Follow Your Vision!
~A teaching to encourage believers to pursue their God-given vision for their lives~
Proverbs 29:18: "Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he" (KJ).
Whenever a vision is mentioned, most people usually think of falling into a trance or dream-like state and receiving a message from God in full color with 3D images, much like Peter did on the rooftop (Acts 10:9-17). The Bible states that this type of vision is still very much used by God, especially with those who have a prophetic gift (Hosea 12:10).
However, there is another type of vision that should involve every saint on a personal level; we shall call this a personal vision. Another word used for it is revelation. "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint" (Prov. 29:18, NIV).
This type of vision is established by someone to whom God reveals His personal plan and purpose for some area of their life, whether it be for their family, marriage, ministry, or business. They in turn "catch hold" of the vision and pursue it, knowing that if God gave it to them it will surely come to pass! "Then the Lord replied, "write down the revelation (or vision) and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation (or vision) awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay" (Habbakkuk 2:2-3, NIV).
Beloved, have you ever believed so hard something was possible in your life that you could see it happening in your mind, something that was so real to you that you could almost feel it? You thought out every angle, every conversation, every cost, every moment, and you couldn't help but tell others about it? Did you then spend all of your efforts trying to make it so? If so, then you know what it is like to catch a vision and "run" with it!
The Importance of Vision...
By now you might be thinking, "Well, so what if I don't have a vision? I'm doing okay without one!" If this is your statement, Beloved, then chances are you are just "existing," and will never find true fulfillment in your Christian walk. You see, every person who has ever made an impact in the history of the world, for either good or bad, first had a strong vision. Martin Luther King had a vision of freedom for African Americans that he pursued with all his might; Moses had a vision of delivering his people from bondage, even before God revealed his calling to him; All of the great evangelists of the past had a vision of standing before thousands, sharing the gospel and seeing them come to Jesus. Every person who has a successful business, marriage, ministry, or career had a personal vision that they followed with all of their might. Why? Because somewhere inside them they came to understand, just as God always understood, that a person without a vision of purpose would never accomplish anything significant. They would just limp through life, complaining about how hard, unfair, unclear, and unenjoyable their life was. They would not be living, but merely "existing" until they died, for "where there is no vision, the people perish." Saints, you and I are at our best in any situation when we see what we are doing, where we are going, and are fighting to get there with God's help! We must have a vision!
The Impact of a Negative Vision...
Have you ever wondered why there is so much negative information being poured out by the world through music, books, television, newspapers, and radio? Here is why: because Satan knows your victory starts with your thoughts and your mind. God will not force you to accept His vision for your life; you must choose to accept it and pursue it. So the only chance Satan has of defeating you is to get to receive his vision for you and to accept his words!
"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preach, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough" (2 Cor. 11:3-4, NIV).
Beloved, do you find yourself hearing about divorce, and then believing it will happen to you? Do you hear about ministries falling, and then envision it happening to your own? Do you read about families breaking up, and then fear it happening to your own? Then you have bought into Satan's vision! His vision for the world is always death, destruction, loss, pain, separation, and failure; But God's vision for you is victory, success, prosperity, hope, and life!
" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future' " (Jer. 29:11, NIV).
Develop and Pursue your Vision...
Saints, there needs to be a vision in the land. It is certainly true what is said: If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything! Every church, every leader, every saint, needs to lay hold of God's vision for the church as a whole and for their personal lives. But you'll never see it happen until you first cast off Satan's vision, and that means protecting your mind from the poison input and stinking thinking of the world. That more you listen, the more you'll start to think like the world! Remember: "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." Are you poisoning your vision and the vision of others by always speaking and expecting failure? STOP IT! You are agreeing with Satan's vision for your life! Stop speaking death and destruction over yourself, and start seeing yourself as God sees you: victorious, able to do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Find out God's vision for your life, and then RUN! "Whatsoever thy hand findest to do, do it with all thy might" (Eccl. 9:10). Then, and only then, will your vision come to pass!
~Pastor Ron Barnes