tr_21Each year when another January rolls around, there is a sense of refreshing and newness to be experienced, and it’s a good thing. It’s a time when people reflect on where they currently are and where they want to go, a personal inventory if you will.

Habakuk 2:1-2 says, I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Vision was God’s idea. He has plans and dreams for His children just like you have dreams for your children. But those plans and dreams will never come to pass if we do not take the steps that the Lord has outlined in His Word.

Notice the phrase stand upon my watch. This is what vision is all about because when you are watching, you are seeing. I’m not talking so much about setting goals, but about what you see in your spirit.

Man was created by God, in the very image of God, and he is a spirit being. One of the most defining characteristics of a spirit being is vision. Animals operate based on imitation and instinct. But man has the ability to leap beyond his present conditions and determine his future. Your vision is your future. This is the way God created man to function.

Have you ever heard of a man named Gunder Birkeland? He was born in Norway but lived in Seattle, Washington. At the age of two he contracted polio. His parents put him in a wooden box and pulled him around in it because he couldn’t walk. He was constantly surrounded with words of death and defeat and never given any hope of living a normal life.

At the age of seven he was placed in front of a mirror while sitting in his box, and “saw” himself standing. His vision was about to take him somewhere he hadn’t been in 5 years. He began rocking back and forth in that box until he finally tipped it over. His parents heard the commotion and ran in there to put him back in the box. As soon as they left the room, Gunder got busy rocking back and forth again so he could tip it over.

With his spirit man, he saw himself out of that box, then began to take action by tipping it over. He began to say, “I’m getting out of that box.” Before long he began to crawl and eventually walked. He outlived every member of his family and became one of the ten wealthiest people in the city of Seattle, Washington.

He began following Jesus at an early age, and with his spirit, he saw what the Lord saw—a walking boy with complete health. He spent the rest of his life telling people they didn’t have to stay in the box either.

It seems that everywhere you turn, something or someone is trying to put you in a box, but it is time for God’s children to wake up and realize they don’t have to stay in a box! Men build boxes. God doesn’t! If you can see it on the inside, in your spirit, then you can go there!

There is another aspect regarding vision that is so important, and after 30 years of pastoring, I saw people question it time and time again. It has to do with knowing the leading of the Lord.

According to Psalm 37:4, the primary way God leads His people is through the desires of their heart. Of course this verse explains that these desires will come to those who delight themselves in the Lord.  Delighting in the Lord is simply delighting in the Word—the words of God, the ways of God.

Then in John 16, Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit would show us things to come. The Holy Ghost takes the Word that you ingest and He will enlarge your vision and thinking. You’ll see yourself doing things and going places that you have never seen before. NEVER lose your hunger for the Word! It’s delighting in the Word that causes us to see what our Father sees for us, which produces vision!

Finally, write your vision down. I had a gentleman in my church who is a doctor, and he once attended a seminar where they were taught that those who write their goals are fifty times more likely to achieve their goals. This act of faith—writing the vision—began with God. But it’s always nice when you hear that science agrees with the Word.

Writing the vision is an act of faith and obedience. I have had countless testimonies over the years from people who have taken these principles and applied them and seen them come to pass. I, too, have experienced the same thing. It’s always an exciting time when Phyllis and I go over our lists from the previous year and see all that the Lord did for us. We do this as a family as well.

As you begin this new year, 2014, I want to encourage you to keep your attention on the Lord, His Word, and His leadings. These are not days to “play” church. These are the days to be who we are in Christ Jesus. Take your rightful stand, and expect the greatest year you have ever experienced.

Happy, Blessed, and Prosperous New Year!

P.S. I have included a teaching that I ministered a couple years ago at my home church at the beginning of the year. If you’re ready to take a step up, be sure and listen to it with great expectation. Your attitude determines your altitude

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