Did you know that far too many people are living in one of two realms – the past or the future – never realizing that the changes they desire can not be found in either? So, why do we continue to live like that? May I suggest that it is primarily due to the fact that we don’t understand thepower of vision!

As I write this I am flying at 39,000 feet aboard South African Airways flight 209, on my home from South Africa. Kathy and I have just spent 12 days there as speakers for a World Missions Conference in Pretoria. As one of the more stable nations in all of Africa, both economically and politically, I inquired about the transformation that has been taking place over the past 10 years in their nation.
Under the previous governmental system of apartheid (Afrikaans word meaning “separateness”), black people were not allowed to own land, own businesses, vote in elections, or have any control of the country. The atmosphere was much like historical times in America prior to the civil rights movement and the removal of segregation as a system of laws.
As I learned more about what happened and how the transformation took place, one person kept being talked about more than any other – a man who was driven by a vision – Nelson Mandela. Mandela’s life’s story is not one of ease and privilege. After spending over 25 years in prison as a political prisoner, Nelson was released and began to challenge the government that the systems which were in place needed to be changed. As a result the nation shifted — apartheid was broken … a new government was put in place … and for the first time in many years — a black man named Mandela was elected the president of South Africa.
It all happened because Nelson Mandela had a vision of a democratic South Africa, where all men experienced equality and opportunity. Even during the years of persecution and turmoil, Mandela allowed his vision to sustain him. As a result, when he was released he did not lead a revolution from bitterness or anger, fighting racism with racism, but rather with a vision for a better nation.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no prophetic revelation (vision) the people cast off restraint.”
Vision is born in the heart of God and imparted to the heart of a man or woman. In its simplest form, vision is the expectation of a desired end. When vision lives in your heart, the present situations of your life will not blind you to the potential stored in your future.
Here is what vision does in your life:
1. Allows You To See God’s Presence
Vision is not reserved for the select few. Rather, the Holy Spirit gives vision to us.
Dreams and Visions are always evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work among people
(Acts 2:17).
2. It Creates FOCUS
When you understand the vision for your life, focus is not difficult. When vision is not
present, we tend to become a mediocre at a lot of things, while mastering none of them.
A man determined to be a great business man, may not become a tennis champion. A
football star, may not achieve a doctorate in micro-biology. It is impossible to focus on
many things, so it is the vision of our life that allows us to determine what we will focus
on. Divided focus makes us unstable (James 1:3-8).
Focus is a major key to success and prosperity (Joshua 1:7-8).
3. Determines Restraints
Restraints are the boundaries or the ability to discipline our lives so as to create a
greater opportunity for effectiveness. Discipline born of rules and regulations becomes
legalism and we will have difficulty maintaining them. However, disciplines born of vision
become empowering, allowing us to accomplish our objectives.
For example, an Olympic athlete does not move away from home for four years, put their
college education on hold, and train 6 days a week because they dislike people or
school. Their willingness to go to bed at 10 pm and rise at 6 am is not because they
hate sleep. Rather, it is because they desire to win the GOLD MEDAL! So their vision
for winning determines the restraints they build into their lives.
4. Keeps You MOTIVATED
When excitement is gone and the inevitable storms of life arise, it is your vision that will
keep you motivated. Nelson Mandela told a friend that even while he was in prison,
being violated and persecuted, all he could see was “one day I’ll be president of South
Africa”.
If your vision is not getting you up every morning, it won’t get anyone else up either!
5. Attracts the RIGHT PEOPLE
The vision I communicate determines who is attracted to my life. There are people who
are assigned to help you and open doors for you, but they will not appear until you
articulate the vision that is in your heart.

What do you believe God is saying to you? What is the burning picture on the inside of

your life? Learn to shout it from the housetop! It will attract the people you need to fulfill
it.
Vision is powerful! Let me encourage you today to never undervalue the vision that God has put in your heart. There may have been people in your life that discredited it, mocked it, or even made you feel stupid because you believed it. Forget them! “If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes”!

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