The End of The Year is Your Vision Planning Time
For the last two months my inbox has been filled with all sorts of advice. Tips, webinars, strategies and frameworks for setting goals and achieving great things for 2018. It’s the time of year when people have the motivation and need to plan ahead.
There are lots of positive’s about having all your thoughts and ideas, strategies and dreams mapped out and thought through. However, I can also see the challenges – particularly for people who want to live their life by the leading of God.
Most of us start with our vision. You ask yourself ‘What is your vision for 2018?’. And yet, isn’t that the wrong place to start?
When it’s completely focused on you and what you want, how do you sustain momentum and experience growth?
What compels you to reach beyond what you think you can achieve into the big dreams of possibility?
How do you know you are pleasing God?
I know that measurable and achievable goals are awesome. They can help you see how far you’ve come and where you are in relation where you want to go. So please don’t misunderstand me here. You need those too.
Your Vision Needs to be Bigger than You!
The truth is, your vision needs to be bigger than you. It needs to be something you cannot do on your own. Something that can only happen if God helps you fulfil it.
Because, quite frankly, it should not be ‘your vision’.
You have given your heart, soul and mind to Christ. The One who gave everything so that you can be free and totally accepted by God. When you give yourself to Him, you are no longer your own – you are His. In fact, the bible tells you that you are a servant, and your goal is to fulfil the will of God.
So it is not your will, it is not your vision, it is not your goals.
But as humans we like to take control don’t we? We like to ‘make things happen’ instead of trusting God.
So how do you step into the vision and plans of God? In all areas of your life – family, career, health, faith.
You MUST know the bible for yourself. Seriously!
How many Christians today rely on their Pastor to read out one verse, speak a few words and that is their dose of ‘the word of God’? I can’t tell you how many followers of Christ I meet that don’t know their bible nor do they know God. Not really.
I hope you see my heart here. I’m not trying to be harsh, I’m asking you to search for the truth.
You are not called to be a placid church-goer. You are now a child of God. Destined to be filled with power, walking in authority and impacting the world. Proclaiming the word of God and demonstrating the Kingdom of heaven on earth.
That, my friend, is real christianity.
Your hearts cry should be like David said
‘Keep me as the apple of your eye:
hide me in the shadow of your wings’.
So when you are sitting down to think about the vision you are part of and how you sense God leading you in your life – that should always be your starting point.
Framing Your Vision By What Matters Most
God’s vision is so simple. He desires that the whole world would be saved.
‘..work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings…
That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THE WORLD.’
I remember when I gave my life to Christ in my 20’s. I came to God, sobbed like a baby and gave everything to Him – He completely overwhelmed me, it changed me forever. In prayer I said, ‘I don’t want average church life, I want the christianity in the bible, I want the Jesus kind, the Paul kind of thinking and life. I’m not going to settle for anything less’.
That prayer was carved into my memory. It’s become my anchor point when I start to become too comfortable. It has led me into an incredible christian life where my witness can be Jesus is alive and He is still doing miracles today. All over the world, thousands believing in Christ, healings and deliverance. I aligned myself with God’s vision – doing whatever I could to help the furtherance of the gospel.
Whether that’s raising thousands of dollars to fund a gospel crusade, or it’s praying with business owners that want to use their skills and ideas to make a huge difference. It doesn’t matter. There is no dividing line between my faith, my business, my family and my dreams.
Does that sound too radical for you?
Maybe it will provoke you to examine your own experience and expectations of being a follower of Christ. Because that bible that I read is always confronting me with how much more of all I have to give. There is no way I can ever repay the love of God except that I can love Him back as much as possible.
Now that I’ve preached to you and reframed your mind around setting the vision, let’s talk about how God works with you to achieve it.
Make Your Plans With A Flexible Framework
‘A man’s heart devises his way; but the Lord directs his steps’. Prov 16:9
Start with articulating the vision God has stirred in your heart. What difference can you make for others? What is the BIG idea you can pray for, move toward and believe for?
Then bring it into the framework of your dream or your business.
- Who are you serving?
- What is their problem?
- Does your offer to help them with their problem?
- Have you thought through the sales process that leads to your offer?
- What are you doing to market your offer so people are aware of it?
Notice how this is not about YOU. Sure you are using your skills, ability, product or service but it is all about meeting the need in someone else.
This is why I love to work with people to help them through this process. Having a vision helps you keep anchored and having ordered steps helps you focus. Listening and following God’s lead enriches your success.
So what is the vision God has been revealing to you? What difference do you want to make and what are you going to do to be a light in the world?
Write all your thoughts, your ideas and your prayers down. Let God be the one to breathe on them and cause you to ride on the high places of the earth.