Why is a vision for an onward life important?
Onward habits are those habits that we need to develop in order to run the race God has set before us. These are
the habits that shape who we are in relation to the world around us. These are the habits that are formed from the way we
respond to the saving grace of God.
As a person with an onward mindset you will see the need and have the vision to take God’s message to all
you come in contact with. An onward person realizes that this life is not the
end of all things but just time before our rebirth into heaven.
A person with an onward attitude also knows that what we do here affects how we will live there. In short as Jesus “store up your treasures in Heaven” not here.
As the old saying goes you can’t take it with you.
Therefore an onward person is concerned with being plugged into Gods plans, realizes into which kingdom they belong
and are not afraid to take action when called upon by the Lord.
In Philippians 3:12b-14 Paul brings forth this same idea by talking about how he is
“pressing on toward the goal” that was set before him. The
goal set by Jesus Christ
Paul is a man who know what he is here for and what he need to do in this lifetime in order to respond to the gift
of grace that was given to him
Now Read the Philippians passage and think about the grace that was given to you and how you are or aren’t
living your life in response to that grace.
Next take the time to view your onward life according to what you are called to do and then write down
a few ideas that may help you to put into action what you have been called to do.
An onward life of action is the end result of an inward life of renewal followed by an outward
life leadership by example.
The five onward habits that are detailed in the following pages are:
# 12 Listening
# 13 Realizing
# 14 Belonging
# 15 Responding
# 16 Calling
Take a few minutes to compare the traits
you feel describe an onward man of God is and the traits that describe what a person rooted in this life is
What did you come
up with? Do you see now that there is big difference in being onward oriented
and oriented to receiving you blessings in this lifetime?
Once we develop the
character of Christ inside and outside we can’t but help to have a different vision for the future. Now I am not saying to drop what you are doing and rush overseas because you may not be called to do that. What I am saying is that a Christian leader it is time to assume some responsibility
and use your faith in the service of the Lord.
In simple terms get
up, get out and go. Go to the neighborhood Wal-Mart or whatever your store of
choice is and tell others of Christ. This is how you start using your onward
calling and become a leader. If you think about it we are the body of Christ
and as with any body it must have the right diet and the right amount of exercise in order to remain strong. If we do not exercise our faith it will soon grow weak and become useless.
Pick a good Christian friend and ask them
to evaluate if they feel you are doing your best to further the Kingdom of God in your church and community. This is a person you are close to and can rely on to be fair in the critique of your role in the church
and the community.
Remember do not take
anything that is said to your personally. Sometimes it takes another person to
call your attention to areas of your life that are not in line with God’s Word.
Use any information that is given to you as a tool to help you change those areas of you onward life that need to be
Again use this lists as you have been
asked to use the other lists that were compiled throughout this study as a tool to help focus on your strengths and then use
those strengths to further the Kingdom of God here. In addition ask God to help
you with your weaknesses that they may also be used for His glory. Remember your
strengths may help to build up another’s weaknesses and in turn their strengths may help you with your weaknesses
It is time become the onward man and witness that
God has called you to be
It is often said that the best man for a job is the one that is there at the time the job is to be done. Too often I think we do not do what we are called to do because we are waiting for
a better-equipped man or woman other than us to come along and do the job.
Oh we’re good at making excuses for not looking onward.
Most of the excuses involve getting or receiving all the gifts and gadgets this world has to offer. Most people see with their eyes and not with their hearts.
What I am talking about is compulsive type behavior, which is at the core of modern advertising. Most companies know that they can capture your attention visually chances are you
are going to buy and buy and buy. What is left is a house full of stuff, credit
cards maxed out and you sitting there in a daze wondering why you bought all the stuff in the first place.
In this the American society it is easy to get caught up in an onward adventure that includes getting
to Easy Street and living there for as long as possible. I have two teenagers
who I try to get to understand that money does not, even if they believe it to be true, grow on trees, but most of the time
my advice falls on death ears.
Oh the power of advertising and how easily we are deceived into buying, but God has different ideas for
us. God knows that true happiness in our onward lives does not come in focusing
on things but on focusing on Him and the truth contained in His Word. I don’t
know about you but I don’t think I will be watching a 62” TV or listening to an MP3 player or even driving a brand
new Lexus in Heaven.
Our onward call involves much more than accumulating things or gaining
as much power as possible, it involves a life that is looked at from the other side out. View your life as if you are seeing it through the window of eternity and your perspective on things will
begin to change. When we are young we get caught up in the ideas of the young. In my generation it was peace and love today it is whatever you feel like doing.
Time has passed but the worldly ideas are still wrapped up in self as the center of all things possible.
As I have aged I have discovered not only a slower step and more gray hairs, I have also discovered that this life is noting
more that a fleeting moment in eternity. There is more that waits for us
then we can imagine or desire, more than we can ever get from this life. That
is why it is important for us to look onward and not get stuck in mud here thinking this is it.
Read the Bible verse below and see what Jesus says to you about an onward perspective then move on
to the next segment of Life in Three Parts
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not
destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." When we focus our attention onward we are deposit funds in our treasures in Heaven where
they will earn far greater dividends then they do here. Remember life is not
about what we get but about what we an give and onward thinking is all about giving to others so they may also give to others
and so on and so on.