Summary: THis sermon was preached the first Sunday of 2004 and it challenges people to have a vision for their lives for the coming year.
What Is Your Vision
We are at the beginning of a new year that is filled with unlimited possibilities and potential. A year from now, some of us will be far ahead of where we are today, some of us will be in the same place, and some of us will have slipped even further behind. This will be true in both the natural and spiritual parts of our lives. A lot of where we are now, and where we’re going in 2004 will be determined by our vision.
I define vision as seeing yourself reaching a goal that will better prepare you to handle and to enjoy life in the future. We all need a vision to receive what God has for us. There are things God wants us to have, but because we lack vision, we settle for a whole lot less. In our Scripture reading, twelve men went and saw a tremendous blessing of land and wealth just spread out in front of them. Here was a chance for them and their families to have their lives completely turned around. Beautiful homes, rich land, an abundance of animals which represented huge bank accounts back in the day.
To top it all off, God had said, “this is what I’m going to give to you, because I have chosen you as my people, and I promised your ancestors that I would give this land to you.” God had a vision for his people. He wanted to take them from wandering in the desert, to lands rich with food, water, and wealth. It was God’s desire to bless His people. God wants to bless you in 2004.
But of the 12, only two had visions of God’s faithfulness. 10 saw the blessings of God, and said, “it’s too much work, and we can never have it. We’ll die just trying to get a piece of it. The problems are too great, and the cost of it is just too high. There is no hope of going forward.” Their vision determined their destiny. They had called God a liar, and discouraged the hearts of the people. It got so bad that the people wanted to abandon God’s vision for them and go back to Egypt to become slaves all over again.
Two of the 12 had positive vision. They were Joshua and Caleb. They saw the same problems, the same situation, the same possibilities and said, “what on earth are we waiting for. Let’s go get what God has for us right now. Let’s go at once and take the land.” 10 of the spies had a vision of death. Do you know all 10 of them were dead before the week was over? 2 of them had a visions of life. That vision carried them for forty years and they got everything they had told the people they could have and then some.
What is your vision in 2004? What is your vision for your education? What is your vision for your finances? What is your vision for your bible knowledge? What is your vision for the relationships you are involved in? What is your vision for your marriage? What is your vision for your parenting? What is your vision for your walk with the Lord.
What is your vision for your role in this church? What is your vision for being used by God to win others for Christ? What is that you would like to see God do differently for you? Even more important, what is that you would like to do differently for God.? If you haven’t given any thought to these questions, chances are you will do the same thing, this year as you did last year with little changes in results.
Every vision has to consider that there are some unknown things that might happen that may cause the vision to make certain adjustments. For us as believers there are two events that should always have an influence on our vision. Those events are, first the possibility of a very untimely death on our part, and second the possibility of the Lord’s return. The real fact of our own death and the return of Jesus Christ should have a balancing effect on our vision. If our vision is to have a million dollars by age 30 and it totally consumes us, but we die at age 29, then we have been foolish with our lives.
Our scripture passage this morning is found in the context of Jesus’ teachings on being prepared for when He might come back to earth. If you knew that Jesus was coming back today at 4pm what would be the one thing you’d want to make right by 3:58? Whatever it is or was, should be a part of your vision for your life before this day is over.