Have You Ever Been Committed to a Vision that is Bigger than Your Life?
“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:15).
Have You Ever Been Committed to a Vision that is Bigger than Your Life?
Welcome to another powerful study in God’s Word, as we take a closer look at the insight that God is giving to us. We are the clay and He is the Potter, shaping us each and every day. Let’s continue to pray for one another, that His peace will give us rest throughout our time of living. Another thing I want to emphasize is that I am so thankful to God for life. It is an awesome and a miracle each and every day that we can breathe the fresh air of life. That is evidence of God’s unending favor to us. Thanks be to God for all that He has done. Again, welcome. Let’s get right down to the deeper things of God and learn something to share with each other, without wasting any more time.
As we continue talking about the Kingdom of God, by now it should be abundantly clear that the Kingdom of Heaven is not a religion and has nothing at all to do with religion. In Eden, the original Kingdom Garden on Earth, there was no religion, and there was no worship in the sense that we usually understand the word. Adam and Eve enjoyed full, open, and transparent fellowship and interaction with their Creator in a mutual relationship of pure love, with absolutely no guilt, shame, or fear.
Their disobedience broke that relationship, and humanity’s efforts to restore it on their own without divine assistance gave rise to religion. The Kingdom of Heaven is the sovereign ruler ship of the King (God) over a territory (Earth), impacting it with His will, purposes, and intent, producing a citizenry of people (ekklesia-the Church) who express a culture reflecting the nature and lifestyle of the King.
Moreover, the Kingdom of Heaven is a real, literal country, invisible to physical eyes because it is spiritual in nature. Now as King of Heaven, God’s big idea was to extend the influence of His heavenly country over and throughout the Earth. Therefore, we are really talking about two things here: God’s country and its influence.
When reading the four Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it becomes immediately clear that Jesus used two similar but different phrases to refer to the country of the King and the influence of the King. He sometimes referred to the “Kingdom of Heaven.” Although it is common to use “Kingdom of Heaven” and the “Kingdom of God” interchangeably, there is an important difference.
The phrase “Kingdom of Heaven” refers to the literal place, the “headquarters” country of God. The “Kingdom of God,” on the other hand, refers to the King’s influence wherever it extends, but especially concerning its extension into the earthly realm.
We see that the most powerful expression of any nation is its culture: its values, morals, customs, codes of conduct, standards of living, and modes of dress, food, and even dietary practices. A strong and rich culture can wield an influence far beyond its geographical boundaries. We see this in the country of France as it is today. There, there are many examples of rich historical influence and culture.
The same with the United States. How it started and how its people built this place up with a vision to see the betterment of being free all arises from the culture established by the words: “In God We Trust”! So the foundation and the belief of its people began with trusting and believing God. The founding Fathers had a vision to see through how to lead this nation in a godly way. We see that same vision being impacted by those who do not know the real purpose of God. We see more and more everyday how it has become very objective by those who do not believe this foundation.
Think about the title question, about being committed to the vision of your life. You know, prolonged indecisiveness is a vision killer for many people that are still living. You see, many of us make shopping lists before we go to the store, but the problem is few of us make lists of what we want for our lives. As I said in times past, there are many people, perhaps even you and I, who have been trying to decide whether or not to do something for years, and yet still have not made a solid decision about it.
Sometimes, we impose this delay on ourselves because of uncertainty or fear of failures. Other times we worry about what other people might say or think about our ideas. This is why it is tough. We put ourselves in a dangerous position - the middle of the road. So, when we are indecisive, life has the opportunity to run us over.
That is why I am committed to fulfilling what God gave me to do. After many decisions, I resolved some years ago that I would look only to God’s Word and the vision that He put in my heart to know what I could be accomplishing. I know in this way, God’s purpose and principles have determined what I am going to be and do rather than my own fears or others’ opinion. In other words, I care less what other people say about me because I know Who gave me my vision.
So I am set on my vision just as Jesus was set on His. Here is what the Bible says: “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for [Jesus] to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). Jesus set his face “steadfastly” or “like flint” (Isaiah 50:7) in His determination to fulfill His purpose.
