By looking at the vision statement of a church, business or organization, one can tell where that entity is heading. Vision sets the course by which one progresses. When one walks, he looks out ahead of himself, not down at his feet. A person or organization with vision knows where he wants to arrive. With a clear vision, one then establishes a strategy by which to accomplish that vision. Strategies may change, but the vision must remain as one’s focus.
Let me give you a few examples of organizations that have been faithful to their vision. Youth With A Mission’s vision is: To Know God and Make Him Known. Their strategy is to train youth through discipleship schools and send them out to evangelize. World Vision states: For every child, life in all its fullness. Special Olympics’ vision is: To transform communities by inspiring people throughout the world to open their minds, accept and include people with intellectual disabilities and thereby anyone who is perceived as different. The vision of, Save the Children, is: A world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. International Charismatic Mission of Bogotá, Colombia, has a vision to: Win, Consolidate, Disciple and Send.
Each organization that has a clear vision statement will be successful if they remain faithful to keep within its parameters. All they do and the strategies they employ must be according to their vision. The same is true for one’s personal life. In the Proverbs it says: “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,” (Prov. 29:18). Without a clear vision, one just lives a day at a time. He has no goals and thus no desire for personal disciple. God desires that we live our lives with purpose and that we have a strategy by which to achieve that purpose.
Paul’s vision statement was this: “…to know Him, (Christ), and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil. 3:10-11). Because of this, he considered everything else in his life as rubbish. He buffeted his body, he fasted, went nights without sleep, and even endured persecution, all to obtain his goal. A vision must be singular. A double-vision produces a divided heart and mind. You cannot go in two directions at the same time. Your vision will also determine your friends, because you can only walk with those who are going in the same direction as you are and that have the same vision that you have.
When one has a clear vision, he also knows when he has fulfilled it. In writing to Timothy, Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” There was a sense of satisfaction in ending well. His life had purpose, and though it wasn’t easy, he was able to reach his goal.
Scriptures to meditate on:
Amos 3:3; Phil. 3:7-16; Prov. 29:18; II Tim. 4:6-8; James 1:5-8