So, you’re ready to expand your vision. Now that you’ve identified your passion, focused your time and energies on fueling it and sown seeds of faith, surely success is just around the corner because you’re working your plan, right? Not necessarily. There is one more piece needed to complete the puzzle–maturity.
God will personally correct, confront, prepare, discipline and develop YOU before he seriously expands your vision. Don’t get me wrong. You will experience some degree of victory right where you are. However, a major breakthrough to another level of your vision is usually preceded by a major breakthrough in your character. God wants you to be able to sustain the increased responsibility of the next level, so He makes sure you have the strength of character required before releasing it in your life.
Of course, we are all unique with different strengths and weaknesses; therefore, what God will correct or commend in each of us is also different. But, the process tends to be the same. If you’re truly ready to expand, be on the lookout for these three phases that usually proceed growth:
The Blinding Light
This is the stage when the rosy view you have of yourself is destroyed. It’s kind of like standing in a room with soft candle light. Everyone looks beautiful in candlelight. Flaws are hidden in the shadows and it’s so romantic. But, try standing in florescent light, such as the kind used in your local grocery store. BIG DIFFERENCE. Every imperfection stands out boldly, what you thought was a beauty mark is actually a huge pimple poorly disguised with cosmetics. The romantic (overly idealistic) view you had of yourself is held up to the light of truth. God will begin to show you who you really are (without His grace) warts and all. Have a problem with impatience? Don’t like being told what to do? Or, maybe you’re great with people, yet horribly disorganized. God will begin to expose weaknesses in your character that you didn’t even realize you had. Why? Is He trying to be a “meanie”? No, God is merely showing you everything He is going to perfect in your character before you graduate to the next phase in your vision.
Now in His awesome genius, God develops the perfect place for you to grow. This is the trap He conjures up that you cannot escape. It’s the situation you can’t get out of, the person that won’t go away or the problem that continues to resurface over, and over, and over again until you just want to scream. After sitting in the snare for a while you start to realize some things, like: “Hey, maybe I don’t do everything right.” Or, “Wow other people aren’t complete idiots.” Perhaps you think, “Maybe I do need to listen before rushing to conclusions.” You notice the only way out of the trap is to change your behavior and attitude. This takes time and everyone gets a turn in the trap every now and then. Sometimes knowing you aren’t the only one God is “dealing” with makes this part more bearable and the fact that “This too shall pass.” Just make sure you acknowledge your shortcomings and repent; then you’ll be out of the trap in no time.
Loss of Confidence
Now that you have an honest perspective of yourself, you know you can’t do whatever it is that God has called you to do without Him. You have lost all confidence in you. You know that even though you may be intelligent, persuasive, a pro at getting things done and have the technical background or skills for the task, it won’t be accomplished without God’s help. In fact, what God asks you to do is designed to intimidate you. You probably didn’t go to school for it and you probably don’t have enough money to do it. The calling God has on your life is usually something you can’t imagine doing. God purposefully chooses the weak and the foolish things of the earth to confound the wise.
1 Corinthians 1:26-28, The Message
“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”?”
In other words, God is about to get some glory because whatever it is you are about to do, everyone will know it’s God when they see you.”
Power through Christ
This is the best part. After all of this preparation you know yourself. You know who you are in yourself (Heaven help us!) and you know who you are in Christ. More importantly, you know the power of abiding in Christ as you work diligently to achieve your dreams. Now you’re ready to expand. Feel confident to work your plan because God is working in you.