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Vision: ‘A byproduct of a close encounter with God’

Spirit Life

Vision: ‘A byproduct of a close encounter with God’

Waiting is typically not a something most of us handle very well! But the truth is, vision comes in the waiting, and at just the right time. This isn’t merely a standing around waiting, and it’s not the simple passing of time. This waiting is when you suspend all other responsibilities and roles just to be with God, where He is the only agenda. And the reason you are there is to inquire after the King’s heart. This is the waiting! Making room in your life for His presence is the catalyst for receiving vision.

Waiting is typically not a something most of us handle very well! But the truth is, vision comes in the waiting, and at just the right time. This isn’t merely a standing around waiting, and it’s not the simple passing of time. This waiting is when you suspend all other responsibilities and roles just to be with God, where He is the only agenda. And the reason you are there is to inquire after the King’s heart. This is the waiting! Making room in your life for His presence is the catalyst for receiving vision.

Vision is the byproduct of a close encounter with a supernatural God.

This is true whether it’s vision for your day, your life, or your ministry.

Vision determines where you are going. It’s not something you can live without, and you also can’t afford to let the vision slip from being before your eyes. Something this powerful and this directional inside of you needs to come from the right place. You don’t want anything but heaven supplying your vision!

Ralph W. Sockman said, “Better than speed of action is an accurate sense of direction!” To receive the vision God has for us, even for the day we need to make ourselves habitually available to Him. He needs to have direct access. Most of the time it is “busyness” that robs us of time with God and cuts off our vision. That is why it’s imperative that we protect the time and the place that we spend with God. Without spending quality time with God, even the vision we once had will begin to diminish. The chances are greater that you may stray off course and end up somewhere you had no intention of being.

If that happens get yourself back in that place with Him, and He will make all things new and breathe life back into the vision. Guard your intimacy with Him and by doing so, you will be guarding your vision too. I know that for most people, this process requires some time. It requires stillness. It requires listening to our hearts and what the Spirit of God may be saying or revealing. For me, God often reveals things in pictures. I tend to see what He is revealing to me on the inside. For others, God may give vision in a different way. No matter how the Lord speaks and reveals things to you, it all starts with being still and listening.

For years, I have counseled with people who simply believe they cannot hear the voice of God and so they feel directionless in life. It is so thrilling to me to walk them through the process of eliminating the background noise to help them draw out the vision that was waiting for them all along.

John 14:17 tell us that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (NKJV).

I believe that one of the Holy Spirit’s favorite jobs is to reveal to our hearts the Father’s plan for our lives.

The Holy Spirit is a communicator, and He is very good at it! The Holy Spirit is revealing and disbursing vision in order to mobilize us to carry out the Father’s heart.

General Vision vs. Specific Vision

There is overall vision and then there may be vision God gives to you for something specific for the day. For instance, there is vision that may come in an instant, and the timing for that vision is the time you are standing in right then and there!

I remember when such vision came to me through a dream. At the time, I was on pastoral staff at a church in Ohio. One night I had a vivid dream.

In the dream I found myself walking up a grassy hill and when I got to the top, I looked out over a large crowd of people facing the opposite direction of me.

It appeared they were facing a large, outdoor stage. Somehow, I knew instinctively there were about five thousand people there. When I saw the large crowd, all packed together in front of the stage, I turned to leave thinking, Whatever is going on here, there is no way I am going to get anywhere close. What in the world am I doing here anyway?” Then I heard the Lord speak to me. He said, “Go to the right and then walk down the edge of the crowd as far as you can and I will put you in position.” It was at this point that I woke up. As I got up that morning and started getting ready for the day, this dream continued to weigh heavily on my mind. I just could not seem to get away from it. I had no idea what it meant, but it seemed as if I was supposed to do something about it. But what?

As I was putting on my makeup, I could see the reflection of my television in my bathroom mirror. The news was reporting about a political rally for a vice presidential candidate that was to take place in a couple of hours not far from my house.

As soon as I saw the television report, I knew in my heart that God was asking me to go.

I wrestled with the idea for the next thirty minutes thinking, “what on earth am I supposed to do now?” This was all new territory for me. Finally, I came to the conclusion that I should just go. I decided that if I was wrong in what I felt like God was saying to me, at least I’d be the only who knew! I decided I would rather step out and follow my heart then miss it entirely. So I jumped in my car and headed for the location.

When I got there, it was packed! Traffic was backed up for miles. Over and over, I had to fight the thought that I was totally wasting my time. Finally, after about forty-five minutes of inching along, I got to the parking area. I parked my car and got in line to go through security. There were people everywhere. As the security agent handed me back my keys and sunglasses he looked at me and said, “Just head up that grassy hill and you’ll see it, although I don’t know how close you will get. There are about five thousand people here already.” This was starting to sound familiar!

