“Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil.” (Hebrews 2:14)
Understanding our Priorities for Our Vision!
As we begin our week, let us continue to be thankful and faithful to our Father in heaven for all that He has provided for us each and every day. I thank Him for allowing me the opportunity to be with His people once again. All things work together for good, for those who love Him. I thank you for your continued faithfulness to reading these messages.
I know that your prayers and love one for one another helps us make it as the body of Christ. It helps us continue on our journey and in obedience to God with the blessings He has provided for us. It is good to trust in Him and share the Kingdom livelihood each day that we are here on earth. Let us get right to work and see what God has for us this week.
God has put great things inside of us: visions, dreams, plans, and talents. These things are also targeted by Satan. Satan is afraid of men and women who have faith in God’s wisdom and power, because they take their visions and put them into action. They make their plans happen!
Now the deceiver fears the treasure we possess, and his destructive influences come into our lives to nullify and entrap all God has given to us. His plan is create resistance so that we do not fulfill our potential. Yes, indeed, his attacks are so severe that Paul advised Timothy to seek the help of the Holy Spirit to help overcome the attack.
2 Timothy 1:14 (NIV) says, “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you - guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”
In other words, have no fear! God has given us everything we need to safeguard our hidden wealth from the schemes and deceit of the evil one. That is why we must be careful not to rely on weapons of human strength and wisdom. You see, we can’t whip the enemy by ourselves, “for the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25).
We must be “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Ephesian 6:10) to withstand Satan’s onslaught against us. For the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus when we received Him as Savior, is our Helper! Ephesians 6:12-18 (NIV) says:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. So therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
This description of the armor of God details a plan to guard and protect our lives against Satan’s invasion. We must understand the provisions of this plan and put them into practice if we want to defend our potential. Did you know that Satan, like a fisher, baits his hooks according to the appetite of the fish?
1 John 3:8 says, “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” This scripture describes Satan and his work.
So let’s begin this week with Principle # 7: We must understand the priorities in our vision.
Your life and my life are the sum totals of the decisions that we make every day! Now we are going to talk about setting priorities in relation to our vision in order to be successful in life.
Understanding priorities in our vision will help us accomplish our dreams, because establishing priorities is the key to an effective decision-making process. Both successful and unsuccessful people make decisions every day that influence their chances of achieving their vision. Whether they realize it or not, it is the nature and quality of the choices they make that determine their successes or their failures.
Oh, okay I am not talking to you, or about you. I am talking to the one sitting next to you or behind you. Ha! Ha! Ha! Just kidding!
You know, life is filled with alternatives. We are constantly bombarded with choices, and our preferences reveal who we are and what we value in life.
In fact, our lives are the sum total of the decisions made every day over the last ten, fifteen, or forty years. What is perhaps even more significant is that we can tell the kind of lives we are going to have in the future by the decisions we have been making. In a sense, our future is really what we are doing now. Sometimes, we believe that we can make bad choices today, and make up for them later on. But that thinking is in error, because whatever we are doing now is our tomorrow!
That is why “yes” and “no” are the most powerful words we will ever say. They really are the true guidelines for our decisions. In addition to that, we must then commit to our “yes” or “no”. Our outcome is the evidence of what we have been deciding to say “yes” or “no” to. This is why it is God who wants us to be able to say them with precision - because they will determine our destiny.
You see, you will blessed by saying “yes” to what is in accordance with your vision and “no” to anything else. If you want to fulfill your dream, you must fix your eyes on it and not get caught up in anything that won’t take you there. That is why you have to know how to maneuver between the alternatives of life and learn how to prioritize.
My friends, when people do not succeed in their visions, it is often because they don’t understand their visions. That happens because there is no understanding that prioritizing creates useful limits to their choices. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial.”
In other words, even though we have permission to do everything and anything we want to, “not everything is beneficial” for us. In the King James Version, the word used is “expedient”, which means “appropriate”, “suitable”, or “desirable”. To put it in a different way - not everything is advantageous to you. You have to determine what is beneficial and you have to define what is beneficial based on the needs of your vision.
In the second part of 1 Corinthians 6:12 is a very powerful statement: “Everything is permissible for me’- but I will not be mastered by anything” (emphasis is mine). Even the King James Version reads, “I will not be brought under the power of any.” And in the Greek, the word “power” means “control”.
So even though you can do anything in life, the only things that should master you are the things that will take you to your goal! Just because something is a good thing, does not necessarily mean it is beneficial to you.
