It was past midnight and the house was as quiet as a mouse. All the kids were snuggled in their beds when I had the sudden need to use the restroom.
I shared a bedroom with my older sister in the basement (that’s a story in itself). Making my way up the staircase to the bathroom on the main floor, I noticed a flickering light through the half way closed door to my parent’s bedroom.
Being as still as I could without them knowing, I peeked into their room to see what it was. The room was dark except for a small lamp that rested on my mother’s nightstand shedding minimal light on her side of the bed.
Mom was sitting up reading her Bible and without moving her eyes off the page she asked, “What are you doing up?” Thinking that was an invitation to enter the room I pushed open the door making my case. Plopping myself on the edge of the bed hoping I could stay to watch television with them I answered: “I have to use the bathroom.”
She went back to her reading and Dad didn’t say a word focusing on the small 13 inch television set that was sending out the flickering lights. He remained fixed on Johnny Carson as he interviewed a guest. Watching TV was a privilege and we didn’t get to see it except on weekends for a few hours, so a little sneak peek into the adult viewing world was intriguing.
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See if your city/state/country made the list.
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I am so thankful for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges. Join us in our new series as we spend time in the study of Daily Favor Prayers.
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Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Heeerrre’s Fay …
I was holding my breath wondering just how long I’d get away with sitting on their bed. As I listened excitement rose up in me and I blurted out, “I’m going to be on his show someday and he’ll be interviewing me.”
Parents have this supernatural ability of seemingly not paying attention to you but still have a way of keeping a conversation. Fascinating! They weren’t thrilled by my comment so I felt compelled to inform them of my future plans. That’s all it took and I was sent off to accomplish the reason why I came upstairs in the first place. Makes one wonder about the “sudden” need for that late night appearance after all doesn’t it?
|“Ladies and gentlemen … heeerrre’s Fay!”|
Since I was a little girl I dreamed of being a teacher, but also had a deep desire to be a writer. Writing seemed as natural as teaching to me and it was easy to combine the two, especially when playing school with my sibs.
I began writing poems and short stories keeping them in a red leather-like folder. They weren’t really that good, but they were consistent! “Oh weeping willow, why do you cry? ….” You can kind of get what I mean. In my defense, I was really young.
There were days I’d imagine being announced on the television show: “Ladies and gentlemen … heeerrre’s Fay!” I’d walk on stage to the sound of crowds applauding, and sit in that side chair with a big mug of water resting on Mr. Carson’s desk reserved for me. Of course there was a small step stool that I had to use because my legs were too short to reach the ground, but that would be expected being a kid. All eyes were on me as Johnny raved over my new book!
Rearview “Life” Vision
I didn’t know it then but looking in the rearview mirror of where I’ve been, God has always planted seeds of favor for my life plan. The vision never stopped, but at times had gotten lost among the cares of the world.
It wasn’t until after college that I realized that these desires were still burning within me, but the fire had to be stirred. My writing took a turn from creative to creator of student guidelines and curriculums for schools statewide. For years I wrote plays, mini-books, brochures and articles for other people using another pen name.
That all changed when I heard a traveling evangelist speak about life vision. I didn’t really know what it was but thought it was the same as having a dream or “this is what I want to be when I grow up” kind of thing. Come to find out, they aren’t the same, but if it’s part of God’s plan they will intertwine.
Going through old notes and teachings I started thinking about last week’s challenge and why I haven’t received much input from people. I presented my question to readers and they explained what the dilemma was for them in “writing their vision” plan. They couldn’t distinguish between knowing God’s plan or just “stuff” they wanted to do in life.
Well, no one can move forward if they don’t have a clear roadway ahead of them. Having rearview vision, with that information I realized that there probably were many of you having the same difficulties. I’ll backup a bit and point you in a direction that may help as it did me when starting to walk out my life vision.
Vision Board vs. Life Vision
One of the questions people asked was "What is the difference between a vision board and a life vision?" They are worlds apart, yet sometimes the worlds do collide. To understand this concept better take a look at these examples.
When a bride begins to plan her wedding she starts gathering information that she would like to take place or be a part of her big day. She shares her vision with her beau and the two begin collaborating.
If the couple has a wedding planner that person will ask them to create a physical “vision board” (usually the size of a poster board around 2ft. x 3 ft.) attaching photos, colors, flowers, designs, etc. of all the things they want included in their wedding.
