It’s the beginning of a new year and as we look to the future, I want to give you permission to dream bigger than you ever have before.

God has given you dreams, it’s time to become a visionary that can take hold of the dreams God has given you and take the steps to see them come to pass.

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Highlights from the Episode

It’s the beginning of a new year. And as we look forward to the future, I want to give you permission to dream bigger than you ever have before. See, God gives us dreams and visions in our lives, and unless we really stretch that visionary muscle, we’ll never see those things come to pass. So today I’m gonna talk to you about How You Can Become a Visionary.

Let’s get started. Hey there, and welcome back to The Renewed Mind. I am your host, Ashley Varner, and I’m so glad that you’re here. Today I want to start by sharing a quote by Priscilla Shirer. And I actually got this quote from her Armor of God Bible study. And she says: “The enemy celebrates lethargic Christian living.” I think this is so true and such a travesty. So often we are lethargic in our living.

I believe that God really is encouraged and blessed by His people being risk-takers. And so that’s what I want you to do in this coming year. I want you to start dreaming and envisioning your future, so that you can actually see it come to pass this year. So the first thing that you need to do whenever you want to become a visionary, is to realize that there’s a difference between God-sized dreams and our sized dreams.

Let’s start by going to Judges Chapter 7, and this is the story of Gideon. He was a judge of Israel and he was in charge of the army, and he was given a task of defeating the Midianites. Now, at the time he had about 32,000 men, and he was getting ready to go against the Midianites. And so he was getting ready and he hears from the Lord, and the Lord tells him that he has too many men. And this is something that’s interesting to me because it is the Lord speaking to him and saying, “I know that if you go and defeat Midian with this many people, then Israel is going to boast about this and I won’t get the glory for it.”

So He sends Gideon through a couple of steps to narrow down the amount of people that he’s gonna take into war. Now, anytime countries are going to war, numbers are huge, right? But in this case, God took the Israelite army from 32,000 men down to 300 men. If you want to go to Judges 7, I really recommend that you do that. I really believe through this passage, what we’re seeing is that Gideon was a visionary. And so the biggest step to becoming a visionary in your own life, in your skills, in your career, whatever it is, I really want you to see that the biggest step to becoming a visionary, is to start embracing God-sized dreams. And so that’s what we’re gonna talk about the rest of this video. I wanna share with you what God-sized dreams are, and how you can start implementing that in your life so that you can start seeing results that are beyond your expectations.

The first characteristic of God-sized dreams are that they give us vision for the future.

As Gideon was going to defeat the Midianites, he had a vision and a purpose for what was in his future. And in this case, it’s his near future. But for us, what we can see whenever we’re giving God-sized dreams, what you can realize is that they are going to be bigger than you can even imagine. And they give us clear vision for what the future holds.

Whenever we choose to listen to God-sized dreams, what we start to see is that our faith is expanded, and even our abilities are expanded to fulfill that God-given role. So when I just settle for Ashley-sized dreams, I am always blaming myself whenever they don’t come to pass, because Ashley-sized dreams depend on my abilities.

Now, if I’m setting my sights on God-sized dreams, what I’m doing is I’m putting my focus and my vision on Him. And whenever you become a visionary with God’s lenses, what you begin to see is everything that’s capable with Him. See, on ourselves, really we can do very little, but whenever we start to take on the characteristics and the abilities we start working in our God-given purpose, what happens is we start to reach higher and bigger and see bigger visions and dreams for our lives that we would never be able to accomplish on our own.

If you really want to have that vision and that scope for the future, I really recommend that you sit down in your Bible study time and really start to ask God what His vision for your future is, because I guarantee you it’s gonna be bigger than anything that you can imagine.

The second characteristic about God-sized dreams are that they push us forward.

So, you guys know I am a big fan of getting uncomfortable, and really doing that with intention.

If we look at this story with Gideon, what we see is that as an army commander, Gideon is out of his comfort zone. We’ve talked about how armies are much better the bigger they are, right? That sometimes is the determining factor in who’s gonna win a battle, is how many physical people they have on the ground, right?

But in this case, Gideon was taken outside of his comfort zone, and I guarantee you there’s probably some mixed emotions about that. So we know that our emotions are derived from the thoughts that we think.

If you will find that you’re in a place where you’re seeing this God-sized dream and you are just feeling apprehensive or anxious about it, maybe you are even a little bit afraid, I want you to dig deep into what thoughts are driving that emotion in the first place.

So if your thoughts are, “there’s no way I can do this on my own,” or “this has never been done before,” or “what if I fail, if those are the thoughts that you’re putting into your mind, then you are going to experience those emotions. But if you change the thoughts that are coming into your mind about these God-sized dreams, what you’re going to see is that your uncomfortable feeling, is actually gonna push you forward to see more success.

