Learning To Live By Vision, Walking Away From Living By Need – Part 1

By Tom Tompkins

If I were to ask you if you are living based on vision or based on need, how would you answer? Many believe they are living by vision, but by the end of this article I am going to reveal that most are living by need. Don’t worry, I am going to share the solution to such a problem and not simply point out the problem.

Let’s face it, many are great at pointing out a problem, but seldom know the solution to the problem(s) they see in others. This is known as criticism or constructive criticism. No, I do not believe either is affective nor do such things produce long-lasting positive results. What I am about to present to you will produce long lasting results if you are teachable and willing to ask God questions about moving from where you are to where He wants you to be.

In fact, you can rest assured of the fact that God never desires to see any person living by need. In essence, living by need is the same thing as living from crisis to crisis, creating a need to also live from miracle to miracle. God desires to see you living by His blessing, which removes the need to live from miracle to miracle.

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:24-27

Via the words of Hebrews 11:24-27, we see the reality of living by vision as opposed to living by need. Had Moses been living by need, he would have chosen the passing pleasures of sin, but instead, he chose to take the proper path of long-term thinking, living by vision.

While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18

The words of 2 Corinthians 4:18 paint a picture of living by vision or living by need. Plainly stated, every person’s life is propelled forward by vision or anchored by need.  The idea behind the words of 2 Corinthians 4:18 is summed up via the following statement: Living by vision breeds freedom, living by need breeds slavery. If a person is living by vision, they are free to pursue God’s best yet, the enemy, (satan) who has come to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), desires to bog everyone down and keep them stuck and living by need.

Living by need is much like being self-employed, an act in which one person is responsible for shouldering one hundred percent of the responsibility for everything. If they do not perform a given task, the task will remain undone. Simply stated, the enemy desires to consume your time with putting out one fire after another. This leads to being stuck or making a small amount of progress at best, before the next crisis hits, causing one to take one or more steps backward.

There is nothing wrong with dealing with the needs of life, but no one should not be consumed with such a thing.

A proper vision allows for taking calculated risk. Yet, a need allows for playing it safe, remaining stuck in less than desirable circumstances. If you have a word from God, the word will have no chance of coming to pass if you play it safe.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Matthew 6:33

No matter how things look, always walk according to the vision from God, keeping your focus on Him. If you are not sure, ask! This is why I am a proponent of asking God questions and listening for His answers. No matter how long it takes, no matter how it looks, no matter how it feels, no matter what a written report may tell you, stay focused and keep walking according to the vision. God WILL bring it to pass!

Personally, God has shown me how important it is for me to totally rely on Him and Him alone. Basically, He has said, “Tom, if it is not by grace, it does not belong to you.” In other words, I do not have to go out and force anything to happen based on a need but rather, live by vision and spend my time focused on God, trusting Him to keep the promises He has given.

What I have described is the foundation for living by vision as opposed to living by need. Living by vision allows for a constant advancing of a relationship with God.

How do you tell the difference between a vison and a need? See the following list to discover answers.

  • A vision stimulates sowing and giving.
  • A need stimulates hoarding.
  • Living by vision involves sowing (seed, time, and harvest).
  • Living according to need is rooted in instant gratification.
  • You can sow to a vision, but cannot sow to a need.
  • A vision activates faith.
  • A need activates worry.

How do you move from living by need to living by vision? Stay tuned for part 2 of Learning To Live By Vision, Walking Away From Living By Need.

Tom Tompkins is not just a motivational speaker and leadership training specialist. Tom interacts with audiences as he speaks, speaking into the lives of those present on a corporate and individual level. Tom’s desire is to stir up those present with on releasing the successful leader within. Tom is a graduate of Charis Business School in Woodland Park, Colorado and has over twenty-five years of leadership and developmental experience in business and ministry. Learn more about Tom via lifetimevisionary.com. Learn, laugh, and discover a new level of motivation with Tom Tompkins!


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