The Bible encourages God's people to be men and women of vision. This is one of the main ways we take on the image of our Father. God is a visionary. In the beginning there was nothing but void and emptiness, yet the Creator "envisioned" a universe so vast, so beautiful and so spectacular that those beholding it with worshipful hearts would be left breathless. First, God saw it; then, God spoke it; then God did it (a three-step pattern we should follow as well).
The next step for this Original Visionary was dealing with a nearly failed vision. His new world became defiled with sin, and Adam, instead of imaging God, took on the corrupt likeness of the prince of darkness. Yet the heavenly King never even considered giving up; instead He "envisioned" an amazing, redemptive plan that would restore His purpose. If our vision ever falters, we must be just as tenacious.
Almost all visionaries in the Bible came to the point where it seemed the vision would not come to pass. Look at Abraham, waiting so long for a son that he and Sarah passed the age of having offspring. Look at Joseph, experiencing the opposite of his prophetic dreams—not reverence, but hatred from his brethren. Look at Moses, attempting to deliver an Israelite and being exiled from Egypt instead. Yet these held on to what God put in their hearts. You can too.
Proverbs 29:18 warns, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." This passage stirs the heart. When God's people become defeated, lazy or unconcerned, those who could potentially be helped instead often "perish"—mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Someone needs you desperately; do not be deterred. When asked what could be worse than being blind, Helen Keller responded, "Having sight but no vision."
The Scripture declares when God pours out His Spirit, "young men shall see visions" (Acts 2:17, emphasis added). Flipping the interpretation, the sign of a godly, youthful heart is one that imagines world-changing possibilities and pursues them with passion. We are only old when all we can do is look back at what we've already accomplished. I love Jack London's words:
"I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather my spark would burn out in a brilliant blaze than to be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in a magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not exist."
Visionaries are spiritual explorers. They dare to tread into new territory when other souls timidly accept the status quo. They are thankful, but never satisfied. They are continually reevaluating their lives in order to discover hidden potential. They think creatively. They explore possibilities. They are active, not passive. These are necessary qualities for true visionaries, for:
"Vision without action is only a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. But vision with action can change the world." —Joel Barker
Mike Shreve, best-selling author of 12 books including 65 Supernatural Promises From God for Your Child and Powerful Prayers for Supernatural Results (from which this article is adapted), has been involved in full-time ministry and evangelism since 1971, sharing the gospel around the world. His passion is to see New Testament Christianity in the earth, the release of God's glory, the manifestation of His gifts and the fulfillment of His promises. He and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Cleveland, Tennessee, with their two children.
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