The Vision is for future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:2-3
We need a vision for life, a vision for our work life, for our ministry. Whatever it is in life that you do, a vision for it is needed.
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18
I’ve worked in many companies and I have noticed many times that, without vision, a company will perish. Without vision, a ministry is going to perish. If there’s no vision in your life, your passion and reason for living will perish.
Years ago, I was told by a man of God that when a person backslides they can come back to God, and when they get attacked by the enemy they can get back on their feet again, but when a person loses vision it is much harder for them to come back, because to lose vision is to lose hope. Yet when you have a vision, even if you fall, you have a desire to rise back up.
There are two types of people that exist in the church. The first are the ones that don’t have a dream for their lives, and the second are people who have unfulfilled dreams.
Let me take you through the first with more detail. Everyone needs to have a dream. When you don’t have a dream, there is no purpose for your life. It’s good to dream. It’s simple; if we look at children, they have dreams. And now, being a child of God, it is important for you to dream. Many think that when we become born again, we should not dream, because they perceive it as evil, or that it may limit God. In the process they crucify their dreams. Sight is of the eyes whilst vision is of the heart. Sight is based on things you see with your natural eyes, but vision is not just what you see, it’s based on the heart. A godly vision is different from a worldly vision. A godly vision is from God and for God. All godly visions start from God and they will always be for God. Many say that they are doing well in their own vision, but everything that is good may not necessarily be from God.
So one of the most important things in life is that we need to have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, there’s no purpose. Myles Munroe said that the poorest person on earth is not the person without money but the one without a dream. You may be going through seasons of great difficulties, but the poorest person would be one who doesn’t have a dream. Many continue to live homeless because they’ve lost their dream. When you lose the dream, life gets far too difficult. Hold onto the dream, to the words spoken over your life from God.
Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well. 1 Timothy 1:18
In the midst of what you might be facing, it is God’s prophetic word that will give you hope, purpose and a dream to keep moving. The beautiful aspect of having purpose in our lives is that it stirs up hope and faith.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11
God has a plan for our lives; it is to give us a good future and hope. As you read this, God wants to release a fresh passion upon you to dream for God. This scripture has always been one that I would hold onto during tough situations and I would declare that God has great plans for my life. He does not just have a good plan but a great plan. It’s not for evil, it’s for prosperity and not for disaster. It’s to give you a future and hope. We need to believe this, and that will allow us to dream.
Now let’s go through the second type: the people who have unfulfilled dreams. It becomes hard to dream when you are mindful of how many times you’ve failed. These people started off with God-given dreams, and because of failures in the process of pursuing these dreams, they are left with unfulfilled dreams, which lead to lost hope. Everyone has gone through unfulfilled dreams, and we all have experience of losing hope. If you find yourself having unfulfilled dreams as you read this, God has a word that is going to transform the path ahead.
In the year 2002, we as a couple were in a season of fasting and prayer, living in Hong Kong. Preethy and I took a book and started to write. We started off with thankfulness for each and every area in our lives that God has moved and called us into, and then we wrote down our vision of what God wanted us to do. It was based on two verses in the Bible:
He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’ Mark 16: 15
Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ Mathew 28:18-20
We had a great desire for many different things, so we wrote down our vision for missions, business, finances, church, education, etc. Now, as we look back at our last fifteen years from then, it’s been an amazing journey. We didn’t have a ministry, church or anything, but we had a vision and we had a knowledge that it was God’s desire.
In those days, when God gave us financial breakthroughs, we desired to go into the nations but we couldn’t, and so we decided to support pastors and orphans, and went on to increase our giving to twenty-five per cent. I understood that when these pastors were going to villages and towns and preaching, I was partnering with them by sowing into that.
Sometimes you can do much more than preaching by carrying out your God-given vision, and that can impact nations.
We had a desire to see churches established, and we never thought we would see it come to pass the way it did. But as we sat and took the time to write our vision down, God saw, He read and He established. God values what you write to Him. We had a vision for business and for education in developing countries – it all started by writing it down. Before I came to the Lord, I was a failure. I was told by people that I was talented but they couldn’t explain the failures. When you keep experiencing failures, you lose hope. But once I came to the Lord, I remember sitting with Him and going through the Word, and the reality that I am a son of God came alive in me. Secondly, the reality of the power of God’s Word came alive. I started to realise the power of declaring God’s Word in situations and saw them change. I stood on God’s Word despite hearing negative reports from people, and experienced the power of God for myself. From that encounter, things started shifting. We have power and authority because of what we have through the Word. We are called to be distinct and not the same. We may have failed before we came to Jesus, we may have failed as an unbeliever, but once we understand the authority we have as a son/daughter through the Word, we know that we are called to be unique.
