Woodrow Wilson once said: You are not merely here to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget this errand. In agreement, God says you are not merely here to make a living but to receive His blessings, and to: Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and upon every living thing that moves upon the face of the earth. (Genesis 1:28). There are many other reasons you are here. Those reasons are specifically defined by you and God. If you have experienced any of the traumas of life (especially the trauma of domestic violence and abuse), however, it is most likely that you cannot fully see the greater vision of why you are here. Most likely, you can only see the daily, and how to merely survive for yet another day. Most likely, you have lost (at least temporarily) the greater vision that allows you to experience the more abundant life; the fruitfulness, the multiplication, and the dominion that enriches you and allows you to enrich others. Most likely, you humbly say: I can't ascend to the higher vision, Lord, for I am too weary from this fight of life. Christ says: I can. Come unto Me. Receive My grace. And with My grace all things are made possible unto you. Especially the blessings that are far greater than anything you can possibly imagine, now.
To live with a greater vision is a higher calling. In Proverbs 29:18, we are told: Where there is no vision, the people perish. A higher vision is essential to living an abundant life; a life filled with the spirit of hope and achievement. A vision focuses your thoughts. Your vision and your thoughts combine to become your reality. This is the way God designed it to be. Whether you are rich or poor, happy or unhappy, fat or thin, successful or unsuccessful, battered and defeated, or bruised and healed, it is your vision and thoughts that ultimately determine who you are. (As a man thinketh in his heart, so shall he be. Proverbs 23:7) If your vision and thoughts have gotten thrown off course by any of the challenges of life; it is not too late. Today you can make a decision to choose the higher and greaer vision and accept the life of grace that Christ died to give you. Christ's Words are the abundant life that enables you to overcome and triumph: If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37-38).
When you come to Christ to receive His grace (gifts), and when you choose to drink from the rivers of living water that continually and abundantly flow; you are enabled to change your vision; your situation; your outcomes; and, thereby, your life. It is a psychological truism that the outer world you experience is merely a reflection of the inner world you think, believe, expect, and hold. When your vision shifts to picture the more ideal life; when your thoughts are refocused to consider why you are truly here; and, when you accept God's grace; you are enabled to recover and overcome any of life's challenges. God's grace makes you victorious. Your victory (victories) may happen today; they may happen tomorrow; or, they may sometime in the future. But they will happen. They will happen because you came to Christ, you received His grace, and you combined His goodness with your faith. (These things are true because God's grace is really His gifts to you. God's gifts, His grace, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the good news that no matter who you are or what has happened to you; Christ's gifts are available. These gifts include the gifts of: love; mercy; forgiveness; healing; health; peace; joy; prosperity; help; and, provisions for whatsoever you need or desire. The gift of grace is received through faith.)
There is a caution or caveat, however. That is, you cannot achieve your greater vision and become your highest and best self; if, first, you do not have the basics or essentials of life met. This means you must first have the provisions of the basic needs of food, water, clothing, and shelter. Additionally, you must be in an environment of physical and psychological safety. (If you are currently in a situation of domestic violence and abuse you need to find a place of physical and psychological safety: even if it is a shelter. Call the National Abuse Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE.)
The other good news of the gospel is that God's grace is far greater than all our sins or troubles. Grace is always available to us at all times. All we need to do is to repent, forgive, ask, believe, receive, and give Christ the praise and thanksgiving. This good news tells us we can trust God to not only provide for our basic needs, but also for our heart's desires. We can trust God to provide for our greater vision and our finer spirit of hope and achievement. We can trust God to transform us into our highest and best selves; so that we can be enriched; and, so that the world, through us, can be made better. We can trust God's grace because His promises never fail. In Hebrews 10:23, we are told: Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised). Similarly in Joshua 21:45, we are told: Not one word of all God's good promises have failed; all have come to pass. Additionally, in Hebrews 13:5, we are told: For He has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. In Isaiah 46:11, we are told: Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. And, in Psalm 145:8-9, we are told: The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works. Yes, the good news is that through grace: mountains are removed; blessings flow; lives are rebuilt; visions are restored; wounds are healed; people are enriched; achievements are accomplished; and the abundant life is found.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox once said: Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are (in Christ) and are willing to work with the Power that is greater than yourself to do it. Said differently, Christ's grace encourages you to continually grow in your personal and spiritual lives. If you are willing to put your faith and trust in the Power that created the universe; it is possible for you to achieve whatever you choose and to overcome whatever challenge you face.
When you are willing to work with the Power that is greater than yourself to achieve and to overcome; all things are opened unto you, all things become possible, and the abundant life is made available. In John 10:10, we are told: The thief (Satan) comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: (but) I (Christ) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Similarly, we are told of God's grace to help in 2 Corinthians 9:8, saying: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. The greater vision and purpose are God's will for your life. It is not God's will that you suffer. Nor is it God's will that you merely survive and make a living. He has called you to an abundant life that is filled with joy, peace, happiness, healing, health, rejoicing, achievement, success, love, peace, prosperity, hope, great wealth, and goodness. He has called you for a life of grace and fellowship with Him and with others. Are you living the abundant life that Christ died to give you? If not, take the first steps today to live more amply and to achieve the greater vision. Clear your mind of all self-limiting thoughts. Replace them with empowering ones. Come unto the waters that abundantly flow. Call upon the Name of the Lord and you shall be saved and delivered. (Romans 10:13).
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethern, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phippians 4: 6-8).
- Revisit your greater vision statement. Make any needed revisions.
- Ask and answer: Am I in a place of physical and psychological safety? Am I putting my trust in God's grace? Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is my greater vision? Am I willing to work with the Power greater than myself to achieve and accomplish my greater vision? Am I holding self-limiting thoughts? If so, how can I effectively replace them with more empowering ones? What actions am I willing to take to move towards my greater vision?
- Select one new habit or behavior that you would like to develop or change. Write it down. Practice it consistently for the next 21 days. [The research suggests that it takes 21 consecutive days to change a habit or to develop a new behavior. Therefore, for 21 consecutive days (21 days without interruption) you must give conscious attention and effort to the new habit or behavior you want to develop or change. Presumably on the 22nd day, your conscious attention is no longer required; for your new habit has been successfully formed. During the 21 days: think about it; picture it in your mind's eye as accomplished; and, act in a manner that is consistent with its accomplishment. (You are asked to do this exercise, so that you can experience a small success. If you are not accustomed to living in God's grace, beginning with a small success can encourage you that the greater vision can also be achieved. For as you accomplish the new habit or experience the changed behavior; you will be encouraged; your self-confidence will increase; and, your belief in God's grace will grow. Indeed, your conviction will be strengthened that all things are possible.] [Remember there is a basic axiom which says: Success breeds success; and failure breeds failure. Remember also that whatsoever you hope to accomplish or achieve, it should be thought of in the present tense, as if it is already accomplished. (This is true because if you think of something as being accomplished tomorrow, rather than today; tomorrow tends to never come.)]
- Repent. Forgive. Love. Pray. Ask. Believe. Receive. Give praise and thanksgiving to God, and His Son, in advance, for the accomplished vision. Hold unwavering faith. Rejoice. Help others. (Remember the power twins of receipt of anything needed or desired is your faith mixed with Christ's grace.)