When traveling to a specific destination, dark clouds and blowing dust or snow can obscure a travel route. Likewise, lifeâs detours and unseen restrictionsâeven accidentsâcan cause us to lose sight of our overall destination: the kingdom of God.
The Babylon of confusion in secular and religious pursuits has caused many Christians to give up. Perilous times can diminish our energy and spiritual stamina to continue our journey on schedule. Depression and anxiety cause many of Godâs people to freeze, unable to take action. Plans and hopes become hazy, unrecognizable after the passing of time.
Some have turned back, looking for reliefâonly to become mired in the cares of this life (Luke 21:34). We must move forward to enter the kingdom of Godânot trusting in our own navigational devices, but in Godâs proven âspiritual technology.â
You have been called by God to press on, in spite of the uncertainty of our modern chaotic times. Letâs view how God wants us to go forward, relying on His inspired methods to reach our proper destination.
Godâs chosen leaders have always exercised vision. They were given understanding and the ability to anticipate the future.
Vision enables Godâs people to set worthwhile destinations or goals. Goals guide our lives and help us overcome and achieve perfection (Heb. 6:1).
Proverbs 29:18 states, âWhere there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.â This proverb reveals that those who obey God will be given understanding, which allows them to exercise vision through a variety of different means.
Now letâs note several examples of godly leaders who exercised visionâleaders who accomplished their goals and Godâs directives with a clear vision of the future.
Noah: Genesis 6:9 reveals that Noah walked with God. He was a just man who did what was pleasing to his Creator while the rest of mankind was corrupt and vile. As a result of Noahâs faithfulness, God revealed to him 120 years in advance what would happen to mankind and the work he should accomplish.
âAnd God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make you an ark of gopher woodâ (Gen. 6:13-14). How did Noah react to this oracle from God? Did it motivate him?
Notice Noahâs response: âThus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did heâ (vs. 22).
When God revealed what was to happen to mankind, Noah took action. Hebrews 11:7 states, âBy faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear [reverence], prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.â Noah moved forwardâhe began to build the ark and to warn of the coming disaster.
Christians today live in similar times: âBut as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man beâ (Matt. 24:37-39).
We know that the Church today is tasked with preaching the gospel and warning nations of coming divine punishment. With this understanding comes accountability.
Are we moved to accomplish the work of warning the world as Noah did?
Daniel: The loyalty and faithfulness of Daniel enabled him to interpret dreams and visions. He was able, with Godâs help, to interpret the dreams of King Nebuchadnezzar. God also gave Daniel understanding in visions that apply to our time: âI saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyedâŠBut the saints of the Most High shall take [receive] the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and everâ (Dan. 7:13-14, 18).
This prophecy pictures Jesus Christ returning to establish the world-ruling kingdom of God on Earth. Ruling with Him is our goal.
Additionally, Daniel was given a vision he did not understand, but one that would benefit Godâs servants alive at the end of the age. âAnd I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried [refined]; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understandâ (12:8-10).
Through the information Daniel recorded, we see that God often gives understanding of visions far in advance of their fulfillment. Godâs plans are long-range and far-reaching.
Moving Forward Confidently Toward Our Goal
Once we have the proper vision, we must take steps to achieve our goal. We must not allow false doctrines, trials, human weaknesses, or others (in the Church or the world) to prevent us from using the vision God provides to spur us onward.
Note several keys that are essential to our moving forward:
Ask God to Guide Our Steps: Wisdom is necessary to navigate the steps between our present status and the kingdom of God. Do you ask God for wisdom to move forward confidently, guiding your steps?
God will guide those who are close to Him and ask according to His will: âAnd this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us: and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Himâ (I John 5:14-15).
Also, Proverbs 3 states: âTrust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your pathsâ (vs. 5-6).
Put your confidence in God to help you achieve your calling and reach the destination.
Walk by Faith: Todayâs world can be described as perilous (II Tim. 3:1). Perilous times can sap our strength, increase our stress, cloud our focus, create confusion, and test our resolve to move forward. Faith is required in such circumstances. Faith is a gift of God and a fruit of the Spirit: âNow the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [destruction]; but of them that believe to the saving of the soulâ (Heb. 10:38-39).
