Spiritual Rumination by Julia Phillips

“Jesus said unto him, if thou can believe, all things are possible to him who believeth.”

Mark 9:23

 

Do you realize that your hope is dependent upon your vision? Vision is the hope of life. One of the greatest gifts God gave to man is not the gift of sight, but the gift of vision. Sight is only a function of the eyes; vision is a function of the heart and a tool of the spirit. Everything great that has ever been accomplished has been completed through vision. Are you a lover of history? If so, you know that countless civilizations have been birthed and developed through the driving force of someone with vision. On the other hand, there have been some civilizations that have become trapped in a type of time warp of the past, suffocated by traditions of past experiences and the glory of past successes, and thus dooming themselves to painful and quick deaths. Vision sets us free from the limitations of what our eyes can see and allows us to see and hope for what our hearts feel and spirits sense. It is vision and joy that make the unseen visible and builds endurance to make the unknown possible.

Vision also makes suffering and disappointment bearable.

"Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of your faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:2.

Vision allows hope to develop and provides endurance in tribulation. Vision inspires the depressed and motivates the discouraged. Without vision, life would be a whirlwind of frustration and despair with nothing to hold on to or look forward to. People in decades past used a phrase termed “true north” to describe a separation between right and wrong — with true north helping them remain on the right path.

“Without a vision people perish and cast off restraint.” Proverbs 29:18

What is the meaning of the word “vision”? It is the Hebrew word “chazon,” which is defined as, “vision in ecstatic state; vision during night literally or figuratively; an oracle, prophecy, or divine communication; when not present implies a lack of God’s revelatory word; truths without which men become loose and wayward in their walk and path; the ability to imagine or discern the future with wisdom.”

Today creation is groaning for God’s people to press forward, die to self daily, and take their rightful place in God’s Kingdom here on earth. But how does a person do that if they do not have vision for even their day-to-day life? It is Father God’s desire that you know why you were born, and what your purpose here on earth truly is. He has a destiny, a plan for you.

Personally, I do not know how people live today surrounded by hopelessness, uncertainty, moral decay, trauma, and fear outside of the canopy of Christ. Just listen to folks at the post office or at work in the break room. There are so many who have absolutely no vision for their lives or life itself and wonder how they could ever obtain one. Others have a vision but are stuck in the mud of confusion or past offenses and are clueless as to what to do next. And then there are those who had a vision but have abandoned it long ago because of disillusionment, failure, and discouragement.

So how does a person rediscover the vision for their life? Our lives are not some sort of “divine experiment” with a mean God — but rather an “image and will of Providence” to fulfill the very purpose for which you were created. God wants us to reconnect with our passion and dare to believe in our dreams. Your vision awaits your action. Let us take a closer look at this thing called vision; this thing that helps determine our very destiny.

If you quiet yourself this moment and take a fearless look at your life today, ask yourself this question. Is your life reflecting who you really are and who you have always dreamed of becoming? When people work next to you day after day out at Fort Greely, or at the school, are they aware of the person you are and are becoming? Maybe you feel as if it takes everything in you to just make it through each day with the tasks at hand. Are you connected to The Source in such a way that you know what your purpose is this very day? Are there gifts and talents within you that are yet to be discovered or that have been dormant for years? What do you believe God has called you to do that you are not doing right now? Vision is seeing the future before it ever happens. God gave us the gift of vision so we would not have to live only by what we can see. The words vision and revelation are sometimes interchangeable. To reveal means to “unveil.” Something that is “unveiled” was there all along but could not be seen externally.

Consider this analogy. The destiny of a spruce cone is a tree. By faith, you can see the tree within the seed. You have a vision for it in your mind’s eye because you know the potential in the seed. The same thing is true for you and me. God created us with a purpose and as far as God is concerned it is already finished. God looks at us the same way we look at the spruce cone. He knows He has placed within us the potential to see it come to pass. Faith is the substance of things you hope to accomplish, the evidence of things you can see when others cannot. In fact, your vision is your reality.

What is it that you see in yourself? I believe with all my heart that when you have no vision, you will simply relive the past with its disappointments and failures. I see it sometimes as I counsel my clients. It is what we refer to as “the familiar.” Fear can cause us to embrace that same pain repeatedly because it is all we have ever known. Therefore, vision is the key to breaking out of those old cycles.

All you must do is look around and you can see that you are surrounded by people who are busy, but not necessarily effective or satisfied. Consequently, they spend their lives toiling away, repeating old patterns, and never making any headway. Maybe you feel that way about yourself. What can be done about it?

Life is intended to have meaning. You were not born just by chance, no matter what the circumstances. Life does not have to be an aimless, repetitive exercise going nowhere. You were created with a purpose, to be headed toward a destination. Many people’s visions never materialize because they cannot make up their minds to move forward. Prolonged indecisiveness is a vision-killer, and it also drains the joy out of life. People who can never make decisions are sometimes the most miserable people in the world.

“A double-minded man is unstable and restless in all his ways.” James 1:8.

Indecisiveness bleeds over into all areas of life. It cripples. Work, relationships, social commitments, and even health are affected by it. When we are indecisive, we are unsettled. On shaky ground; having no peace. It is a vision-killer.

What makes us so afraid to step out in faith for a change in life? Sometimes we impose a delay on ourselves because of uncertainty or fear of failure. Other times we worry about what others are going to say or think. Tragically, there are actually those who love darkness more than light. Unbelievable. We place ourselves in the “middle of the road” only to discover that when we do so we tend to get run over by others, by regret, or by self-hatred. When we put off the changes year after year, we become spiritually lazy and fat.

“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:10-11.

We are often our own worst enemy when it comes to our vision. A vision is not the same thing as a goal, such as building a house, buying a new truck, making a million dollars. Having a purpose and vision has to do with your life existence. It enables you to answer the question, “Why was I born?”

When God gives you a vision, it will bother you until you do it. Remember the spruce cone. Whatever you were born to do you are equipped to do. Jesus will keep you and provide for you when you are stepping out in faith to pursue your purpose.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man’s mind plans his course as he journeys through life, but the Lord determines his steps and establishes them.”

That means you may have an idea of what you want to do for the Lord, but it is He who determines the how, when, where, and the why.

Do you wish things were different in your life? Do you have a yearning deep within for something other than what you are doing now? God is in the process of shaking everything that can be shaken in this world. It is high time we put our hands to the plow and get serious about being obedient to His call on our lives. The time is short and there just is not time to drag our feet any longer.

Helen Keller once said, “The thing that is worse than being blind is a person who has sight but no vision. That is worse than this blindness.”

Vision is the capacity to see things for your life as they could be. And that takes faith. I do not want to be counted in those statistics and end up being a dissatisfied, sad, bored, bitter human being. I want the fires of passion to burn bright. I want them to be on fire with a desire to fulfill my destiny in Jesus Christ. 

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7.

God has created you with a purpose in mind. Do you have vision? Dare to believe that promise and dare to embrace your destiny. Ask God today to deliver you from doubt, fear, and unbelief — whether directed towards others or yourself. Spiritual self-hatred is like having an auto-immune disease in your heart and soul. It is destructive, and there is no cure — other than Christ’s healing balm. Ask Him to renew your vision. Tell Him you do not want to merely “exist” any longer, but you want to live and carry out the divine purpose and call for which you were born. He will hear you. He will answer your cry. Can you feel that excitement deep in your spirit? 

Ruminate on that.