Spiritual vision is a topic which will probably leave you with more questions than answers. This article is intended to raise the bar of what’s possible through Christ in your life – a subtle nudge to jar you out of your comfort zones and present a fresh revelation of purpose and destiny.
Spiritual vision is power in a believer’s life. Vision authored by Holy Spirit is a detailed portrait of your future in Christ. Visions often begin with a dream. Once the dream is interpreted and meditated upon, Holy Spirit aids in initiating a plan of action to cause the dream to become a reality. This Spirit-inspired plan of action becomes your dream with wings – a vision. The prophet Habakkuk states, ‘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” (Hab.2:2-3). When your vision becomes your focus for life, everything you do prepares, equips and brings you closer to its fulfillment.
To truly understand spiritual vision, one must gain an understanding of God’s kingdom and sense of time – eternity. Our finite understanding of vision is a promise we have that will be fulfilled in a future time. From God’s perspective, eternity contains the past, present and future. Heb.13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Lord Jesus Christ is the very Presence of the Future! In Rev.1:11, Lord Jesus Christ says, ‘I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.” He’s the Eternal One who declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which are not yet done (Isa.46:10). Every word God has spoken (rhema) has been established in the eternal, spiritual realm: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb.11:3). This rhema comes as a revelation directly to you by Holy Spirit, and is often confirmed through others in prophecy. You may not be able to “see’ the result of a “word” initially; but as you voice your clearly articulated vision, the vibrations of the voice of God come through you stirring up and unleashing Holy Spirit who through the force of faith secures the object of your spoken word and causes it to be manifested in your present reality. Faith goes forth and secures your vision of the future and pulls it back into your present! In Holy Spirit, we have the secrets of God in our spirits and we have the revelation of a pre-existent plan (an image of our futures) that carries us towards our intended end. Eternity lives within us through Holy Spirit – past, present and future. Paul wrote, “For whom He foreknew, He also pre-destined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren, moreover whom He pre-destined, these He called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He glorified” (Rom.8:29-30). Holy Spirit’s revelation gifts are ours to know the past, present and what the future holds (1 Cor.12:4-11).
The NKJV of Pv.29:18 states, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.” I believe this perfectly describes a large percentage of the church today, existing without a vision of purpose. I need to say this right now – the church’s vision is not to hang on until Jesus comes back to snatch us out! That’s not a vision – it’s a pathetic excuse for languishing in self-pity with a victim’s mentality assuming a defensive posture in a religious redoubt. Without a clearly written and rehearsed vision of our future, we are in effect handing our futures over to the god of this world – satan. No vision equates to no glory for our futures. Our lack of knowledge (ignorance) about the importance of vision has permitted the enemy to usurp our futures and diminish our present circumstances. Today, without vision, the enemy has us going in circles from one crisis to another, in a constant state of crisis management with no anticipation for the future other than more crises to manage. No one can thrive in crisis; in fact, it’s very hard to survive in a constant state of crisis. Pastors and church leaders may feel good about helping people cope with their problems, but that’s not what we’re called to do. We’re to equip believers for the work of the ministry (Eph.4:11-16); we’re to be growing them up spiritually by teaching them how to overcome their challenges in the power of Holy Spirit, and to live by faith and not by feelings; not allowing every problem the enemy directs their way to cause a state of panic. Constantly dealing with crises in people’s lives; trying to fix every problem that comes to them; and never releasing those problems to Holy Spirit are the major causes of burn-out in ministry. Why? I believe the single dominant cause is lack of vision for both ministry and people.
Jesus said, “However when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (Jn.16:13). Why? For what reason will Holy Spirit tell us of future things? Obviously, He wants us to know what the future holds! Why, again? Paul explains, “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor.6:1). We are co-laborers, in partnership with God through Holy Spirit. We are God’s agents of change to bring about His plans on earth. Without constant communication with Holy Spirit; without understanding God’s plan and how He intends to accomplish it, how can we effectively minister and expand the kingdom?
1 Kings 17:8-23 provides a prophetic picture of much of the church today with no vision. In this section of scripture, Elijah had been told by God to go from Brook Cherith, which had dried up from the drought to Zarephath where He had prepared a widow who would provide for him. When Elijah arrived, the widow was gathering sticks to prepare a last meal for her son and herself. Elijah told her to take what she had – a little oil and meal and bake him a cake first; then she would have provision until the end of the drought. The widow complied, and as the prophet had said, her bin of meal and jar of oil never ran out through the drought. Later, the widow’s son became sick and died. Elijah told her to give him her son, Elijah stretched himself out on top of the boy three times, cried out to the Lord and the boy revived. I believe this is an accurate depiction of much of the church today in a drought-ridden condition – water is a type of Holy Spirit. The widow (church) had a death-oriented vision (she was about to make a last meal and die). The prophet came with a word of hope for her future – vision. The widow obeyed the prophet who spoke the vision and her needs were provided. But because of her lack of vision and her initial death oriented outlook, which I’m certain her words agreed with, her son died as that death-talk manifested in his life. Elijah, who was responsible for speaking the vision of life and future into the widow, demonstrated the resurrection power of vision. Without a vision, one lives a death-oriented lifestyle, having no plan, no destiny, going from one mess to another hoping for Jesus to come and rapture them out of trouble.
Paul wrote, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph.5:15-16). The word we usually understand for time in the Greek is chronos, which has to do with natural time (tick tock). That’s not the word used in the above scripture. Time here is kairos, meaning God’s appointed time, or the fullness of time. Paul is admonishing believers to redeem the kairos – God’s appointed time when He desires us, as His partners, to be operating diligently in the power of Holy Spirit bringing about his will on earth. Without a vision, we’ll continue to remain ignorant of God’s timing and the principalities and powers of hell will impede and thwart us from advancing the kingdom. Without a vision, we’ll remain on the defensive, handling one crisis after another, never becoming any challenge to the gates of hell as they continue to take over our nation.
Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet.5:8). The enemy’s plan is to distract us and put to death our dreams and visions. In so doing, the enemy has been successful far too long. It’s time for a change! It’s time for seek the Lord for His vision to be released into our lives. Amen.