Capture Your Vision!
By Rodney W. Francis
VISION has to be captured! It can never be fulfilled until first we have learnt how to capture that which we have seen in the invisible, “unseen realm” and then bring it through into the realm of the visible, “seen realm.” This is a very important lesson for us to learn. To capture something means we have to make it our own, “to take prisoner or gain control over, to win possession of, to succeed in representing or describing (something elusive), a catching, that which is caught” (Collins Dictionary). We bring it to a place where we can do with it what we have captured it for. God wants every Christian to be motivated, enthused and captivated by His “heavenly vision” for us (Acts 26:19 ). He wants us to capture His heavenly vision for us – in our day - and turn it into a living reality.
All true vision needs to come from the heart of God into our spirit, and then, from there, we capture it, conceive it, incubate it, and then bring it to birth. Bringing it to birth means bringing it out into the seen, physical realm where others can see what we have been seeing all along. And that takes commitment! If we are not personally prepared to commit to our vision, then no one else will ever believe us, or get the benefits of that vision! Quite simply, if we don’t believe the vision we carry in our hearts strongly enough to give ourselves to it in a practical and committed way, then who will believe we even have one? Who will be convinced by what we say?
Recently the Holy Spirit dropped two things into my heart that have really helped me in capturing and developing my vision much more. One was a positive statement, the other a challenging question. The first was:
1. A vision that is real produces a faith that works!
Think about this. When our vision is real, birthed from the heart of God, then there is a faith within us that needs to be released in order to capture that which has been spoken to us in our spirit. It has to be “caught” or captured in the realm of the spirit. Faith is our response to that which God has spoken to us (Romans 10:17 ). It is that vital ingredient that causes the vision to be captured, and then nurtured within our hearts to bring it through into reality.
The Bible declares:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish . . . ” (Proverbs 29:18 , KJV). “Where there is no revelation (“prophetic vision”), the people cast off restraint . . .” (NKJV).
“Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint . . . ” (NRSV).
Vision is very important for our own spiritual well being. Vision is prophetic, and it is revelatory. Without vision a process of “decay and perishing” takes place within the heart and life of the Christian believer. Right now, at this present moment, we are either going forwards or backwards spiritually - there is no standing still. And it is all according to the vision we do, or do not, have. Vision inspires, motivates and lifts us into the realm where God is able to “come through” in our lives. A person of vision not only motivates and inspires himself, but he also inspires others to rise to greater achievements and fulfilment of the promises of God! Prophetic vision makes us all the more sure of success when we have that inspiration from the Holy Spirit of that which He has called us to be, do and fulfil in this life. It causes us to move forwards. So, take heed to the prophetic words that have been spoken over your life – either by God Himself, or through others speaking by the Spirit of God! They are not “automatic” in being fulfilled. They have to be believed, yielded to, and acted upon in faith. Those prophecies have come to you (through different people) to help you to fulfil the vision of God for your life. Capture your vision! Remember, “A vision that is real produces a faith that works”! When we believe enough to know that our vision is from God, then we can release the necessary faith to bring it through into the reality of the seen world. Be encouraged to release your faith today in that which God has already spoken to you. Capture your vision! (It will not happen automatically).
Sincerely consider these questions:
Listen again to what the Bible says:
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. 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” (Habakkuk 2:2 , NKJV).
And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by . . . ” (Amp. Bible).
When we write our vision down, we are capturing it! We are putting it into a form whereby we are able to read it, refine it, simplify it, clarify it, share it in an understanding way, and then produce the fruit of what the vision is all about. It needs to be simple enough so that busy people can read and understand it quickly.
There are three main meanings of the word “vision”:
Vision affects us in two vital ways:
We cannot be “workers together with God” (2 Corinthians 6:1 ) if we do not know what He wants us to work at – and give our lives to! Vision causes us to know these things. A vision from God for our lives will perfectly fit the type of person we are created to be. It will release the real person we are in us, and enable us to know a fulfilment in life that nothing else can give us. God’s vision for us will always bring out the very best in us for His glory. It will produce the best in us, and cause more fruitfulness than can be produced any other way. It is God’s perfect will for us!
Vision demands that we often have to make decisions and commitments to things that are not yet seen. Spiritual vision is unseen, and precedes that which later becomes “seen.” Others do not see, nor do they understand what you see and understand! Not to begin with anyway. That is why the visionary must have a clear insight, and understanding of, what the vision is for, and what it is about. Writing it down and talking about it helps to capture and clarify it in our own heart and mind.
A CHALLENGING QUESTION:
The second word I received from the Lord on this subject was in the form of a question – a very challenging question that I know I could not have thought up of myself:
2. Are you reading the recipe, or producing the cake?
We Christians need to understand what is being asked here. When we place this question within the framework of our Christian faith, then “the recipe” represents the Bible, the Word of God. It is our very source of vision and inspiration when breathed upon by the Holy Spirit. But if we do not translate the theories of that recipe into a practical, visible, working reality, then we are not producing “the cake.” The Bible gives us all the necessary ingredients for us to be able to produce “the cake.” If we do not mix them right, we finish up with a “disaster” – all talk and theories, or a cake that nobody wants to eat!
