Elements of Vision (Part 1)
THE NATURE OF VISION
On a natural level:
· Vision is the ability to think creatively.
· Vision is the ability to tap potential.
· Vision is the ability to courageously explore possibilities.
· Vision is the ability to imagine life beyond present boundaries.
On a spiritual level:
- Vision involves penetrating the future with divine insight then pursuing these inspired insights with passion and confidence.
- Vision at times involves boldly confessing “those things which be not as though they were,” then walking out this prophetic statement step by step. (Ro. 4:13 KJV)
Visionaries are those who see the ‘big picture’ and they know how to ‘get there.’
Visionaries are recipients of inspiration (a word that means, “to breath into”). God breathes possibilities into the minds of his representatives on earth. Thus influenced, visionaries have an uncanny ability to provide solutions to life’s difficult problems and answers to life’s questions.
Visionaries are not afraid of innovative plans to advance God’s purposes on earth, for they know the heavenly source of these plans. They know they have received a word from God and they know God will watch over His word to perform it. So they are not treading water alone on the sea of time. The strong and unopposable current of the will of God is sweeping them forward.
Visionaries know they are not acting on their own. They maintain the mindset of being co-workers with God, co-laborers in His harvest, soldiers in his army, branches on His vine, and members of His body. This is a mystical and eternal union, a merging of minds (for “we have the mind of Christ”). (1 Cor. 2:16)
A person without vision is like a kite without a string.
A person without vision is like a ship without a rudder.
A person without vision is like a book with blank pages.
Helen Keller tragically entered this world blind and deaf. For a season she was dumb also as a result. She lived her life in a prison of constant darkness and silence. Yet she finally walked out of that cell in her spirit. Maybe her body was bound, but her soul broke out to freedom enabling her to accomplish superior things with her life. Someone asked her one time, “What could be worse than being born blind?” Helen responded, “Having both your eyes, but having no vision.”
Those who have no vision are those who unresistingly accept the prison bars of life’s limitations. If you keep reading, a key will be placed in your hands that will open the door before you.
THE IMPORTANCE OF VISION
Proverbs 29:18 declares:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (KJV)
The New King James Version of the same passage says:
“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.”
True visionaries should maintain a constant, daily effort to:
Receive fresh vision from God.
Impart fresh vision to others.
Visionaries realize if they fail to do this, many will “perish” - emotionally, mentally, and at times, even spiritually and eternally. If they fail to do this, those they can influence will often “cast off restraints” as well, losing sight of goals in life that are profitable and fruitful. Then, having weakened their commitment to that which has eternal value, they pursue self-serving goals that often end in emptiness and unfruitfulness.
Maintaining fresh vision is accomplished through prayer, daily intimacy with God, faith, and meditation upon His Word. We, as leaders, must expect this aspect of divine counsel and direction. Paul, the apostle, dared to confidently announce:
“I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 12:1)
Paul knew that if God had anointed him for a specific task, God would lead him supernaturally to accomplish that task. God will do the same for all who believe. Step number one is the daring to cast ourselves in the role of a visionary. Habakkuk knew this prerequisite for flowing in the prophetic. So he announced prayerfully:
“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.
Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who readsit.” (Hab 2:1-2 NKJ)
Habakkuk envisioned himself as a sentry upon the wall of Jerusalem, a guardian over the people of God and the work of God. (We should do the same.) God honored the attitude of this freshly blossoming prophet and gave him seven words that eventually shook the world. In verse four of the same chapter, God breathed into his spirit the immortal statement:
“The just shall live by his faith.”
Just seven words, but their ultimate impact on the world was awe-inspiring. Though these words remained relatively dormant for five centuries, at the appointed time they spoke. (God always has an appointed time for the vision.) This seven-word statement resurfaced in Paul’s epistle to the Roman church as he explained the doctrine of justification. Paul was instructing that believers are not justified by following laws and regulations. Rituals and ceremonies do not justify us. Membership in a church does not justify us. We are justified by simple faith in the cross and the sacrifice of Calvary. This was a revolutionary thought to those who had been under the bondage of the law (and for some, a revolutionary thought still today).
These seven words, like seed, were then buried again for nearly 1,500 years. Then, a soul-searching, God-fearing Catholic monk named Martin Luther, began desperately seeking for the way to stand righteous in God’s sight. He felt condemned over his sin, miserable over his fleshly nature. Then he read Romans 1:17, the verse in which Paul repeated the prophetic statement of Habakkuk 2:4. (Yes, we should dare to repeat the divine insights of others.) After absorbing this truth, Martin Luther described the inward change he experienced, saying:
“I felt myself to have been reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.”
And not only did this passage become a gate to heaven for Martin Luther, it opened wide to usher millions of souls into the Kingdom of God who responded to this predominant message of the Protestant reformation. This was the spark that kindled a fire of revival worldwide…and the fire is still burning.
What if Habakkuk had never written his vision down?
What if he had just told it to a few friends?
What if he had just shared his vision in the synagogue, to be forgotten after a few years.
Thank God, he obeyed the command to “Write the vision!” Because of this, Habakkuk accomplished more with seven words than many men have accomplished authoring countless books on theological matters.
So it really is true and please do not forget it. It is not so important how much you do for God as opposed to how much God is in what you do.
This is a known fact to every true visionary in the Kingdom of God. So dare to “Write the vision!” In so doing, you will solidify your understanding of what God is saying to you and through you.
When you “write the vision”, it becomes clearer in your own thinking. Previously hidden details will fall into place as you write your insights under the influence of the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Eph. 1:17) Moreover, writing the vision keeps it ever before you, rekindling your passion day by day. Remember God’s exhortation to Habakkuk.
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Hab. 2:3 NKJ)
When it is not God’s time, nothing can make it happen.
When it is God’s time, nothing can stop it from happening.