Not minding the fact that our modern world is full of motivational speakers, life coaches, trainers, etc. Yet, one of the central teachings of these speakers cannot still be said to be well understood by our generation.
VISION – what a hot cake theme for the global market of life coaches and motivational speakers. Every speaker sees the topic of vision as the integral part of life coaching itself. Companies, industries and schools pay out millions of U.S. dollars to get some high flying speakers to come visit them with a speech especially on the topic of vision. The general market of motivational speaking and life coaching is now in the range of 156 billion U.S. dollars annually.
Are people getting their money’s worth? Is the message really reaching the pew? Are ordinary individuals improving their lives, making their world a better place just because of their understanding of the role and place of vision in life? Well, I am not very sure of that.
That is why I have found it necessary at this juncture of my expository series of articles, to address the topic of vision: It’s role, importance and essence in every individual’s life. I therefore hope that this little contribution to the discourse would help at least a few to seek a vision for their lives and begin to live a meaningful, purposeful and intentional life.
In my little experience of traveling to over 60 countries of the world, I have discovered that the more ado we make about this topic, the less understanding ordinary people seem to have of the true meaning and relevance of the topic. Churches bring in speakers to talk about vision. Preachers do more of motivational speaking. Leadership classes start with the topic of vision and still ordinary church going believers can hardly tell you in clear terms how their lives are modelling this teaching.
As a matter of fact, apart from large multi-national and national companies, not too many people in our world could boldly say their lives reflect the truth and significance of the message of vision. So why the disconnect?
The reason for the disconnect might be in the fact that we must stop looking at vision just as a topic, just another subject on the table. Vision must cease to be the in-thing, a selling subject. Vision should not just be a rallying point for speakers. In actual fact, vision should not just be viewed as a speaking engagement topic. Vision must be viewed rather as a subject of life and death. Vision has to be considered to be connected to the very meaning of an individual’s life. Vision must be seen as something so significant without which a life is not considered worth living.
Vision has to be regarded as an ingredient in life that causes life to be purposeful. It is what makes meaning of life. It is what gives common sense to industry. It explains enterprise. Vision must stand behind every human endeavor.
“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.” – Helen Keller
There must be a vision rather than instinct in the purpose of marriage. Vision must be the reason behind jobs, employment and engagements. Vision should be the explanation for education. School attendance should not be a matter of duty, but a subject of vision. Graduation should not be motivated by good employment, but by vision.
Excellence must not just be driven by salary. Excellence has to be driven and powered by vision. Vision should be the explanation for child bearing and child rearing.
- Vision is the pursuit
- Vision is the inspiration
- Vision is the energy
- Vision is the power
- Vision is understanding
- Vision is wisdom
- Vision is common sense
Allow me dear readers to tell you my own understanding of the significance and importance of vision. My studies of the scriptures has brought me to the realization that our very lives are given to us for a vision, a purpose and a mission. That is to say, life itself is about vision. A human therefore is entrusted with life so as to carry out a vision. So, vision becomes the goal and essence of life, while the human existence is the means for carrying out the vision. The vision for which the man was created in the first place.
“Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” Hab. 2:2
What I am trying to say is that:
- You were not created by God Almighty for pleasure.
- You were not created by God Almighty for enjoyment.
- You were not created by God Almighty for self.
- You were not created by God Almighty for egocentrism.
- You were not created by God Almighty for children, but for vision.
- You were not created by God Almighty for family, but for vision.
- You were not created by God Almighty for schools, but for vision.
- You were not created by God Almighty for work, but for vision.
- You were not created by God Almighty for wandering, but for vision.
- You were not created by God Almighty for survival, but for vision.
Ladies and gentlemen, the reason for your visit to planet earth is for a vision. A purpose and a mission. You are therefore only but an instrument to fulfill that vision. So, life is about vision. Men are created to fulfill some heavenly vision or the other. Vision from God is the only reason for man’s entrance into the earth. Vision from God is the only thing that supersedes man himself.
That is why the son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ could sacrifice his very own life for a vision. How is that possible? Because the vision surpasses the life. Even though Christ’s life was terminated at the middle age of 33, yet the vision survived him.