From that board the planner builds the event with the desires of the couple being carried out on their wedding day. The vision board is no longer needed after they are newlyweds, because it has been fulfilled.
Parents often have a vision board for scheduling events for the week. It may include creating meals, chores, activities or anything that they need to attend to for any given week. Using a dry erase board (or something like it) the vision board for the family changes on a regular basis.
Children often have a mental vision board that they carry into their college years. They dream of becoming this or that, but as they mature their vision changes. I heard a girl say, “I get to use my degree when I’m not waitressing.” Her vision wasn’t meshing with her life and she didn’t press on to make sure it did.
A bucket list is a form of vision board, but as the items are accomplished they are crossed off the list. New things are added and once again the vision board continually changes.
However, there is another kind of vision board that grows, but the foundation remains the same for life, thus calling it a “life vision.” If you are in any of these fields you know what I mean.
Businesses, ministries and organizations have a vision board for how the company wants to grow over the coming years, but they all started with one thing in common. Each began with a concept for a need or strong desire with a base statement for why it was founded. In other words, the reason why they do what they do.
Over the years the company or organization may branch out into new areas, but the reason they do it remains the same (only on a larger scale). Having a life vision is something you never want to stop doing. Even if you cannot do it the same as in the past, you still do some form of it using the skills obtained throughout life.
Now that we understand what a life vision board is, let’s do a brief review. Last week’s challenge was to write out the vision God has placed on your heart using the passage from Habakkuk 2 that the Lord spoke to him.
“And the Lord answered me and said,
Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets
that everyone who passes may (be able to) read
(it easily and quickly) as he hastens by.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens
to the end (fulfillment); it will not deceive or disappoint.
Though it tarry, wait (earnestly) for it, because it will surely come;
it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.
Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him,
but the (rigidly) just and the (uncompromisingly) righteous man
shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness.”
(Habakkuk 2:2-4 AMPC)
Writing out the vision wasn’t the problem; knowing what to write was and without favor for the plan’s success it isn’t going to happen.
What is the problem?
One man told me that he’d been working on the challenge all week and didn’t hear anything from God. Listening to his frustration I asked him some questions.
“What do you desire to do most? What do you want to do in life that no matter what else you do this keeps popping up in your spirit? It’s something that no matter how hard you bury it in your thoughts, it won’t go away?”
“I want to preach, but I don’t know if it’s something I want to do or if it’s God’s vision for my life?”
“Okay. First of all, not everyone has a desire to preach, so if you do it’s a God thing. Why don’t you think it’s God?”
“Because I want to do it. I didn’t think He would give me something I like or want to do.”
“God wants to give you the desires of your heart, so if it’s in there find out if it lines up with His word.”
Here’s the problem. Most people don’t believe that God wants them to be happy and enjoy life. They have the notion that they have to serve a taskmaster God always doing what He says without having any opinion or say in the matter. That’s simply not true.
God gives us individual talents and abilities to do His will, but He wants us to love what we do at the same time. Having His children carry out a vision that makes them miserable isn’t glorifying and won’t win souls.
I’d like to give you a few examples (including my own) on how to determine if your desire lines up with God’s vision for your life. It’s not that difficult, but people usually don’t want to take the time to figure this out for themselves.
When I realized that as a Christian I had a call on my life I wanted to find out if my desires were truly part of God’s plan. I did what the evangelist said to do and began my journey.
Think about what you want to do with your life and write it down in one sentence consisting of two things – the “what” and “why” of the vision. Don’t dwell on the how, when or where. That will come.
If you cannot put it in one sentence it’s not the base or core of the vision.
This is the "what" ...
“I feel led to be a __________ fill in the blank."
(writer, mother, builder, doctor, teacher, singer, lawyer, preacher, banker, online job, manager, chemist, actor, missionary, etc.”)
Based on scripture add the "why" ...
“I feel led to write because God’s word says
to publish and tell of His works.” (Psalm 26:7)
This is an example of one verse I used for why I want to write, but it also applies in many work related fields. Search out many scriptures not just one to validate what God is placing in your heart.
Next comes the long part … searching out the scriptures that line up with your desires. Quick note, if you can’t find it, it’s not God’s vision or plan. There aren’t any verses to back up being a bartender or opening a liquor store if you know what I mean.
