It is common as we get older to spend time reflecting on the journey of our lives. I often catch myself evaluating the path and productivity of the road I have traveled over these past 56 years.
An author I once read stated that there are approximately ten minutes of moments in life which determine and shape our existence. I have become increasingly aware of how my responses during my ten minutes of moments have determined where I am today. Specifically, there were three questions that impacted me the most.
The first question happened at 7 years old during a spring revival at Mt. Airy Baptist Church. The Holy Spirit revealed to me on a Tuesday night that I had never personally asked Jesus to come into my life. My response to His beckoning to personally receive Jesus was to say “Yes!” This decision obviously put me on the straight and narrow path.
Question two was asked by our pastor while my wife, Gina, and I stood before God, as well as family and friends. “Dale, do you take Gina to be your wedded wife?” I once again answered with a resounding “Yes!” In fact, I actually answered before he finished the question! As we just celebrated 36 years of marriage, I can honestly say that, along with becoming a Christian, marrying Gina has been the greatest thing that has happened to me.
The third question happened 34 years ago when Gina and I were meeting with our pastor to get his wisdom for our next steps in life. Pastor Brad asked me what I felt God had created me to do. I gave him the standard answer that I wanted to minister to people. His response to my answer caught me off guard. He said, “That’s too vague. What do you really want to do?” We continued to talk back and forth and he suddenly asked me a question that forever changed my life. He told me to assume for a moment that money was no object and no barriers existed. Then he said, “Dale, what would you do for God if you knew you couldn’t fail?”
“What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?” It actually did not take long to answer him. You see, I had a dream, or vision, in my heart that would eventually take us all across America ministering in hundreds of churches. However, I had never been around anyone who pushed me to dream big. Once I shared my dream, the only thing left to do was say “Yes!”
What would you do for God if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Vital Signs for Vision
As you read this, I believe it is possible that today may be one of your moments! I want you to take some time right now and answer that same question: If there were no financial hindrances or other barriers, what would you do for God if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Let it sink in… In this moment, really embrace the possibility that God has placed His vision for your life deep within your heart.
Then, there are some vital signs that are indicators of the health of this vision in the same way that your physical vital signs reveal the status of your health. Take a moment now to check your vision vital signs and evaluate what they reveal:
Vital Sign #1 – Method Versus Madness
The Bible never calls anyone to take a leap of faith. However, the concept is constantly suggested in our culture when it comes to initiating a bold vision. In contrast, the Scriptures teach us in Psalm 119:105 that God’s Word is a lamp to our feet that lights our way down the path. This principle teaches us that we need to walk one step at a time. Most folks who have taken a leap of faith end up in a puddle of pain!
Vital Sign #2 – Fear of Failure
The fear of failure will always keep you from moving forward in faith. However, it’s better to attempt something awesome and fail than attempt to do nothing and succeed.
Vital Sign #3 – A Pipeline of Power
I love the way author Bob Hamp describes how he thinks the conversation between God and Adam went during creation. God tells Adam, “I’ll run the Heavens and you run the earth. Just stay connected to me and allow my power to work through you.” A God-sized vision requires His provision to see it come to pass. By the way, the word provision literally means “for vision.” In reality, your dream is not your dream. It’s His dream!
Vital Sign #4 – Encouraging Elders
The Bible teaches us that we must walk with the wise if we are going to be wise. Make sure that the multitude of counselors surrounding you are seasoned, intuitive, and spiritually-sensitive believers.
Vital Sign #5 – Self-Sufficient or Desperately-Dependent
An obvious indicator for the source of a vision has to do with the ability of the visionary to accomplish it. Simply put, if I can accomplish the vision within my own talents, abilities and resources, then I am dreaming too small! Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” His vision for your life creates total dependency in God’s ability to accomplish it!
Vital Sign #6 – Solid Biblical Structure
A true vision from the Father will never be in conflict with His Word. It always contains elements of Kingdom expansion at its core.
Vital Sign #7 – Insecurity Versus Empowerment
It is not possible to create and maintain a vision from God if the visionary suffers from insecurity. Things may seem to work for awhile. But eventually insecurity always leads to sabotage. It is vital to empower strong leaders if we are going to accomplish His vision for our lives. We must build a team of capable and strategic team members, and empower them to lead. Remember, if you can accomplish it on your own, then it’s not big enough. (TEAM = Together Everyone Accomplishes More.)
These vital signs are some of the best indicators to the health of your vision. I highly encourage you to take the necessary steps to ensure you are ready to simply answer “Yes!” when those minutes of your moments call.