That is how each one of our lives are supposed to be modeled. A life given out to vision, a life fully lived for vision and a life if necessary that could be sacrificed for vision. Vision therefore is the essence of life, while people are means of carrying out the vision. God’s vision, heaven’s vision, divine vision, earth’s vision, personal vision and universal vision.
Bringing this message home to each and every one of us privileged to participate in this discourse. Can you confidently say that you are a person of vision? What is the vision you are living for? What is your life’s vision? Do you have any global vision? Any general vision? Any personal vision? Is it well defined? Do you have clarity in your vision? Could you be woken up at 3 am and still be able to tell anyone your vision? What are you doing for the actualization of your vision?
God is a God of vision. A scripture that has inspired me over the years on the emphasis God places on vision is in Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
That is quite compelling isn’t it? Let’s examine some of the truths that God is trying to point us to in this scripture:
- BEFORE I FORMED YOU IN THE WOMB, I KNEW YOU:
That little statement right there “before I formed you in the womb I knew you” speaks volumes. God is demonstrating Himself here as the God of the beginning and the end. He is actually telling us that He as God Almighty, actually finishes something before He begins it. That is why He is the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end at once, at the same time.
The implication of that is, before God starts to create you, He had finished the plan for your life, He had seen the end of your life before He even started the process of your creation. So what we now see as your creation, your beginning, is only the Alpha that is being manifested after the Omega had been completed. God does not begin something without first finishing it. God did not begin your life without Him completing your vision. It is because your vision had been completed that you were created.
In a layman’s explanation, God only created you after He had perfected the vision and purpose for which He wanted you to live. We could say God created you to carry out the vision for which you were created. Life is about vision. A man or woman is created as an instrument to fulfill that vision.
- BEFORE YOU WERE BORN I SANCTIFIED YOU:
Notice that God used the word “before” a number of times in this particular verse. He is trying to tell us that we should not make any mistake thinking we are the ones so smart and that is why we have accomplished what we have accomplished. No! Everything you are today has been long accomplished before you came into this world. You only need to align yourself with that vision.
Before you were born I sanctified you. You were not even born yet when God sanctified you. One of the interpretations of the word sanctification is, separated for a sacred service or mission. So God actually had each and every one of us already sanctified, separated, dedicated, for a particular vision, ever before we were born. What we only need therefore is to simply align ourselves with the original intent in the heart of the Father.
Friends, we are created for vision. Even before we appeared in the womb of our mothers, God knew us. Before we were born, God separated us for vision. Amazing!
- I ORDAINED YOU AS A PROPHET TO THE NATIONS:
This is so profound. God is so specific about the purpose and calling of every individual. In the case of Jeremiah, he was ordained to be a prophet to the nations. The result is obvious to us today, because in all nations of the earth, people still study the writings of Jeremiah.
Dear friends, your calling and vision in life has been ordained before you were ever born into this world. You were created for a vision. It is totally abnormal to live a life without vision. It is a life of misery, a life of loss and a life of woes. You have your specific vision from the throne of God. That is why you were sent here to carry out that preordained vision from God.
One of the greatest tasks of anyone on the earth is to first discover their vision for life.
“I think that the greatest gift God ever gave man is not the gift of sight but the gift of vision,” – Dr. Myles Munroe
The word vision comes from seeing. That is where we take the word visual from. It is the same root word for visibility. By vision, we mean seeing just like our eyes see. We have a term like the vision of the eye. So how does this all contribute to destiny? What is its relationship to purpose? What is the correlation between this vision and Jeremiah chapter one?
Well, vision as we have said earlier means seeing. Seeing what? Simple! seeing what God sees. That is my definition of vision, the ability to see in unison with God. When you can see what God sees in regards to your life, then you have a vision.
Even though there are many techniques that could be applied to help you obtain your vision from God, yet that is not the topic of today. My mission today is to emphasize the role and significance of vision in our lives.
Again let me point out that the reason why most of the numerous teachings that we have on vision through seminars, symposiums, life coaches, motivational speaking, etc. is not so effective in giving individuals vision is because, they often don’t tell people the truth, that vision is seeing in unison with God.
We give out the techniques, but without understanding hence the people cannot apply effectively what they have been taught. But if the goal is to see how God sees from the onset, then it is clear where to look for vision. Then it is clear that until we see what God sees, we are missing the point.
