Vision Resistance

Vision resistance is actually a form of self sabotage and a state that needs more attention from Christian coaches and counselors.  We have an entire section on the topic of vision in the Christian Professional Coach certification program.

three common vision resistance habits we should be aware of:

(1)  The first is procrastination. When our client knows their direction and has a fairly good grasp on the ultimate vision, but instead allows themselves to dawdle until the last minute or misses deadlines altogether. 

(2)  The second is negative thinking, denial or brain chatter. Many inner conversations are critical, not only of others but even more so of themselves. People fret about the past and history of failures. They fear not being good enough or worthy of their vision. Folks even try to talk themselves out of moving towards their vision, telling themselves they misunderstood God's plan, that it's too hard or really not worth the trouble. 

(3)  Third is perfectionism. This is where our client tells themselves they can't start until the time is just right. Or maybe they believe they have to be perfect before they can take another step forwatd. Perfectionism sets an impossible-to-reach standard that keeps them from moving forward.

If you have ever worked with a client who is challenged by any of these three vision resistence habits, I'm certain you understand how frustrating it can be for you and them.

So let's take a closer look at the discovery of vision and our role in helping develop it.

To give you a closer look inside my dual-certification Christian Professional Life Coach program, I adapted portions of it to this post. (Dual-certification means you receive two (2) certifications for completing this one course. On successful completion you qualify for both the Certified Christian Life Coach and Certified Professional Life Coach certifications, so that you can use your credential in any setting, Christian or non-Christian.)

One of the most important functions of a Christian Life Coach, is to help your client discover and fulfill their God-given vision. But that can be a lot more difficult and time-consuming than most people at first realize.

Until I began to really study Proverbs 29:18, all I knew was that unless God’s people had a vision, they would perish. That made sense to me in the context of the Israelites. They wandered around for 40 years in the desert because they did not get where they were supposed to go and why. Most of them never entered the Promised Land. From that illustration we can conclude that if we do not know what we are supposed to do and why, we are not going to reach our goals.

But as I studied various translations of this verse, the scripture came alive in brand new ways. Here is the Amplified Bible translation of this verse . . . and it does not just end with the word, “perish.” There is a lot more.

“Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]--blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he. Proverbs 29:18

In other words, if people cannot or will not see what God has revealed to them, then they behave loosely and lose all direction and boundaries. We see this playing out in society all around us, don’t we? But the person who honors God’s Word and aligns his or her actions to it, is blessed.

God has a grand vision and purpose for all His people, and that is summarized in the Great Commission. Here Jesus starts by stating his credentials, explaining that God Himself, has given Jesus all authority in heaven on earth. With this authority, He commissions all believers below.

“Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, 'All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).” Matthew 28:18-20

In addition, God also has a personal vision for each one of us. God reveals our personal vision to us in His time, rather than ours.

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.” Habakkuk 2:3

What is more, God reveals His vision to us when we fellowship with Him. If we are not in relationship with Jesus, then we cannot learn the fullness of our vision. Scripture tells us:

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not have the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” I John 1:6-7

As you can see, there are several variables in receiving the vision God has for us.

  • We need to be in regular fellowship and relationship with God through prayer and listening to what He reveals.
  • We need to align the manner in which we live, with Jesus’ teaching.
  • We need to wait on God’s timing, for the vision to be revealed.
Vision Resistance - Steps to Success

Take Steps To Success and avoid vision resistance.

1) Discover the vision
2) Set your goals
3) Create a strategy and divide into doable steps
4) Take action
5) Arrive at success!

Some coaching books expect you will create a profound vision statement based on their prescribed formula. What is wrong with this expectation?

Perhaps you don't have enough information yet. And, we can't force God to accelerate this process. He alone is the author of the timing and outcome. 

However, each of us can create a general vision statement to propel us forward. It might look something like this:

“My vision is to help as many people as possible live
the life God calls them to live."

This vision statement is general both in scope and action, yet fairly specific with outcome. As you learn more about God’s plan and purpose for you, you can become more and more specific.

There are good reasons not to rush our vision. First, our vision may be so great that it would intimidate us from even trying. When we have not grown into the vision, we won’t be ready and may even deny it. Others are thrilled to receive a “word” or prophesy about their life but become like a deer in the headlights and freeze in fear of the requirements to fulfill it.  As coaches, we need to pray for discernment about how much to share with our client about their vision, if we begin to receive glimpses before the client does.

Even if someone cannot see their vision clearly, there is no need to worry. Jeremiah 29:11 promises, For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.”

We may not know all the details but we know the One who knows. And He will reveal it to each of us when He feels we are ready. And when He does, it's time to act on it.

I hope you found this post helpful. We would love to hear from you. If you have experienced these challenges or found some great answers, please COMMENT BELOW.

© 2020 Leelo Bush PhD

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