Last weekend at Life Church I began a new series called 2020 VISION. The first message was about creating a personal vision for your life. It was titled, “Do you Know Where You’re Going in 2020?” I talked about the 6 things required to create a clear vision or picture of the future for our lives.
I encourage you to use the following questions to help you begin to discover God’s vision for what he wants you to do and be this year as you spend time in prayer this week. In part two of the series this weekend we will once again be looking at the life of Nehemiah as we talk about creating a plan of action to move forward with the vision God has given you.
Step #1 – Identify What’s Most Important to You
Write down 3-5 non-negotiable Core values or beliefs that you hold. How important is it to you to make sure God is the center of your life? How important is having a healthy marriage and family? How much do you value spiritual growth? How important is it to you that you’re a good steward of the finances God gives you? How important is being healthy to you?
Why is this exercise important? Because what you value will determine what you’re willing to do and the direction that your life will take.
Step #2 – Identify What’s Most Important to God
The only way to know what God wants is to study the Bible. The Bible gives us direction about what our vision should be when it comes to marriage, family, career, finances, health, and our spiritual development.
As you seek God’s vision for 2020 for your marriage, family, career, finances, health, and spiritual life, read the Bible to determine what God’s priority and plan is for each of those areas.
Remember the goal is not to create your own vision apart from God for those areas, but to partner with God to discover his vision for those areas in your life.
Step – #3 Pray
Prayer is critical to developing vision for your life. As you pray God will reveal things to you that you would have never seen in the natural.
Take time to listen to what God wants to tell you!
Step #4 – Seek Wise Counsel
As you walk through the process of developing God’s vision for your life…think about who you can share your vision with that can help you.
Step #5 – Make A Plan
In Habakkuk 2:2 God tells Habakkuk, “Write the vision, make it plain on tablets.” Every vision has to have a clear plan or strategy to accomplish it. We will talk in depth about how to make a plan to execute your vision this weekend.
Step – #6 Your Vision Must Be God and Others Centered
As you are creating vision for each area of your life ask yourself, “Is my vision selfish?” Selfish visions do not satisfy, they leave us empty and unfulfilled when we achieve them.
List ways that the vision you are developing will further the Kingdom of God and also be a blessing to the people and community around you.
2020 VISION EXERCISES
Use the following steps to help you create a plan to carry out the vision that God is giving you for your life.
Step #1: Assess Your Situation
To get where you want to go, you must first know where you’re at! Here are a few questions you can use to assess where you’re at…
- If I had to sum up the last year in this area in 5 words, what would they be?
- On a scale of 1-10 how would I rate how I did in this area last year?
- What are 2 lessons that I learned from last year?
- What did I do well in this area last year?
- What went wrong in this area last year?
- What is the biggest challenge I’m facing in this area?
- What do I need to do to improve this area?
Step #2: Define What It Is You Want to Accomplish with God (Vision)
See above questions for discovering God’s vision for your life.
Step #3: Determine Your Level of Desire
Ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 what your level of desire is to see your vision accomplished? If it’s 5 or below it won’t happen. If it’s 7 or below it might happen. Be honest if there’s no desire, there won’t be any fruit.
Step #4: Create a Plan (Strategy)
Question #1: What do you want to do?
This question refers to the vision you and God have come up with for 2020.
Question #2: Why do you want to do it?
Your Why is the reason or purpose for which you’re doing something that we talked about last week. Your Why fuels your desire.
Question #3: How will you do it?
Take the vision you want to accomplish and work backwards to figure out the steps you need to take to get there. The goal is to create the steps (pathway) for how you’re going to get the job done.
Question #4: When will you do it?
When will you do what you’re planning to do?
Question #5: Where will you do it?
Where will you do what you’ve planned to do?
Question #6: Who will you ask to help you do it?
Who do you need to ask to help you in each area of your life that you are creating vision for?
Who will you ask to make you accountable in order to make sure you are doing the work necessary to accomplish your 2020 Vision?
Step #5: Review Your Progress
What mile markers can you create so that when you review your progress you will know how you’re progressing?
DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE LANDMINES ARE?
Did you know that there are over 100 million landmines hidden in the ground in over 60 countries of the world? Every day unsuspecting adults and children are killed because they are unaware of these landmines. The result is the loss of the dreams and vision they had for their lives.
As you are pursuing God’s 2020 vision for your life you need to be aware of the landmines or obstacles along the path that threaten to blow up your vision. Here are four obstacles you need to aware of…
There is a constant “whirlwind” of busyness and activity that fills our lives that gets our eyes off of what’s important and distracts us from focusing on our vision.
Because life is full of distractions, “The vision of what could be in our lives, often gets lost in the whirlwind of what is!”
Distractions lead to Procrastination, which is delaying the things we SHOULD BE DOING in some area of your life.
The answer to dealing with distractions is that we must PRIORITIZE what’s most important, not what’s most urgent. And second, we need to FOCUS on the one thing we need to do each day to execute the vision God has given us.
Sometimes the greatest obstacle we face in accomplishing our vision is People! Sometimes the people trying to stop our vision are enemies from the outside. These enemies love to ridicule, demean, and tell us what we’re attempting isn’t possible. They may even try to stop us physically in some way.
Sometimes, it’s our Christian friends that don’t like what we’re doing, and instead of supporting your vision, will try to water it down. They will say things like “Whoa, what’s gotten into you, why are you being so radical?” “When did you become holier than thou?” “What makes you think you can do that?”
Here’s why they say those things…because your decision to go all in with Jesus is convicting them of their lukewarm condition and forcing them to make decisions they don’t want to make about their relationship with Jesus.
They want to keep you at their level of mediocrity so that they feel better about themselves. Be careful who you associate with! Hang around people that are pursuing Jesus and will inspire you to be “MORE” not lukewarm!
Another group that may stand in their way of your vision is your family. It’s often difficult for people who have known and seen you to believe that you can change or have changed. Many times, we don’t receive very much encouragement from them.
But the biggest person standing in our way of accomplishing our vision is OURSELVES! Self-talk has sabotaged more dreams than any outside enemy! The greatest obstacle to accomplishing vision is the story you’re telling yourself!
Speak life over yourself and the plans God has given you! Believe about yourself what God believes about you! You are a champion, His Champion. He created you for greatness!
Vision comes with a price tag and human beings are creatures of comfort! Our desire for comfort can derail us when we encounter the inevitable hardships and obstacles that occur in the pursuit of our vision.
People say, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” There are times in our lives when the problem is not that something is broken, the problem is that it’s not all it could and should be. It’s not that something is broken, it’s that something is MISSING!
There was nothing broken about Nehemiah’s situation in the palace. It was good. The problem was that he knew he was created for more, there was greatness inside of him. But he had to be willing to leave a life of privilege and comfort to discover that greatness.
That’s where some of you are today. You’re comfortable, things are good. But there is a gnawing feeling inside of you that you were created for more! A feeling that God wants to do something bigger in your life. You’ll never discover the “more” until you leave the land of comfort for the land of the uncertain!
Discouragement is a temptation that is common to ever person according to 1 Cor. 10:13. We all face it, especially when we’re trying to purse vision because THERE WILL BE SETBACKS! Vision never happens the way it was originally drawn up.
Satan’s main weapon is discouragement! When we get discouraged, we seek comfort. We want to go back to the way things were. But God wants us to get onboard with the new thing that He is doing!
Knowing what they were going to face after he was gone, Jesus told the disciples in John 14:1, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” The words “let not” indicate that the disciples had a choice in the matter. Jesus was telling them, “Don’t let your heart and emotions be ruled by what you see. Let them be ruled by what I promised you!” And that’s what the Holy Spirit wants to say to you today as you pursue God’s vision for your life!
The enemy is going to try his best to discourage you! Don’t get stuck there. We all feel discouragement at times. After you’ve sat for a moment…climb out by MAKING THE CHOICE to believe what Jesus has promised YOU!
Determine not to let these obstacles blow up your vision in 2020!