And if you desire those expectations to materialise, then you also must have an over-riding vision for your journey ahead.
The Bible says in Proverbs 29.18a, “Where there is no vision, the people perish ...”
Another Bible translation puts it this way: “Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint.”
In other words, a life-journey without a vision or direction is a pathway that is undisciplined, lacking focus, without a guarantee that it will lead to a desired end.
The story of Abraham in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Bible, gives us a great example of how God wants you and I to live our lives.
In chapter 13.14-17 of Genesis, it says, “And the LORD said unto Abram, .... Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.”
We know from chapter 12 of the Book of Genesis that God had called Abram (his name was later changed to Abraham) out of his home country, promising Abram that he would give him a land that was flowing with “milk and honey”.
God had defined to Abram the boundaries of this Promised Land which he would give to Abram and his descendants. Of course, today, this land is now called Israel, although it is a much smaller area than that which the Bible had defined.
Going back to our Scripture reading, it is important for us to note that God was very specific in his choice of words so Abram did not misunderstand him. There are a few pointers here that are worthwhile noting if you want your life to be meaningful and successful throughout 2018.
1. From where you are right now, lift up your eyes and look in all directions. Abram was not to assess his current resources or whatever else he had, but he was to simply follow God’s instructions and look. The truth is if your life-journey is in partnership with God, you will need to lift your eyesight all the time to see what God has for you as you move forward.
2. As far as Abram could see, God would give it to him. This simply means, God has given you and I the power to determine how far we are prepared to go with him and how much of his blessings are we prepared to trust him for.
3. What Abram was able to see and visualise would have a great impact on his descendants. This is truly interesting because it is important for us to understand that God is not just interested in your life period, but he is also concerned how your life is going to impact the lives of your children, grandchildren and so on.
4. Abram had to be prepared to walk the land which he could see. You see, having a vision is a great thing, but it continues to remain a vision until you are prepared to work and sweat in order to fulfil that vision. The Bible says, “Faith without works is dead.”
The challenges for us today are no different from what God’s Word, the Bible teaches. You must have a clear vision for what you desire to achieve in your life in the next 12 months. And with that vision, you must prayerfully set goals and plan strategies on how you are going to perform.
Remember, that whatever you are prepared to trust God for, will determine the blessings you and your descendants will enjoy, short-term or long-term. The biblical principle of “sowing and reaping” is so appropriate here. There is no easy way out for anyone of us. We have to work to achieve our desires in life and enjoy the material rewards. But more than that, God also desires for us to develop our spiritual relationship with him. And we do this by involving God in our decision-making on a daily basis.
Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” That is an awesome promise for anyone who is prepared to take God at his word and work in partnership with him.
I encourage you to give it a go in 2018 and see what an awesome, unchanging God can do in your life.
May you have a great weekend, enjoy your family and find time to read the Bible and go to church. Pastor Tevai Matapo,