Day 21 – Living with Greater Vision

When you are in a moment of temptation, it is extremely difficult to think with a long-term perspective. The potential benefits and pleasures of giving into the struggle can become intoxicating. Thinking about temptation with a short-term mindset is a recipe for disaster. The less you consider the future, the more likely you are to give into temptation. But the more you consider the long-term consequences of giving into short-term gratification, the less likely you will be to give in. 

This is why Proverbs 29:18 tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint” (BSB). If you lack a context for the way your decisions in the now will affect the future, you will not be restrained by wisdom, but rather, you will be unrestrained in your decisions. You will do what feels good rather than what is good. 

Consider the story of the prodigal son. He left home to live a life of sin because he failed to consider the long-term ramifications of such actions. Had he understood how his choices to throw off restraint and live wildly would lead him to one day be starving in a pigstye, he might have made different decisions. Seldom do we actually connect our decisions to pursue short-term gratification with the long-term pain and hardship those decisions will ultimately bring. 

The goal of today’s lesson is simple: to help you connect giving into temptation with the pigsty it leads to, and to see how standing strong helps you move toward the life you ultimately want. 

First though, we have to tackle a big lie people often tell themselves when they give into temptation. Rarely does the decision to pursue short-term gratification produce immediate consequences in your life. Because of this, it can be tempting to believe that you can sin without consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth. The lie that we can plant the seeds of sin in our lives without reaping the consequences is just that—a lie. Don’t ever confuse the lack of immediate consequences with a lack of consequences. Romans chapter 3 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” Galatians 6 tells us that “a man reaps what he sows.” James chapter 1 tells us that “sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” All sin eventually leads to death. Period. There are no exceptions. The sooner we get this revelation deep in our hearts, the better. 

So with all of that in mind, let’s dive into an exercise that will help you live with greater clarity and vision. A fair warning—this will be an extension of some of the journaling work you did in the first day of this journey—but do not ignore it. You will be going much deeper in a way that should be profoundly helpful. What is this exercise? It’s taking time to intentionally map out where your choices will lead you in the future. When you consider not only the short-term gains, but also the long-term consequences of your actions, you will live with much greater sobriety and make choices that align more consistently with your long-term goals. You will transition from thinking “I can’t be happy without this” to “I can only be happy without this,” a critical shift in belief that everyone who gets free must ultimately go through. 

Remember, getting free isn’t just about saying no. It’s about finding a better yes—and that better yes is the life God offers you if you will only follow His lead. It’s not a life without trouble or hardship—but it is one where you are fully alive and step into who He created you to be.


Day 21 Freedom Work

Scripture Reading — Read Proverbs 29 and Galatians 6. Consider the pros and cons of living with a short-term vision vs a long-term vision.

Journaling Exercises — Answer the following questions at length in your journal. Aim to spend at least 15-20 minutes per question and go into as much detail as possible. When you are completed with the two questions below (aim for at least one full page for each question), make sure to come back and read through these journal entries regularly. This will help to cement a new vision in your mind. 

  • In as much detail as possible, write out all of the negative consequences you are currently experiencing as a result of having given into the specific sin you struggle with. Then, using your imagination, write down in detail what your life will look like 5 years from now if you change nothing. What pain, heartache, and destruction will your sin produce in your life and in the lives of those you love? 
  • In as much detail as possible, write out all of the benefits you will experience when you make the difficult choices to walk away from your sin. Write out the life you could be living 5 years from now. What impact will five years of consistently making the difficult decisions to leave your sin behind and say yes to something better have in your life? In your relationships? In the way you see yourself? In your vocation/calling? Why do you want this life? What will be required of you to step into it? How will God help you get there?

Prayer — Father, help me to think soberly about the choices I make. It often feels that I have no choice in the matter. The pull of sin and temptation can feel so strong at times—but I know that you always provide me a way out. Help me to see how I can only experience true life by following you. By your Spirit, reveal to me any areas where I am living in deception. Expose the lie that sin has no consequences. Help me to see choices to sin for what they are—steps toward death and destruction. Give me a bigger vision for my life. I want true life, not just temporary relief and pleasure! Build a dream in me for the life that you will lead me into when I partner with the work the Holy Spirit is doing in me. Amen.

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Dr. Joseph Serwadda's Story

Over the past decade, numerous pastors and leaders from all over the world have been crying out (and even begging us) for discipleship resources in their language. This may sound extreme, but in America we have an abundance of books and resources that are available to us that are often taken for granted. In many ways, we have access to excess.

In some developing nations, people have never seen a book in their language. When leaders from these nations are given a book, they treat it as sacred gift! They even hand-write books and Bibles word for word so that they can spread this message of hope to others in their sphere of influence.

Dr. Joseph Serwadda, a leader from Uganda who oversees a group of churches that number approximately 27,000, echoes this need among pastors and leaders all over the world: “Our biggest need is not money or bigger buildings, but solid teaching. We lack literature for people to read and study on their own. The more people we have in church who are less instructed in the Word of God, the less solidity we have. Come and help us preserve the harvest. This is a Macedonian call!”

