Vision is critical. I attempted to walk through an unfamiliar room, in the dark, a few days ago. I stumbled over a chair I could not see, bruising my foot. My vision was impaired. So, let me ask you – How do you ‘see’ your life, your purpose? Lack of vision causes us to waste too many days, to seek minimal engagement, to regard our world as threatening or overwhelming, or to stumble around in confusion. A God-shaped vision sustains us in hard times, inspires us to reach higher, makes us a better person, because we ‘see’ what God sees!
As you look over those responsibilities that are part of this day, are you seeing only the weight of obligations that others are imposing on you, or are you taking opportunities that life (*and the Lord) are presenting to you?
There was a time when Elisha, the mighty preacher in Israel, was pursued by the king of Syria. The prophet and his servant were in a tiny village called Dothan when the army surrounded that place, ready to capture the preacher. The servant, seeing only with his limited vision, grew terrified. Elisha was blessed with divine insight and told that fearful man – “Don’t be afraid! For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. As the Aramean army advanced toward him, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, please make them blind.” So the Lord struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked.” (2 Kings 6:16-18, NLT) The facts did not change. They were facing a real threat. Vision shifted! There was another army (unseen by human eyes) that was even larger. Elisha’s sight was shaped by faith and that made all the difference!
God does not ask us to ignore the reality of our lives, but He does teach us that reality is not just what we see with our natural eyes! Want to know the state of your vision? Listen to what fills your prayers. Are you just asking the Lord for more money, better toys, more comfort, or easier situations in life? Or, do your prayers reflect a concern for the souls of friends and family and the world? Do you pray to be used of God or just for somebody else to step and do what He desires?
George Barna writes this about the kind of Christians that gain a God-shaped insight for life.
- People of prayer. Visionaries don’t stop praying about their calling. They keep at it, striving to remain sensitive to God’s leading as they seek to carry it out.
- People of action. They carry out a plan by organizing it into manageable steps. As they seek God’s provision along the way, sure enough, God grants them progress one step at a time.
• People of perseverance. Regardless of obstacles, they are driven to follow God’s leading. They are unshakable in their resolve to do His will.
- People of excitement. Life is no longer a grind. They know God has called them to a special outreach. This is an electrifying experience: why shouldn’t they be excited? (Discipleship Journal, Issue 58)
Are you just surviving day to day? Are you drifting, filling up your life with things that are trivial? Do you fear tomorrow? Pray this simple line – “Lord, open my eyes and let me see!” Trust God with that situation that you see as a problem. Ask Him to turn obligations into opportunities for the display of His Glory right where you are, at this present time.
Here’s a word from the Word. Take it to heart and live it today.
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners, or
join in with scoffers.
But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants;
day and night they think about his law.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail.
Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.
But this is not true of the wicked.
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.” (Psalm 1, NLT)
Be Thou My Vision
Be Thou my Vision O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light
Be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord
Thou my great Father I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one
High King of heaven my victory won
May I reach heaven’s joys bright heaven’s Sun
Heart of my own heart whatever befall
Still be my Vision O Ruler of all
Eleanor Henrietta Hull | Mary Elizabeth Byrne | Russell Mauldin © Words: Public Domain