Vision, Intention and Means

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12.1-2

Christ-likeness is the end-all be-all of the Christian life. …but is it even possible to grow in likeness to Christ in a world that increasingly pulls us away from spiritual things? Why do Christians often act more ‘worldly’ than the world? The answer to derailed spiritual growth is vim. Vim is a latin word that portrays strength, energy, drive, power and purpose.

Dallas Willard argues in his book Renovation of the Heart that VIM could be used a spiritual goal-setting acronym for charting a course forward for spiritual development.
Vision, Intention and Means.

Vision is all about perspective, ideas and worldview.
  • What do we see we look in the mirror?Are we basically good people, above it all? Not in need of saving? Or are we desperately in need and in love with Jesus who makes us new?
  • What do we see when we look out at the world? Are people little more than blurry mannequins in the background of our lives? Are they nothing more than hopeless sinners? …Or are they souls in need of God’s love as we are?
  • What do we see when we look to God? Is he our personal butler? Is he little more than a casual friend? Is he a far-away executioner ready to drop the gavel? Or is he a compassionate, all powerful personal God that regularly engages with and pursues us?

Intentionality is all about what we intend to do about the vision we see.
If we live intentional lives toward God, devotion, worship, praise, the fruit of the Spirit and the character of Christ will naturally spring up in us as God shapes and molds our hearts to his own image. Is our intention to have a comfortable life here on earth with a bit of Jesus splashed into it or a spiritually rich devotional journey with God? “Choose this day.”

If our intention is to pursue Christ, we will keep running into him, keep encountering him, keep sitting at his feet and we will learn from him.

The means. Spiritual pursuit. Living devotional lives in prayer, repentance, study and meditation. We need to start inviting God to the table in every corner of our lives and inviting his action and we need to do that right now.

Cain Atkinson

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