I live in Virginia, where we have four distinct seasons. Summertime is hot, the winter gets snow and ice, the fall leaves are beautiful, and springtime rain is what we know we can expect. One afternoon, I was at Maymont Park enjoying a quiet walk when a sudden downpour began. My first reaction was to dart toward my car so I wouldn't get wet. I hadn't prepared for rain, and I was getting soaked. Halfway to my parking spot, I stopped and looked up.
As the drops splashed on my face, a childlike heart of worship emerged, and I found myself praising God in the rain. There was thunder in the distance, and at times it seemed a bit frightening, but I refused to sacrifice my strategy for the day just because the conditions changed.
I want to encourage you to hold on to the vision and plan He's given you even when conditions change. When we focus on Christ instead of the craziness and uncertainty around us, we rob the enemy of providing excuses for us to quit.
This year has given us reasons to feel defeated. The last six months took so much out of us; many have lost motivation to do much of anything else for the rest of the year. Who would've told a crazy story of a pandemic of such cataclysmic proportions?
As believers, we don't have to give up, lose our vision or feel overwhelmed to the point of walking away. Our confidence is right where it has always been—in the God who did not get off the throne, not even in 2020.
God is still looking for a people who will rise and call upon His name, pressing toward the goal He designates, using the gifts He distributes. That is me. It is you. Your Father is not limited, and that means you are not limited—even when you feel underqualified like Timothy.
Paul sends his protégé to help salvage the mess in the church in Ephesus. Obviously, Paul has confidence in Timothy's ability, but when the young man gets there, he realizes just how young he is.
Timothy is shy, and he's standing in front of older and wiser leaders of the church. They don't respect Timothy's point of view, and he begins to shrink back. To make matters worse, his mentor is in prison. The stress starts to take a toll on his health. Timothy's vision for what he is to do begins to diminish, and he's ready to quit. Can you relate?
You have a plan, you feel a sense of purpose, and then the rain comes. You start excited and full of energy, and then your vision gets bombarded by the voices—the words of incompetence, weakness and past failures. Or you compare your knowledge to someone else's experience, and you think you don't measure up. Just like Timothy, in those moments of doubt, we need our vision renewed.
In Paul's second letter to Timothy, he addresses the issues hindering the young man. Paul's last letter before his execution serves to renew our vision today.
1. You are important, loved and appreciated.
" I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience as my forefathers did, as I continually remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, remembering your tears, that I may be filled with joy" (2 Tim. 1:3-4).
2. Your vision will be fulfilled through the faith already at work in you.
"[I am] remembering the genuine faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and that I am persuaded lives in you also" (2 Tim. 1:5).
3. The spirit of power, love and self-control wins over fear.
"Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control" (2 Tim. 1:6-7).
Revive Your Vision Through:
—Worship: Embrace a lifestyle of devotion to God.
—Prayer: Express your heart to God, encouraged by His faithfulness
—Service: Employ your gifts, talents and experience to help others.
I want you to know someone is grateful to God for you today. You are impacting the world around you through the faith inside of you. Don't let your vision for God's call on your life die.
Even when the storm rolls in on your beautiful sunny day, control the negative. Fan the flame and dance in the rain.
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