A man of God called me during a season of my life when I was losing hope. He said that God was speaking Ephesians 2:10 over me:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
You have been created by God to do good works. These works were prepared by God Himself in advance for us to do and not just planned last week. You are unique, different and distinct. You have a unique DNA.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… Ephesians 3:20
What makes you distinct is the power of God working within you, the Spirit of God moving in your life. Therefore we shouldn’t want to be someone else, we should want to be us. It says that God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. If that is the case, then I declare nations where areas will rise up to host kingdom businesses. If we are going to declare, then it is going to be more than we can think or imagine. And the Word says that it is going to be according to the power that is working within us. The bottom line of all this is that we are to be lovers of Jesus. Our land that we live in has to be filled with worshippers of Jesus. It is through worship that we experience God.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
Where we are is our Jerusalem. Your surrounding boroughs could be Judea, and the city or town you live in could be Samaria and the rest of the world. We become witnesses at these places when the power of God comes. God has gifted each of us with a unique DNA.
I know that God has called me into business. I remember it was just a few years back that I had to struggle with what God had called me into. I used to feel that I should stop what I’m doing and start doing full-time ministry, and I used to get prophetic words saying so. Then, soon after, things started to shift. I started getting prophetic words from prophets and prophetesses that said that God had called me to business to impact the nations. This was according to the vision that God had first given us.
God has called each one to be unique, not a duplicate of someone else. We can impact more with what God has called us to do, and because it is different, we don’t have to feel bad about it. For someone else, it could be that you are called to be a full-time pastor. And there is nothing wrong in what God has called you to. I believe that ninety per cent of people are called to do what they are already doing and then do ministry. He has called you to be unique, and your strength will be found in what God has called you to do.
I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. He displayed this power in the working of His mighty strength. Ephesians 1:17-18
Let the creative ideas be released; we want the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better. The reason we have twelve hours of worship called ‘The Pursuit’ is because we want a fresh outpouring of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better, which in turn will release the creative ideas.
What I see nowadays is that everybody wants to be known for something. They are running around for YouTube hits and Facebook likes. There’s nothing wrong in being known for something, but it has to be a God-given thing. We do not want to try and force something to happen. But when you are doing what God has called you to do, there’s going to be expansion of God’s Kingdom through you and you will in turn be known for it.
We all are born with a desire to be known, and what matters is doing what God has called us to do, because it is those things that we will make a difference in people’s lives and a difference in this generation. We don’t want to shut down our DNA or creativity, but we want to continue to dream. This is another reason why people have unfulfilled dreams; they don’t see success in their desire to be famous, and then they lose hope.
Too many people bury their dreams in a lesser existence, making themselves a graveyard for God’s creative power. I believe it is in this season that God is telling us to dream again.
In the book of Deuteronomy, the Israelites had the promise that they would go to the Promised Land, they would see the Jericho walls coming down, they would cross the Jordan, they would go into the land flowing with milk and honey. It was a promise given to every Israelite. In the first chapter Moses tells the story of how, at Kadesh Barnea, he and the elders of Israel agreed to send out twelve people to search out the land, and so they were sent out to Canaan. The twelve went back and brought reports that the land was great, but Israel wouldn’t be able to go there because the people in the land were so large. Moses was distraught because of the bad report. God goes on to say that because they did not believe Him, they would not enter the Promised Land, except for the two who gave a good report of the Land. Those two were Joshua and Caleb.
I got emotional as I read the scripture where Moses said that even he couldn’t enter the land. The rest of the people in that generation did not enter the Promised Land just because they did not believe that what God had told them was possible.
If God has said it, He is able to do it. It may seem impossible in the natural world. The giants were big, but God had said that they would come down.
Years ago, when we came to England, God gave us a clear dream. God said that He wanted to build a church that would reach and impact the nations. Now we are seeing this come to pass, as we see the London Awakening nights impacting nations on social media. It’s never been about numbers for us, but to increase in numbers is not a bad thing, because God gave us the dream of a billion souls and now we know that it is possible through languages and media. Through Business and Education we can impact the world; this was all given through a clear vision to reach out to nations.
When you’re part of a vision, you want to dream. It can be for business, ministry, the supernatural. It all starts when you dream, and when you partner with a dream you will see increase in your life. There is power in the partnership of a dream. There is power when you partner with a vision from God. We saw this when we started in 2009, and when we started to sow into what God called us to, we started to see expansion. Again, not just in numbers, but we saw it in resources, and it was much more than we could have ever thought.
Ask yourselves this question. What is your dream? What is your dream for your work, your future? God wants to restore fresh hope, passion and dreams. What is your dream?