With the new year here, everyone is talking about goals. However, as Christians, we need to also think about vision. Do you know the vision God has for each part of your life (e.g.marriage, kids, education, career, finances, relationships, faith)? Are you living it out?
One man in the Bible not only knew what God’s vision for his life was but took great care to carry it out. His name is Joseph. In Genesis 37:5-11 we meet him as a typical 17-year-old boy who was working in his family’s business. We’re told that he’s the youngest of 12 brothers who didn’t like him all that much. However, his father liked him so much that he gave Joseph a “coat of many colors.” At the same time, God was giving him dreams of how he’d eventually rule over his brothers. When Joseph told his brothers about these dreams, they chose to sell him into slavery. That didn’t stop Joseph from pursuing God’s vision for his life and eventually seeing it come true.
What does Joseph teach us about having a Christian vision statement?
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. – Jeremiah 29:11
The Bible contains many promises that God wants to prevail in our lives. These promises should pave the foundation for our Christian vision statements. Here’s how.
Dare to Dream
Joseph dared to dream and so should you. These dreams should be founded on God’s Word. Keep in mind there aren’t any good excuses as to why you shouldn’t dream. Remember, Joseph was young while Abraham was 100 so according to God’s timeline age is meaningless. Don’t let what the world thinks of you stand in the way either. Instead, remember the truth of Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.).
Dare to Define God’s Vision for Your Life
And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. – Genesis 35:10
Joseph defended his dream and here are a few ways you can defend yours:
- Make sure you write the date down next to your Christian vision statement.
- Don’t simply write a vague statement and be done. Write down the detailed steps you’re going to take to make God’s vision for your life come true this year.
- Dare to declare a date by when you’ll accomplish your Christian vision statement.
- Spend time each day praying about God’s vision for your life and seeing what His Word says about it.
Dare to Declare God’s Vision for Your Life
Just like Joseph shared his dream with his brothers and father, we should be willing to share our Christian vision statement with others. Sharing it is important because then your Christian vision statement becomes a declaration to which others will hold you accountable when you grow distracted (and distractions will come since Satan doesn’t want God’s best for us).
Dare to Defend God’s Vision for Your Life
Joseph provides us with an amazingly powerful example of how we should defend the vision God gives us. He stayed the course and fulfilled God’s vision for his life even though he went through some very challenging times. Undoubtedly, we’ll come across challenges too. Here are a few things we should know as we do so:
- Fight unbelief with faith. (Genesis 37:1-11)
- Overcome adversity with perseverance. (Genesis 37:12-36)
- Beat temptation with integrity. (Genesis 39)
- Resist resentment with forgiveness. (Genesis 40-41)
- Conquer self-absorption with influence. (Genesis 42-50)
Learning From Joseph
Joseph was willing to go all out with his vision because he believed it came from God so he cared deeply about it. He was willing to share it with his brothers and father although he knew they wouldn’t appreciate it. Of course, he paid the price but he still ran hard after the dream God had given him.
This is your year to run hard with the vision God gives you. Take some time to write out your Christian vision statement. Don’t just leave it on your computer or in a drawer somewhere though. Ask God to strengthen you so you can run with it. What are you trusting Him to do in your life in 2022? Remember, size is meaningless to God.