We must ask for faith and exercise Godâs Spirit to find motivation to navigate difficult paths. Brethren throughout history have exercised faith by acting upon Godâs directions even when they did not know their physical destinations (Heb. 11).
Be Courageous: Courage is defined as: âMental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficultyâ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Are you courageous in accomplishing goals that God has set for you? Are you overcoming obstacles that block your path?
Christians must not be fearful: âThe wicked flee when no man pursues: but the righteous are bold as a lionâ (Prov. 28:1).
God canâand willâstrengthen and encourage each of us to accomplish the most important goals of life.
God told Moses, Joshua and Israel to be courageous. He offered reassurance that He would be with them: âBe strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord your God, He it is that does go with you; He will not fail you, nor forsake youâ (Deut. 31:6).
We should be tremendously encouraged that God will not forsake or fail us. Walk the path leading to eternal life confidently. Remember that âall things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purposeâ (Rom. 8:28).
Be Patient: Being impatient has caused many to turn back from the vision of eternal life in the kingdom of God. An inability to wait for God or becoming frustrated with oneâs problems can cause short-sightedness. The goal then deteriorates before your eyes. We must exercise patience to keep the vision before us.
Notice this advice in the book of Hebrews: âCast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promiseâ (10:35-36).
We must endure and stay focused to accomplish our calling.
Exercise Godâs Spirit: The most important gift any Christian receives is Godâs Holy Spirit. It is the power of Godâthe power to see, to understand, to accomplish! John 16:13 states: âHowbeit when it, the Spirit of truth, is come, it will guide you into all truth: for it shall not speak of itself; but whatsoever it shall hear, that shall it speak: and it will show you things to come.â
Godâs Spirit of truth will show us true goals, true destinations, and true paths to follow. Yet, to achieve effective results, we must exercise Godâs Spirit. Stir up Godâs gift in you through Bible study, prayer, meditation, fasting and faithful obedience. This will result in Godâs vision for our future being sharply focusedâand magnifiedâin our mindâs viewfinder.
Follow the Examples of Faithful Servants: Examples are powerful motivators. Jesus Christ, the apostles, and the prophets form the foundation upon which we stand. They are pioneers that form paths for us to follow. Their examples lead the way and encourage us to press on toward the goal of eternal life in Godâs kingdom.
Paul told the Corinthian brethren to follow him as he followed Christ (I Cor. 11:1). The sterling example of Paul accomplishing seemingly impossible goals is one for us to follow. Imprisonments, accidents, near-death experiences, tribulation and seeming dead-ends blocked many paths, but Paul overcame them all with Godâs help.
The prophets of old also offer examples we can follow to the kingdom of God. Their patience is referenced in James 5:10: âTake, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.â
Our perfect example to follow is Jesus Christâwho never failed as He walked in this world. âFor even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His stepsâ (I Pet. 2:21).
Christ stayed close to God, understood His role, and followed through on His commitment to be a sacrifice for mankind. He maintained His will in harmony with Godâs (Matt. 26:42) so that He could accomplish the steps necessary to be the Mediator of mankind.
Are you following Christâs example of courage and determination to go forward with your life? Are you striving to be in harmony with Godâs purpose?
Review the Big Picture: Take time to review Godâs great purpose for you. Why were you born? Why were you called now? What do Godâs Holy Days reveal about your future? Meditate on the answers to these vital questions. Appreciate the miracle of being called now to true knowledge and to support the Work of God.
Plan to review the Behind the Work film. Commit yourself to the work God has given you to do within the grand pattern. Your vision will become sharper and more focused. Additionally, implement the necessary steps to achieve the ultimate goalâeternal life.
Vision is vital for every Christian pursuing the kingdom of God. Controversy, heresy, doubt, compromise, personal weaknesses, and impatience have caused individuals to lose sight of their calling. Storms of life can block our vision and our ability to move forward. We can seemingly be stalled or become stuck in a rut. True Christians must exercise vision beyond the numerous upsets and barriers in our path.
Ask God to guide your steps. Walk by faith when the path is unseen. Be courageous. Exercise patience to claim your future promises. Look to the examples of our forefathers. As a called out member of Godâs Church, stir up the Holy Spirit to activate true visionâtrue destinationsâordained of God.
Allow Philippians 1:6 to spur you on: âBeing confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform [complete] it until the day of Jesus Christ.â
Letâs move forward confidently!