Have you ever been around someone who seemed to be truly visionary?
I tend to be what I would call practical, I guess. I may have a vision from time to time, but I quickly jump from vision to execution, wondering about all the “nuts and bolts” things that have to be done to make the vision become reality. However, I have spent some time with people I would call visionaries. I remember a community leader taking me around to look at buildings. He wanted to share with me how he thought those structures could be used to accomplish the goals he envisioned. He wanted me to understand; he wanted me to see the furniture, the books, and the people working to make the community a better place.
In Billy Graham’s book The Holy Spirit, he spends many pages on the stages of Christian growth. He calls the stage after dedicating your life to Christ “sanctification.” To be honest, God is interested in us giving our lives to Him but after that, He is interested in us growing in our faith, working to make His Kingdom a better place, learning His word, and sharing His word with others [the list goes on]. God wants us to grow closer to Him and grow into being stronger Christians.
We all have to admit, we are a long way from where God probably wants us to be.
But Graham writes “He [God] sees us now as fully sanctified, because He knows what we will be some day. Also, He is at work in us, restoring us—we are being sanctified. And some day that process will be complete when we go to be with Him throughout all eternity…[then] We will be fully sanctified” [italics mine].
It sounds like God has His own vision for each of us.
What must we do?
Buy into the vision that God has for each of us. Believe He will give us what we need when we need it. We need to believe in God’s provision, have faith that God will provide.
We don’t have His vision. We are mired into daily living patterns that can be very distracting, maybe even debilitating. Sara Young is a Christian writer who is one of the most popular authors of devotionals. Recently I read her thoughts on this daily struggle that we all have. She writes from a “God-view” using personal pronouns to represent the thought of The Almighty: “While you wait with Me, I work on renewing your mind. As the Light of My Presence shines into your mind, darkness flees and deception is unmasked. …The more you focus on Me and My Word, the more you can break free from painful, irrational thoughts….all that effort leads to a marvelous result; increased ability to live freely and enjoy My Presence” [from Jesus Always]. This is a process, one that can take a very long time. Graham even refers to it as “progressive sanctification.”
Numbers 21:6-9 New International Version (NIV)
One can turn to Numbers 21: 6-9 where the Lord provided. The Israelites were suffering from poisonous snake bites, fatal in most cases. “Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” God provided what the people needed.
This very same incident shows up when Jesus is speaking in John 3:14-15. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.” Jesus was put on the cross so we could live. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Let me tell you about another visionary, this one may reflect the “Godview.”
I had an elderly friend who had a wonderful garden in the rear of his home. When I was visiting one day, I went out back and walked with him among his plants. I was amazed at how everything was thriving and he had a wonderful mix of flowers, plants and trees, different colors, different leaf shapes, just a lovely place to be. I asked him how long it took for him to get such a wonderful garden.
He said “thirty-five years.”
When he turned over the earth in his backyard many years ago, he may have had the vision but it took a long time for it to come to fruition.
Maybe this is the way it is with us. We have to be patient, have faith in God’s provision and try to do the best we can in our Christian life.
You might say that we are all around someone who is a true visionary, Jesus Christ. He will lead us to God, grow us in faith and maybe one day we will all have a chance to be with God, throughout all eternity.