When an architect makes plans for a building, he designs it from beginning to end.
In a way you could say that the END comes before the beginning. That is, the architectural plans for a project have to be complete before anyone can begin building it.
The same is true with God. Before project earth could begin, God had to design it. In Genesis 2 we see that once God completes His design, He rests:
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.Genesis 2:2-3
God completes His design in the spiritual, then rests before extending His design into the physical. REST simply means that God was satisfied with His design.
In the following verse we see exactly what God’s master plan was:
For (God) chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.Ephesians 1:4
In other words, God foresaw what would happen to man. He foresaw that man would fail and what He would do through Jesus Christ to correct it. He also foresaw those that would respond to His action and He calls them SONS.
Ephesians 1:11, continues with the description of His plan:
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.Ephesians 1:4, 11
God has a plan that works out everything in conformity with His will. But is there any clue as to HOW He plans to accomplish it?
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:10
He plans to do it through US.
Does that mean that we run out and start doing good works in the name of God? No.
Because when it comes to the transcendent, God must do the work! What we have to do is learn HOW God wants to spread truth through us.
Consider these nine steps in determining God’s vision for your life.
1. Advance God’s internal purpose in you. Follow the trust, rest and agree process described in the Apply Truth chapter daily.
The bottom line is you can’t do anything unless you are plugged into God. You have to spend time each day developing trust and hearing the voice of God in you. Otherwise your just doing your OWN thing.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:5
2. Ask yourself, “What are my deepest desires and most persistent thoughts?”
These thoughts don’t just come to you by happenstance. God has placed them in you from the beginning of time. The reason they excite you and give you passion is because they are the seeds of works God prepared in ADVANCE for you to do.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in ADVANCE for us to do.Ephesians 2:10
Some people are afraid to follow their dreams for fear that they are doing something wrong or selfishly sinning. As long as it isn’t overt sin such as lying or stealing, DO IT. Let God get the glory through it.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Colossians 3:17
3. Express yourself. Align your desires with your natural gift.
God has given seven natural gifts to man. They are:
Preaching, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, showing mercy (Romans 12:6-8).
Preaching is declaring the truth. Serving is practicing the truth. Teaching is explaining the truth. Encouraging is applying the truth. Giving is supporting the truth. Leading is organizing the truth. Mercy is ministering the truth.
But which gift is yours?
4. Determine your gift by understanding the EFFECT it has in someone’s life.
Different gifts cause different “effects” in people. By identifying which “effect” brings you the most joy, you can understand your gift.
Are you a big picture guy? Do you like getting people EXCITED about a cause? Can you speak well? Are you comfortable in front of a crowd and enjoy the spotlight? Then your gift is Preaching! The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to rally people to a common cause.
Are you more comfortable “doing” the truth than you are “expressing” the truth? Do you want your actions to speak louder than your words? Do you like to help people? Then your gift is Serving. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to make someone’s life easier by what you do for them.
Is it important to you that people understand WHY they believe what they believe? Are you interested in the mechanics of why something is true? Can you explain it to people? Then your gift is Teaching. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to help people UNDERSTAND why something is true.
Do you have discernment? Do you have the ability to say the right thing at the right time? Do you like to encourage people when they are down? Then your gift is Encouragement. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to give people HOPE.
Do you have a knack for making money? Does everything you touch turn to gold? Do you have a desire to see worthwhile efforts get off the ground? Then your gift is Giving. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to bring someone’s vision to life though your financial support.
Are you organized? Are you detail oriented? Are you able to understand the process of making something work? Are you able to inspire others to follow your lead? Then your gift is Leading. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to make things run smoothly through your organizing skills.
Are you sensitive to the hurts of others? Do you see the value in people no matter what they have done? Then your gift is Mercy. The “effect” that brings you joy is your ability to validate people.
Once you find your gift or gifts (people often have more than one gift), determine what vehicle you will use to express your gift.
5. Determine what VEHICLE you will use to express your gift?
By vehicle I mean your STYLE. What is your style? Perhaps God has given you a creative way to express your gift. That is your style.
For example: You have a DESIRE to help children. You have the GIFT of mercy. Your STYLE is a magician.
You go to hospitals and make kids laugh by doing magic tricks that advance the Kingdom of God. In this way you validate kids that would otherwise feel totally inadequate.
Insight into which gift best fits you provides a foundation from which to build your life. It is the beginning of VISION. Vision is actually self discovery. True vision always looks inward before it looks outward.
Self discovery is “fanning into flame” the gift that is already in you.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands.1 Timothy 1:6
6. Get moving on your dreams. These dreams are your purpose.
God wants you to get moving on your dreams. He wants you to take a step of faith so He can fulfill His purpose in you. It’s the rolling stone that gathers no moss. The Bible puts it this way:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.Matthew 7:7-8
7. Follow a logical path in fulfilling your dreams.
Getting where you want to go is like climbing a ladder. Take it one rung at a time. Ask yourself, ”What do I need to do to make my dreams happen today?” or “What’s keeping me from advancing my dreams today?”. When you can answer these questions, you’ll have the next step to fulfilling your dreams.
8. Overcome obstacles that keep you from moving forward.
Sometimes it can be as simple as taking a class, getting an education. Sometimes we get in our own way, we don’t listen to God. Remember this is His master design. He already has a script for you. Back off and wait for Him. Give God time to perform His work. Spend time meditating and going through the internal/external process as discussed in my article Bringing Heaven to Earth in You.
I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.Psalm 27:13-14
9. As confidence grows, opportunity finds you.
People are drawn to confidence. The confidence that God brings isn’t conceited. After all this isn’t about you. God put it in you, God gets the glory.
What happens is that people begin to recognize the gift that God has placed in you. Remember your gift has been foreseen since the beginning of time. God prepared you for it. The whole earth has been waiting for you to appear.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.Romans 8:19
The authority you weld in your given gift is God’s authority. You become the tip of the spear in advancing His truth into your world because you are doing what He designed you to do.
People will want to know the reason for your success. Be prepared to give an answer.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.1 Peter 3:15
Spreading truth isn’t about going on a marketing campaign, fluffed with hype. It’s about finding you and being you. It feels natural. When you discover who you were designed to be and live in it, you feel free. When this happens the resources you need to live (people, materials, money etc.) find you.
God made us to be gatherers, not laborers. The labor God placed on man in the garden of Eden was a curse (Genesis 3:17-19), but Christ lifted the curse and returned us to God’s original intent (Galatians 3:13).
Notice that God gave Adam a garden to tend. God created the garden, God watered it. God made it grow. Adam simply gathered its fruit.
The same is true for you. God gave you a garden in the form of the gift He placed in you. You don’t labor to make it grow. You don’t create it. You discover it. You cultivate it. As you operate in your gift, God brings opportunity and you simply gather the fruit or the resources you need to live.
This is the abundant life and how spreading truth works. It’s being you and giving yourself to others. It’s living the way God designed you to be.
I have come that they may have life, and have it in full.John 10:10