Vision: God’s Purpose And Direction For Your Life



You may have a goal or dream that motivates you to achieve the things you desire most in life. But discovering God’s vision or purpose for you life will guide and direct you into the place He has prepared just for you!

Having been involved in the ministry for more than thirty-five years, I have heard people ask these questions many times: “Why am I really here?” “What is my real purpose in life?” “What does God want me to do?” These are all legitimate questions, because unless you find the answers, you are never going to find God’s will for your life.

If you are going to do the will of God in your life, you must have a vision or goal set before you of hat God wants you to do.

There’s a specific course that God has planned for your life – a course that will be filled with joy and fulfillment, but also with hard work, tests, trials, and victory! You’re not going to go through life
without having some adversities or tests and trials, but God has declared that He will deliver you out of them all (Ps. 34:19)!

God wants you to live victoriously and to fulfill His plan and purpose for your life. But to fulfill that plan, you have to have vision.

18 Where there is no VISION, the people perish….

If you look up the word “vision” in a concordance, you will find that it can mean revelation. It can also be translated mental sight or a revealed word from God. The word “perish” in Proverbs 29:18 is translated in the New American Standard Bible as unrestrained, or in other words, without guidance and direction.

You see, if you have no mental insight or vision as to what God wants you to do, then according to our text, you could perish in the sense that you’re unrestrained you have no guidance or direction. For example, if an object is moving and it is unrestrained, it’s likely to go in all kinds of different directions because there is nothing to control it.

And we sometimes talk about people being “out of control.” Well, in one sense, when you have no direction for your life and do not understand where you fit into God’s plan, you are out of control. If you’ll notice, many of the divisions and problems within a church are caused by people who really have no purpose or direction in life. They usually aren’t doing anything except sitting around on the pews, griping and complaining about everything that’s going on. These people cause division and strife because they have no vision or guidance.

The Bible says that people who have no vision are unrestrained. But if you take the opposite of that, then people who do have vision and purpose have restraint. The restraint that they have doesn’t hinder them; it actually guides or directs them.

For example, when you ride a horse, you put a restraint or a bit in the horse’s mouth to guide or direct him. Well, in much the same way, you can be restrained or guided and directed by the vision of God’s plan
for your life.

If you don’t have a vision of God’s plan for you, you’re living without His full purpose or direction, and the Bible says you’re perishing or lacking in restraint. You may not go to hell, but you’re perishing in the sense that you’re not fulfilling what God wants you to do. You need vision to fulfill the course that God has planned for you.

To understand God’s vision or plan for your life, you first need to know that God has a special place for you in the Body of Christ.

18 But now hath GOD SET THE MEMBERS EVERY ONE OF THEM IN THE BODY, as it hath pleased him.

Notice it says, “. . . God set the members… as it hath pleased HIM” not as it has pleased you.

In other words, not everybody will be a minister. We all have a ministry we can fulfill for the Lord, but I am talking about ministering behind the pulpit as one of the ministry gifts an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher.

God doesn’t call everybody to enter the full-time ministry, but every Christian has a job to do in the Body of Christ. God wants to use people who work as insurance agents, businessmen, school teachers, factory workers, and so forth.

So, you see, you don’t have to be a full-time minister in order to have a call of God on your life

Sometimes we think the only people God has a plan for are those who are called to the ministry. No – a thousand times, no! God wants some people to work in the local church as volunteers in what we call the
ministry of helps.

When you realize that you don’t have to be a preacher to be happy working for God, you will fit into your place in the Body of Christ. And when you fit properly in the Body, things will begin to work out
and flow more smoothly.

On the other hand, if you’re supposed to be in the ministry, then it doesn’t matter how many dreams and personal goals you have, you’ll never be truly happy and blessed unless you fulfill God’s call!

Some people have never understood that they have to get hold of the vision – the purpose or plan God has for them before they can fit properly into the Body.

And then when some people do find out God’s vision for their life, they try to push that calling off on other people because they see the same potential in others.

But, as I said, everyone is not called to the fivefold ministry. For instance, there are people in our church who are a real blessing in the area of teaching. But just because I see their potential to teach does not mean that God wants them to become itinerant teachers. Maybe God wants them right where He has them, working a secular job and teaching in the local church.

Some people think that just because you can teach, you’ve got to start a traveling ministry. No, you don’t. You don’t have to start a prayer group or a home fellowship either. Find out where you fit in the Body,
and let your gift work where God wants you to be! There is no greater feeling of security than to be in God’s will and to know His purpose for you. Then you can be restrained by that vision, much like the bit in a horse’s mouth guides and directs the horse.

When I was about seventeen, I went to California with my dad for some meetings he was holding. A group of young people from one of the churches was having an outing at a local park, and I went with them. I had on my cowboy boots, a cowboy shirt, a pair of Levi jeans, and a great big belt that said “Texas” across it.

