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How Vision Is Developed
God's vision will come, but sometimes it takes longer than we like. We ask God, "When, when, when." And God says, "Wait, wait, wait. Not yet." But He gives you a clear mental picture of it to motivate you and to keep you in there and to keep you in the fight. And you hang in there with that. After a while you see why God says, "Wait". There is a divine timing to this. Had you run ahead of God you would have gotten into big trouble so you wait on Him. And then He reveals a bit more and you say, "Oh thank You for the clarity." And then you are able to move a little bit more.
God has a vision. Let me tell you how we develop that vision, because I want to help you understand God's vision for your life. First you need to see what God is up to ultimately. You need to have an understanding of God's overall plan, because God's plan for you it will fit into His overall plan. That overall plan is what God is up to on planet earth. What does God want us to do?
The truth is that in the bible. There is a lot of do's in there already, isn't there? Some of you may feel that we have enough do's in here to do without trying to figure out something else to do. Often times we say, "Lord show me what you want me to do." And He goes, "I've got plenty of stuff for you to do. It's just right in My word, the Bible." And we just need to start doing that. We understand what God is up to by reading His word. We also understand what God is up to by looking around.
What is God doing on planet earth? What is God up to on planet earth? What is the season that we are in? You know the bible talks about the sons of Izhar in the Old Testament. They knew the times and they knew the seasons. In other words, they knew what was going on. And God wants each of us to know what is going on around here.
If you think that God has called you to do something and it doesn't fit within God's overall plan, you've missed something. So you need to know, what God is up to. So start looking at the big picture. Don't start by focusing on the question of "What does He want me to do?" First, look at the big picture and then you will be able to get a better glimpse of what you are supposed to be doing.
Secondly, look at the church. Look at the role of the church. The kingdom is very broad in nature, but the church is a local manifestation of God's kingdom. And God established the church as the avenue for the expression of God's kingdom. And it is through the church that God fulfills His plan. Christ died for the church. He loves the church and the universal church is expressed through the local Church body. God will fulfill His plan through the body of Christ. And the church is a local manifestation of the body. So you need to understand the call and destiny that God has on the local body where you fellowship, because that is a part of the context for His plan for you personally.
Your personal vision will be developed as you understand how God uniquely designed you and shaped you. God will use what He made: your gifts, your talents, your abilities or your lack of. Do you sometimes find yourself thinking, "I am missing some things here. How can God use me?" Well God made you the way you are because He wants to use you in ways that He can't use the people who have those certain gifts and abilities. God made you. He's in charge of this deal. Examine your passions. Examine your dreams.
Earlier, we talked about the word, "future". We looked at the Old Testament word, "future" in Jeremiah 29:11 and that word, "future" is the picture of moving ahead by looking back. It is the rower who is rowing the boat. His eyes gaze on a fixed position, but he is not going backwards. Rather, he is going forwards. He is able to understand the future by examining the past. God took a lot of time to burn a lot of things in you and He doesn't want to have to reteach you. He's burned some values and belief systems into you. It took over a period of time for Him to do that.
He doesn't want to have to repeat that process. He will if He has to, but He doesn't want to have to do that. You need to look at that how God made you and how God's shaped you so that you will be able to see what your future is based on what you have been through in the past. Not only your gifts, your talents and abilities, but also the experiences you have had in your life as well.
You have to be willing to make a time investment and a sacrificial commitment because it is going to be time consuming. It is not an automatic thing. You don't get a flyer in the mail describing your vision. You have to work for this thing. It is labour intensive. You have to have a commitment to know God. You have to have a commitment to hear from God and you can't be worn down by the wear and the tear of the process. You can't let that defeat you cause there are times that you will be discouraged. There are times it's going to take effort and it's going to take labour. Everyone who God uses has to go through that time and effort. Just be glad that you are not like Moses. It was eighty years before that guy was able to walk out his vision. Forty years in Pharoah's court and another forty years in the wilderness just before he is able to go fulfill his purpose.
We can go through a lot of illustrations in here. Even Abraham. He was an old man before God told him to first leave. He wasn't some young, spry chicken of thirty-five or forty-five. Abraham was already an older man before he was at a place where he could be receptive when God asked Him to pick up and move. It takes time for God to develop our characters so that we can fulfill our vision. You have to be willing to work at it.
