BARNABAS BULLETIN ~ 0167
HOW DOES A VISION FROM GOD COME TO US?
Vision is vital if we are going to accomplish anything significant in God. Every Christian is called by God to carry a vision ~ His vision ~ for our life here on this earth. Jesus Christ has saved us with a specific purpose in mind and we need to discover and know that purpose so we can make forward progress. Remember, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 , KJV). Without a personal vision of God activated in our hearts and lives, we will wander through life not really knowing where we are going, and accomplishing little compared to what we can do. So, how does a vision come to us? Let us use the example of the conversion of Saul on the Damascus Road and his encounter with the disciple Ananias. The first necessity is to have a personal encounter and relationship with the risen Lord Jesus. We must know Him personally.The moment Saul knew the voice he was hearing was Jesus he yielded his will to Jesus by saying, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” (Acts 9:4-6 ). The Lord told him to go into Damascus and a Christian disciple named Ananias would come and tell him what he must do. This happened because Jesus was testing Saul’s will, whether he really meant what he said (prior to his supernatural experience with Jesus, Saul did not have any love for the Christian believers)! God then spoke to Ananias to go and minister to Saul. The Lord even told him the directions as to how to find him. After being assured by the Lord that Saul was now a Christian believer, and chosen of God to serve Him, Ananias obeyed and found Saul just as the Lord had directed him. Ananias went into the house, laid his hands on Saul ~ and he was healed of blindness and filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:10-18 ).
FOUR VITAL PRINCIPLES TO HAVE A VISION FROM GOD
If we look at Acts 22:7-16 we see that Ananias also prophesied into Saul’s spirit and gave him the prophetic foundation for his future life and ministry. This resulted in Saul receiving a vision from God that set him up for the rest of his life. The principles that Ananias prophesied into Saul on that day were:
Knowing that he was chosen by God
To know the will of God for his life personally
That he was to focus on looking unto Jesus, and
He was to hear and listen to the voice of the Lord.
I have discovered that these principles were not for Saul only, but they apply to every Holy Spirit-filled believer who wants to fulfil their calling and destiny in God. Those four things are what establish the vision of God in our hearts, so we are able to function and outwork the vision of God for us in a practical, effective and fruitful way. It is all about personal relationship with Jesus and listening to whatever He says ~ with a commitment to obeying whatever He says to us. Remember: “He (Jesus) is the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6 ), and whatever He says to us is exactly right for us ~ and applies to us from the moment of reception. Did you notice what the impact of those four points were? “For you will be His(Jesus)witness to all men of what you have seen and heard” (Acts 22:15 ). Without that experience and vision sown in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we can never truly be a true witness of Jesus, because His revelation comes by what we see and hear in the Holy Spirit. It is not by learning theology and developing our natural talents. God’s vision will require God’s input if we really want to see it fulfilled! Vision produces witness! Take a moment or two and meditate on those four points again:
Do you know (without any doubt) you are chosen by God?
Do you know the will of God for your life? (If not, why not?)
Are you focussed on Jesus Christ, i.e. is He the Number One priority of your life?
Are you hearing His voice when He speaks to you? And how are you responding when He speaks to you?
A lot of my earlier years of walking with Jesus did not produce the harvest they should have, because when the Lord spoke to me to do something, I would put it off until a later time. In the meantime I would get too busy, or caught up watching TV or doing something else, and I would not apply and do what the Lord asked me to. The result was “a lost opportunity ~ nothing happened.” I have now learned that whenever the Lord speaks to me (no matter how busy I may think I am), I must show my commitment to Him as the Number One priority of my life by obeying ~ as quickly as I can ~ whatever it is He is asking of me. Nothing happens until we obey what God says! Our obedience activates the hand of God to fulfil His promises to us!
These four principles birth a vision of God in our spirit which then have to be captured in our heart so we can put it into action. When we capture it ~ and writing it down really helps to do that ~ we can nurture that vision and it will start to grow. A vision captured will motivate us to desire to see the fulfilment of it.
WE CAN PROSPER THROUGH PROPHETIC MINISTRY
When it comes to fulfilling a vision from God, being a part of a group of Christian believers who believe in the power of prophecy and prophetic words, is of great benefit. Even under the Old Covenant they believed in the power of prophecies: “So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel . . .” (Ezra 6:14 ). The word “prospered” here means “to accomplish successfully; to reach the goal” (Wilson’s). Saul, who became the great Apostle Paul, knew the power of the prophetic ministry. That is why he warned us about our attitude toward it: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise (“to think nothing of; make contemptible”) prophecies. Test (“prove”) all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 ).
I am so grateful to God that I was converted to Jesus Christ in a church fellowship that believed in, and practiced, the prophetic ministry and giftings. It has helped me from a very young age to grasp a hold of the calling and purpose of God for my life, which I have been walking in for more than 50 years. In that time we have proved again and again as to the accuracy of the promise of God to me and the prophetic voices He has used to direct and confirm His vision and purposes for my life and ministry. Today we are touching multiplied thousands of lives around the world! This would not be a reality if I did not know the vision and calling of God for my life; and giving myself to it to the fulfilling of it. You can too! ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Prayer:“Dear Lord, please help me to grasp and clarify my vision so I can be much more effective in the days ahead than I have ever been before. Help me to have a clearer understanding of the purpose for which You have saved me. Thank You, Lord, that You want only the very best for my life. Please reveal more of Your purpose to me. In Jesus’ Name I pray this, Amen.”