Having a Positive Vision | Sermon
Scripture Reading For Your Best Life Now. Genesis 15:1-6
The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
Matthew 6:22-23 Nasb
God Created You as a visual being with an incredible imagination. Your eyes take in four million bytes of information every second. The moment input reaches your brain, that data is processed, forming a 3-D color picture in your mind.
Your imagination is extremely powerful. If I write the words “big black dog,” you don’t simply see the words; your mind shows you an image of that animal, a picture that is drawn up from your mental computer memory banks.
In the same way, each of us has a picture of ourselves in our imaginations. That “self-image” is similar to a thermostat in a room. It sets the standard at which you will function.
You will never consistently rise higher than the image you have of yourself, and you will never accomplish things that you don’t first see yourself accomplishing.
Unfortunately, many people have a negative vision for their lives. They don’t see themselves rising higher or overcoming their obstacles. Consequently, they’re limited by their own vision.
The Bible says your eye is the lamp of your body. Obviously, that is not talking about your physical sight; it’s talking about what you see through your eyes of faith, your spiritual vision. It’s talking about the type of image you’re keeping in front of you.
God is saying, in effect, if you focus on your problems, on what you can’t do, or if you think you’ve already reached your limits, then that image of mediocrity will keep you stuck right where you are.
It’s not because God doesn’t want to promote you; it’s simply because you are focused on the wrong things. You’re developing the wrong images in your mind.
On the other hand, if you can learn to look at life through your eyes of faith and start seeing yourself rising to new levels—seeing yourself accomplishing your dreams, receiving more, giving more, loving more, and enjoying life, seeing your family serving God—you’ll experience God’s blessings and favor.
We produce what we continually keep in front of us. If you keep an image of success in your mind, you’re going to move toward success, but if you see yourself as barely getting by, your marriage getting worse, your health going downhill, then most likely your life will gravitate toward those negative situations.
It’s a simple truth that you cannot give birth to something you have not first conceived. You must conceive it on the inside through your eyes of faith before it will come to pass on the outside.
Your vision, what you see, has a tremendous impact in your life. We need to quit allowing our imaginations to keep us beaten down to where we don’t think we can do anything.
Instead, let’s start allowing God to use our imaginations to build us up, to help us accomplish our dreams. In other words, keep things in front of you that you want to see come to pass.
Your imagination is like a canvas. You can paint on it any kind of picture you choose through your thoughts, attitudes, and what you decide to focus on. Don’t let doubt or fear paint on your canvas. Don’t let “impossible” or “can’t be done” thoughts blur the colors on your canvas.
Instead, take out the paintbrush of faith, the paintbrush of hope, the paintbrush of expectancy and begin painting a bright future on the canvas of your heart.
Understand: The kind of mental picture you paint is the goal toward which you will move. That image will set the limits for your life. If you want to change your life, you need to change the picture you’re painting in your mind.
In the Old Testament, God told Abraham he was going to be the father of many nations. What’s so unusual about that? Simply this: At the time God said this, Abraham didn’t have any children, and he was very old, as was his wife, Sarah.
In the natural, it was an impossible situation. But God gave Abraham some unusual instructions. He said, “Abraham, go outside and look up at the stars, for as many stars as you can see, that’s how many descendants you are going to have” (see Genesis 15:5).
Why did God tell Abraham to go out and look up at the stars? God had already promised Abraham he was going to be a father.
God knew it wasn’t enough for Abraham simply to hear it; he needed to get a picture of it in his mind. God wanted Abraham to have a visual image, to see it in his imagination.
So every night when Abraham went outside and looked up, he was reminded of God’s promise to him. Even though it didn’t come to pass for twenty years, Abraham saw himself as the father of many nations; he saw it through his eyes of faith.
He conceived it on the inside, in his heart. Abraham painted that picture on the canvas of his mind, and eventually God brought it to pass.
Maybe the reason you are not experiencing God’s best, the reason you may be stuck in a rut, is simply because your vision needs to be improved.
Abraham saw himself as the father of many nations; he saw it through his eyes of faith.
“Well,” you say, “I’ve got a lot of problems. I’m really in debt,” or, “I’m really lonely.”
Fine, start seeing yourself the way you want to be. You may be in difficulties, you may be struggling, but don’t let that image take root. Paint a new picture. Start seeing yourself rising out of your troubles. Start seeing yourself as more than a conqueror.
Maybe you have a lot of strife and division in your heart. You and your spouse are having a hard time getting along.
Instead of giving up on that marriage, look through your eyes of faith and start seeing your family living in peace and harmony. Change what you’re seeing, and you will change what you are producing.
Today’s Prayer for Your Best Life Now
Beginning today, I will lift up my head and start to get a new image in my mind of the tremendous potential that You have poured into my life.
Help me, Father, to paint a new picture on the canvas of my imagination, to live with faith, seeing with my spiritual eyes not just what exists today, but the life that is possible because of You.
Joel Osteen is the senior pastor of the Lakewood Church congregation in Houston, Texas, which is one of the largest churches in the United States; according to Forbes and Outreach magazine, with 60,000 members.