The Bible says that without a vision, the people perish (see Prov. 29:18). Most Christians know that verse, as well as the charge in Habakkuk 2:2-3 to write the vision so those who read it can run with it.
But how many of us take that to heart? We may think we have a vision, but we get into ruts. We think we have faith, but it's just wishful thinking. We end up being no different than people in the world who, as poet Henry David Thoreau wrote, "lead lives of quiet desperation."
What better time to think about the future and about the vision for our lives than the beginning of a new year? While most people merely make a few New Year's resolutions (usually about losing weight or cleaning the attic), it's much more important to ask God for a vision for our lives for not only the upcoming year but our lifetime as well.
If you know anything about my story, you know that in my 20s, I developed a vision for my life to publish resources for the Spirit-filled community through Charisma and the other content we produce. A turning point for me back then was the day my late mentor Jamie Buckingham noticed my discouragement about all the obstacles I was facing and asked me, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"
The answer: Exactly what I'm blessed to be doing today. Yet I believe the Lord is enlarging my vision to serve the Pentecostal/charismatic community and to change the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Just as I was grappling with what to write for this column, I finished reading Cindy Trimm's new book, Hello Tomorrow! I had the privilege to publish this book, and I highly recommend you read it. She begins by telling the reader to own the future by leaving the ordinary behind and setting a course toward tomorrow. She dares you to dream, to reimagine your future and to renew your mind. Then she says to write your own history by awakening your divine destiny, finding your life compass and creating your own canvas. She concludes by daring you to do something great, ignite your divine genius and discover your new frontiers.
As one who has read many books on dreams and visions, goal setting and positive thinking, I believe her book is one of the best, especially when it comes to finding the vision for your life.
Trimm writes that "without vision, the soul has no hope, imagination has no outlet and innovation has no future."
There are so many powerful sections I could cite, but one place caught my attention that is helpful as we begin a new year—the power of writing down your vision. I encourage you to skip writing resolutions this year and instead do something more important, and that is to write the vision for your life.
She says: "Writing a vision for your life starts with the understanding of a simple truth: that nothing happens unless someone makes it happen. ... Now is the time to ponder the question: 'Where do I see myself at the end of this year and five years from now, 10 years from now and even at the end of my life?' Let your vision expand to match the scope of your dreams."
She continues: "Grab hold of the big vision God has seeded in your heart, and take responsibility for cultivation and stewarding it. ... Writing out your vision is an extraordinarily powerful exercise. ... Stop now and write out the vision you've had stirring in your soul that perhaps until now you've disregarded. Put words to it. The simple act of articulating a dreamed-of future, idea or desire that you've been able to imagine, envision or see in your mind's eye will put it into motion. ... It [brings] it from the eternal realm of your soul into the temporal now—just as does forming your internal longings into faith-filled prayers. Words of any kind are a powerful spiritual force, so harness their power to serve your greatest good."
It's impossible to boil down such a powerful book into one page. So I encourage you to buy the book, read it and act on what you read. The act of writing out that which you picture in your mind is so important that God made it a command in Habakkuk 2:2-3: "Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it delays, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay."
I challenge you to do this and see what God can do in your life.
Stephen Strang is the founder of Charisma and CEO of Charisma Media. He is author of the best-selling book God and Donald Trump (FrontLine/Charisma House). Follow him on Twitter (@sstrang) or Facebook (stephenestrang).
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