“Where there is no vision, the people perish….” Proverbs 29:18
For so long, I felt like I was perishing where others were thriving. I felt like I was stagnant where others were moving at lightspeed. Maybe you can relate? Yes?
For me, vision has always been one of those things that I struggle with. You’re probably thinking if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, that I have plenty of issues. You’d be correct!) People would ask me what my vision is for the future, or what God’s vision for my future was. I could never answer that question in whole, or even in part at times. I have even gone as far as to ask God what His vision for my life was. I believe that I was unable to decipher His voice in those moments, because my belief is that God answers those questions.
I think I mentioned yesterday that I was reading a Bible plan by Pastor Andy Stanley on Visioneering, or engineering God’s vision. Today’s devotional was really good, and I want to share some excerpts from it here, and just add some of my own perspectives.
“In the case of your divinely ordered vision, God goes to work in you to prepare you for what He knows lies ahead….but keep in mind, your vision is simply an extension of His vision. And His timing is perfect.”
It is a curious thing, this whole process of vision. So, you mean to tell me that while I was praying and probably annoying God to the max with all of my whinings about His vision for my life, He was already at work in my life preparing me for something that I had no clue about? The answer is an overwhelming YES! Whether we accept it or not, all of life is a preparing ground. The dreams we have are the dreams God has for us. Because we are extensions of God in the world, shouldn’t it be that our visions align directly and extend from His? The key issue here is trust. Do we trust God with our present and future? I find that when I trust God, it doesn’t matter what I can see. I simply trust that HE can see it and is faithful to lead me into it. And in His timing. He will show me what I need to see. This comes only after years of praying about this, and I think it is maturity. I believe that there are places where God will show us a direct vision, and then others where He will just tell us to be quiet and follow where He leads. It’s a refining process, and while we might not know that our life experiences are preparing us, we eventually get to a moment when it all makes sense, like in “Karate Kid”, when Daniel-san discovers that “wash on-wash-off” was teaching him blocking techniques.
“…The complaint most associated with the process of visioneering is about God’s timing. One the vision is clear we assume we are ready.”
In my own life, I think this is probably why I haven’t had many vision moments. I am far too quick to jump the gun. But as I said before. visioneering is about trust in God’s timing. That timing includes the moment when we know that our training has gotten us ready to act. There is a difference in being reading to act, versus being “ready to act”. In the former, we are ready to step into a position or season and fake it till we can make it. In the latter, we have anticipated every possible outcome, and we are confident that in every sense we will be successful because God has shown us how His preparation has sharpened us. I believe God shapes and molds the situations of our lives to prepare us for whatever may come. And it is that preparation that gives us peace in the storms that are sure to come when acting upon the visions he has for us.
“Vision always precedes preparation. Initially, your vision will exceed your competency. Within the context of that tension, God will go to work on you. Don’t be impatient. Don’t move before God leads. Accept His training and timing. It’s worth the wait to get it right.”