Casting Fresh Vision
As a freshmen in college, my small group leader Stephanie Hanson used to love to quote the scripture: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18 KJV. Her strong conviction was that it was not enough to be satisfied with yesterday’s mercies. We need be constantly casting fresh vision, with an expectancy that God will move. For if we did aught else we would find ourselves in seasons of stagnancy instead of growth. We would find ourselves content with mediocrity. And we all know that God is a God of excellence, not mediocrity.
Paul says in Ephesians that God is able to do “exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV). I believe that one of the primary hindrances to our growth is a mind that limits God. He is so able to work, and Paul mentions that he is able to work specifically “according to the power that is within us.” Are you sure that God has dispensed power in you? Let’s ask God to give us a mindset that allows us to be pushed outside of our comfort zones; a mind that does not limit God. Furthermore, have you considered how God is calling you to use it that power which he has dispensed into you? I believe that God works through each gift he has given us to glorify his name and reveal his character to this lost world! Is that what you think of God and how he is able to use you?
Sometimes we are just comfortable where we are and that’s what separates us from experiencing new growth, and is what deviates is from a mindset that God can do more. We get into the habit of doing things that work, or have worked in the past and don’t think twice about changing anything in order to experience expansion…What if you sought the Lord and he revealed to you that even though the way you did things in the past used to work, you could be more fruitful if you made a few changes?
This may seem minor, but I know that personally God has shown me that simply applying a template to my site that gives people a more restful impression can enhance their experience of him in this online space. It was way out of my comfort zone, but I did it on impulse, and so many of my friends and colleagues have already mentioned that this layout is softer on their eyes and really fits the theme of tea and rest. Even in my personal world of home decor I am using lighter tones in wall decor. I wanted to stretch myself to step away from using so much darkness, and I already feel a difference. Those simple changes to my home have resulted in a more jubilant feeling environment and really effect my mental health for the better!
I know that it doesn’t stop there! I’ve already asked God to stretch me beyond the mentality that I cannot be an entrepreneur one day or pioneer my own ministry! If I think like that my life will be limited, and I will stay comfortable with my 9-5 job that makes enough to support my lifestyle and my blog, which brings God enough glory for me to feel like I am being a good Stewart! I want God to enlarge his territory in my life and reach more people! I want to bear more fruit and stay in touch with the promise that there is power in me, and God is able to do more than I ask, according to that power, which he has dispensed inside!
Dreaming big with small beginnings
I have dreams and I feel like they are little seeds that were planted in my heart since birth! I’ve always wanted to write a book and do something big —whatever would change the world. The sting of a couple failures and some rejection had sort of obscured my belief that the world is “my oyster” for a couple of years and stopped me from believing that the Lord is simply cultivating the soil for fresh harvest. I don’t think those failures were intended to induce that kind of thinking, because a limited mentality of God’s power and intent to work in and through us has never come from the Holy Spirit. Satan twists our view on those kinds of things so that we lose hope, but as it says in Corinthians “Love always hopes.”
A New Perspective on Failure:
God does not allow failure so that we doubt his power at work within us. He allows failure to further mold us into the image of his son, teach us to be surrendered and to realign our vision with his.
I think those failures were simply God working in my heart to realign my vision with his, and they eventually allowed him to cultivate new desires in my heart and show me that I would be successful in other areas!! His desires became my dreams and I was disciplined and challenged along the way, as is always part of our Father’s curriculum, but I began to see fruit all around.
Reflecting on moments when Stephanie would quote that scripture:
Here I find myself, as we enter 2020 asking God for breakthrough in areas where I doubt him and to challenge those doubts. I’m casting vision of a year full of being a diligent employee at work, building funds, and learning marketing skills for my online ministry while outside of company hours. I want to learn how to design my own products that inspire craftsmanship in others, become more business minded and stay in tuned with the mentality that the world is rich soil to be cultivated for God’s harvest!
My friend where is your heart this very moment? Has pain and failure left you feeling like you cannot be used by God? Have you forgotten your identity and become complacent with your current place in life, feeling like you’ll never grow? I ask you to turn your heart to the Lord, remember his a character and cast fresh vision!
Prayer: Lord may we keep coming constantly to your throne, that more of your heart would pour into our hearts! May we not limit you to our concepts, but stand on your word which says that you are able to do “exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask.” Lord may we not dream dreams that serve ourselves, but dreams that bring you glory, and may we have fun while doing it! We love you our King and Savior! Amen.