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-- © GodSpeak International 2004 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Rodney Hogue RodHogue@aol.com
Editor: Teresa Seputis
Transcribed by: Diane Wilson

Vision For Your Life And Ministry

By Rodney Hogue

Lesson 8
Keys To Fulfilling Your Vision

The series that we're is talking really about getting a vision for your life. God has a plan for your life. You're not an accident. You're not something that's a leftover. You're not something that God didn't think of. You didn't just pop upon the scene and God looked at you and said, "Where did you come from?" No, God planned you! God knew you. The scripture verse that we've been looking at has been our theme verse is in Jeremiah 29:11, which says, "'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.'" (NASB)

God plan for you has a future and a hope. And God knows that plan and God wants you to know it too. God will take you through a process to help you understand His plan, He will give you discernment and spiritual understanding of what His plan for you is. And we call that "vision", God is giving you a vision for your life. He is birthing something down in your spirit. Vision is seeing through God's eyes what your part is in building God's kingdom. That's what vision is. Vision is the ability to see with spiritual eyes into a reality that is not apparent to the physical. It is that ability to discover and to discern where we fit in God's overall plan; the direction to go, the passion to pursue, obtaining God's perspective. It is seeing the invisible and making it invisible. Vision is an informed bridge between the present and the future. Vision is sanctified dreams. It is seeing a future reality from God's perspective. It's the capacity to see life and circumstances from God's viewpoint in order to know and to follow God's calling on your life. Is is the ability to understand what God is saying specifically about you in your life so that you can fulfill the purpose for which He created you and placed you on this planet.

Vision lets you know where you are going. And God may not give you all the details up front, but He gives you a direction in which to begin to follow. He does so that you will help your life focused so will keep it directed, so you will not get off the track. Vision helps place you on the course so that your life can be a very focused life. Vision creates passion in you and that passion motivates you.

We're going to look at a life in the Old Testament to help us understand more about vision. We will consider Abraham. I want to look at his life and simply just learn some things about vision; how Abraham received His vision from God and carried it out. Let's look at Genesis 12:1-4:

Then the LORD told Abraham, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you." So Abraham departed as the LORD had instructed him, and Lot went with him. Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

Now catch a vision of your life just looking at what we can find with Abraham's life. There are two things I think that are very important to gain our vision for our life. Those two things are a listening ear and an obedient heart.

First, have a listening ear. And Abraham had a listening ear -- he was listening for God. God spoke to him and told He told him to leave. Verse 1 says that the Lord told him "Leave your country". How did he know that God told him that? He listened to God so he heard when God spoke to him. This the key and it is a very important thing. If you look at the people in the bible who had a vision for their life, they were people who heard God. They listened to God and God taught them very early. Some of them later and some of them earlier like Samuel. 1 Samuel 3 tells how Samuel got started. He heard this voice and he couldn't distinguish whether that was Eli or God. He didn't know what God's voice sounded like at that time, so he thought it was Eli. But Eli helped to understand that it was God speaking to him. So at a very young age, Samuel began to hear the Lord. And you've got people like Isaiah. People who heard the Lord. Everybody who got a vision for their life were people who heard God.

This means that if you are going to want to understand what God has for your life, you're going to have to get it from Him. And there are some very general things we can find in His word, right? There are some very general things that fit everybody. There aspects of obedience in here that fits every believer. But you are a unique person and God has a specific thing for you. And if you want to know that plan, you are going to have to hear God. You're going to have to pursue the voice of God. You have to listen to God. Sometimes all you will have to go by is what God has said.

I wonder how this story looked from Sarah's perspective. One day Abraham comes home and the conversation goes something like this...

"Guess what, honey? God spoke to me today."
"Oh really, what did He say?"
"We're moving."
"Great. Where are we going?"
"I don't know. Isn't that wonderful?"
"Peachy. What are we going to do when we get there?"
"I don't know. Let's pack!"