Now, just because Gideon obeyed, didn’t mean that he didn’t have some kind of negative emotion going on. But my guess is that if he felt afraid, he went to the Lord. If you feel afraid, you can do the same thing. And that’s really why we can have negative emotion and really use it to our advantage.

Now, just because Gideon was afraid or was possibly afraid, doesn’t mean that he didn’t obey. So often whenever we see these God-sized dreams, we get so afraid of the result that we don’t take any action. And that’s why when I teach and coach my clients, I’m teaching them that their thoughts are what determine their emotions.

Those emotions can determine their actions, and then those actions determine their outcome. And so if you want to have a successful outcome, if you wanna reach those God-given dreams that you have, those God-sized dreams, then you need to start by changing your thoughts first.

So that’s why it’s so important to become a visionary and to say, I am willing to embrace these God-sized dreams, knowing that they’re gonna make me uncomfortable, knowing that they’re going to push me forward.

Another characteristic about God-sized dreams are, that God-sized dreams give God the glory.

It can be really easy in the corporate world or in the business world to want to take credit for all the success that we have. But this is something that differentiates us from the world. So if you are successful in your career, if you are a business owner, and you in your heart know that your success comes from the Lord, then your God-sized dreams are going to reflect that. So whenever you have a God-sized dream, you can know that it is going to give God the glory.

And I think that as a visionary, that’s what we want, right?

We want everything in our lives to point back to Him. One thing I saw in Gideon’s story, is that God purposefully lowered the amount of people in the army so that He would get glory. That is a one requirement of all God-sized dreams, that they give God the glory.

What I want you to see is that if you have a God-sized dream, it should require divine intervention. So I know that my family, my business, some of our other businesses, would not be where they are today without divine intervention, without the Lord’s help in my life.

And really all of my success, everything that I have, all the glory belongs to Him. And so whenever we start to shift our focus onto the Lord, He realizes that we are a good steward, that He can trust us with success, because He knows that we’ll give the glory back to Him.

Whenever you start to walk in that, it gives you so much freedom to say, “I know that not only do I not have to do this on my own, but also this is something that is ultimately gonna give God glory through my life.” And whenever God can see that He can trust you with that, success is going to follow. And it’s important to remember that God won’t share His glory with anyone.

And I don’t say that lightly, the reason is because He’s the only one who’s worthy of any glory, right? And so, this is something I’ve had to learn over and over in my life for God to say, “Ashley, I want all the glory for this. This glory isn’t yours, it’s mine.” And whenever I start to act in that, whenever I start to trust that, and really begin to see my goals and dreams and visions come to pass, I can say it was all for Him.

Even in this last year, I saw this happen in my personal life. My family was able to adopt a child. And as we were there at the courthouse steps, we were able to say, thank you God, thank you. You get all the glory for this.

From the beginning hearing, to this now last gavel coming down, we know that your hand was in this, we know that you are faithful. And so throughout my child’s life, his entire life is going to be an example of God getting glory for good things that he has done.

And this can be true in your personal life, this can be true in your health journey, it can also be true in your business and your professional life. So, make sure that the dreams that you’re dreaming, that God ultimately gets glory from those.

The last thing that I wanted to share about God-sized dreams and truly about becoming a visionary is that God-sized dreams aren’t really about size at all.

Sometimes we compare the size of our dreams to the size of God’s dreams. And really there’s no comparison, because God-sized dreams, will blow us out of the water every time.

There is a verse in Isaiah 64:4, that says: “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God beside you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” And then later Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 2:9, he kinda paraphrases that and says: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.”

See, the size of your dream isn’t what’s important. The size of your God is what’s important.

When we begin to act like visionaries, whenever we begin to see the things that God sees, and really start to imagine and goal-set with His abilities and His resources in mind, which are limitless, then we can start to realize, it’s not about the size of my dream, it’s not about how many pounds I wanna lose or how much money that I want to make or how much I wanna give away to charity, it’s all about Him, and it’s all about what He wants to do in my life.

Whenever you start taking on that role and start thinking those types of thoughts, they are gonna naturally lead to emotions like trust, excitement, motivation, commitment. And then those are going to lead to actions that are going to get you the kind of outcomes that you want.

Every vision that God gives you, realize that He gave it to you for a purpose.

And He is never going to give you something that He is not also going to give you the ability to work through, to overcome, to succeed at.

As you begin to make plans and set goals for yourself, realize that you can do this with vision and intention to live out the purpose that God has for you in this coming year.

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- Ashley Varner

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