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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Knowing Your Vision is from God

Like most of you, summer has been a fun, busy time of year as I love the sun, swimming, going out with friends and traveling. I've also been finishing the edits of my book, The Dividing Stone, which I hope will make its appearance in October after years of writing.If any of you are a Christian writer, sometimes it takes a long time for your dreams of publication to be realized. I wrote and rewrote this book for years and put it down for years at a time too!

Just when I thought I would abandon getting it published, a publisher came along, twenty years after I'd started the whole project. I believed at the time when I started the novel that the Lord had given me the book to write, and over the years many things confirmed it. Events that I wrote about as a fictional story began to pop up in my actual experiences, like when I visited historical Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and saw the symbols of the Masons  in their meeting hall and a story about them indicating the room was used for meetings. Many events like this began to happen just before and after I decided to have The Dividing Stone  published.

Sometimes it takes years for visions and prophecies from the Lord to be realized. Often the vision dies, but then is reborn. So don't stop working or believing for something if it truly is from God.I have a friend who has a dream to have a retreat center. Year by year she has made steps towards that vision--buying the land, building the house, getting her degrees needed in the areas she wants to minister, fixing up the rooms, decorating and a thousand other projects.Slowly it is all coming together and she's hosted a few weddings and Bible studies, nothing big yet, but progress. If it is God's will, it will come about.

However, its important first to take the steps that the Lord has spoken to you.The only way you can "test the spirits" is by being in the Word of God, praying and listening for His voice. If your vision or dream doesn't line up with the principles of the Bible then you can know it is not from God. That is the first and most important step. People who hear from God have to be careful not to go off on tangents and veer from biblical truth. Yet that doesn't mean that God never talks to us, gives us visions or aspirations, He does. As we spend more time in His presence and His Word, we get to know God more and can discern whether a calling or vision is from God or not.

We don't always get it right, because it's a learning process. Yet it's important to be open to God's will, not just our own. You can ask some basic questions such as:
  • does it line up with biblical principles?
  • will it help others?
  • will it deepen my relationship with God?
  • will it deepen my relationship with others?
  • do I need to step out in faith?
  • what first steps can I take? 
  • does God want me to bring others on board? 
  • will God receive the glory or myself?
Of course it is always best to pray about what we feel we are being led to do or an opportunity that sometimes just drops in your lap. I had just such an experience. A friend of mine was planning a tour to Israel and invited me. I was excited at first, but when I found out it was not during spring break I declined. Teachers can't usually take off during the school year, but I felt prompted to try. I wrote a letter to the proper administrators and asked for an unpaid leave. I was counseled against doing it, but they did grant it, so I went. It turned out to be a beautiful experience, one that drew me closer to God and others, increased my understanding of the Bible and influenced my writing.

It required sacrifice on my part, but it was worth it.That is another thing you need to take into consideration. How much are you willing to sacrifice or is God trying to stretch your faith? You may not think you can do it or don't have the means, but if you take the first step, God will arrange things if it is His will. I hope this has been helpful. I'd appreciated your comments. You can always leave questions or e-mail me at anitawriter7@yahoo.com

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