As I began to read this chapter, my eyes filled with tears. I’ve been doing my own struggling lately. I’ve been struggling with my vision. Not my eye-sight mind you, but the vision in my heart and in my head about the path I feel God has me on. I’ve been struggling with my vision for Reins For Renewal and wondering why on earth, God would pick someone so remotely located and alone to try to reach people with horses. The expense in traveling these days quickly eats up my ability to come and go freely, and it puts a damper on other people’s desires to come to me. I’ve been struggling with my vision as a mother and wife too. I want to be in so many places doing so many things, perfectly, that I easily become overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks. There is constantly a pull on my time and it seems I will never get it all done….Can you relate? Are you there too? Do you struggle with the vision you have carry for your life? Someone please tell me that I’m not alone…. 🙂 (Do you see all the “I’s” here?)
The words on pages 116-119 of our book made me stop and think. I’ve never considered myself a Game Player when it came to my faith or my vision. I’ve always taken my love for Christ seriously. I take great care of and responsiblity for the vision I feel He’s given me. However, when Lysa began to compare the disciple Simon Peter and the men rolling dice in the shadows of the cross, I suddenly had to rethink what was truly in my heart. Where exactly IS my vision? The men throwing dice had missed an offer for eternal significance because they were too distracted by earthly rags. They were playing games at the feet of a Savior dying for them. Their vision was clearly selfish and about getting a good roll on the dice. They were caught up in the dealing of judgement and condemnation. Competition and personal gain. They were playing games. How many times have I rolled the dice? How often have I uttered words of condemnation and judgement? How often have I allowed my vision to become clouded with thoughts of personal gain or competitive thoughts? How many times have you found yourself there?
Lysa paints an amazing picture of discipleship when she writes about Simon Peter’s obedience in Luke 5: 2-10. Our Bible does not have documentation that Peter questioned Jesus’ requests of him. Even when it did not make sense to drop the nets, even though he was tired from working all day, Peter still said “Yes”. Like Lysa, I’ve found myself in Peter’s position more than once too and chose NOT to respond in obedience. I, too, have ignored Jesus’ call for my obedience. I’ve often wondered what opportunities I’ve missed out on or what blessings I’ve missed because I said, “No”. Because Peter was obedient he discovered the call that God had on his life. What if Peter would have said “No”? Would he have missed the call on his life all together? I can’t help but wonder if my vision(s) would be more clear if I were more willing to say “Yes”, more often.
Lysa continues to teach us about being true disciples when she explains that “our call to obedience my challenge our pride.” Ouch….. Taking small steps of obedience helps us take the larger steps. Peter could have easily questioned Jesus about his fishing background. Instead, he chose to swallow his pride and be obedient. Lysa points out secondly that “God uses our experiences to equip us for our calling.” I firmly believe this. I know from experience that he uses EACH experience in our lives to prepare us. My horses have taken me places and allowed me to meet so many people. They have added a great deal of experience to my life. Not all good, but none-the-less, important. My horses have taught me a great deal about the person I am on the INSIDE. They help me look at life and people differently. Where my heart has been hardened and bitter, they’ve made it soft and loving again. Without those experiences, Rein For Renewal would cease to exist. Thirdly, Lysa shows us that “our obedience may inspire others to respond.” I have to admit-I’ve struggled with this one in the past. I’ve wondered why God would take the very vision I felt he gave me and give it to someone else. However, I’ve come to realize-we are all on the same team! Our visions are different because of the experiences in life we’ve had, but we are on the same team! We should WANT to inspire others to respond. To grow closer with God. To run after God and the vision he’s given them for their life. What would have happened if Peter would have said “No, I don’t think I want to do that,” when Jesus said, “…from now on you will catch men.” How many people would have missed the message of Christ? Today, part of my vision is to simply inspire others to run after the gifts God has given them. I pray that God will use me to inspire and encourage others to see God in their daily lives and to know that we do NOT have to be perfect in order for God to love us and want to use us!
I don’t want to be a Game Player. I want my vision in clear focus and my heart lined up with God. I want my mouth to whisper (or shout!) “Yes”. I don’t want my life to be about me. I want nothing more than for it to reflect Him. On page 120, Lysa tells us that, “If we are serious about radical obedience, about having a vision that’s God inspired, then we must keep our focus on Christ. When Christ speaks, we must listen. When He directs us to act, we must act. When He compels us to give, we must do so freely. When He reminds us to get past trivial matters, we must let our pride fall away. When He invites us to leave the world behind, we must follow Him.”
I don’t know about you, but I KNOW I want my vision to be God inspired…
In the comment section below, tell me how this chapter impacted you and the vision you have for your life. If you’d like to email me privately, please feel free to do so! I’d love to hear about the vision God has given you. If there is anyway I can help you, please let me know! http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you felt a tug at your heart while reading this book? Do you feel as though God is speaking directly to you as you flip the pages of each chapter? Boy….I do! In my quest to reach others with his word, I’m finding more and more that he’s teaching me as well. I’m once again, humbled at his timing and his words.