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What is a God-given Vision?

From yesterday, we are continuing to think about the vision God gave Abram, soon to have his name changed to Abraham. It was about the future of his descendants that they would become a great nation. When God calls a man or woman to a particular task, often He will give them a vision/picture in their mind of how the future will look. After getting a vision, one must prayerfully plan how they are to bring the vision into reality. As I write, I remember more than 40 years ago the thoughts God put in my heart for the future. It is not the same method for every person. Stay open to the Lord and be alert to His promptings. God’s vision to Abraham was to look up at the stars in the night sky:

“Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:5-6).

God used various things in my life to give me a vision for what He wanted me to do. Shortly after God called me from my career as a commercial fisherman, I worked in a print shop for a Christian printing organization called Cornerstone Print and Design. This small printing company served missionary agencies and other churches and Christian organizations in England by printing all kinds of literature that would help them reach the world for Christ. I remember they had a sign on the wall that said: "A drop of ink will make a million think!" The sign on the wall grabbed my attention and gave me vision for my future. I could see the need for Christian tracts, and God began to stir my heart for the needs of other nations that have little resources to learn of the Lord. God began to show me His vision to reach the world, and that is what I am still working to fulfill today. It started with just a house group, but God can multiply our five loaves and two fish. Hah! The Lord can use the everyday things in life to speak to your heart about His goal for your life.

What is a vision? It is described as "foresight with insight based on hindsight." We ought to look into the future and begin to see what God wants us to do with the eyes of faith. Vision also focuses on one's present circumstances and asks: "how do I get there from here?" Also, vision considers the learning that one has accumulated from the past. A vision is a clear mental image of a preferable future given to enable them to work toward the goal. When a person has obtained a clear picture of what God wants to do, then the man or woman of God goes to the Lord in prayer for practical steps to reach that goal or vision. Without concrete steps toward the preferable future, there is difficulty in stretching beyond the present reality. God showed Abram a picture in his mind's eye of the end he was holding onto in faith.

How does God envision us, and what methods does He use today? How can you tell if a vision is from God? God will often use His Word, a dream, through song, encouragement from another, a mentor, or someone who inspires us to do what they are doing—maybe even this short meditation! It can also be a need we want to meet or a strong desire to do something that will right a wrong. It can be as simple as a natural God-given talent mixed with strong desire.

If a vision is from God, it will always align with Scripture. Test your vision to see if it matches up with the Word of God. Ask God to give you the first step in understanding how to bring your vision into reality. Be ready to take steps of faith. Often, there is an excitement that comes when we see what God has for us to do. Paul the apostle wrote: “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). What vision sustains you while you wait for God's promises to be fulfilled? If the vision is not clear before you, go to the Lord and ask Him to show you His plan and purposes for your life. Keith Thomas

If you’d like to share these thoughts on social media, there are Facebook and Twitter links at the bottom of the page and the link to send on an email.

Taken from the complete study found in the series on Abraham. Go to All Studies, scroll down to The Faith of Abraham and click on study 2. Abraham, Man with a Vision


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