Seeking acute awareness of Christ’s immediate presence — the-OneThing.


Here’s one exploration, one practice that developed as a result, one quote from someone else, and one question for you to think about this week.


One exploration…


This week I’m thinking about vision, intentions, and goal-setting in relation to my spiritual life, health, and vocation, sparked by Dallas Willard in his book Renovation of the Heart, where he teaches using the acronym VIM: Vision | Intention | Means.


Willard suggests we gain a vision for the kingdom of God as he reveals it to us in the Bible and then set intentions from there. While pondering this lesson, three arches rose in my imagination. An arch for spiritual life, a second for health, and one for vocation. The arches represented a vision for that area of life. Only one arch was stabilized, firmly set, clearly defined with intentions flowing out of the vision — vocation. The other two were murky.


This surprised me.

I’m a goal-oriented person. I make deliberate choices for specific reasons. So why were two of the three arches less defined and floaty?


To find the answer, I analyzed the arch that seemed strong and in order.



I have a vision for my vocation — I see my future self, God willing of course, as a writer who has published books that people enjoy reading. Each day, I intentionally do the work that needs to be done to achieve that vision.


Then I compared the results of my analysis to the other two arches. The problem quickly emerged.


My intentions in my spiritual and health categories are not bad, but they lack the anchorage of a vision.



I want to love God.

I want to be helpful.

I want to love others.

So I …

  • Read the Word
  • Memorize passages to help me think and act better
  • Pray
  • Meet needs through service and encouraging words

These are fine goals, and worthy tasks to meet them, but I lack the spiritual vision of God’s kingdom that spurred Jesus forward in everything he said and did.



I want to have more energy.

I want to maintain a healthy weight for my height and bone structure.

So I…

  • Eat clean
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink enough water –  half my body weight in ounces

Nice goals. Respectable tasks. But not a vision for my health.


And so, I concluded…

… setting intentions apart from a vision is like a ship at sea without navigation skills or tools.

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One practice…

So, this week according to the lesson on pages 57-59 of Renovation of the Heart in Daily Practice book, I started reading the gospels with the following questions in mind, hoping to gain a vision for the kingdom of God as he sees it.


  1. Where do I spot Jesus living out the kingdom of God — where what God wants to be done is done — through his teaching, behavior, and choices of whom to associate with?


  1. What do I learn about the kingdom of God — its nature, power, and character — from what Jesus did and said?


One quote from someone else…

“The seeking of the kingdom of God is the chief business of the Christian life” — Jonathan Edwards

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One question for you to ponder this week…

What fascinates you most about life in the kingdom of God?



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