When God begins to show you your purpose and calling, there are some important steps you need to follow through with to help you keep on track to seeing those goals realized.
In this post, we will dig into the scriptures and discuss the importance of writing down your vision, guarding your influences, and avoiding dream killers.
Write down the vision and make it plain on tablets that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time but at the end it will speak and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it because it will surely come; it will not tarry.Habakkuk 2:2-3, NIV
Write the Vision
- Physically writing is part of committing the message to memory for yourself and future generations.
Habakkuk is not the first or last time that God told someone to write something down. We see the same instruction to write given in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Revelation.
Did you know that Jewish synagogues all across the country open scrolls of the Torah during their Shabbat to read from the same selection of readings? Every year, they read the complete Old Testament (Torah) this way and remind themselves of the faithful character of God.
Physically writing stuff down matters. It creates a record to remember something important and it serves as a guide map to the road ahead.
- Writing your vision is also submitting to the power and voice of God to fulfill it.
We know that the Bible is the unaltered word of God. We recieve it like a set of precious letters from our Father. We honor it as the guidebook of our lives. That is Biblically-based Christianity. But did you realize that we wouldn’t have that letter, that guidebook, if it weren’t for a series of people saying “yes” to writing it down?
In a similar fashion, God wants to partner with you to see amazing things happen in your life. It starts by seeking him, getting quiet, and listening.
For more details on hearing from God about your calling and writing it down, check out this blog.
- Writing captures long-range goals and gives you an action plan to avoid common mistakes.
I love the practicality of the book of Proverbs. Solomon spent a lot of time giving advice on avoiding foolish mistakes. In Proverbs 29:18, he warned that lack of vision causes careless living. We know that mistakes are going to happen as we grow in discovering our callings, but we can avoid many of them by having a vision to focus on and commitment to Godly character as we grow.
Part of Habakkuk 2:2 said to write the vision down so the person reading it could run with it or implement it. When you have a written vision, it’s not just for you. People down the line will catch your dream and come along the journey to help you fulfill it.
Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6, NIV
Guard Your Influences
- Bad influences can be dream killers.
Especially when your dream is new, it is precious to you. Some days you want to share it with the world; other days you want to protect it like Gollum did the ring in Lord of the Rings.
You are not wrong to treat your dream like a precious pearl and protect it.
If you share your dream with someone who doesn’t believe in it, their advice can stop you from pursuing it altogether. If you share it with someone who doesn’t have the same heart as you, it can send you down the wrong path in how you pursue it. All of that really matters if you want to be successful and see your dream fulfilled.
- Learn to discern the pigs in your life.
This lesson has been a hard one to learn, and I am going to speak directly to the artists here, but it really applies to anyone.
If you are serious about your art, your art is your business. As you build your business, it is important that you are careful about the culture you establish for your business by the people you allow to partner with you in it.
You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:13-16, NIV
What you allow to speak into your business will breath life and make it grow, or it will kill it at the root. This is why I titled this post, Guard the Root!…it really is that important who you allow to influence you.
- Develop an elevator pitch.
Not everyone you meet is going to be someone that partners with your vision, and that’s okay. You don’t need an army of followers to believe in what you do to make it successful.
Whether or not someone supports you, they still want to know what you do. This is what an elevator pitch is for. An elevator pitch is what you would say to a potential client/friend/family member/supporter if all you had was five minutes in an elevator with them. Think of it like your testimony in a nutshell. Tune in next week for more on how to write your elevator pitch.
Bottomline: Don’t tell everyone everything; give them the elevator pitch and listen to their heart. Pray for discernment to be able to know when something is not right and when you shouldn’t be listening to it. Don’t go past the elevator pitch or waste time listening to a resource that reveals it doesn’t support your vision.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalms 1:1-3, NIV
Gather Wise Counsel
- Plant your root in the water of the Word of God.
We all make excuses about the amount of time we have to read the Bible, but that is all they are: excuses. If you want to be serious about your vision, you need to make sure it is a godly one, and you need to protect your heart while you pursue it. There is no other way to do that than through studying the Scriptures.
God doesn’t have a time requirement. He will take as little or as much as you can give him, but he does want your heart. Don’t just sit down with a Bible verse and think that is enough time to really answer your questions.
Let the Word of God be your primary resource for knowledge and wisdom. Take all your questions to God in prayer and seek answers in His Word. God will show up and answer you because he delights in the hearts that diligently and desperately seek Him.
- Invest in doing the research and development of your craft.
Get a good concordance or index that can show you where topics are mentioned multiple times in scripture. Get a good commentary to dig deeper behind the meaning of the words you are reading. Most theologians start with Strong’s Concordance and Matthew Henry’s Commentary. I have a copy of both and reference them, but sometimes I get as much from the index and footnotes in my Bible. The key is to read the Bible in context and not take things to mean something they do not. Look for more about studying the Word in context in a future post.
Investment does not just mean money; it means time. Whether it is time reading the Bible or time learning a skill, your vision will need you to invest time in learning how to make it grow.
None of us are born with all the knowledge we need to be successful, nor can we accomplish success overnight.
- Give yourself time to develop a network of support and encouragement.
- Give yourself time to develop your business acumen and marketing skills.
- Give yourself time to develop mastery in your craft.
- Give yourself time to develop your working schedule and culture.
- Give yourself time to develop steady clientele.
- Glean from godly friends who are successfully following their visions.
When God calls you to something, it is important to find like-minded people who are living out their callings to encourage you in yours. They will have wisdom from their experiences to help you navigate through your journey with less stress and discouragement. This blog can be one of those resources for you. If you aren’t already a follower, make sure you join at the end of this post, so you don’t miss future posts. (It’s free!)
Godly friends are friends that are not perfect people but people who believe what you do about God and live transparently with their faith. They don’t tell everything to everyone; they share important things with a chosen few. They exercise wisdom and kindness; they greet everyone in genuine love.
Godly friends are not going to be just like you. They may be farmers, business people, healers, helpers, pastors, or servants. Whatever gift they are called to operate in doesn’t matter. What matters is that their faith and work ethics inspire yours.
If you would like to do a deeper dive on this subject, here are some additional scripture verses I would encourage you to read. Scriptures are listed in order of where they are found in the Bible.
- Proverbs 4:23
- Proverbs 11:14
- Proverbs 27:17
- Isaiah 30:8
- Jeremiah 31:33
- Luke 14:25-33
- 2 Corinthians 5:12-21
- Galatians 5:7-9
- 1 Timothy 4:12
- 1 Timothy 6:20
- Titus 2:6-8
- Hebrews 11:1
- Revelation 1:19
God is calling artists everywhere to rise up and use their talents to bring Him glory. I have met writers, painters, musicians, sculpturers, dancers, gardeners, and bakers who have all caught the vision to use their talent for the glory of God. None of these people, by the way, were struggling, penniless, artists.
There is no short-cut to success, but God can anoint and bless your vision if you choose to believe and follow Him.
We all have different missions in life but, I believe, they all root back to a ministry of reconciliation on Earth (2 Corinthians 5:12-21). If what we are doing does not point people to Christ, it probably isn’t a godly vision for us to pursue.
I’ll see you next week! Until then, safe travels on your journey…