The word “Vision” has gotten a bad rap, due to the fact that it’s popping up in New Age terminology and practices, but we must remember Satan’s motives are to steal, kill, and destroy anything God means for good, and twist them into something evil. An example of this is vision boards. The idea behind vision boards is that if you adhere pictures onto a board to symbolize things you want to achieve or acquire and place it where you can meditate on it daily, you can “self-manifest” that vision into reality. If you want a big diamond ring slap it on a poster board and see what happens. (wink)
The practice of self-manifestation is one of the laws of attraction firmly rooted in New Age theology. But, as followers of Christ, we daily surrender our own wants and desires to what the Father has in store for us.
The Father gives us a “vision” of our lives as believers—written in His Word. Here are a few:
- “Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)
- “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (ESV)
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
- “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
- “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
- “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 (ESV)
- “Whoever believes in the Son (Jesus Christ) has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:36 (ESV)
The Vision God’s Given Me:
If anyone’s been in my office or attended one of my zoom teachings, you’ve seen I have a huge bulletin board behind my desk. It is filled with monochromatic photographs illustrating colors and the moods they evoke for my paintings, photographs of my life, to include in a book I’m writing, scriptures God’s led me to in my quiet time, and photos of loved ones I pray for, (among other things). This is my vision board. It doesn’t include material things I want or desire, but reflects the vision God’s given to me for my life’s work.
As each new year approaches, I begin praying God will give me a verse or a “word” for my new year.
One year, my word was “Courage.” Having no idea why, I only knew something would require it. That year, I began writing for a magazine, and a women’s online ministry site, spoke several times to women’s groups, started leading a women’s Bible study and delivered my friend’s testimony at her funeral, whose family consisted of Hindus and Muslims. I’ll be honest, that took courage I didn’t have, but God brought it forward.
The next year, I received a Bible verse—instead of one word. This verse kept coming up, so I put it on my bulletin board. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:38 (ESV)
Soon after, I received a breast cancer diagnosis.
Another year “flourish” became my word. This word arrived after being healed of my double mastectomy. A great fear of the cancer’s return began eating at my spirit, and I started obsessing over keeping cancer away. Meanwhile, all along, God told me I would flourish, so what was I worried about? With time, God increased my faith in this regard, and I accepted my vision of flourishing.
My point is your “word” can often be a vision God is giving you for the year.
How to Find Your Vision:
First, you pray for it.
God promises, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
This year, I began praying in November for God to give me a word for the new year. My quiet time didn’t turn into a radical search in the Bible for that right word—I just trusted He would bring it forward and He did.
Secondly, journal your quiet time. I try to journal every morning. Some mornings it’s just a verse that stood out or a thought that crossed my mind during my quiet time. Other mornings it’s three pages of verses and how they spoke into my life. Don’t let this impress you, I’m called to write and most of my blogs come from those pages. Although, for you it may look different.
The act of journaling helps you remember what God impressed on you two weeks ago, or last year, and if you see the same message popping up in your pages, you know it’s something you’d better pay attention to. As 2020 came to a close, I flipped through my journal and found a repeated theme, endurance. I’d written several verses mentioning endurance.
Thirdly, ask for confirmation in your everyday life. Once I noticed the word “endurance” popping up in my journal. I asked God to confirm it for me. Soon after, I laid in bed with insomnia and happened on a Bible teacher’s message on You Tube. By the way, this is a terrible treatment for insomnia. She spoke about God’s call for endurance in 2021. Bam! Confirmation. I didn’t sleep until morning.
Confirmation doesn’t have to come from preachers or Bible teachers, it can come through friends, magazines, even an Instagram message. If you’re abiding in Christ, you will know when you receive it.
As we move into 2021, I pray you will seek a word from the Father. He’s waiting to give it to you and desires us to seek Him. If you’ve already found your word, share it in the comments below or join the conversation in our private group on Facebook. Just send me a request for an invite and we’ll open the door for you.
Happy New Year everyone. I look forward to enduring this year with you.