Vision is not something you just wake up in the morning and set for yourself. Vision always needs a spiritual input. Vision requires a celestial connection. Vision needs God. Vision emanates from God.
“The man don’t make the vision; the vision makes the man.” – Pastor Yonggi Cho
It is the lack of this understanding that makes too many people to miss target when it comes to vision. Vision does not originate from man, it originates from his Creator. Vision requires submission, submission to the will of the Greater one.
Unfortunately, so many people have tried to pursue vision without the God factor and it has led to frustrations, disappointments, disillusionment, sorrow and pain. When we try to put all our hope only in our own strength, it doesn’t end well. Sometimes it’s painful, we miss the road. We miss the target. We become unfulfilled. No matter what you do, a true sense of fulfillment is experienced only when you are truly hooked to God’s vision for your life. When we do our own thing, we get a corresponding result.
“The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by, and this you will become.”
What would vision give you?
- Vision helps you to put your life together.
- Vision gives you a picture of your great future
- Vision enables you to plan better for tomorrow.
- Vision galvanizes like-minded people around you.
- Vision gives you motivation.
- Vision leads to right principles and ideas.
- Vision brings meaning to your efforts.
- Vision brings clarity to your life.
- Vision helps you to mobilize better for a given task.
- Vision makes you to be over and above material gains.
- Vision tells you about the future of your life, organization or ministry.
- Vision helps to identify where you are. Helps you to know if you are moving in the right direction or not.
- Vision prevents distractions.
- Vision defines values.
That is why we cannot afford to neglect vision. It helps us to live a meaningful life. A VISIONLESS LIFE IS A MEANINGLESS LIFE.
Dear readers, I hope through this teaching today, that some of you might have been able to gain a new understanding about the importance of a life of vision. The Bible says in proverbs 29:18
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
The Bible clearly tells us that where there is no vision the people perish. That is the eventual outcome of every life that neglects vision. It affects people everywhere.
According to that scripture, any people without vision perish. It doesn’t matter if they are from Europe, Africa or America, they all perish. The implication of this scripture is that nations, cities and communities eventually die off without a divine vision. When I talk of death this is not dying physically, they die in their passion, they die in their inspiration, they die in their pursuit, and they die in their fulfillment. Their joy dies, happiness dies, peace dies, and righteousness dies, all because of lack of vision. But he that keeps instruction to live by vision, is a happy man.
“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” – Japanese Proverb
What is the difference between the man that lives for vision and the person that lives without vision?
- The person of vision lives life to the full, which cannot be said of someone without vision.
- A person of vision identifies his direction in life and lives a purposeful life. While a person without vision is confused most of the time and can only complain about how bad life is.
- A person of vision is surrounded by faithful workers, formidable teams, while without vision there is nothing to gather the people around.
- A person of vision is a person of excellence, integrity and results which cannot be said of a person without vision.
- It is easier for a person of vision to convince others to follow him than people without vision.
- A person of vision is always enthusiastic and energetic.
- A person of vision finds it easy to communicate the vision, whereas there is nothing to communicate for a person without vision.
- It is easy for a man of vision to overcome challenges, trials and changes because he knows what has been shown to him.
- A person of vision is easily productive and efficient.
- A person of vision unites the people to create a culture and value system that aligns with the vision of the house.
Winston Churchill said “the empires of the future are the empires of the mind.” Until you see you cannot build. The largeness of your life depends on the largeness of your vision. The greatness of your future is in the greatness of your vision.
Vision must be accompanied though by corresponding actions to bring to fulfillment what has been seen in the mind.
“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision merely passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” – Joel Barker.
The vision carrier is a leader. Leadership must be provided for vision. People without vision can hardly be good leaders because there is nowhere to lead people to without a vision.
“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion.” – Theodore Hesburgh
Every individual needs a vision, every society needs a vision, every community needs a vision, and every nation needs a vision. Without an individual vision, you would not be able to put your life in order. Without a societal vision there is chaos, crisis, conflict and disintegration in any society. A community turns against itself when vision is lacking. Nations don’t achieve purpose, they become failed nations when vision is lacking. No one can afford to do without a vision. The price without it is too costly.
My dear readers, I hope you would become an instrument to help bring the understanding of vision into your world. Thereby helping make the world a better place.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.