Faith for the Vision

Great speeches are unforgettable not just because of the content but also because of the delivery and presence of the speaker.

Great speeches are like magic, all the elements combine and leave an indelible mark on the listener.

There are many famous speeches that come to mind for me, Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech is one of the most iconic. President Barack Obama’s speech about the American story, his upbringing and hopes for America captivated the hearts of many. John F. Kennedy Jr’s speech of accountability urging Americans search their hearts for opportunities to serve their country has become an idea cherished and respected. What is it about these speeches that make them so iconic? The vision and faith that supported these messages stirred hearts and encouraged people to see a brighter future.

The human heart thirsts for vision, it is a part of our DNA. We were created by our Creator in His own image to also, create. Creating is our purpose and vision is the roadmap to creation.    If vision is the roadmap then faith is the vehicle that will get us to the destination. Faith is an area where many of us struggle and this is where we get stuck, stuck in our insecurities, our fears and the unknown. 

Others get stuck in the area of faith because it seems New Age, too ethereal and way too idealistic, it is not concrete or realistic enough for it to be actionable. Faith sounds like dreaming or lying to oneself, ignoring the realities of the present, which is silly and childish.

I want to disprove that and show you how you exercise faith everyday, all day. On a workday, I leave the house at the regular time, start my car and drive to work, occasionally, I will stop off to grab some coffee and pay with my ATM card, when I get to work, I exchange pleasantries with my co-workers and head to my office and sit down in my chair to get ready for the day and check emails. I have exhibited a lot of faith already by 7:30 am in the morning. I had faith that my car would start so I could get to work that morning, I also had faith that my bank still had my money in my checking account to pay for my coffee and lastly, I believed my chair would support me when I sat down to begin my day at work. 

So the question is not whether you have faith? You  absolutely do. The question is what do you choose to put your faith in? 

When you put your faith in God and the vision He has for your life, it is a game changer. Faith requires changing the way you think. 

The world tells us, we are on the ones that have to make our vision come to pass. It is all up to us. Faith says it is not all up to us, it is all up to God. Faith says believe, believe it will happen, you do not need to know when and how just believe it will happen when it is time.

 When you believe, you talk and act differently. Do not get too caught up in the methods, it may not make sense and most times it will not. God does not work in what makes sense to you, He works at a different level, a different space and time. 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my 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.” Isaiah 55:8

I had a vision that I would move to Atlanta, that God’s purpose for me was there. During my time with God, I was told not to apply for any jobs, I am thinking in my head, “How does that work?” 

I was perplexed but I started telling people I was moving to Atlanta, I had no job prospects, no place to live and no implication that it was going to happen, I just knew. 

I started looking at neighborhoods to live in Atlanta, churches to join and thinking through the moving process. It took eight months for it to happen from when I first believed the vision and when it actually happened. God was indeed faithful, I got a job I never applied for. A close friend submitted my resume for the job and I was called by the organization. In the course of just a few weeks, I flew out to Atlanta to interview for the job. Then, once they realized they wanted to hire me, I was asked to apply for the job just as a formality, pretty amazing right? 

That is how God works. 

The awesome part about letting God take control of the vision and make it happen by faith is the knowledge of being in His will, His plan for your life. When you are on plan, it may not all feel good, it may not all make sense but know that the purpose is good and intentional. 

I wish I could say there is a blueprint for faith, the best blueprint for faith is honestly, just to do it, take the first step, get out the boat into the water, start the business, tell the truth and believe even when the situation says otherwise. And then, keep doing it every day and watch and see how God changes everything around you.

Preview of Coming Attractions

Vision, vision, vision… What is the vision that guides your life? What do you spend your time doing ? What do you spend most of your time thinking about? Is it about the daily crisis or the person who got on your nerves today? Perhaps it is what you are lacking and need to purchase or obtain in the next week or month? Or maybe the next vacation or upcoming weekend plans for a chance to relax and unwind?

I enjoy the experience of going to the movies in the theater with the comfy seats, popcorn and giant screen. Before each movie, there are always previews where you get a sneak peek of the new releases coming in the future. It is common to see a preview that looks really good and mark your calendar to see the movie once it is released. 

Vision for our lives is a lot like previews of coming attractions. It provides an overview of what is coming, it may include brief glimpses of the finale and the plot however many of the details are absent. 

When you love someone, you think of them, you prepare for them and ensure they are taken care of. God does the exact same thing for us. Before we were even conceived, He had plans. Everything in your life has been orchestrated for a reason. You were born at a certain time for a reason. You have the parents you do for a reason. You had the experiences you did for a reason. You look the way you do for a reason. 

You are also reading this now for a reason. 

The purpose God has given you is a sign of His love for you. It takes into consideration who God has created you to be, His plans for you and the impact you will have on those around you. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans prosper you not to harm you to give you a future and a hope.” 

God’s plans for you are good, these plans will bring abundance, goodness, peace, love and purpose. 

Many times we are so caught up with distractions or fear, vision does not have an opportunity to grow and manifest in our lives.We get so caught up in our day to day experiences, solving one emergency and moving on to the next, living only for the next weekend or next vacation but not looking beyond to something greater. This life goes by so fast and without direction, it is easy to wander off into dead end paths, U-turns and mindless trails. 

