The long look

I have been thinking about the long look – looking ahead to what God has in mind for me.

We often talk about “vision” these days.  Usually, we mean a picture in our minds about what our life, or our business, or our church ministry will look like at some point in the future.

That’s important.  Our imagination plays a significant role in our lives.  There is no doubt that having a positive vision can help us reach our goals.

But I have been thinking recently that I need to go beyond visions that I create myself.  I need God’s vision.

God is in the business of visions – dreams and visions.  He gave Joseph dreams – and the ability to interpret dreams – that shaped the future of the children of Israel and of Egypt.

As I went for a walk this morning, I listened to a podcast sermon of Jackie Pullinger on seeing as God sees.  She referred to the picture that the apostle John saw in Revelation 21 of the “New Jerusalem” where there is no more mourning, or crying or pain.

This vision has helped drive her remarkable 40-year ministry to the prostitutes, drug addicts and criminals of the “walled city” in Hong Kong.

She does not look at them the way they are – ugly and hopeless.  She sees them as they can be – free of drugs and prostitution – dancing and singing with joy in God’s kingdom.

The more I think about this, the more convinced I am that God’s vision comes as we are ready to listen and obey – even if it hurts.

God led Abram to the land of Canaan because he listened and obeyed.

The same happened to Jackie Pullinger when she pulled up stakes in England in the early 1960s, wanting to serve God but not knowing where.  She questioned God when he urged her to leave England; but she obeyed.

I have my own preconceived vision for the prayer ministry in our church.  But, is it what God wants for our church?

I’m finally beginning to pray about this.

It doesn’t mean that I will stop doing what needs to be done.  But it does mean that I need to be alert to what God may be saying to me.

It could be that he will give the vision to someone else.  I hope I will have the grace and the understanding to grasp God’s vision when it comes.

 

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