Picture Your Desired Future
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” KJV
The Message paraphrase says, “ If people can't see what God is doing,
they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed."
God gave Abraham a picture of a blessed, prosperous future. When he was 75 years old, and his wife Sarah was 65, God promised that they would have a child. In fact, He said,
"I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you Gen. 12:2,3 NIV
Abraham got a faith image of God’s blessings in his life. A vision was painted on the canvas of his heart by the Holy Spirit that would carry him through difficulty and build his faith in God. When the son of promise was born 25 years later, they named him `Isaac’ which means `laughter’.
This is what Paul the N.T. writer says about Abraham’s faith-
Romans 4: 18- 22 NIV “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."
Galatians 3:6-9, 13, 29 NIV “Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
God saw the `potential’ that was in Abraham. “Dormant ability” That is what He sees in us as well!
1 Cor. 2:9-10 NIV "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.”
God’s Word is full of resources. You can never exhaust His word. Each day, you will discover new gems…nuggets of truth…daily inspiration. “His mercies are made new every morning.” Joy, truth and blessing are yours as you explore His Word… like Indiana Jones searching for the ark and the Holy Grail, we should go on daily quests to uncover the power of the word for our lives.
Just as Nicolas Cage in “National Treasure”, we can go from one room to another room of God’s treasures. James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
“He has revealed them to us by His Spirit…” So each day, as we dig, search and expect, He will bring new discoveries concerning His nature, His ways and His plans.
Jeremiah 33:3 NIV'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'
And you Know, God is the same as His Word! As we continue to serve Him and develop our relationship with Him, He constantly reveals new facets of His beauty, creativity and love! You can’t put Him in a box…His ways are higher than ours! We can only hope to discover the gold mine of His love and presence.
Isaiah 55: 6-9 NIV “Seek the LORD while he may be found;call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “
Since we are created in God’s image, what is true of Him, is true of us to a certain extent. We have great uncharted potential for greatness, wisdom, love, and abundance. A goldmine of wealth is hidden within us all.
Helping others discover, discern and develop their untapped gifts and abilities is a joyful experience. To realize the potential in another person is to unfold vistas of opportunity for them. Examine and celebrate the handiwork of God in your neighbor. God made the greatest artist who ever picked up a brush. He formed the voice of the greatest singer, and the most talented musician owes his creativity to our Creator God.
You and I were created for Greatness…Designed to bring Glory to God through our lifestyle, studies, vocation, gifting, etc.
Ephesians 2:10 NIV “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Elton Trueblood – “To make a life small, when it could be great, is sin and heresy”.
What is the greatest sin? Murder, lying, rape? Perhaps the greatest sin was committed by Adam in the garden of Eden when he failed to become ALL that God created him to become!
Adam and Eve had authority over animals, and ll of creation. But they disobeyed, and sin entered into the world, robbing them of their potential (as it has so many people) and costing them fellowship with God.
Gen 3:24 NIV “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [a] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Another illustration of people missing their potential is found in Numbers 13. The Jewish people have been delivered by God from Egypt through a list of miracles- hail, flies, frogs, locusts, bloody rivers, death of first-born. Moses leads them to the border of their inheritance- Canaan land- The land flowing with milk and honey!
He then sends 12 spies across the Jordan River to check out the land. Joshua and Caleb brought back this report- “We can take the land…sure there are giants, but you should see the size of the grapes.” But the 10 spies said, There are giants, walled cities, etc…Ex.13:33 KLV ”And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, but couldn’t get Egypt out of them! They had a servant mentality from 400 years of bondage! How many Christians are the same way? They don’t see the grapes hanging in clusters from a pole, they see giants.
Friend, you were born to taste the grapes, and kill the giants!
When Moses told the people that they wouldn’t be allowed to cross over, due to their unbelief, they cried day and night. The promise was just across the river. They could see into their inheritance, but would never get to touch it. They listened and believed an evil report! Now whose report will you hear and believe?
Will you fulfill God’s plan and live up to your potential?
Samson, the powerful leader, was called to judge God’s people. But he never lived up to the call and potential of God on His life. Lost his consecration by enjoying the pleasures of sin. Judges 16:18 KJV “And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
He showed her all that was in his heart. It was evil. He failed to be all that God created Him for.
Matthew 25: 14-18 NIV "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.”
The moral of the story---Fail to use what God has given you and you stand to lose it all.
God will lift His glory from a church that doesn’t take souls seriously, or from an organization that becomes so self-absorbed that it no longer preaches the cross, and salvation through the blood of Jesus.
In each of these stories, the people who lost out were saddened and weeping, etc…The saddest people around are those whom God has given an opportunity- dream- privilege-vision..but they stopped short. Don’t settle for second best!
Don’t stop in Haran like Terah, the father of Abraham. Haran means `dry, barren place’. Keep moving; keep growing, keep pressing into all that God has for you. Desire to cross over from `just enough’ to `more than enough’…to a land `flowing with milk and honey’.
Bobby Knight, the championship basketball coach says- “I can win and be unhappy. I can lose and be a happy man, if my team plays up to their potential”
Christian writer Philip Brooks says, “Sad is the day for any man when he becomes absolutely satisfied with the thoughts he is thinking, the deeds he is doing, the life he is living, until there ceases to be forever beating at the very door of his soul a desire to do something greater for the glory of God!”
Are you satisfied with the thoughts you are thinking? The life you’re living for God?
Let Him give you plans…Let Him paint His dream on the canvas of your heart. We all have great potential, but some of us are wasting our lives. Some of you have lost children…Maybe your marriage is not all it could be. We all have so much to offer,and there are great opportunities for ministry every day- Whether on a mission field, working in a nursing home, teaching in jails, visiting hospitals, or witnessing in your neighborhood.
If we keep doing what we’ve always done, we will have the same results we’ve always had. If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do some things you‘ve never done before!
Today, picture your desired future, work hard, place your trust in God, and see great things happen in your life!