Summary: A message about allowing God to reveal His plan, His dream for your life to you... don’t ever give up on what God created you for....

Living With My Eyes Open (Vision)

March 14, 2004 Pastor Glenn Newton

In the mid-twentieth century, in Bangkok, Thailand, the government wanted to build a large highway through a village. Yet in the path of the planned road was a Buddhist monastery with a little chapel, so they had to relocate the monastery – including a heavy, 11 foot clay statue of Buddha – to another place. Using a crane, the government workers moved the monastery in sections. When the workers transported the statue of Buddha to the new location and began to lower it into place, however, the clay on the statue started to crumble and fall off.

The people were afraid because this was a precious religious symbol to them, and they didn’t want it to be destroyed. Yet the more the workers tried to place the statue, the more it fell apart until, eventually, all the clay was falling off. Suddenly, the workers stared in amazement because, as the clay fell away, something unexpected was revealed. The statue was pure gold underneath. Before the statue was moved, people thought it was worth about $50,000. Today, that golden Buddha is worth millions and, because of the story behind it, it is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year.

What’s the point of that story? What I want us to take hold of this morning is this…. What we can see is not necessarily what really is. I believe many of us are living as clay vessels when, in reality, we are pure gold inside. Our lives do not reflect who we truly are or what we can be.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Have you ever dreamed about what God might do through you? God is the one who has given us the capacity to dream… in fact, God has placed within each person a vision that is designed to give purpose and meaning to your life. The question for all of us, Am I Following the Plan and Dream that God created me to fulfill? That’s a big question, but it’s one that needs to be answered if we are going to have peace and fulfillment in our lives.

Maybe you can relate to this story….. Last week I was walking into Wal-Mart… now I know you all relate to that part, right? Anyway, I was walking through the door when I saw this little boy getting onto the machine, I think it’s a truck where the kids climb in and feed it quarters and the engine roars and it moves back and forth and the little kids feel like there on their way somewhere in imaginary land. Many of you have feed those machines I’m sure. This little guy was so thrilled.

I did my shopping, probably 20-30 minutes I was inside, when I came out I noticed this little boy was still riding in the truck, Mom said probably for the 20th time, this is the last quarter. As I smiled and walked off I realized something about that little picture of life. There’s a lot of people today that feel like that little boy, and maybe feel like that Mom. They are riding along in life, spending all their time and their money, and their energy…. All their effort trying to get somewhere, but when the day is over, when the ride is over…. Guess what? You realize that you really haven’t went anywhere.

I felt like God was speaking to me directly when I had this thought, “That’s how most people in our world live today, there working hard, there spending a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of effort, but there not really making any real progress in life… there not going anywhere.”

Our world is filled with people who are busy but not feeling effective or sastisfied. They are doing much, expending time and energy, but getting little of value accomplished. Listen to these statistics of American employees:

• Nearly 50% of all US workers feel overwhelmed by a growing number of job tasks and longer working hours.

• 88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life.

• Only 48% of workers aged 35-44 are satisfied with their jobs, down from nearly 61% in 1995. Older workers, aged 55-64, also express a low level of satisfaction. Only about 48% say they are satisfied.

• In all income areas, satisfaction levels have fallen since 1995.

Theses statistics tell us a story, it tells us that a great number of people in the US, and I would imagine in our service today are struggling with job and life satisfaction issues. It’s very disheartening to work hard and not receive satisfaction and fulfillment from your work… right?

What about your life? What are you using your precious energy on? Are you activily pursuing the dreams and vision that God has placed within you?

Many people are very aware that they aren’t fulfilling their potential. They dread Mondays and live for the weekends because they hate their work. Their whole lives seem centered around the only two days they are free from the trapped feeling they experience at work. They long to pursue their own interests and talents. In Waiting for the Weekend, the author wrote this:

• “For many people weekend free time has become not a chance to escape work but a chance to create work that is more meaningful – to work at recreation – in order to realize the personal satisfaction that the workplace no longer offers.”

I thought that was a profound statement, many people are just wading through the week, so they can work at the things they love on the weekends, and in those two days find the satisfaction that they need, and don’t get from their weekly jobs.

So what’s the answer? The truth is God has hidden in you, maybe it looks like the clay Buddha right now, it might be covered up, but God has hidden within you a great treasure that is the key to living a more fulfilling life than you ever imagined was possible.

If I were to ask you today, “Why do you exist?” How would you answer? Most people cannot tell you. They can’t explain their purpose in the world. They have no vision for their lives.

Do you have a sense of personal purpose? Do you know why you were born? Does your purpose give you a passion for living? Some might ask, “Do I really need to have a reason for my existence?” The Answer is Yes! Absolutely! Life is intended to have meaning, you were not born just for the fun of it. You can know why you exist, and you can experience a remarkable life in light of that knowledge. Life doesn’t have to be an aimless, repetitive exercise, because you were not designed to simply ride in a pretend truck going nowhere. You were meant to be going somewhere, to be headed toward a destination.

As a Christian, we understand that our ultimate goal is to go to heaven, right? But if that was all God wanted for us, if God’s grand design was for us just to be saved and make heaven our home, don’t you think God would have put in place an express delivery system? I mean, if becoming a Christian was all there was to this life, and there was no other purpose for you life other than becoming a Christian…. I think God would Fed Ex you to heaven as soon as you were saved, that way there was no chance of losing out…. You get saved one minute, you fall over dead the next and your with God in heaven…… It doesn’t work that way does it?

The reason is because God has a plan for our whole lives…. God designed you to accomplish His will while you live on planet Earth…. Now don’t worry, Heaven is our ultimate goal, and believe me, it will be worth whatever you have to endure while you’re here, but listen folks…. God has given to everyone of us divine plans, dreams, a vision for our life. You were born to be distinct…. I didn’t say to stink… You were born to be distinct…. God didn’t create you to blend in, but to stand out as special, as unique. There is no one in the whole world with your personality, your makeup, your gifts, your God given talents, your way of thinking, your abilities.. there is no one who can do what God has specifically created you to do… it’s His plan for you…. Do you know what that plan is?

Individual design is as true of humanity as it is of nature. God doesn’t want any one person to get lost in the midst of everyone else. There are over 6 billion people in the world, and not one of them has your fingerprints. We can become complacent about this astonishing truth, yet it is easy to feel lost in the crowd. Some people may consider you to be “just another person”, but they are wrong. Don’t ever allow anyone to cause you to think of yourself as ordinary. If anyone makes you feel less than you are, just look in the mirror and say, “You original thing, you.”

When you go Antique shopping, what makes an item very, very expensive?

In economics, the value of something is determined by how rare it is. Gold is costly because it is difficult to find. In the same way with oil; it does not usually just spring up in your backyard, you normally have to dig deep to find it.

The truth is God created you as a one of a kind, you were not mass produced, You were designer made

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

The poorest person in the world is a person without a dream. Do you know what God created you to be, to do in life?

The most frustrated person in the world is someone who has a dream but doesn’t know how to make it come to pass.

The Key to moving out of a life of unfulfilled expectations and moving into your God given reason for living?

There’s only one way to know what God’s vision is for your life…. God has to reveal it to you, and this comes through prayer, and through a close personal walk with God. As you commit your life to Him, He promises to reveal His plan to us, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Through prayer God will stir up what He has already placed in you, He will give you eyes that see, he will give you vision that can see past your circumstances, past where you find yourself right now, and He will help you see where He wants to take you…. As you follow Him.

Will you pray this week for God to stir up in you his vision for your life?