When I got up to the top of the hill and saw that crowd, my heart began to sink. Again, I thought, What in the world am I doing here? This is crazy! Right as I began to turn around and leave, I remembered what God had said to me in my dream that night, “Go to the right, walk down as far as you can and I will put you in position.” Well, I have come this far I thought. I might as well see where this thing goes. I turned to the right and walked behind the crowd. When I got to the end, I turned and started walking down along the edge of the crowd. I started at the back and kept walking until I got to the front of the crowd. There was still room to walk so I kept going until I came up alongside the back of the stage.

Finally, I stopped right in front of a line of yellow caution tape and a secret service agent. I paused and smiled. He did not smile back. After a few awkward moments I asked him respectfully, “Sir, is it all right for me to stand here?” He nodded, but never smiled. As I began to look around, trying to fight off the urge to run, I realized that just in front of me there was a small winding path that led directly up to the stage. It was only about twenty feet away.

After working up my nerve, I asked the secret service agent another question. “Sir, can you tell me if the speakers are going to come in this way?”

He responded, “No, I cannot.” Of course he can’t, Jen. He’s secret service!

As I nervously shifted around, the agent suddenly stepped forward and leaned in. He said, “Ma’am, I can’t tell you if they are going to come in this way or not. However, I can tell you that if you want to greet them, you are in perfect position.” Then he smiled. I was in shock! Perfect position!

That’s exactly what God had said in my dream! This was getting serious!

Then it occurred to me, In position for what? I suddenly realized all this time I had no idea what I was to be in position for!

Now this is where you have to be in a relationship with God in order to hear His voice clearly and instantly, so that you don’t miss your defining moments. On the inside I began to pray, “Lord, You have got to show me now what You are orchestrating here. I have walked it out as far as I have seen, and now I need to know the rest.” Inspiration from the Holy Spirit began to come. He reminded me of the verse in 1 Samuel 17 when David was being reviled by his oldest brother Eliab as he asked him, “Why have you come down here? With whom did you leave your lowly tasks? For I know how conceited you are and the pride of your heart. You came down just because you wanted to see the battle.” David responded, “What could I have done wrong here, for is there not a cause?” As the Lord continued to speak to my heart standing there in that moment it all began to fall into place why I was there.

Regardless of political party or policy stance, I knew that candidate was a born-again believer and that the family of the candidate had come under severe personal attack.

I had an understanding that in that moment, I was there to strengthen and encourage not so much the candidate, but the person. The Lord said to me, “I want you to let them know that you are praying for them and remind them of My Word and My promise to steady them and their family today.” I was there on assignment and I now I knew what that assignment was.

It seemed to all happen in a flash. Suddenly, a caravan of black SUVs pulled up. The speaker of the house, local officials and one of the state senators got out. Then the vice presidential candidate got out of the vehicle, and they all began to walk down that little pathway straight toward me. As they drew near, the hand shaking began. When the candidate approached me, I took a deep breath.

I said, “Governor, I would just like you to know that I am praying for you and your family.”

She thanked me. I continued, “specifically I am praying Psalm 5:12, that you would be surrounded like a shield.” She paused and looked at me, still gripping my hand she said, “That’s a really good one.”

I replied, “Yes, ma’am, it is.” She didn’t move as it became obvious something bigger than a momentary meet and greet was taking place. “Also,” I continued, “I believe the Lord wants me to remind you of what David said to his accusers when they reviled him and came against him. His response was clear, ‘Is there not a cause?’ And the Lord also wants you to know today that He is taking care of you and your family.” She just stood there starring at me as her eyes began to fill with tears. In that moment it felt to me as if we were in a bubble and no one could hear us. Still gripping my hand, she leaned in and whispered, “Thank you so much for that. Please keep praying.”

I replied, “Yes, ma’am, of course. I sure will.”

At this point her security detail was starting to gather.

I am sure they were wondering who was holding up the governor as five thousand cheering people waited for her to take the stage.

After a hug and, of course, a quick picture, she thanked me again sincerely and took the stage to a deafening cheer from the crowd. I turned to leave. I had done my part. Like something out of a movie, with five thousand people cheering looking one way, I walked out the same way I had come in and returned to my car. By the time I got in and shut the door, I was shaking and speechless. It seemed so surreal and yet it all played out like clockwork.

I sat in awe and wondered later about all that God had entrusted me with. Giving me that dream to get me to that particular place and time. He showed me just where to stand in order to deliver a scripture and a reminder of His promise to someone on the front lines that all was well and they were going to be ok. Later, I found out that someone had accosted her youngest daughter on the sidewalk while she attempted to walk to school. The candidate had to pull her daughter out of school for a time. During the same time, arsonists victimized her family’s home church and they almost lost the whole building. No wonder God was sending encouragement! I am sure I was not the only one that He used that way, but I was honored to be a part. There are times when the vision God gives us will require some extraordinary things, but He is ever working to do the extraordinary and get us what we need in the moment we need it. Remember, vision isn’t ever about you, but about what God wants to do through you if you will give Him access.

Give attention to your vision. Take time to make it plain. Do something about it. Go back to the Giver of all visions and hold it up to Him. Ask Him what He has to say about it.

Vision is always speaking if you will listen for it.

In fact, whatever vision you have on the inside of you is more than likely speaking some things right now that you need to hear today.

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