Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0166
THE NECESSITY OF VISION IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Recently I was challenged again of the necessity for every Christian to have a personal vision of the purpose and calling of God for our lives. The Bible declares: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:19, KJV). The NKJV states: “Where there is no revelation (“prophetic vision”),the people cast off restraint.” There is more to this statement than many realize.
Vision in our lives determines what progress we make.
None us “stand still” in one place ~ we are either progressing forwards, or we are drifting backwards. Where we stand in this process is all determined by whether or not we are motivated by a personal vision from God to us.
When we know the vision of God for our lives, then we are motivated to set about to see it fulfilled. Christianity needs the revelation of God for us to be able to fulfil the purposes of God ~ otherwise we finish up functioning religiously. And that accomplishes nothing in the eternal purposes of God. Religiosity puts people on a “perishing course.”
WRITE YOUR VISION
In Habakkuk 2:1-3 we have the principle of how vision is received: we have to “watch and see what He will say to me.” He was in a place of waiting, standing, watching and listening to God. God answered that stance and attitude and the reply came back: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is for an appointed time . . .”
The voice of God creates vision within our spirit and heart. When He speaks, we need to capture what He is saying to us.
The best way is to write it down. For in writing it down it not only clarifies it in our own heart and understanding, but it also makes it easier to communicate with others what God has placed within us. Once you have written your vision down, then be encouraged to simplify it into a one-sentence statement. As long as a vision is “silently locked up inside of us” it will never be meaningful to anyone else. If it is not activated upon, then it will eventually die within us.
When we know the vision of God for our lives, we can then give ourselves to it and start to see the outworking and ongoing fulfilment of it. I am so glad that I received the vision of God for my life in the first year of my being filled with the Holy Spirit. How did I receive it? God spoke to me, and I believed what He said. A very short time later I started to preach (at 18 years of age) and I have been preaching ever since. Then The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry was born and, after more than 50 years of operation, it has and is touching multiplied thousands of lives around the world. Let me say this: If the vision of God was not clear in my heart, then discouragement and negative criticism from my fellow Christians would have caused the ministry to have died years ago. That is why vision is so important. It will keep you going positively in God, when others say you should be doing something else. I am so glad we have stuck to the vision that God gave us! In one sentence The GFM vision statement is: “Equipping For Leadership In The Nations Through The Power Of The Holy Spirit.” That is the main function of this ministry.
Vision is also very necessary for every Christian to be an effective witness of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit brings the revelation of Jesus Christ to us and He puts a vision inside of us that can enable us to touch the entire world. Let me quote: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses (“martyrs; having first-hand evidence”) to Me(Jesus)in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). It takes real vision for a Christian to be motivated to witness to Jesus wherever one goes. This verse is telling us there are no limitations to the Holy Spirit-filled believer with a vision to reach every soul on the face of the earth. And it takes real vision to desire to take the Gospel “to the end of the earth”! The vision and power of God within us is greater than every obstacle that would try and get in the way to stop us being effective witnesses of Jesus Christ. In Acts 26:13-19 we read of Paul’s testimony of his encounter with Jesus Christ ~ and the vision God gave him: “But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you . . .” What God spoke to Paul, Paul called it a “heavenly vision”~and he was not disobedient to that heavenly vision. As a result he has impacted millions of lives (including every Christian who has read his writings). He wrote his vision and made it plain!
WHAT ABOUT US?
What about us?
What are we doing today to fulfil the vision and purposes of God for our lives?
Every one of us has been given talents to use for Jesus Christ. This is not a day to be “burying those talents,” but to be using them for the glory of God and the extension of His Kingdom.
Every Christian has a God-given vision and task to spread the Glorious Gospel of our Risen Lord Jesus to a lost and dying world. We are His witnesses ~ His only witnesses ~ to be able to share the Life-changing Message of Jesus.
Every born-again, Holy Spirit-filled believer has an experience (that no one should be able to take away from us), that when shared with others has the power to change their lives and bring them into a living relationship with Jesus Christ too!
This is not a day for excuses, but for fulfilling the vision of God in our hearts in such a way that others know and believe that we are born of God! Hallelujah! God Bless You ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Bible Reading: Acts 9 Acts 22 Acts 26
Prayer: “Dear Lord, please help me to 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. I do not want to be a ‘saved soul but a wasted life.’ 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.”