I love the GPS on my cellphone. The GPS app that I use on my phone guides me along the path to my destination. The app also warns me of road hazards, traffic jams, and other potential pitfalls in my path.
But for my GPS to work, I must enter a destination. My GPS will not tell me where to go, it will only tell me how to get there. I have to supply the destination.
In life, we often wander aimlessly because we have no idea where we are going. We react to circumstances as they come and make decisions based on the whims of the moment. We are like the old man who told his wife as they travelled on vacation, “I don’t know where we are going, but we sure are making good time.”
Vision is the one element that gives our lives true direction. Without it, we may think we are making good time, but we have no sense of direction. In Genesis 37-50, we read the story of Joseph, a man whose life was guided by vision. Let’s consider some lessons we can learn from the life of Joseph.
Getting A Vision
In Genesis 37, Joseph receives his life’s vision in the form of two dreams he understood to be from God. The dreams let Joseph know that God would one day place him in a position of leadership.
Many times, we try to come up with our own vision rather than asking God to show us His for us. We think of all the things we want to do, and we set our lives on course to achieve them. We ask God to bless our plans for Him, but He only blesses His plan for us. Commit yourself to a season of prayer, maybe even several years of prayer, seeking God’s vision for you. God’s vision for us is always bigger and more amazing than any vision we could imagine for ourselves.
Chasing the Vision
When my GPS guides me to the destination, it does so one turn at a time. As long as I follow the course, I know I will end up at the destination. So also, vision keeps us on God’s course for our lives.
In Genesis 37, his brothers wanted to kill him and eventually sold him into slavery. In a foreign land, an influential leader’s wife falsely accused him of sexual assault (chapter 39). Two of his jail mates did not keep their promise to speak for him when they got outside (chapter 40). It seemed often his life GPS was taking him on different journey than he had planned.
Vision gives us hope when our circumstances threaten to discourage us. Also, God’s vision for us provides a guiding light for big decisions in our life. We can make decisions based on what moves us toward God’s vision and what presents a detour from His path.
Living in the Vision
We also need to remember that God’s vision for our lives involves how He wants to use us for His glory. When we pursue a selfish vision apart from serving God, we wind up lost and living aimlessly.
In chapters 41 – 50, we see that God brought His vision for Joseph to pass. God had a reason for placing Joseph in his position in Egypt. During a time of famine, Joseph had the wisdom to provide food for the entire empire as well as sojourners. Some of those sojourners turned out to be his brothers and his father.
When God begins to bring His vision for us into play, the time is right to use those opportunities for God’s glory. The moment we being to take ownership of God’s vision, He will send us back to another place on the journey.
I pray God will show you what He wants to do in your life, that He will enter a destination in your life’s GPS. With equal fervor, I pray that you will pursue His vision relentlessly and faithfully. And, when it becomes reality, I pray you serve God in greater ways than you ever imagined you could or would.