If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can almost picture it: our finished office space. In my mind, it’s beautiful. Even more importantly, there’s room for everything: we can film videos without turning the house upside down, there’s a space for Jamie to podcast (without the rest of the house having to be pin-drop quiet), I have a corner to write, and a nice big space for desks and filing cabinets. For months, as we’ve been talking about starting the project of converting our existing garage into 4One Ministries office space, I’ve had this picture in my mind. Well, last weekend, our vision started to become a reality as we took the first steps in the construction process. Almost immediately, I was once again reminded of two truths about making God’s vision a reality in your life that I’d been working hard to forget: 1. In between “vision” and “reality” things tend to get pretty messy. 2. Seeing a vision become a reality requires a lot of sacrifice. Whether or not you are willing to endure and embrace these two truths, often determines whether or not your will see God’s vision for your life fulfilled. I know that’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth: There’s no guarantee that you are going to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. No, the hard truth is that you can only fulfill God’s purpose for your life when you are willing to submit to God’s process for your life. Sometimes this is messy and it always involves sacrifice. This is where many people lose their way. Everything is good when God first plants a vision in their hearts. They are excited and completely on board with all that God wants for their lives and all that they can imagine it entails. And then they start to encounter some difficulties—-things start to get messy as God begins “preparing” them to step into His vision. It becomes clear that the vision is going to require sacrifice on their part, and they start to wonder, “Is it worth it? Do I really want to make these sacrifices?” Unfortunately, at this turning point, many turn away and say, “Sorry, not worth it” and they forfeit God’s vision for their lives. Even though this isn’t God’s will, because He’s given mankind freewill, God accepts their choice even as His heart breaks. I have to admit that whenever I see this happen, my heart breaks a little, too. Because it’s just so sad. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why someone would turn away the amazing potential that God has for their lives just because they don’t want to endure short term difficulties and sacrifices. And yet, I get it. This weekend as I was looking at the prospect of living with stacks of boxes of books creating an obstacle course in my already crowded house for the next few months, I began to wonder, “Is this worth it?” When Jamie and I had to cancel a trip that we’d been planning for almost a year because we needed the money to pay for the new office or as we’ve had to sacrifice in other financial areas, the question of “Is this office worth it?” definitely rose up. As my body aches from the heavy lifting and hard work or my mind stresses about the mess or the finances, I ask myself, “Why are we going through this process?” The answer is always the same: Because I believe that it is God’s will that we create office space. I truly believe that God spoke to my brother and I and told us to do this project. I believe He gave us the vision and a commission to take a step of faith so that the ministry can grow and further expand His kingdom. On days when the mess or the sacrifice make me question the process, my motivation is that I want with all of my heart to experience God’s perfect purpose in our lives. It’s this quest that makes all of the mess and sacrifice worth it. So we make the choice to move forward—-to accept the mess and sacrifice so that we can experience all God has for our lives. Today, my challenge to you is: What vision has God placed on your heart? What is your dream? What do you believe God is asking you to do to advance His kingdom? After you’ve answered that question, it’s time to answer a more difficult one: Are you willing to go through the God’s process to experience God’s purpose in your life?
Let’s dig a little deeper: What “mess” is God asking you to endure as He prepares you to fulfill His purpose? Perhaps He’s trying to work on your heart and heal your mind, but all you can feel is the pain of the process. Maybe He’s asking you to overcome a sin or addiction, but all you can feel right now is the struggle. Maybe He’s requiring you to set a situation in order in your life, and all you can see is the difficulty. What about the sacrifice God is calling you to make? I know from experience that no vision is fulfilled without sacrifice. What are you willing to see God’s purpose and vision for you life completed? Today, I hope that this article encourages you to make the right choice. I hope it helps you realize that the “messes” and “sacrifices” that appear to be disruptions or interference's on our journey toward the vision God has given you are actually part of God’s plan to fulfilling His purpose in your life. They are part of the process. The question you need to answer is: “Is the vision worth walking through God’s challenges?” Today, I pray that this blog will help you make the choice that we are making—-to say that it doesn’t matter the mess or the sacrifice—-we want to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives. I hope it assists you in re-framing your perspective and seeing every challenge and every sacrifice as a challenge on the road to your destiny. Don’t give up—-don’t allow yourself to be detoured. Determine in your heart that more than anything you want to experience God’s purpose in your life and go after it with all that you have. Whatever the mess. Whatever the sacrifice. The vision God has placed in your heart IS worth the effort. Don’t miss all God has for you because getting there is hard or inconvenient. Instead, stay the course and see God’s vision fulfilled in your life whatever it takes.
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