by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.
Proverbs 29:18a (KJV)
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .”
Over the past decade, many people have entered the dialogue of the need for vision and vision casting. I remember a time when few spoke of it, even fewer had it and no one realized the power of it. The paradigm has changed greatly within our leadership models; therefore, vision, vision casting, and mission statements are as common place as bibles in our churches.
One of the things that the Holy Spirit has impressed upon on me lately is that there is more to seeing a vision accomplished than having a vision and having faith. To be honest, getting the vision is the easy part. The hard part is the research, study, discipline and diligent effort that must be added to the vision to see it fulfilled. I believe part of the dilemma that many of us face is that we treat a vision for ministry from the LORD the same way we treat true prophetic words. Somehow we have the misconception that if they are from God, they will come to pass . . . almost effortlessly. We think, “Hey God is in it, so everything will go smoothly.” That sounds great until you read the Bible! I cannot find one individual, to include Jesus, for whom everything went smoothly or the vision came to pass easily! Actually the opposite is true. If they heard from God, the enemy was sure to resist their efforts. Faith is not “hoping” something will happen. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and working hard with God to MAKE things happen that are in-line with God’s will and purposes.
The Word tells us:
Ecclesiastes 5:3 (KJV)
3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.
Many times we see truths from God’s Word through the lens of our current focus. As our focus changes, new truths can explode into our hearts. The first time I read this verse (when my mental lens was focused on vision), it was like a slap in the face. Everyone is talking vision, but how many are rolling up their sleeves and making the vision a reality? Are we going to be speaking a lot of words or are we going to get down to business with our visions from the Throne of Grace?
We need to view vision the same way an architect does. He may “see” a beautiful and useful building in his heart, but he never stops there. He will do the research to find the right materials, follow all the proper codes, use the best materials and then begin to draft a step-by-step plan to bring his vision to life. Once the blueprint is completed, the real work begins. The proper foundations must be laid. Every detail, down to the smallest thing, is researched and implemented with great care and determination. Setbacks are expected, as with any great endeavor. The resolve is to place the “sweat-equity” into the project to make it a reality. A great builder will also insure safety and maintenance are clearly defined and enforced.
Any visionary or builder knows that it is the day-to-day operations that can make or break a project. Yet for many in ministry, we have forgotten this truth. Faith cannot replace daily discipline and determination. Faith must FUEL the daily discipline and determination!
Later on this week, I am going to be laying out a detailed plan to bring about a vision that God has given me for Biblical Life. The end result will not only be the expansion of the seminary, but taking the powerful truths that God has placed within my spirit outside the walls of the seminary and into the homes of anyone hungry for more of God and His Word. To do this, the vision must be cast. Not only must the vision be cast, but a detailed plan must be developed. Not only must a detailed plan be developed, but it must be communicated to others that can aid in its fulfillment. Then others can receive a blessing, too.
I also pray that as you read this upcoming “Vision Plan for the Next Level,” you will be able to glean ways to develop your own detailed plan to fulfill what God has called you to do. Here are some things I have learned from the Holy Spirit in regard to bringing a vision to pass:
- You cannot do it alone. I have tried for years – it doesn’t work! Many of you have been greatly blessed by the articles and Mentor’s Tips that I have been publishing this past year and a half. If it was not for the diligent proofreading of my wonderful wife (who was a professional secretary for the government for years), many of you would still be wondering what I was trying to say. Sometimes she files correspondence that I have sent out in a hurry, and she says, “You didn’t have me proof this, did you?” We work best together. It is always a team effort!
- You must become the example of excellence and determination for the vision God has given you. You set the standard for those that will join with you to see it come to pass.
- You must always share the credit for its success. Since you could not do it alone, you cannot receive the credit alone either.
- You must always bear the blame, if it does not succeed. Leadership does not pass the blame; it accepts it and then builds a bridge to success.
- You must daily fight to see each step established. One of the most powerful statements that I have ever read was in a book by Prophet John Mark Poole. He said that many times you will have to be involved in prophetic warfare to see the prophetic word come to pass. If it is that way with prophetic words, it will certainly be that way with bringing your vision to pass!
- You must seek the face of God for His blessing on those that come along side you to work. We always seem to ask God to bless the vision or project. If we do it right, it will be blessed! Part of doing it right is to seek Heaven’s blessing on those who stood by you.
- Once you arrive, you must work daily to maintain what God has entrusted to you. This truth is important. How can God expand your vision, if you are not maintaining it? It would be like trying to build a new wing onto a building that is falling apart. Stewardship is important in the Kingdom of God!
Do you have your vision? What’s your plan to see it fulfilled? Are you working your plan, and are you maturing as it is developed? Consistency is a vital part of maturing!
If you have let the vision lay dormant because of discouragement, it is time to pick it back up, dust it off, and develop your plan (daily working it with a new fervor and consistency)! You may be like the Jewish people returning from Babylon. They had to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem with a brick in one hand and a sword in the other – but when the walls were built, blessing came!
Don’t give up hope. Your blessing and the fulfillment of your vision are waiting for you. God is waiting to confirm the Word that He has released in your heart with signs, wonders and blessings!