Narrowing Your Vision

A continued reflection on “How to Live Life on Purpose” by Pastor Art Sepulveda

So I’m still in Chapter 1 and want to highlight a portion that is key to understanding how to narrow your vision to something specific and how to get there.

An excerpt (Page 4):
Vision brings your future into focus. The word “focus” is the key to understanding what clear vision really is why it is necessary to accurately see your future. Once you have had a vision, you still need a strategy to bring it into reality. King Solomon once prayed, “…give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart…” (1 Kings 3:9, Amplified). This tells us there are TWO STEPS involved in a vision being formed and fulfilled:
Step#1: Having a hearing heart (the initial desire, dreams, and vision).
Step#2: Having an understanding mind (strategy, direction, and pathway)

Pastor Art states that he wants to “see people transformed by the life-changing power of God into victorious Christians.” But he understands that he can’t possibly reach everyone with such a broad goal. So here is his narrower goal: “When I focus my desire to a narrower scope, my vision is to build a local, New Testament church in Honolulu, Hawaii, that will make successful Christians out of as many people as possible by reaching them with the life-impacting message of Jesus Christ.

Many of us have big dreams, big visions. Some lyrics from “Dream Big”, a song performed on American Idol by then-contestant David Cook:
“When I was a little boy, I swore that I would change the world. When I grow up, nothing else would be enough. I see it every day, we settle for safe. And we lose ourselves along the way. If you don’t dream big, then what’s the use in dreaming? If you don’t have faith, there’s nothing worth believing in. It takes one hope to make a start worth reaching for.”

But if you don’t narrow those dreams down to specifics, you will be left dreaming big and accomplishing nothing. This is where GOALS come in. “Goals are simply ‘bite-size’ pieces of your vision that can be measured and attained. Without goals, a vision never goes beyond a dream.”

One final excerpt that exemplifies the differences between a mission, a vision, and a goal from Pastor Art:
“Let’s say your mission is to build a successful business. Your vision might be to build a car dealership and sell cars; your goal then could be to sell “x” number of cars each month. Someone else may have a mission to be a farmer. His vision is to grow wheat and his goal is to grow “x” number of bushels of wheat a year.

So to summarize, don’t just have big dreams. Consider those dreams, then narrow them down to specific, attainable goals. And God will take you down a journey of a lifetime, sometimes on a route you didn’t expect. Personal example: I graduated with a degree in journalism from UCO in December, and thought that the highest probability of a job was in the newspaper industry. Yet now I am a copy editor in the book publishing industry, and I can potentially visualize a future for myself in it. But I believe this job is God’s purpose for a specific reason: Before submitting each job application that I have sent out in the last several weeks, I prayed a specific prayer understanding that God is a sovereign God who knows my beginning and my end, which path my life will take me on: I prayed that God would open the right doors and close the wrong doors. And after submitting multiple applications, God opened this door.

You may have a certain dream/vision for your life, but when you dedicate and submit it to God, He will guide you along a path that may not seem right at the moment, but He will reveal His purpose to you at the right time. Never lose that faith.

Until next time, God bless!

How to Discover Your Calling

The 2004 book by Pastor Art Sepulveda (Word of Life Church – Hawaii) “How to Live Life on Purpose” is a very practical book in regards to finding the meaning in your life and living in a way that follows that God-given purpose and not just whatever path comes your way.

I’m in the middle of Chapter 1, which emphasizes Art’s point that we need to “Value the Power of Vision” and he offers this definition:
Vision is the ability to see God’s presence, perceive God’s power, and focus on God’s plan in spite of obstacles.

The quote that precedes this chapter is “Vision is a mental picture of a future state” – Casey Treat. Art states that most people today live in one of two realms, neither of which exist: the past and the future. Why? Because they don’t understand the need of a strategy for the present in order to leave the past and and powerfully step into a better future.

If you ask most people today what they envision for their future, what would they say? Would they have a specific outlook for their life that is their vision for their life? How important is it to have a vision for your future?

I know for me this was a challenging thought, especially this particular reflection from Pastor Art:
Many years ago at a conference I heard Dr. David Yongi Cho, the pastor of one of the largest churches in the world, make a statement that challenged the course of my life then and that continues to be a “journey maker” for clarity in my life today. He said, “Show me your vision, and I’ll show you your future.” Then he said, “If you can’t tell me about your vision, what you’re saying is that you have no future; and if you can’t describe your future, you’re unclear about your vision.”
This shocked me as I realized that by omitting one-a clear vision-I had automatically disqualified myself for achieving the other-a meaningful future. As a young college graduate, I had a great deal of knowledge, but I had no clear vision of my future. Only when I allowed God to paint a picture of my future on the tablets of my heart, did I begin to understand the power of vision. It was then that I saw my vision as a strategy to take me out of my present and into my future.

I aim to continue this chapter’s thoughts later, but let these thoughts challenge you at this moment. I know I was impacted, especially by the lines I bolded. I am a recent college graduate, yet I have no clear vision for my future. Yes I have ideas and vague plans, but I have yet to clearly define what that is.

What is your status? Do you have a vision? Do you know where you want to be in the future? On a deeper note, is your vision God-centered or self-centered?

Anyhow, more later on.