I just don't see Sarah getting really excited. I suspect she was wondering, "How do you know we're supposed to be going?" And all Abraham could tell her was "Because God spoke to me." Sometimes that's not enough, but that's all Abraham had. And that's all Sarah had: "God said". God spoke and they left because of that.

This brings us to the second point, when God speaks to us, we are to obey Him, just like Abraham and Sarah did.

You've got to have an obedient heart. Your obedience will build your confidence in God and make the vision become clearer. If you want to know more about what God has called you to do, you need to have a life of obedience. If you want your vision to become clearer, obey the Lord and more will come to you. As you begin to obey God, trust will begin to rise up. You see Him meet you as you obey Him in something, and that gives you more faith for next time He asks something of you. If you are going to obey God, it's going to depend on how much you trust God. And your trust level begins to grow as you obey. If you don't trust God very much it's because there has been a lack of obedience. The more you obey, the greater you will be able to trust the Lord. You will see that He always comes through with His promises.

So God said to Abraham, "Abraham, get up and let's go." And Abraham got up and he went. There obviously had been enough go on between Abraham and God for him to build this trust level so that when God says, "Go", he went. Faith is developed this way. It is developed through positive experiences in faith.

As you begin to obey God, you see God does come through. God is not a liar. When God makes a promise He comes through with it. You get experiences with God under your belt to give you confidence, your trust grows. But it starts with you believing Him, extending yourself, taking some risks. And when you do so, God always comes through because He said He would, and you'll trust Him more.

There is one question this passage does not address: Why did God wait until Abraham was 75 years old before He extended him this kind of invitation? Was it because God is sovereign in this thing, that He wanted to a miracle with a woman who had been barren all of her life and even past child bearing years? Was God into something there? Well obviously, God was into something there. But the other thing that I have to keep kicking around in my mind is this: Did Abraham have a stubborn heart where it took God 75 years to work in him the point where he would say "Yes?" I don't know if that is true or not, there is nothing in here that tells us that he had a stubborn heart. But sometimes God has to prepare us to have a willing heart.

For example, look at Moses. God used Moses to release the people of Israel out of Egypt. How old was Moses when he went before Pharaoh? He was 80 years old! He wasn't really young. Why did God wait until Moses was 80? It was because God had to work in his heart. Moses spent 40 years in Egypt; 40 years in the wilderness tending sheep. God had to get him ready to say Yes. He wasn't ready to say Yes to God at first, and God had to prepare his heart, to help him become willing. This tells me that God will do whatever it takes in order to you to the place where you have a willing heart. God will allow you to go through whatever it takes so you will have a willing heart. He will get you there. God allowed Moses to go through quite a bit to have a willing heart.

I don't know about Abraham about all he had to go through to have a willing heart. But I know this. God took him through whatever was necessary to get him to the point where he would say "Yes" when God said "Go." And God worked that in his life before He asked Abraham to pick up and "go." And God will also bring us through experiences of being willing. I think about the prodigal son. At first he wasn't willing to go back to his dad, but when he depleted himself of all of his resources, when he was slopping pigs and he was hungry, he got willing. God brings us to those places so we will just say, "Yes".

An obedient heart does what they already know to do. So, the question is: Are you doing what God has already told you to do? When God begins to speak to you, He expects your response to be, "Yes" followed by actually doing what He tells you to do. It is not OK to say Yes and then not do it. You need to be a doer of the Word.

Jesus gives us a comparison between hearers and doers in Matthew 6. He tells of one man who built his house on the rock and the other man who built his house upon the sand, and He compared these two. He said that they both were those who heard the word, they both listened to the word. But one did it and the other one did not. The one who did it had his house built upon the rock. The one who did not do the word had his house built upon the sand. God puts a great emphasis upon being doers of the word. The question is, "Are you doing what He has already told you to do?" Are you faithful with what He has already asked you to do?" The scripture says this in Luke 16:10, "Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities." (NLT)

-- © GodSpeak International 2004 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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