“They were all fixed faces, full not of possibilities but of impossibilities”
C S Lewis – The Great Divorce
Vision fills a face with the glow of possibility. Such a face is a welcoming hearth, inspiring the warmth of hope in the barren chill of this hard faced world. I imagine that Jesus’ earthly face carried this divine sheen as an unfettered Holy Spirit brought His eyes into the realm of revelation. But what was Jesus’ vision?
No doubt, like His ancestor Jacob who was in love with Rachel, His eyes were fixed on the Bride, as she made herself ready for the consummation of history. For such joy set before Him, He was ready to endure the cruel cross, scorning its shame.
Alongside this overarching purpose I would dare to propose three other “visions” that empowered Jesus as He walked the dusty roads of Galilee. May we too be encouraged and strengthened to walk in the same “triple” vision for our own lives and ministry.
1. The Vision of the Father
“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19
Jesus worked by revelation rather than perspiration! No redundant, ambitious religious energy here. He took the time to “see”, and worked out of divine relationship with the Father. There was no forced tension or difficulty in this. Divine flowed into Divine.
“For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.” John 5:20
Redeem your amazement at such a self disclosing God who longs to share His heart and partner with us in life! Indeed, the old adage is true which says that if we want to be successful in life, we need to see what God is doing in our generation and humbly do it with Him.
However, will all this “individual” revelation only lead to a lot of inspired loners (or couples) splintering off to pursue their own God given vision?
Deuteronomy 19:15 and Matthew 18:20 can help us here.
“One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offence he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
At least “two or three” need to “see” with you. (You can’t really count just your spouse or kids to make up the numbers!) Real progress in Christian work comes when a team of people are bonded together in common vision. It is not an “imposed vision” but something that has been seen, and thus owned by all. Such visionary team building is strongly contested by the enemy as he knows how powerful such a team can be to bring a lasting incarnation of Christ to places and peoples. So our first conclusion is:
“Vision is born from the Father’s love and is validated in community.”
2. The Vision of the total defeat of Satan
“He replied, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Luke 10:18-19
Jesus walked in the vision of the total demise of the enemy. It flooded His every pore and provoked unflinching courage with unbending authority. In Western society, which is tumbling into a lack of confidence and fear, we need to arm ourselves afresh with the revelation of the ultimate overthrow of evil. Fear cripples vision. May the church not be like Job’s friends who received the stinging rebuke.
“Now you too have proved to be of no help; you see something dreadful and are afraid.” Job 6:21
So our second conclusion is:
3. The Vision of the Harvest
“Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35 …”When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
This links us back a little to the overarching vision of the Bride. However it takes her down from the lofty realms of the metaphysical and brings her to the “fields” and “crowds” of everyday existence. Jesus never lost His passion for people. He had the quiet faith that can handle the small, persevering beginnings because it sees the “ripe harvest”. He had the scope to see a whole field and yet meet the need of the harassed individual. He wasn’t waiting for some distant revival or personal sanctification before acting, but was able to channel all His energies into the eternal “now” of opportunity.
So our third conclusion is:
“Vision always produces action – prayer and mission.”
Some people watch television – coming soon in 3 D! Others suffer with double vision. But I wish you all “Triple Vision” to see the Father, overcome the enemy and have hope for today’s kingdom work.
Extract from the book “A fruit in Season” (see books widget)