There was a riding stable at the park, and the guy who was saddling the horses saw me standing over to one side. He called over to me and said, “Hey, you’re from Texas, aren’t you?”

I said, “You better believe it.”

He asked, “Can you ride?”

I said, “Well, I haven’t ridden in a long time, but I know a little about riding.”

“Well,” he said, “we’ve got a horse here for you.” He said, “Every time it gets down to the end of the path away from the barn to go out on a ride, the horse starts acting up. People get scared, and the horse
comes back to the barn. So the horse hasn’t been ridden now in about two months.”

I said, “Let me have him.” So I got on the horse and started off on the trail.

I got as far as the end of the barn when suddenly the horse started strutting sideways. I grabbed the reins and tugged on the bit pretty hard four or five times. The horse must have figured, This ole boy knows a little bit, because it settled down for just a minute. But when I rode a little farther, it started to rear up with its front hoofs high in the air.

I yanked the reins and worked persistently with the horse until I regained control of it. That really made the horse mad. This time it reared all the way up and started walking backwards on its hind legs!

Now one of the first things a rider learns is that when a horse rears up and starts walking backwards, it can fall over very easily, and you could get crushed.

I didn’t waste any time. I kicked out of the saddle, rolled over to get out of the way, and got right back on my feet. But by the time the horse’s front hoofs hit the ground, I was back in the saddle With both feet in the stirrups and I turned that horse every way but loose!

I snatched the reins and pulled the horse’s bit as far back as I could. pulled those reins about eight or ten times until the horse finally caught on. And do you know, I rode that horse for two hours without any more trouble! He was the best horse I’d ever ridden from a riding stable.

When I was growing up, my Uncle Pat had a stubborn horse named Calico Babe. She was so headstrong, you couldn’t even put a good leather saddle on her because she’d rake it off.

Calico Babe would tear up her own skin trying to get riders off her back – and most of the time she succeeded in throwing them off! But she was a good horse if you could ever get her settled down.

There were times when you might be riding Calico and everything would be fine. Then all of a sudden, she’d take off in a fit. You never did know when she’d break out into one of those “fits” and run off

That’s the way some believers are sometimes. They can be going along in God’s perfect plan, and the next thing you know, they’re running off headstrong somewhere, nowhere close to being in God’s will. That’s why we need to learn what God has for us and let the vision of His will restrain us and keep us in line and on course!

Many times, you can run away from the will of God because somebody else influences you. For instance, have you ever worked with a group of people and noticed that when a couple of them started changing jobs,
some of the others began to have the same notion? Before you knew it, practically everybody had transferred or left. Only two or three were really supposed to make the move, but the rest of them left for no good reason.

My point is that you need to let God’s will and His purpose restrain you or keep you where you belong. If you’re supposed to be working in a particular job or position in the Body, I don’t care what anybody
else does, you stay put if that’s where you’re supposed to be.

Some people wonder why God doesn’t ever use them. But the truth is, they can never stay put when He does place them somewhere. God has a specific place for them in His master plan, but because they don’t see that, they keep running away from the will of God.

The best place to learn how to function in and develop the gift of God that is within you is in the local church. When you get into a local body and fit in there, then you will fit into the Body of Christ at large.

We see a vivid description of this in First Corinthians chapter 12, which describes how the Lord sees the Church.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:14-16,21-27

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?…

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less Honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked:

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that THE MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME CARE ONE FOR ANOTHER.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

There are many parts of the human body, but notice that all the parts need each other! The same is true for the local church: All the members must be committed to do their part, because when they don’t, the whole church body suffers. When one member is exalted, everyone should rejoice and praise God with him. And when one member is hurting, everyone should be involved in ministering to that member. Have you ever noticed that when a certain part of the physical body is injured, other parts of the body will help to overcome the disability? God created the human body that way, and He uses this as an example of
the local body of believers working together.

We each have a special ability or talent in which we excel, and God places us in a specific area for the overall function of the Body. He gives us certain gifts and talents to assist the entire Body, but the
Body of Christ is made up of many local members. Therefore, we can’t really do anything for God without also getting involved and being committed to a local church with our gifts.

God has a purpose for you to fulfill – a vision or direction for your life that will guide and restrain you. But in order for that vision to be fulfilled, you’re going to have to be committed to a local body, and you’re going to have to be willing to submit to whatever God wants you to do.

There’s a prayer in Colossians chapter 1 that the Apostle Paul prayed continually for the Body of Christ at Colosse (vv. 9-11). But this prayer is one that you can pray for yourself:

Lord, fill me with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding that I might walk worthy of You unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You; and that I might be strengthened with all might, according to Your glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.

If you will begin to pray this way for yourself every day, it won’t be very long until you’ll be walking in a fuller understanding of the vision or plan God has for you. Then with God’s purpose and direction for your life, you can know exactly where you fit into God’s master plan and can begin to function there perfectly.