Setting Your Vision – The Journey Sermon – Part 2
Many of us approach things the same way, year after year, and we don’t know why. We get excited and inspired to make changes in January, only to watch our goals slip away come February and March. What goes wrong?
A New Perspective: God’s Way
Why don’t we accomplish the goals we set out for ourselves every new year? More often than not, it’s because we aren’t truly ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to make these goals a reality. Our hearts aren’t set right, the vision doesn’t take hold, and we don’t ask God for help.
We need to change our vision, our perspective, and our mindset about goals. Instead of focusing on what we want, we need to ask, “What does God want for me?” What passions and talents has He instilled inside of me that I need to use? What amazing leaps of faith does He have planned for my spiritual journey this year? What am I here for, and how can I be my best self?
Two Ways to Create Your Vision
- Uncover Your Values. 2 Corinthians 13:8 says “Our responsibility is never to oppose the truth, but to stand for the truth at all times.” So ask yourself these two questions: “What do I deeply love?” and “What makes me righteously angry?” (injustices, mistreatment of animals, neglect for the poor, etc). Write these down and challenge yourself to live by them daily. You should define 4-7 items on your list. But remember, not everyone shares your same values, and that’s okay. Just don’t get vanilla about yours – they should be your passion!
- Discover Your Mission. If someone asked you “What did God make you for?” how would you answer? Do you know your purpose and mission? Most of us would say no, but through prayer, studying the Word, and connecting with others, we can discover our God-given talents. In Acts 20:24, the disciple Paul says: “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” Paul knew his purpose (to tell others about Jesus) and defines it as his life’s work. How wonderful it would feel to be so confident of your purpose!
If you find yourself answering any of the above questions with selfish answers (I love golfing, or I love shopping), then ask yourself one final question: “Did God send his only son to die for me so that I could do something so narrow-minded, so selfish?” No. God has bigger things planned for your life! Look beyond yourself and see the world as a place where you can fully participate!
Prayer from Francis Drake (1977)
Disturb us Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.