Vision gives light to the darkness of confusion, gives direction to the lost and re-energizes the frustrated. God uses vision over and over in the Bible to share his future plans. He often used vision to communicate his plans before sending out his prophets in the case of Isaiah and Ezekiel. 

So how do we get in position to receive and manifest God’s vision for our life?

  • We have to stay in close communication and proximity to Him by praying, reading the Word and just spending time with Him. I like to go on long walks with the Holy Spirit and just talk, Just like any relationship, yours with God needs nurturing, face time and bonding. The best part is He is always ready and available.
  • Fasting in combination with prayer is another great way to hear from God and cut out distractions. When you fast, you are no longer focusing on your physical needs which leaves room for more spiritual growth and advancement
  • Obedience, this one is so important! Each step of obedience moves you closer to God’s purpose. I remember God telling me to do something in obedience that really scared me and I did not do it. It felt almost like a spiritual block was up in the area of my purpose, I was stagnant. When I prayed about it, God reminded me that I had been disobedient and not done what He asked me to do. I immediately took care of it and felt such a release of love and peace, it was incredible. John 14:15 says, if you love me, you will keep me commands.
  • Wait for it, this one will not be popular but it is necessary and also how God manifests His promises in the lives of those He loves. God’s vision for our life is not a TV dinner that you can pop in the microwave and it is ready in a few minutes. the Bible talks about sowing seeds in preparation for the trees that will grow in time, that is vision. God often gives us His plans in bite sized pieces. He understands that is how we can take it in and digest it in a healthy manner. If He were to show us the full plan from beginning to end, it would be too much to absorb. Waiting is not passive, it is not stagnant or regressing. We are to wait in expectation, still growing in God, growing in mind and body. The work God does inside of us first will then be reflected in the external manifestation of His vision for our lives.

Feeding Time

Every plant I get eventually dies, every single one. Plants seem like a great idea in theory but they just do not work for me. It is something about the feeding, I either do not feed the plants enough or sometimes too much and before I know it, it is wilted, dry and just sad. Another one bites the dust.

Everything around us including ourselves, need regular feeding, it is a necessary part of life to receive sustenance in order to grow and produce. We feed our bodies consistently with all types of food, which allow us to function with energy and vitality throughout the day. We feed our minds with books, vision and challenges. We feed our bodies with food, exercise and rest.

Yet, how do we feed the Spirit?

if you have or currently attended a Christian church, you have likely heard of the trinity, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Yet, who exactly is the Holy Spirit? Why is the Spirit so important?

The Holy Spirit is the most powerful creator, healer, teacher, counselor and transformer you will ever experience. And he is so much more…

Genesis 1:1-3, ” In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The art was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw the light was good. Then he separated light from darkness.”

The Holy Spirit then went on to create water and earth, plants, trees, animals days and nights, man and woman. The Holy Spirit took nothing and made what we know as creation with all of its beauty, complexity and balance.

2 Corinthians, 3:16, “But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit  and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit- makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

The Holy Spirit sets us free and has the power to transform and change us from who we are into who we truly are.

I recently saw the superhero movie Black Panther, which was a wonderful movie. Our society seems to have an obsession with superheroes, those individuals with superhuman powers and gifting that have the ability to free, save and transform. I believe we secretly want to be superheroes in our own lives, to those we love and care about and even society at large.

We want to save the day, we want to be the answer.

Truth is, we already are all of those things through the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is greater than Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Black Panther, Wonder Woman and any other superhero past or future. Matter of fact, it is not even a close competition. So if this type of incredible power lies in each one of us, why oh why, don’t we rely upon it?

Ruled by own free will, we consciously make decisions to rely on our own shaky and frail devices, our minds, our strength and intuition, rather than rely on the unmitigated power of the Holy Spirit. It is similar to benching the  best, undefeated professional football players that have never been defeated, the best of the best, the A-team, the quarterback, wide receiver and offensive and defensive players during the Super Bowl and then trotting out an elementary school PeeWee team to play against a formidable opponent.

Sounds crazy right? It is.

Just like with our body and mind, we must intentionally join in relationship with the Holy Spirit. Spending time is key by reading the Bible regularly, praying, applying God’s Word to your life, being thankful for what God has given you. Feed the Holy Spirit with consistency and intentionality to tap into the awesome power.

Think about when you have been intentional about growing a relationship with a significant other, spouse of new friend, you consistently spent time together and learned about each other. In this case, the Holy Spirit knows everything about you but you need to learn about him. The relationship progresses as does the trust and love, you may hit rough spots and have wonderful moments as well but you make it through and the relationship is stronger for it. The same is true for your relationship with God.

After leaning on the Holy Spirit for several years, I had a moment of reflection and gratefulness for everything the Holy Spirit had brought me through.

My life changed in almost every way I lost a lot but what I gained was beyond my wildest dreams, I lost low self-esteem and insecurity, I lost friends that were not headed in the same direction, I lost my addiction to TV. I lost the need to define myself by being in relationships and the clothes I wore. I gained purpose, freedom, peace, joy, love and my best friend in the Holy Spirit. I have never been so fulfilled in my entire life yet I do not have any of the people or things I thought I needed.

The Holy Spirit will make you completely new, change you into who you were created to be.

Ephesians 4:21-24, “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy.”