by Kayla Atkins

Do You Have a Vision?

Have you seen The Greatest Showman? I remember a year ago, sitting in the theater with my daughter who was 9 months pregnant. I knew this would probably be the last movie she would see in a theater for quite some time. (You know, new babies, a hundred people knocking on your door, not leaving the house, barely showering and forget going to the movies!)

Whether the movie is accurate or not, I was captivated by the story that was told about P.T. Barnum. He was a man with a vision who worked hard for what he couldn’t even yet see. Barnum knew one day he would do something great in the world and for people.

He sang a song about dreaming of a million possibilities he could do with his life and alongside the woman he loved. These dreams were so big in his head they kept him awake at night. He wasn’t sure yet how he would accomplish them, but it started with a dream in his heart.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law” (ESV).

Some translations use this phrase: “the people perish, or are uncontrolled.” When we don’t have a vision or purpose, it’s easy to lose our boundaries, feeling  like things are spiraling downward. We may even feel a great sense of loss, defeat, heartache, sadness or hopelessness. Without vision, we stumble through each day, making it through work, the routine, the demands from our family without feeling purpose. Depression can set in easily in an environment such as this.

People with vision, however, have a reason to get up in the morning! They have a purpose to fulfill each day; goals and tasks to accomplish. Many people who have vision spend time writing down their goals, their “to-do” lists and at least attempt to make those things happen throughout the day or week.

If you read the rest of the verse it comes down to knowing God’s word and keeping His commands.

Is keeping it all together and accomplishing everything always easy? Heck no!

We often make lists to help us accomplish our vision. This helps me to stay focused, even if I don’t make it all the way through by day’s end. However, I move those things to the next day and go after it again. It’s a daily choice to be consistent and keep working towards those goals. And because you do, you will FLOURISH in life!

Habakkuk 2:2-3 tells us that when we write the vision down – it becomes clear for us to read and understand. We see what our purpose is and where it is taking us.

Write the vision;

make it plain on tablets,

so he may run who reads it.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time;

it hastens to the end—it will not lie.

If it seems slow, wait for it;

it will surely come; it will not delay. (ESV)

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has plans for us. Good ones—they are plans for a future and a hope.

For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. (AMP)

Vision = Hope,  Hope = Purpose

No vision = No hope,  No hope = No purpose

Vision and hope make the difference between flourishing and floundering.

Are you getting the picture?

I think God wants to dream with you. In the night when you lie in bed and dream, He is dreaming right alongside you.

God loves to hear your dreams and ideas. I love the way Mark Batterson states this idea: “Bold prayers honor God. God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or prayers. He’s offended by anything less!” (1)

Why do we limit ourselves to small, mundane, simple minded, shallow prayers? Do we serve a small shallow God? Absolutely not. The bigger the prayer, the bigger the answer He can give, and in it all God gets the glory!

You know, life gets busy and can weigh us down easily. It’s on our hard days when we have to, refocus on what is important and where we are going.

What is your vision? The year is still new and fresh. No matter what day or month or season it is, each day is a new day and we can always start something new.

And if God is in it, there is NO LIMIT.

Now, go write your vision!!

Just a few simple steps for writing your vision:

  1. Seek God in prayer for the word He wants you to have.
  2. Find a scripture to remember and hold yourself accountable that truth.
  3. Write your vision down. Keep a journal to write out your thoughts, the things you want to do, or can do better.
  4. Ask the Lord how to accomplish the one goal for that time period (day, week, or month) that will lead you to your next step.
  5. Create a vision board or post your vision on your mirror, refrigerator, or wall. Visible reminders help us stay focused on our goals.
  6. Don’t get discouraged. Progress takes time.
  7. Find an accountability partner to help you stay on course. You will come up with a list of excuses why you shouldn’t or can’t, but a friend can help push you forward.

Press onward, my friends! Flourish in what God has called you to!

(1) The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson p.15