Thursday, July 13, 2017

Helping People Live Out God’s Vision for Their Life - By Doug Hunt

As you invest in someone, helping them grow as a disciple of Jesus, you must help them see their true identity and potential in the Kingdom.

You see this happening early in the relationship between Jesus and His disciples in Matthew 5:1-16. Jesus has not revealed much about Himself yet but He is grabbing on to the moment and helping the disciples see life beyond themselves. He is telling them something that is almost impossible for them to believe about themselves. Robert Coleman, in the book Master Plan of Evangelism, describes the disciples this way.

“By any standard of sophisticated culture then and now they would surely be considered as a rather ragged collection of souls. One might wonder how Jesus could ever use them. They were impulsive, temperamental, easily offended and had all the prejudices of their environment…Not the kind of group one would expect to win the world to Christ.”

But imagine the sense of wonder and confidence that must have overcome them when Jesus looked them in the eye and said, “You will be fishers of men”, “You ARE the salt of the earth…YOU ARE the light of the world… …because of who you are people will worship God.

This is a moment of vision. It is you helping a person see their life from the reality of who they are in Christ.
 It is helping them see that they are defined by God’s truth about them not what the world says. It is helping them see the things they don’t see about themselves; helping them see things that they see wrong about themselves. Helping them see misperceptions about God and replacing them with Truth’s like,

“God chose you before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless before Him to praise of his glorious grace.” – Eph. 1:4

“In Christ all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form and in Him you have been made full.” – Col. 2:9-10

“You are created in Christ Jesus for good works.” – Eph. 2:10

Maybe it is just looking them in the eye and saying “I love you. I believe in you. You matter to God.” 

When you help people discover their identity in Christ you are casting vision into their lives to do great things for God.

Todd’s Story

I’ll never forget seeing this come to life in a small group of college students I was leading a few years ago. There was a freshman in the group named Todd who easily fit the description Robert Coleman just gave us of the disciples.  He was an unlikely world changer. As our small group was winding down I was sharing about the possibility for God to move among the students in who lived in the residence hall and how God may be calling someone to the task. It wasn’t’ a dramatic speech, just a simple statement of need and possibility.  When the group ended Todd pulled me aside and simply said, “I think it is me.  I think it is me that God wants to use in the dorm.” In the month that followed, I walked to every room in that dorm with Todd and watched him share the gospel with as many as would listen.  I walked with Todd as he began his own small group in the dorm.

A couple of years later, I was casting vision for the need of the gospel at universities in the northeast.  I shared with a group of students how I believed God may be calling some students from our university in the south to transfer to schools in Boston, MA. for the purpose of the gospel. Almost immediately, Todd approached me, “I think it is me.  I think God wants me to transfer to Boston.”  A few months later I drove Todd to Boston for him to start a ministry on a campus that had no representation of the gospel.

Vision had exploded in Todd’s life.  He was seeing his life from the perspective of the Kingdom.

Here are few questions that I often ask early in the discipleship process to help discover and cast vision.

1) Have you ever thought about how God could use you to change the world?
2) If you had unlimited resources and guaranteed success, what would you do with your life?
3) What do think it means to follow Jesus?
4) What do think could hinder you from being all that God wants you to be?
5) What are you passionate about and how are you putting your passions to work?

Who can you help see God’s vision for their life? Make some time to soon to have a vision conversation with them.  It may change their life.


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