By Pastor E.A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
“The first step toward creating an improved future is developing the ability to envision it. VISION will ignite the fire of passion that fuels our commitment to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve excellence. Only VISION allows us to transform dreams of greatness into the reality of achievement through human action. VISION has no boundaries and knows no limits. Our VISION is what we become in life. ” ― Tony Dungy
“A vision we give to others of who and what they could become has power when it echoes what the spirit has already spoken into their souls.” ― Larry Crabb
Forward Thinkers, as we continue to explore the importance of living with a God given vision, today we will unpack several key points with the desire to become vision carriers. We must first be able to envision the vision before we can set our thoughts on believing the vision; after we start believing it we will be in position to receive it and that step will allow us to begin running with the vision.
Isaiah 61:4 New International Version (NIV)
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
Forward Thinkers, it is clear Isaiah’s vision is to see his community rebuilt, renewed, and restored. One of the greatest joys in life is to be operating under a God given vision aimed at rebuilding, renewing, and restoring others.
Forward Thinkers, once again it’s time to sound the alarm and equip ourselves to become vision carriers and restore our broken communities. God has called us to a vision just like He called Isaiah over the broken hearted, the hurt, the let down, the despaired, the oppressed and the depressed living in darkness.
Forward Thinkers, we must declare at all times the good news of Jesus Christ which has the power to encourage, empower, and equip the lost no matter what their issues are.
Forward Thinkers, God has left us with a winning playbook to overcome and recover from every set back in life. Psalm 34:19 (NIV) 19 “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” Forward Thinkers we can win and we can coach others how to win but we must first hear the vision, see the vision, catch the vision, and run with the vision.
Mark 5:25-34 (NLT)
25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
Vs 25: Forward Thinkers, here in verse 25 we see a woman that has had an ISSUE for twelve years, not twelve seconds, not twelve days, not twelve months, but twelve long years. It appears her issues have her desolate, broken, hurting, bent over in a losing position in life, and sometimes in life we look like we are losing the game of life.
Forward Thinkers, sometimes in life it looks like our marriages are losing, our families are losing, our children are losing, our financing are losing, and it may even look like sometimes our faith walk is even losing. Forward Thinkers, we must believe that just because it looks like we are losing in life does not mean we have lost the game called life.
Forward Thinkers, remember the vision is for us to be victorious so we must not quit in the first quarter of life. We must always remember it is not how we start the game but how we finish the game that counts the most.
Vs 26-27: Forward Thinkers in verses 26-27 this woman clearly needs to be rebuilt. Forward Thinkers like many of us she has become physically tired dealing with her issues and like a tired running back in football she fumbles the ball and to make matters worse she even gets penalty on the play. Forward Thinkers we must continue to give God praise for allowing grace and mercy to recover our fumbles.
Forward Thinkers, whenever we look at the scoreboard of life and find ourselves down on the score with must continue to believe the vision says we “Win”. Matthew 19:26 (NIV) 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Forward Thinkers, after several unsuccessful plays this woman called the right play. Mark 5:26-27 (NIV) 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. Forward Thinkers we must keep the vision centered around Jesus if we are going to be strong enough to keep pressing our way through.
Forward Thinkers, we must change our way of thinking if we are going advance after recovering all we lost in like during the first quarter. Notice what transpires in verse 28. Mark 5:28-29 (MSG) 28 She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.” The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.
Forward Thinkers, this woman showed us once again the power of our renewed thoughts; once she renewed his mindset her vision changed and her condition was corrected. We must operate with renewed minds daily if we desire to be vision carriers and live in total victory.
Forward Thinkers, let’s not forget to operate out of the winning playbook. Romans 12:2 (NIV) 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Forward Thinkers, now that this woman has been rebuilt and renewed its time for her to be restored back into her God ordained position of victory. Are you ready to be restored? Forward Thinkers after all this woman had experienced even being told by doctors her situation was hopeless she still pressed her way to Jesus, the great physician.
Mark 5:29 (NIV) 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was restored from her suffering.
Forward Thinkers notice when she changed her thinking it changed her actions and her situation changed immediately. Forward Thinkers God desires to do something about your situation but we must first renew our thinking and our actions must line up with our renewed thoughts. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is waiting on us to catch the vision so they can give us the victory.
Mark 5:30 (MSG) 30 At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
Forward Thinkers Jesus is still waiting on us to touch Him; so He can restore our lives.
Mark 5:31-34 (MSG) 31 His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!” 32-33 But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story. 34 Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”
Forward Thinkers, in conclusion this woman’s goes to play was her faith and in order for you to be rebuilt, renewed, and restored you are going to have to live by faith and not by sight. We saw this woman suffer for twelve long years but her faith keep her pressing until her breakthrough occurred. Forward Thinkers, don’t give up and remember Jesus said to this woman ‘your faith has healed you’ and that Jesus is waiting to restore you on today.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church now located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or the church website www.ghic.net