Monday, August 20, 2012


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When I was learning to drive (wow, by the way-nothing will test a relationship more than taking another's life in your hands), my dad would tell me to look ahead down the road in order to keep me steering in a safe way and avoiding my then trademark bob and weave which consequentially caused him all manner of nausea and dizziness as well as no small amount of nerves in the passenger seat. 

Seth preached an incredible message on personal and Church vision and it hammered home that analogy for me. My working definition of vision is seeing beyond the current moment to a greater one; vision is what should keep us from a crazed style of turning the wheel at every perceived bend in the road and making those along for the ride borderline ill with our inconsistent wavering.

Vision for what's ahead keeps us on course in every arena of life. God is so passionate about the importance of vision that He instructs us to forget what's past and travel toward what's ahead.

If we lose momentum or get distracted, it's because we have gotten short-sighted. The plan of God for each life is beautiful, mysterious, grandiose, frustrating at times, but two words that can never be used to describe it are small and unimaginative.

If we aren't inspired, maybe it's because we are focusing on the daily grind of the ground we are covering this very moment and not enough on what's to come down the road. When was the last time you glanced at a glimpse of the joy to come?

Looking down the road will save us a lot of trouble too. Thinking ahead gives us a chance to avoid pitfalls that would otherwise swallow us up like quicksand.

I grew up in the Church and I'm truly grateful for it, but one thing I've tried to instill in my children is a sense of purpose and vision greater than mine at their age. You know, understanding that they were created for relationship and not just for what I call "The DARE Gospel" --you know, don't, don't, don't.

Mostly I was just told what not to do-and don't read this wrong, I am grateful for godly instruction against things that separated me from God. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of my life focusing on what separated me from Him versus my right-standing with Him through the cross. 

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I just wonder how much further I would have gotten by focusing on abiding with the Lord instead of merely looking at the step in front of me to avoid sin, because the more I focused on my sin the more Satan enticed me and manipulated the truth to get me to sin even more. 

I loved growing up in the church and I'm not critiquing, just observing a trend. That trend makes me want to help my children have a greater awareness of the presence of God in their lives than the presence of evil. As I lay my hand over their little hearts and pray for them each night, I pray they will look further down the road than I did. God's desire for them is greater than the life found in shuffling their feet, looking down and taking tiny steps when they could have their heads lifted up, advancing the Kingdom of God. 

I want them to focus on chasing God. Then I won't have to worry about them running away from temptation-they'll already be headed in the opposite direction. "Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint." Self-control abounds in the God-centered identity and purpose. 

I want my beautiful girls and my sweet little boy to know they have been saved FOR something, not just from it. My mom used to tell me I didn't have to fall in the pit. I could always go around it. The way around the pit is to see it coming, friends. I fall into it when I forget what I'm really living for and get distracted by the moment. 

Wanna see them get to the altar pure and avoid addiction and not abandon or compromise the truths of Scripture to fit their lifestyles?
Pray with every tick of the clock that they'll fall head over heels for Jesus with a desperate kind of love. Get busy modeling that love personally and as the Church. When our kids find the One Thing that satisfies, everything else will be unappealing in its cheap emptiness.

The road ahead is full of promise -- this is what inspires us to steady faithfulness and encouragement on the journey.  

This truth also helps us in the midst of difficulty, sadness, trial, and tragedy. Without vision, we perish. With it we live the abundant, to-the-full kind of life where we gladly look for opportunities to die to self and see Jesus resurrected in us. 

"Vision is ever the mother of courage and strength." {Michael Matlin}


Feel free to join me in the comments below...What does the word VISION mean to you?

Need some Scriptural encouragement while chasing God's vision for your life?   
This anthem should inspire anyone who wants to live out their purpose for Jesus:
Wake up,'s your time to shine.  You were born for such a time as this.