January 25, 2010

A Godly Vision

(This is a guest post from my wonderful girlfriend Mollie.)

This past month, I found my mind drifting to the idea of “vision”. I questioned: What does God have to say about vision? From where do visions come? How do we know if an idea I have latched onto is a self-centered dream or a God-given vision?

One evening, Daniel and I discussed this idea and decided to search Scripture regarding the subject. Two passages that he noted, in particular, piqued my curiosity:

Where there is no revelation*, the people cast off restraint;
but blessed is he who keeps the law. - Proverbs 29:18, emphases mine
*some versions use the word “vision”

Thus says the LORD of hosts,
"Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you
They are leading you into futility;
They speak a vision of their own imagination,
Not from the mouth of the LORD
- Jeremiah 23:16, emphases mine

Aha! God told his people through Jeremiah that prophecies or visions from the mouth of the LORD were reliable, but that those from human imagination were not. We can be sure God has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and that it stands aligned with the law (Proverbs 29:18 above. See also Deuteronomy 11:18-25). Over and over again while reading passages about vision Daniel and I discovered that vision, or “revelation”, was aligned to the law – in other words, God’s Word – in this way. Could it really be that simple? Do we discover and test vision through the reading of the Word?

While meeting to pray with friends after returning to school earlier this month, I shared this idea of vision. Rather than brainstorming to create personal goals or (i.e., those from our own imagination) we searched Scripture for prayers of the Bible, noted that which was lacking in our own prayer lives, and wrote what we called “What if?” statements on which to focus this coming year.

Here is part of my “What if?” statement, or if you prefer, my Prayer Vision:

"What if I let go of myself and set my eyes on God in prayer? What if I trusted him to do abundantly more than I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20), even though my prayers were "imperfect" every time? What if I prayed prayers of thanksgiving when I was enduring challenges and difficulty and truly learned to rely on God for my everything (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)? What if, not just in my mind but in my heart, I deemed nothing impossible for God, even that which I knew was humanly impossible (Luke 1:37)?"

There it was – a God-given vision for my prayer life. It wasn’t accompanied by flashes of lightning. It didn’t make me giddy with excitement. And it certainly wasn’t original or creative. But it was biblical and, because I believe that the Bible is “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16), I knew it was trustworthy.

Lesson learned? Don’t “dream big” because you follow the world’s doctrine that tells you to “believe in yourself.” “Live big” and “pray big” because you follow a God who is strong in your weaknesses and glorifies Himself despite your failures! Immerse yourself in “the law” and you will be immersed in God’s vision. I have discovered that my failures and those areas in which I am lacking are precisely the places where God extends the most grace and where He begins to show me His vision.




© 2009Mind in Renewal | by TNB