Let’s take as an example that you are traveling along a highway, and there are dozens of exits you might take.
You ask yourself, “Is there such thing as a ‘bad’ exit?” You might answer “No” because they are all good, legitimate routes. As a matter of fact, many of them lead to helpful services, such as restaurants, hotels, or gas stations. The question is: Which exit is “bad” for you? It depends on what your needs are. If it doesn’t lead you to your desired destination, then it is an exit that you do not need to take.
The same is true of the activities and people in your life. There are some activities and people that are beneficial if it relates to what you want to accomplish and takes you to your goal. That is why you must always ask yourself, “What or who do I need to help me move toward my goal?”
The first thing that you should consider as beneficial to your vision is your relationship with God. If you really want to know where you’re supposed to go in life, you have to establish a connection with the Person who created you and gave you the assignment. It is no wonder that the Bible says the greatest commandment is to love God first with all your heart, mind, soul (will), and strength (Mark 12:30).
The Bible goes on to say that when you do, He reveals to you the assignment that you were born to fulfill. Once you are certain of where you are meant to go in life and have truly committed to it, a lot of the extraneous things will fall away on their own. Once you have captured your vision, you need to prioritize your life in keeping with that vision.
You will have to examine the activities that you have current involvement. There might not necessarily be anything wrong with any of them. But they just may not be the right ones based on what you need to accomplish.
There may be some good people in your life who are “bad” for you because they are distracting you from going where you want to. There also may be some good books in your house that are wrong for you because they take your time and focus off your goal. But you must come to the point where you focus on what is necessary to fulfill your dream. There are going to be distracters and if you don’t get rid of them, you won’t make it to the end of your vision.
The key is that the vision itself decides what is good for you. You just don’t “do” good things. What you “do” are things that are good for your vision. Most of us know the difference between right and wrong. Therefore, your greatest challenge is not in choosing between good and bad, but between good and best. Your vision protects you from being misguided by good alternatives. It allows you to say no to the lesser opportunities, even if there are certain benefits to them.
In closing, here is a clear illustration of prioritizing, and Jesus’ reaction to the choices made by Martha and Mary of Bethany.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:38-40).
Here we see that Martha had made a very good, honorable request: “What I’m doing is very important, and I need help.” Now what could be more important than preparing a meal for Jesus? But yet, listen to the answer of the Lord: “Martha, Martha…You are worried and upset about many things” (v. 41). Jesus didn’t say “bad” things, just “many things.” He continued, “But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (v. 42).
What Jesus was saying, in effect, is, “You’re doing what is good, Martha, but Mary has shifted into an area of life that I wish everyone would go to. Don’t just do things. You should concentrate on what is best.” Because Mary was busy doing good things, she didn’t do the right thing. Then, when Jesus said, “Mary has chosen what is better,” what did He declare was “better”? That was “only one thing”: devotion to Jesus and His Word.
My friends, this principle applies to both our relationship to God and our fulfillment of what He has given us to do. We must prioritize. Concentrate on what is best. Be devoted to Jesus and His Word. Find the calling He has given you and stay with it. Remove distractions. Have a blessed week and continue to do what is best in choices that you make. Go with God.
Prayer: Father, I just want to say, thank You for all the blessings that You have given me; especially the gift of life! I can wake up this morning with a smile on my face, knowing that I am still breathing and understanding that I have purpose. I am in awe when I look at all the great things that You have done and given me: the plans, talents and dreams. I will walk in the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding through faith that You have shown me. My faith in You, my God, has driven the enemy away. You are the Centerpiece of my every day trust! I am strong in You, oh Lord, and the power of Your might. I have the Holy Spirit who was sent by Jesus as my Helper every day that I am here on earth. I thank You for the plans and the provisions You have made to defend my potential. Help me to set my priorities in relation to my vision. I know that setting priorities are key to my effective decision-making. I understand that the decisions I make today will be evident in the outcomes of tomorrow. Thank You for reminding me that “Yes” and “No” are the most powerful words that I will ever say. You want me to be able to say them with precision, because they will determine my destiny! I know You have prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies. There are no weapons that can prosper against me. I praise You, for You are with me always.
My prayer for you: Bless Your people in their coming and their going. Bless them and give them favor throughout their day. All these things I pray through Jesus’ wonderful Name, amen and amen!
Thought: Prioritize your life to keep your vision!
Living Large to Dream