Capture your vision! (Get the recipe right!) It is vitally important that you are able to capture the vision when it comes to you. God gives you and me vision! It comes to us in the invisible realm by revelation. Once it has come, then it is our responsibility to capture that invisible vision and bring it through into the visible realm where others can see what we have been seeing all along. A vision is of no use to us – or anyone else – until it has been captured and translated into a physical, working reality. Until that happens we are only “reading the recipe” rather than “producing the cake.” If we do not capture that invisible vision, then it will not be fulfilled. Neither we, nor other people, will get the ultimate benefits of what that vision is all about. Many visions never come to fulfilment because they are not captured and translated into the realm of the “seen” world – that world where others can see, grasp, then understand and get the benefits of what your vision is all about. True vision should always be worked through to the place of reality and outworking toward total fulfilment in order to benefit other people. Otherwise we are guilty of simply “reading the recipe” but not producing “the cake.”
The great men and women of the Bible (and throughout the history of the Christian Church) have all been men and women of vision and accomplishment. They learned to capture their vision and turn it into reality.
MOSES was a great faith man because he was able to “see Him Who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27 ), and by faith capture, then translate it into the realm of a physical, “seen by others” outworking. His vision enabled him to deliver the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage through mighty signs, wonders and miracles of God. He was in the stage of preparation for a long time before it all happened in reality. That’s why (and where) endurance has such a vital role to play. It often takes time – a long time – for some visions to become a reality, to be brought to the place where others can get the benefits of your vision. It is no different today. Vision is not “automatic” in fulfilling itself. It has to be accepted by the one receiving it, then believed and yielded to, then given over to obeying it. That takes a commitment that others do not understand (because they cannot see what you can see). The vision then has to be clarified in your own heart, worked on, and shared with others in a convincing way.
ABRAHAM had a vision. When childless, God gave him the promise of a family “as many as the stars in heaven and the sand on the sea shore” (Genesis 15:1-6 ; Genesis 22:17 ; Genesis 32:12 ; Hebrews 11:12 ). For at least 25 years he held on to the vision, with no physical evidence that he had heard from God. He would have been the butt of jokes and ridicule as he testified to the fact that he was going to have a son. The older he got, the more hopeless the vision seemed. But in Genesis 21:1-7 and 22:15-19 we see the fulfilment of that vision. Isaac was born, exactly as he was promised! There was a far greater purpose for the vision Abraham carried than merely one married couple having a baby in their old age. God had far more in mind than that. God saw ahead in time and saw a nation of many people who would know His power in their midst.
JOSEPH dreamed a dream (Genesis Chapters 37 to 50). His own brothers did not believe him and hated him for what he shared with them. They even turned on him and “sold him out” to the Egyptians in order to get rid of him. Why? Because they were jealous of the dream he was declaring. They had no dream for their own lives, but rather persecuted the one who did! Yet we all know that in time Joseph – as an “outcast” in Egypt - rose to become a great leader and “saviour” of the people because of his holding on to the dream he dreamed when still a very young man. That dream enabled him to “save and preserve” even those who did not believe his dream in years gone by!
THE APOSTLE PAUL was given a heavenly vision on the day of his conversion to Jesus Christ(Acts 9 , 22 & 26). Most were not convinced about his vision. Some even avoided him to start with. His life was often a lonely one, as one after the other could not keep up with the fervour of his commitment to the cause of Jesus Christ. Yet he stands today as one of the greatest Christian leaders and examples of all time! He fulfilled his vision! Millions of Christians down through the generations have greatly benefited from Paul’s vision and life!
Things have not changed too much today. Visionaries and dreamers are still laughed at. That is why our vision has to be strong enough, and clear enough, and motivate us enough, so we will rise above the petty jealousies of our own brethren. Nothing – and no one – can stand in the way of a vision being fulfilled, providing we have it properly birthed within our own heart and life, and are prepared to capture it, and commit to it, regardless of what others might say – or even how we, ourselves, feel at times.
THE APOSTLE PETER received a heavenly vision when a sheet was let down from heaven(Acts 10 ). Although he initially misinterpreted the meaning of that vision, he later obeyed the Lord and went down to Cornelius’ house. There he found a group of Italians waiting, and hungry for more of God. When he was asked to speak to them, the meaning of the vision became a revelation to him. He preached that which the Lord had revealed and, as he did so, the Holy Spirit “fell on all them that heard the Word” and they began “speaking in other tongues and magnifying God” (Acts 10:44-48 ). Preaching the vision brought immediate results of God’s power and will for the Gentile believers that day. Peter’s obedience to the “new revelation” of God brought about a whole new concept of God’s purposes for all mankind and saw the Gospel opened to the nations of the earth as never before. Even the church leaders in Jerusalem were sceptical at first, because it was a total new revelation to their understanding of the purposes of God!
The impact of that revelation has seen multiplied millions of Gentiles around the world baptized in the Holy Spirit since that one act of obedience by Peter. He captured the vision of God and released it to bless the nations of the earth (as did the previously-mentioned men of God).
Today it is over to you and me to capture the vision of God for our lives, and see it translated into a physical, living reality, to bless the nations of the earth.
We must have more than a recipe, or a theory, in order to fulfil a vision. We must be motivated by the conviction that God has spoken, and has called us to fulfil a destiny to His glory in this life! That demands a commitment to faith, and believing, that what God has promised to us, He is also able to fulfil in and through us, as we will give ourselves to that “heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19 ).
Capture your vision!
Bring it into reality!
This is your day!
FULFIL YOUR VISION!