November 29, 2012

Vision

What I am about to say applies in large part to women as well, but I want to address men.

Most men have a vision for their life that is far too small. Perhaps you are among them. Many of you may have no vision for your life at all. I want to get at what lies behind that. There obviously can be many reasons for not having a driving vision for your life, but what I want to propose is that many of you simply need to wake up to the reality that you think far too little of God, and consequently, you expect far too little of what He can do in you and through you.


Perhaps you hope to be a nice person. Perhaps you hope to raise a nice family. Perhaps you hope to be a good worker. Perhaps you hope to go to heaven when you die. These are all nice things. But it that is all you expect out of life, something is missing.
In the book of Ecclesiastes chapter seven, Solomon says this:


"A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. It is better to go into a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure." (Ecclesiastes 7:1-4)


Solomon here tells us, in essence, that more wisdom is gained from mourning and pondering death, than from partying and being merry. Why is this? Because "death is the destiny of every man." That includes you. You will die. The question becomes, are you living in light of that? We all know on some level that facing death forces us to face how we're living. Whether it's the death of someone close, or a near death encounter of our own, or being told by the doctor that our time is short. Staring at death has a way of realigning our priorities. The question I have though, is what set those priorities in the first place? On page 23 of Justin Buzzard's book "Date Your Wife" (an excellent read for single men too!), he puts it this way,
"A dream is a collection of ideas, feelings, and beliefs about a particular topic. A dream is what drives a man...Some men are aware of this, some are not." That is to say, it is a dream that drives us, and our priorities, our actions, will fall in line with what that dream is. Most guys aren't thinking about this, and aren't purposefully dreaming somehing of import. Lives are lived floating along without any point, any vision, without a conscious dream. The result is lives that end up not accomplishng much.


What I want to challenge you to-what I believe Scripture challenges us to-is a far bigger dream than anything we could come up with on our own. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Even our eating and drinking, lifes most mundane actionnns, are to be done for God's glory. Does that leave any room whatsoever for mindless drifting along? Or for chasing insignificant dreams? Do all for the glory of God.
I love the following quote from page 32 of John Piper's book "Don't Waste Your Life."


"We waste our lives when we do not pray and think and dream and plan and work toward magnifying God in all spheres of life."


Are you wasting your life? Are you failing to dream a dream of glorifying God with your every moment? The answer is yes. You are failing. So am I. But here is the Good News of the Gospel. God loves failures like us. He loved us when we were still His enemies (Romans 5:10). How much more now that we are adopted as His sons (1:12)? Now, this loving us and saving us was most obviously not because we were awesome and God somehow needed us. Isaiah 43:7 says that those God has called, He has done for His own glory, for the sake of His name. And He gains fame and glory for His name not only through saving us from sin, hell, and His own righteous wrath; but also through using us to demonstrate obedience to Him and to bring glory to His name among all the nations by making them His disciples. (See: Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 1:1-7). Which means this. God means not only to save you, but to use you for His glory. And whether you are dreaming a dream right now or not, nothing you could be contriving on your own is as big as living for the glory of the God of all the universe. Nothing.

So how does that play out in your life? You need to find out how God has gifted you. You need to figure out whats skills and talents you have, and develop those. You need to figure out what you're interested in and how God can use all of those interests and talents and abilities. You need to earnestly seek God and ask Him to show you where He would have you be and what He would have you do. And you need to open up your Bible and read it. Don't expect God to speak to you when you won't read the book He wrote. Men, you have a God given purpose. Find it. Live it.

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I love Jesus, my wife, and my kids. Writing and teaching are two things I have a passion for. Gardening and fishing are cool, too. I blog @ willdole.com, you can reach me @ contact@willdole.com