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Examining vision
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Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision the people perish, but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."

Let us today examine some of the identifying characteristics of a God-given vision.

I – A Vision sees.

When the Bible speaks of having a vision, it is referring to the ability to see beyond the scene {the power to see} with eyes of faith - something that does not yet physically or materially exist. We see with our own eyes as we study God’s Word the creative power of God. Romans 1:17 says God raised the dead and called those things which be not as if they were. Let us look at the definition of faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." When you hope for certain things, then you must have a strong vision for that which you have hoped for. If you have not visualized clearly in your heart exactly what you hoped for, it can not become a reality to you. Another good example of a vision can be seen in the lives of Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah, his wife, was 90 years old. God promised them a son, but they, because of their great age, they greatly doubted that it could happen. God called Abraham out from his tent and asked him to count the stars; they became too many to count, innumerable. Then God said, "Your children shall be innumerable as those stars, too many to count." By that associated thought {seeing these stars as his children} in that night sky God had given a vision. He could see his children in the night sky and know that he was to be the father of a great nation.

II – A Vision frees.

A vision also enables us to see our creative ways to change our circumstances. A good architect always visualizes what a product is to look like before he finishes it. I once read a quote from a church magazine which read: "The poorest man in all the world is not the one without a cent, but the one without a vision." In other words, the poorest people in all the world are not those with the least money, but those who have the least reason for living. Scripture teaches that without a vision {a reason for being} people perish. To perish means to be destroyed, to expire. Without a vision, with a vision, you inspire.

III – Big visions

Think big. The Apostle Paul recommended us unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

IV – Write the vision.

Write the vision and make it plain upon tables that he may run that readeth it. (Habakkuk 2:2) Why? So you won’t forget what God is saying.

V – Learn to take action.

When God shows you that something is possible, then you must take immediate action on that revelation. That’s the distinction between hope and faith. Hope is in the mental realm. And where hope looks to the future with confidence and expectation, faith immediately reaches out and grasps hold of the things promised by God! If you ask most Christians whether or not they believe that with God all things are possible, most of them will answer yes. Of course, however, the real test of faith is not whether a persons says what he believes, but whether he believes what he says. Listen carefully to what Jesus told His disciples in Mark 11:23, "For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith." We are saying what we believe, but we do not believe what we say. Let us remember God has given us a vision to see our goals, the wisdom to set our sights, the desire and determination to aggressively pursue our dreams, and the faith to accomplish what we have in our heart. How can we fail?

VI – Use what you have.

Using what is available to us. For instance, in II Kings 4:1-7, this woman had been married to a prophet who had died leaving her to care for herself and her sons. Her situation seemed hopeless, because she had no money and her husband’s creditors were planning to take her sons and sell them into slavery. The woman came to the prophet Elisha for his counsel. Elisha gave her a vision of what she could do to get out of debt and save her sons. Notice what he asked her! "What hast thou in the house?" He didn’t tell her to pray, meditate, fast, or read the scriptures. He simply counseled her to consider the resources the Lord had already provided her. Though she had a limited supply of oil, Elisha showed her how to look at those resources through the eyes of faith. We must learn to look at things as they are and see them as they can be when placed into the hands of the Almighty. The prophet taught her to view her meager resources not as a limited pool but as a flowing spring. His advice – "Go to your neighbors and borrow some empty vessels." He then ordered her to "begin pouring the oil you have into them!" The woman did as she was told, and the result of her faithful obedience was a bountiful source of supply which was stopped only when there was no more room to contain it. {She struck oil} I often wonder what would have happened had the woman had the foresight and courage to have borrowed barrels and vats.

Lesson 1: Resources, when placed into the hands of the Lord {like the loaves and fishes} can be multiplied beyond measure.

Lesson 2: Trust your resource to your source. She was obedient to the word of the Lord. This woman would never again be overcome by the meagerness of her resources; but would be overwhelmed by the limitlessness of her source. She had the answer to her seemingly hopeless situation right in her own house. Instead of looking outside for help, the prophet instructed her to use what she already had at her disposal.

Moore wrote this on behalf of the North Bryan Ministerial Association.

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