Where there is no revelation [or prophetic vision], the people cast off restraint… —Proverbs 29:18
A vision is given to drive me beyond myself. Pushing and compelling, a vision holds a proverbial “carrot’ just out of my reach. The vision is meant to force me to know God and know myself and keep the priorities right: God first. It’s impossible to have a real vision from God until I have a real vision of God Himself. Until I see Him clearly, every other “vision” is about self.
My efforts and exercise of faith cannot be found in my own strength but only in Christ. Placing my faith, hope, trust and love in Christ alone will keep the vision right in front of me and continue to compel me to the greater things God has for me and wants to do through me. When God gives a vision of Himself, I will see myself clearly as Isaiah (Isaiah 6) did and proclaim “Woe is me! I am undone”! It is then that I will hear God’s voice and know what it is He wants me to do. It may not even be a direct command per se but simply overhearing God’s heart and desires as I have seen Him.
Knowing Is Not Enough!
Even knowing the vision is not enough. I can know Who God is and what God wants (through His word), but until I understand that the vision God gives is not meant to just be a mission for me to accomplish but meant to also accomplish something within me, I will fail. Jonah is a great example of this as He was God’s selected prophet to go to Ninevah. Yet Jonah chose to try to escape the mission God was trying to work in his own heart by thinking that God would just send someone else or perhaps just save the people because He was a God who was “slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness” anyway.
I can clearly see from Jonah’s example that God is not content to give me a vision for someone else. The vision is meant for me; to work in me. The vision is to help me see that I have my own sin to grapple with whether it is in forms of racism, elitism, or just being a “complainer” all of which Jonah seems to suffer, or some other innate spiritual malady. Moral alignment is not all God is looking for. God is looking for people to love Him and obey Him out of love not a sense of duty.
God doesn’t put things within my reach…They are just beyond me. This is not taunting by God but compelling me to continue to seek His face, His wisdom, His goals and not my own. When the vision itself becomes the goal, I can become perfectionistic and fail to remember that God is the One I need to chase after. God is the One perfecting me and the vision. He is not concerned so much about the vision, as though it rested solely upon me. He wants me to KNOW Him. He is most concerned that I have the right vision of Him, knowing that He alone is the One I am reaching for. When God alone is my goal, I will practice discipline and restraint because of Who He says I CAN be and become all He MADE me to be. The right vision will give me the right mission and if that vision is anything other than God, I am missing the mission.