My grandfather often tells his congregation a story about something that took place many years ago when he pastored a very small church in Newburgh, New York. I love hearing the story because it involves me. I’ve always loved church. Moreover, I’ve always loved seeing churches grow.
One day, when I was about 7 years old, my grandfather and I were sitting at home talking. All of a sudden he said, “Let’s go down to the church.” I quickly got dressed, because I loved to go to the church with my papa. He took me into the empty sanctuary, stood me in the back, and said, “Close your eyes.” So with a great big smile on my face, I closed my eyes.
Wondering what my grandfather was up to, I quickly opened one eye and closed it just as quickly when I saw him looking at me. He said, “Marcus, imagine the church being full of people.” I waited about 10 seconds, and he then asked me. “What do you see?”
“Papa, I don’t see anything.”
He began to laugh hysterically, hoping that my answer would have been that I saw the church full. But being 7 years old, I only knew to say exactly what my eyes let me see, which was darkness.
What I found out later in life was that my grandfather wanted me to use my imagination and see the church full of people. He saw it, and that vision actually came to pass. That’s the same way God invites us to see the invisible. He will allow us to be in a place that needs to be developed, and He will challenge our faith by pushing us to see what we don’t see.
Our waiting season is like this as well. God will put us in a position and tell us to close our eyes and see into the future. It is as 1 Samuel 12:16 says, “Even now, take your stand and see this great thing which the Lord is doing before your eyes.” I believe even now, as you are waiting for your miracle, as you are waiting for things to get better for you, God has stood you up in the midst of your empty situation and is asking you, “What do you see?”
Many of us are like my 7-year-old-self. We don’t see anything; We see only what is physically there. But through experiences like the one I had with my grandfather, I’ve learned how to rejoice that what I see now will not be what I see forever. If my grandfather invited me back to that same spot in an empty church and asked me the same question, my answer would be different now.
The Bible says, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). This is one of the most encouraging Scriptures in the Bible for many reasons. For me, this Scripture helps me to understand how to gain strength during my waiting time. The word “walk” used in this verse refers to how we live. So it’s safe to even declare that we live by faith and not by sight. This Scripture encourages us not to live by what we see in the natural but to live by faith.
Sight has its value in the natural, but vision has much more value when we talk about supernatural power. Sight can only show you the present. Vision shows you the future. God gave me this definition of vision: vision is your supernatural imagination that you expect to become your reality. So when you imagine something that’s not in front of you, your vision is being activated. I’ll take it a step further and say true vision is our supernatural imagination inspired by God.
It’s one thing to have a good imagination, but it’s a greater thing to have a God-imagination. You could come up with some good ideas in life, but when you come up with a God-idea, it’s an idea you can’t even understand yourself without the help of the Lord.
Do you have vision? Without a vision for your future you really have nothing to look forward to. A person with no vision only looks forward to being in the same place they are in right now. A person with no vision doesn’t have anything to look forward to other than a repeat of their current situation.
Don’t put yourself in position to just keep repeating the same cycle of life. While you are waiting on God, your vision should cause you to rejoice with expectation for what is to come.
When you have vision, you are able to see your future while you are in the middle of your current situation. With vision, you’re able to observe things you cannot see in the natural. When you have the right vision for your life, it will increase commitment and energize you. Vision helps you establish a standard of excellence in your life. Vision is how you connect your present and your future.
Keep your vision alive by using these keys:
- Create a vision statement. Make sure it inspires you and gives meaning to your endeavors.
- Connect with other visionaries. Make sure you connect with others who have a vision for their lives.
- Conduct periodic self-inventories. Get rid of what impairs your vision.
- Act on it. Don’t just have a vision and not act on it.
Prayer Power for the Week of July 8, 2018
This week. ask the Lord to show or clarify His vision for your life so that you can begin or continue to work toward fulfilling it. Continue to pray that the Lord will send more laborers into His ripe harvest fields. Thank Him for world-wide revival and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for the president to have godly wisdom in selecting a new Supreme Court justice and for a smooth confirmation. Remember our military and their families as well as our allies. Pray for those suffering loss through natural disasters, wildfires, heat wave, flooding, crime and terrorism. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Timothy 2:8, James 5:17.