I wanted to know if what was in my heart was also in God’s so l looked for key words that told me how God felt on a particular subject. I already was a teacher and did write, but wanted to know if that’s what God wanted me to do. If it wasn’t His desire or plan I wasn't about to spend another minute doing something that didn’t count towards my life vision journey.
Using my scripture journal I jotted down verses that said God was on the hunt for teachers and writers. I already knew that God had placed teachers in the Body of Christ as part of the five-fold ministry so that wasn’t my main concern.
When it came to preaching I was aware of what scripture said on the subject for the entire church. A preacher is recognized as a "collector of sentences", a person who proclaims or “heralds” a particular message. So anyone who is born again is to “preach” the gospel message, meaning share, tell that salvation is available to all mankind.
My real search began with the word “publish” because that’s what I wanted to be, a published author. Whether or not God wanted me to be an author was the true question. If He didn’t, His favor wouldn’t be on the work of my hands and it would all go up in smoke one day. What a waste of time and a life!
I found plenty of passages in both the Old and New Testaments and realized this was a desire of God, so if it’s in my heart it wouldn’t be going against the Lord. In fact, He placed those desires in me and it was for me to search them out to discover they were indeed part of His plan.
Once I had the vision statement and verses to line up with God’s approval for what was in my heart, I was ready to seek out opportunities to do what I was called to do. The dream I had was indeed part of the vision God had for my life and He has shown me so through His favor.
Now that you have the simple base statement process, let’s get to work. You know the drill … write it down.
Refresh yourself on the steps from last week’s post for organization for success.
Organization Requires Focus:
1 – Spiritually: Daily stay connected to God.
2 – Mentally: Daily remind yourself of the vision.
3 – Physically: Daily separate yourself from non-vision plans.
Whenever you start to do something, remind yourself by asking, “Why am I doing this?” using these four checkpoints.
1 - Is this God’s plan? (Does it incorporate the overall vision?)
2 - Will it win souls? (Does it carry out the commission?)
3 - Will it help the body of Christ? (Does it offer a needed provision?)
4 - How is what I’m doing getting me closer to my goal? (Can I still see the vision?)
If you can’t answer yes to them all, rethink why you are doing it. Don’t move forward until all points check – “Yes” for the vision, dream, plan you have in mind.
Live Your Life Vision
There isn’t a greater reward that anyone can receive than to hear the Heavenly Father say, “Well done.” That is my desire for you as well and why sharing it through my writing is so important to me.
After spending time in prayer and fellowship with God through searching the scriptures, our challenge this week is to physically display the vision that God has placed in our hearts.
When God instructed Habakkuk to write the vision His instructions didn’t stop there. He also commanded that the vision be displayed in such a place that anyone who was in the area couldn’t miss seeing it. When they read it, immediately they would “run” (go out from that place) with the intentions of telling (herald) what that document said to anyone who would listen.
Following the direction God gave Habakkuk we will pray, wait on God and then act on the vision as He directs us to the when, how and where it is to take place. God has planned a good life for us and it’s full of His favor to accomplish whatever He asks.
So get busy! It's time to Live Your Life Vision and be the person He envisioned you to be!
Stay organized and focused spiritually, physically and mentally.
Pray – Wait – Act
As for me, I did get a call from J.C. - no not Johnny Carson, but from Jesus Christ. Although I never went on The Tonight Show or met Johnny Carson, that doesn’t mean I’ve called it quits. In fact I’ve kept that vision, only now I’m focusing on a Higher audience!
“If people can’t see what God is doing,
they stumble all over themselves;
but when they attend to what He reveals,
but when they attend to what He reveals,
they are most blessed (with favor).”
(Proverbs 29:18 MSG)
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Until next time, live your life vision in God’s favor!
“I’ve ordained favor to follow My vision.”
*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy.
Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God.
When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.
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By Andy Stanley
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Scripture reference from the New King James Bible Version or as noted provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image: Lady Reading in Bed Johnny Carson Introduction Rearview Mirror Bridal Vision Board Psalm 26:7 Live Your Vision
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Rearview Life Vision, Vision, Daily Favor Blog, Daily Favor Prayer, Favored1, Favor, How to Make A Vision Board, Christian Living, Andy Stanley, Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show, Weekly Challenge.