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Overcome Obstacles to Your Vision: Four Tips

VisionWhen you have a “vision” that burns with passion in your very soul – you want to change what is to what could be or what should be.  You have been given a glimpse of how something (or someone’s life) could be bettered, improved, transformed.  Any time someone catches a vision and begins to act upon it (taking action steps to realize the vision), obstacles will rise up.  What you do with these obstacles will determine the outcome of your vision.

As we get more clarity about our vision there will be many twists and turns as the Creator reveals our role, our purpose in bringing about the vision placed on our hearts and minds.  Don’t be discouraged as you go through the fine-tuning stages of your vision.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that the Creator will bring the right opportunities, the right people to help, the right timing as it is needed.  You were put on earth with unique personality traits, unique gifts and talents, and a unique vision.  Keep the faith, keep moving forward and learn from the four tips below to overcome the obstacles that you may encounter along the path. 

Tip 1:  Don’t write off your passion and goals as being too secular to be a “vision”.  Your vision may present itself in a form you may not recognize at first.  Often people think that a vision should be reserved for ministry or for spiritual purposes.  Realize that the Creator does not divide the secular and the spiritual – he sees you holistically as a spirit being living out your life in a spiritual and a practical world.  I have known some people to write off their vision because it didn’t seem spiritual to start a business (for example).  They would argue that starting a business could not possibly be a spiritual pursuit.  I would assert that the Creator can use every aspect of your life (and a vision that falls into any category of life) to bring about goodness and beauty for his sovereign plan.  I have known many businesses that have tied in to the Creator’s greater plan either directly or indirectly.

Tip 2:  Wait before you speak about your vision and wait before you rush out to major action.  Do not rush to tell everyone about your vision until it has matured, developed, and you have had a chance to pray about the fine-tuning of your vision.  If you wait (and don’t rush) to speak about or start action toward your vision, you will prevent many issues related to poor timing by allowing yourself to be prepared for your vision.  If you are familiar with the story of Moses (in the Old Testament) remember how he had a vision (wanted to free his people from slavery in Egypt) but his timing and his methods were terrible.  He ended up killing an Egyptian and ran to the wilderness to hide.  It was there God took him to the university of preparing and equipping properly for the vision.  Many years later, he went out with God’s timing and God’s blessing and delivered his people from slavery.

Tip 3:  Realize that you will know the what before the how.  When your vision is God-ordained, you will not know all the hows.  You will have a sense of what you are being called to co-create with God, but God will have to fill in the gaps in your plans (the finances, the maturation, the positioning and the timing).  People with a vision often can talk quite excitedly about the what, but don’t really know how to answer all those questions about how it will be completed.  Being aware of this will prepare the visionary for the critical questions and the potentially harsh reactions that will come from friends, loved ones and others. 

Tip 4:  Once your vision has matured, been authenticated through prayer, thought, and planning – you will begin to take those sacrificial steps of faith (usually fairly risky actions).  This will absolutely invite criticism and you will need to know how to respond to criticism.  I recommend doing the following three things:  pray, remember the source of your vision, revise your plan.  Whenever criticism really comes against you, you may struggle with thoughts that say, “Maybe they are right”, “Maybe I don’t have what it takes”, “Maybe I am wasting my time, money and energy”.  If your vision is firmly planted in your spirit, remember that your ability or the feasibility of the project is not your responsibility – it is God’s.  We must walk in faith and lead strategically at the same time while executing the vision. 

There is another Old Testament example I want to point out here.  In the time when Nehemiah was on the receiving end of harsh criticism and outright physical attack, he prayed, he remembered the source of his vision (God) and then he revised his plan by creating an army detail of sorts to defend the workers who were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem.  In fact the whole story of Nehemiah’s vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem is worth reading for yourself (see Nehemiah Ch. 1 – 4).  Much of what I am learning about crafting and executing visions comes from my own experience and from many others who have gone on before me.  Recently, I have received a large amount of information and clarity from a book entitled “Visioneering” by Andy Stanley and want to give credit to this book for much of the contents of this article. 

I wish you clarity, strength, steadiness and stick-to-it-iveness as you venture forward with your own vision, be it in your work, your business, your marriage, your parenting, your life, or in your ministry.  Many blessings to you.

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