You know, flint is one of the hardest rocks you can find. This analogy means that after Jesus had set His sights to go to the cross, it was too late to talk Him out of it. He was set and determined to accomplish His vision. Now again let me ask you this question today: are you living that way? Is there something you have decided to follow through with, no matter what happens? Are you committed to a vision that is bigger than your life? Just take some time and think about that for a minute.
Why do we continue making excuses? Sometimes we know what we should be doing, but we are hesitant to take that first step. In essence, we always intend to do it, but we never do it. Instead, we make excuses, such as, “Oh brother Si, when my life gets less complicated, then I will do it.” or “When I feel more confident to do it, then I will do it.” or “Give me some time and let me pray about it.” How many times do we hear this excuse day in and day out?
Let me tell you this story to help make sense of what I am saying today.
There is a story of two fishermen who were lost in a storm on a lake. It goes that the storm was blowing so fiercely that they couldn’t see a thing. Then one of the fishermen said to his colleague, “My friend, we have two choices, either we pray or row. Which one should we do?” Then the other one answered, “What about us doing both!”
My friends today, that is the way we need to live. Instead of deliberating about what you need to do, you can just say, “Let’s row.” So even though you are scared, keep on rowing, and set a destination even while you are praying. God will guide you where you need to go.
There is another group of people who have trouble carrying vision through to the end whom I call the “professional starters.” They always like to begin something, but they never finish anything. Ouch! Take for example, they have books that they started or other things. They never finished, yet they keep starting new ones.
I make a commitment for myself, that there is nothing in the world that feels as good as reading through to the last page of a book because then you know that that book is in you and no one can take it away from you.
Let me throw this thought in there. Everything that you leave unfinished will discourage you from completing other projects. The unfinished has a way of haunting your life.
Here is my advice to you, and even to myself. We must be seeking balance. There are some people that do not want to focus on a specific goal because they fear their lives might not be well-balanced. They say things like, “Well, I don’t really want to go after anything in particular because then I will be closing off other options.” You even hear them say, “Well, I don’t want to become too narrow.” or “When I become too serious about something, I might miss what I really want to do in life.” Here is my question to you. Really?
Here is my problem with those who say things like this. My problem with you is you have been saying these things for more than forty years and never end up doing anything at all. So, what you call a pursuit of balance is really what I call an excuse for not making a decision. What happens is people like that end up being average, mediocre people.
In closing, true balance is the maintenance of equilibrium while moving toward a destination. You can look at this truth, for example, in the way a ship functions on the ocean. Every ship always needs to maintain its balance. It wouldn’t be a waste of precious time and fuel, for a boat to expend all its energy trying to balance on the water so that it didn’t tip over? In the same way, some people live for fifty years, sixty years, seventy years, just trying to stay balance.
Balance is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end. A ship keeps its balance as it makes its way to a specific port. Likewise, we need to have a destination while we maintain balance in our lives. Have a wonderful and great week. Until next time, be consistent in what you are doing, and be accountable to your calling!
My prayer for you: Father, as we meditate in Your Word today, we know that there are a lot of things that are needed in our lives to keep us balanced. I pray that we come to our senses and be accountable in everything that we do. Move us away from the thoughts of indecisiveness, because we do not want to kill our vision. Move us to the place that You purposed us to be, that we may fulfill what our life purpose is and set our eyes on the visions You have given to us. Help us to stop making excuses for ourselves. Many times, we know what we should be doing, yet we make excuses and end up doing nothing. Give us a thirst for You and a longing that never stops, so that we can run after our blessings. We talk about it, but we should run after it. And as we have the Holy Spirit Who imparts love, grace, and wisdom, may we learn to rely on His leading and guidance. We ask also that You would reveal to us how to continue seeking balance in our lives. Cause our thoughts to be settled with what Your Word gives us. Let our thoughts be settled and not waiver so we can accomplish Your vision because it is bigger than life. May we run so that one day, You will find us faithful in our calling, as You have been faithful to us all these years. Help us to maintain our balance so we can make it to our destination. Bless Your people and keep them. May they have Your peace in the middle of everything they will be going through this week. Forgive us from our sins. We love You! In Jesus’ wonderful Name, amen and amen.
Thought: Continue seeking balance for your ship!
Living Large to Dream