Pastor Yassir's Story

Over the years, Cubans have long suffered under the oppression of a single message: communism. Despite this challenge, Yassir is committed to sharing a new message with his people, a message of transformation that can lead to national revival.

Cubans, in general, have been conditioned toward communistic consumption. That’s why Yassir wants his people to embrace a new identity: a life defined by what they can give. This shift requires growth and maturity that can only come through a new perspective.

He explained, “The Cuban church is strong and filled with passion. But I believe it’s important that we shift our mentality. We need to see how the Gospel goes beyond our own needs. Ultimately, we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our nation, and not just wait for outside intervention.”

There aren’t many Christian resources in Cuba. So, Pastor Yassir’s church, along with many other churches throughout Cuba, have been profoundly impacted by the resources Messenger International has provided for them in their own language.

In our conversations with Pastor Yassir, he often cited an ancient proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime. He sees MessengerX as a tool both to feed his people and teach them to fish.

It’s become evident that after many years in our ministry, the most effective way to transform a village or town is not to construct a church building. This just keeps the local leadership dependent on us.

We are much more effective if we give the indigenous leaders such as Pastor Yassir spiritual knowledge that will empower them to influence their village, town, or city. Such knowledge helps produce the faith needed to grow and sustain the work, which, if necessary, will include buildings and other resources.

Stories like Pastor Yassir’s fuel our mission, because we believe that everyone deserves to know life-transforming truth!

Nura's Story

Before Nura became a follower of Christ, her life was a living hell.
After the death of her husband—from whom she endured many years of abuse and suffering—she became a widow with four children. In search of peace and inner healing, she sought solace in religious places and practices, which only led her deeper into depression and financial debt.

Her last resort was Jesus.

“I came to the Christian church and begged for help! I accepted Christ after I heard of the promise of peace and healing that is found in Him,” Nura wrote. “I slowly began to recover, but there was one thing hindering my healing—unforgiveness.”
Filled with regrets, Nura struggled to forgive her husband. But the grip of offense began to weaken when her pastor handed her a copy of The Bait of Satan.

“I forgave my husband after I learned how much I, too, needed forgiveness,” shared Nura. “Now I am healed, and I have peace for the first time in my life. Some even say I look ten years younger!”


Pastor Raphael's Story

Pastor Raphael was raised in Kenya, immersed in a culture of darkness. As a child, he lacked affection because his father believed that strong men don’t show love. He continually witnessed his father beat and belittle his mother. Everywhere he looked, insidious behavior was practiced toward women and infants—families were being destroyed and lives were ending before they had a chance to begin.

This was the destiny Raphael was headed toward.

But everything changed when truth entered the scene. The first area to be transformed was Raphael’s heart—which, in turn, transformed his marriage and his family. And with a strong and healthy family, his whole outlook toward life has changed.

“Through the resources of Messenger International, a relentless passion was ignited in me to see the people of my country free from lies,” shared Raphael. “I discovered my purpose to train up others and bring God’s transforming truth to remote villages.”

Raphael has trekked miles through mud and rain to reach people, often rising early and returning late. He would travel over 50 miles a day with his bicycle—but through the generosity of the MessengerX community, he was given a motorcycle, which has enabled him to double his efforts while easily transporting the resources and supplies he needs to facilitate his classes. Raphael has seen over 200 of his students graduate in the villages he serves.

“Thank you for investing in my people,” expressed Raphael. “Each day tribal warriors are transformed into children of God, marriages are infused with love, and the innocent are protected. Your generosity has given us the tools we need to rewrite our story and reclaim our humanity.”

Dahlia's Story

Formerly a Muslim, Dahlia fled to Turkey after she was expelled from her Iranian school and excommunicated by her family. Her crime? Becoming a Christian.

You can now find Dahlia in a refugee camp, far from what she once called home. But despite the upheaval, she has found purpose in her pain. On a daily basis, Dahlia walks through her makeshift town and prays over the people. They have become her people—the audience of her message.

Dahlia has become a messenger, and she is often spotted lovingly serving those around her and sharing her faith with them. Despite language barriers, people are drawn to her because they see something different in her. And what’s amazing is that she’s not only reaching the people in her refugee camp, she’s also impacting those she left behind in Iran.

“I’ve had calls from Iran,” writes Dahlia. “People who mocked me because of my faith now believe in Jesus and want to know more. So, I tell them about MessengerX, which has a lot of translated discipleship resources.”

As we continue to provide people like Dahlia with life-transforming truth in their own language, we’re helping them grow in their faith and discover their purpose—and we’re equipping them to make a difference in their world.

“I am beyond thankful for all of the books that I’ve been able to read in my language, such as Driven by Eternity, translated in Farsi,” shared Dahlia. “I read them again and again. The messages keep me company in this lonely season, and they inspire me to reveal Jesus to the hurting people all around me.”