Jesus is without question the most effective and influential leader of all time. He amassed a global following before the invention of Snapchat, WordPress, Facebook or Instagram. He had no website or multimedia presentations to draw in His audience. And most of His disciples and many of His followers died as martyrs, which did not discourage this movement from growing in number or influence.
Jesus possessed three traits that distinguished Him as an effective and influential leader. He was full of faith, filled with the Holy Spirit and had vision. Over the next three weeks I am going to be sharing a series of blogs on “Who is the Holy Spirit,” but for the moment I want to highlight what it means to be full of faith and a visionary.
To be full of faith requires two ingredients;
#1 Know the Word of God.
- Study God’s word.
- Think/meditate on God’s word.
- Spend time talking with others about God’s word.
If other activities are keeping you from a steady diet of God’s Word, cut it out.
#2 Complete confidence in the Word.
We may not understand it all, nor recall every scripture address but to be full of faith we must be absolutely convinced that the Bible is the truth. The Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. Faith is based on the person of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
You may be thinking, “Wait a second, Jesus is God in the flesh, of course He was an amazing leader.” Jesus’ impact was not the result of His divinity. Philippians 2 explains how Jesus emptied Himself and took the form of a servant when He came to earth. Although He was fully God, He chose to live as a servant on earth, to demonstrate for us how to live an effective and impactful life.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish,” Proverbs 29:18
The word “perish” carries the meaning of “to run wild, empty, vacant, unoccupied.” Without vision, we wander through life. We may infrequently stumble upon success, but it’s uncalculated, unplanned and far and few in between.
Vision is a catalyst for accomplishment.
Jesus had a vision, and His vision influenced everything He did. There were some who wanted Him to do this and others that wanted Him to do that. But Jesus knew exactly what He needed to be doing.
“34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” John 4:34-35
“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” John 5:19
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38
Every time Jesus was questioned or someone attempted to pull Him in a different direction, He clung to His vision. A visionary sees what others can’t see and does what others won’t do.
Having vision helps you;
#1 Stay focused.
By knowing what you should be doing helps you avoid falling into the trap of doing what you should NOT be doing.
#2 Say “Yes” to the right things.
If you don’t have a vision, you may say yes to the wrong things. Good things can become bad things if it distracts you from the main thing.
You’re able to endure criticism, setbacks, and low-producing seasons when you have vision. Vision reminds you of the bigger picture. Obstacles become lessons learned and stepping stones to accomplish the vision. The greater the vision, the greater the challenges.
Be careful not to have a separate vision for your work life, home life, church life and your personal life. More than one vision creates division. You should have a single vision that ties them all together. As a Christian, the vision for my life should be to make God famous. Therefore, my work, home, and church life become a platform for me to honor God.
Without vision, we are wandering through life aimlessly. We have one life on earth to make the greatest impact possible. Be a visionary!
(Check out the audio version of this message, here.)