nature. God planned you. He said, "I know the plans that I have for you" and the word, that phrase, that verb, "that I have for you" there, it is talking about that He has woven. We looked at this word picture of how somebody weaves fabric with purpose and intention. One strand at a time, putting you together. God designs you. He fashions you. And He did so because God has a hope and a future for you.
Understanding that there is a plans is part of looking at vision and the power of vision. We are going to see that God designed you to fit His plan for your life. God designed you in such a way that you would fit the plan that God has in store for you.
Psalm 193:13-16 says, "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and nit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
The bible affirms this that when God made you, He planned you. He designed you. Every bit of you he designed. He created you and He created you perfectly to fit His Calling on your life.
Now I know if you could have designed things, you may have designed yourself a little bit differently. You may say, "Well I would have liked to have been 3 or 4 inches taller or maybe 3 or 4 inches shorter. I'd like to have a different bone structure. I think I would have liked to have had maybe different color skin or something of that nature, different color hair or different color eyes or something."
There is a lot of things that you cannot change about yourself which you probably wouldn't have put in on the order blank if you had been able to choose them.
There's also a lot of things about your life that you didn't have any choice over. You did not choose your parents. Most of you didn't at least. You had those parents of yours. You didn't choose the day that you were going to be born. You didn't have to choose the culture that you were going to be born in. There's a lot of things. You didn't choose any of this stuff.
What we read from Psalm 139 is that God chose all that stuff. He designed you, He formed you, He shaped you. You were just like He made you because He has a reason that He made like He did. And the very first step in being able to understand God's purpose and God's plan for our lives is that we have to be at peace with this. We must get over being mad at God for all the circumstances of our lives and the things that we don't like about ourselves. And the things that we don't like about our family and the things that we don't like about the time that we were born or the culture that we were born in... we need to get over that and come to grips with the fact that this is the way it is.
We need to understand that God did this on purpose. And He didn't do it to get a good laugh, to get a good joke. He didn't do it just to make us miserable or anything. God did what He did because He has a wonderful plan for your life. And God may have allowed some things to happen in your life, but if He did, it's because God's going to fulfill a purpose and plan in your life. And so you have to come to peace with this. You will not be able to go on until you come to peace with this.
The first step is knowing that God designed you just like you are to fit His plan for your life. What happens is we look at someone else and go, "Why can't I have their life? Why couldn't you have made me like them? Why couldn't I have had their parents?" You know God made you just like you are. And you have to like yourself just like you are. Mr. Rogers does. One time a lady told me, "You know I always used to watch Mr. Rogers every once and a while because I always liked to sit once in a while and have somebody tell me, 'I like you just the way that you are.'"
And we need to come to grips that "I am how I am and I need to accept that." You will not be able to move on until you do. You must come to terms with the fact that God designed you this way to fulfill His purpose in your life. Then you will be to move on. You will be able to declare, "I am God's wonderful creation. I am planned by God. I've been woven together by Him for a specific purpose."
And some of you are saying, "But, I can't say that." Well, you are God's wonderfully made creation. So I want you to repeat this after me, "I am God's wonderful creation. He planned me. He designed me. I am who I am because He made me this way."
Now Psalm 139 says that you are God's wonderful creation. Are you like the Psalmist who says there, "Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it." How well do you know it? Or have you rejected it?
The second thing is God wants to give you a vision for this plan of His. God wants to give you a vision for the plan that He has for your life. Let me give you a working definition for the word "vision". Vision is the ability to see through the eyes of God your part in building the kingdom. I am using the word "vision" from the Old Testament. The word is used several times. It is a word that is used to describe mental sight not physical sight. It is that which comes through revelation or that which comes through a dream.
But vision is the ability to see with spiritual eyes into a spiritual reality that one day will become physical. And it may not be apparent at all in the physical. Vision is the ability to discover and discern where we personally fit into God's overall plan. It is a direction to go in. It is a passion to pursue. It is a perspective to be gained. We are to be people of vision. And God wants you to know His plan for your life and He will impart that through a vision and He will give you the vision.
Now there is a lot of people who have definitions for vision. I came up with these out of a book by George Barlow on vision. He's quoting other pastors and ministers and he says, "A vision is seeing the invisible and making it visible. A vision is an important bridge between the present and the future. Vision is sanctified dreams."
God wants to give you a vision. A vision for your life. Why? So that you'll know where you are going. So you'll not wander aimlessly. So you will have an understanding of your destination. You don't always need to know what's between this point and your destination. God wants to give you a vision for that destination because that road getting there may have some detours. Sometimes we'd like this road to be a straight line but it's not always that way. God sometimes moves us off the track a little bit to get us to the destination. But the key point is we need to have a destination because if you know where you are going, you can always ask directions along the way.
Directions without a destination are meaningless. It's like going to the gas station attendant and asking, "Could you give me some directions?" He says, "Sure. You go fifty miles this way and then you turn left and go thirty miles." You ask, "Well great, where will that take me?" He replies, "Well I don't know but it's the directions."
We don't just need directions for the sake of having directions. We need directions to get us to a destination. And as long as you have your destination out there, no matter how far you get off the course, you can always come back on course because you know the destination. God wants you to know where you are going and He wants to give you a vision out there of what He is calling you into so that you will not wander aimlessly. He also gives you a vision so that you will keep your life focused.