Should Christians have a personal vision, and what must that vision look like? We are often taught to have personal goals and missions in life as believers, but these are often taught as man-centred, self-focused visions of what we want to achieve for ourselves. What can we learn from the Bible about personal visions as a believer in Jesus Christ?
The “vision” we will be discussing is not “an experience of seeing something in a dream or supernatural apparitions“. Instead, we will be looking at the ability to think about or plan the future with wisdom.
As we read through the Bible, we see that God has plans and purposes for everything He does and for all whom He has called to salvation. Isaiah 46:8-10 says, “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ’My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,‘”
God in the Bible is pursuing to accomplish His purposes. Nothing takes God by surprise, and no new plans are being made along the way. Instead, He knows the end from the beginning, and He will accomplish all His purposes. God never does anything accidentally or re-actively, but He does all things according to the purpose of His will (Ephesians 1:11). Likewise, we must also be people of “vision”. The difference is that our goals and vision must be aligned to “God’s will” for our lives.
The life of Jesus Christ was the ultimate example for us. Jesus had a vision and mission He was to fulfil when He came in the form of man into this world. He was to execute God’s plan “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus knew His purpose even from a young age. Luke 2:49 says, “And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus was to fulfil God’s plan for Him, which was to die on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for the sin of those who are called and put their faith in Christ. He was to rise again from the dead, victorious over sin and death. By doing so, Christ made it possible for us to be redeemed from our sins and be covered by the righteousness of Christ. Amen!
Hebrew 12:2 says, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus, who is the founder and perfecter of our faith, had His vision set by the joy that lay before him, and that joy was more significant than the shame He had to endure. He was obedient unto death, and He is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Amen!
Another example in the Bible is the Apostle Paul. Paul was given a vision from God, which enabled him to withstand trials and temptations to fulfil his call from God. Paul’s vision and mission can be seen in Colossians 1:28-29, saying, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
From these examples and many others in the Bible, we know that we serve a God of “vision”. He accomplishes His sovereign purposes in all the activities of this world and our lives. If God did not plan anything, then we may not have the gospel message of salvation and a plan for eternity with Christ. In light of this, what must our vision be? In fact, it is essential to have a vision that will direct the paths of our lives.
First and foremost, our overarching vision must be to accomplish God’s will. Everything we do must be compatible with the purpose and will of God. Our perspective must be in alignment with God’s perspective. We need to look into the word of God for this. The core of what we do and our vision must be to “do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 6:14). Also, Psalm 57:2 says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” And again in 2 Timothy 1:9, “who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,”
The purpose God has for us is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. That is why we have been chosen before the foundation of the world. 1 Corinthians 15:49 says, “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.’
1 Peter 2:9, tells us that we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession SO THAT we may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvellous light. Amen! How do we go about proclaiming the excellencies of Him? It is by adorning Christian character. It is by conforming to His image, putting off the old and putting on the new (Ephesians 4:22-32).
Romans 8:29 tells us that we are foreknown and predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Scripture tells us that conforming to His image means the pursuit of holiness, godliness, righteousness, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22-24).
Remember, this is a result of your salvation in Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. You are not “working” for your salvation, but your good works result from your aim to be more like Christ. We are being transformed into His image day by day as we behold the glory of the Lord. “For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). Amen!
So, whatever vision you have in your life, its ultimate goal must be to fulfil God’s will for your life. We have just stated the core of God’s calling to each of His children. These are high-level guidelines and a foundation for any decision you make in your life. The more granular vision in your life must be based on the foundation in the word of God and the qualities God has called you to. Based on these, you can seek the Lord for a shorter term or more detailed vision and goals for your life, depending on what season you are in. Ultimately, it must be all for the glory of God. So that you can proclaim the excellencies of Christ, share the gospel message, rely entirely on Christ, His grace, His Spirit, His power, and that anything you do is out of your deep love for God and His people. Amen!
It is not a self-focused, self-fulfilling, prosperity based, man-centred vision – but it must be a God-focused, God-glorifying, God-exalting vision for your life. Amen!