Once you have grasped onto God's vision for you, there will be affirmation by others. Other people will see it in you and speak it into your lives. God will speak to others too and there will be prophetic voices that will affirm what God is doing and what God is saying. If you're the only voice, it may not be God. God usually confirms through two or three witnesses. God will bring witnesses to confirm it. And it may be another person. It may be another situation. Another circumstance. But God will bring affirmation. If it is a genuine call from the Lord, a genuine vision from God, others will affirm it as well. They will.
So God wants you on His road. He wants you to have a very focused life. He doesn't want you to be like that balloon and be scattered all over the place. Not going anywhere, running around in circles, finally running out of air and falling to the ground. God wants you to be on His track. He wants you to be on His route and He wants your life to be focused. The very first step for that is to come back to the very first that that we talked about the other day.
Can I accept the fact that God made me like I am, designed me like He did, because it fits into His plan for my life. Am I angry with God over that. Am I always complaining to God. Am I always looking to somebody else's life and saying, "I wish I had that one." Looking at them and desiring something that is different. Or am I at peace with who God has made you to be?
I think the first thing that the Lord wants to deal with in our lives is "Am I at peace with the way God made me? Am I at peace with the culture that God's put me in? Am I at peace with the color of my skin? The color of my hair? The size of my feet? Am I at peace with the way that God made me? Am I at peace with the fact that even if I may not have chosen it, God gave me the parents that I had. I didn't' choose them, but I'm going to accept them."
God's not asking you to understand. God's not asking you to figure it out. God's simply asking you to say, "God, I'll accept that Your wisdom and Your knowledge is much greater than mine. And I am going to come to peace with that."
For some of you this is the first step for your coming into understanding God's call on your life. You just need to say, "God, OK I accept it. I can't change it. I'm going to accept it. I'm going to refuse to fantasize about something different. I am going to accept it and move on to try to understand Your call on my life." For some of you that is the very first step.
Others of you, maybe you can't accept it but the problem with your being able to understand God's call on your life is that you're spiritual ears are all plugged, got a little wax in them, kind of your not hearing clear. In fact some of you may be even be putting your fingers in your ears and trying hard to ignore what God is saying. You may think to yourself, "No, I don't want to hear God because if I hear Him, I might have to do something with what He says. And if I don't I'll feel guilty that I am not doing anything with it." So do you want to hear what God has to say? Because if you hear, you will have to do respond to what He says to you.
Now I know the right answer, OK. We all know the right answer: "Yes God, I want to hear." But examine your heart; do you really? Do you really want to know? You know if you hear, He might require a few changes. He might require you to give up something or to take on something. Some of you may be saying to yourself, "I don't know if I am ready for that or not. As long as I am ignorant, I won't feel so bad."
Today, the Lord wants to unplug the spiritual ears. And if you've got your fingers in them, you need to take them out. If it's a wax coating that's in there because of sin or something like that, then ask God to forgive you and He'll irrigate them. He'll clean them out. Whatever is clogging your spiritual ears, say "Lord take it away. Take it away."
You are a person of destiny. Whether you believe it or not, you are a person of divine destiny. God made you. Before this world even came to be, God planned you. He designed you. God extends an invitation that says, "Will you come and join Me?" The key to obeying God is to just finding out what He is doing and just joining Him with it. Will you join the Lord? Will you get on board? Will you do your part in finding your place in His kingdom?
Lord Jesus, I just pray that You will just put a passion within us to want to know Your will. Lord, I pray that You will create a hunger. Create that hunger within us that is really starving to know Your plan for our life. Give us that craving from within. Give us that vision, Your vision. Give us that want to.
And Lord Jesus, I just pray for those who have been mad at you for all these years because they just didn't like the way You did things. They didn't like the way that you give them their parents or that You made them the way that they are. Lord I just pray that they will understand.
Lord, You can trust them with that situation and You felt You could. Lord that is a part of being trained up to fulfill their destiny that You've chosen for them. And Lord, we just pray that everyone will come to peace and say, "I am as I am because You made me," and be able to take the next step and say, "Okay Lord, I am at peace within. Now let's see what how You are going to use what You've made. Lord, we just want that."