Dear saints, it’s indeed good to be back with all of you. I trust that the Lord has been watching over you and and blessing you. God gives all of us a vision about Himself and what He wants us to do (Exodus 3:5, 3:10). However, the vision may not always translate into action immediately. There’s an incubation or gestation time before the vision becomes reality, and usually it’s during these times that we stumble.
Please turn with me to 2 Corinthians 10:5 in which the Apostle Paul was defending his apostolic ministry to the rather carnal and corrupt Corinthian church. I’d like to take this verse slightly out of context and focus on the latter half of the verse which reads as follows: “and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Now there many saints who interpret this scripture to mean mental discipline to cast out day dreaming, false imaginations, impure thoughts etc, and they are correct. However, I’d like to put a different spin on it. The thoughts that are in our head may not always be from the Devil. Sometimes, even the Holy Spirit can put God’s ideas and visions into our head. The above scripture means that even godly thoughts and ideas should be disciplined and made obedient to Christ. In other words, God’s plans put into our heads should be accomplished God’s way and not according to our natural understanding. All hell indeed breaks loose if we try to do God’ will our way.
Let’s look at some examples of how horribly things could go wrong if we rush to accomplish God’s vision our way. Genesis 37:5-10 narrates Joseph’s visions and how they aroused jealousy in his brothers. Joseph’s visions were indeed accurate as demonstrated by the events that played out later in Egypt (Genesis Chaps. 42-45). However, the golden boy Joseph must have had an arrogant streak in him when he narrated how his own parents would bow down to him (Genesis 37:10). My take on the events that followed is that Joseph’s suffering taught him patience and humility, virtues which he so admirably demonstrated as Pharaoh’s first lieutenant in Egypt. Joseph should have meditated on the visions before the Lord and sought God’s modus-operandi instead of boasting about them and getting into trouble.
Genesis 16 describes the story of Abraham trying to accomplish God’s will (Genesis 15:4-5) according to natural sense. This was actually a tradition in the ancient world, i.e., if the wife was barren, the maid could legally bear children/heirs to the man of the house. The consequences of Abraham giving birth to Ishmael through Hagar his maid was devastating (Genesis 21:8-21). Many believe that the on-going turmoil in Palestine, the conflict between Jews and Arabs, can be traced back in history to this mistake that Abraham made. Although Genesis 15:6 praises Abraham’s faith, the subsequent events clearly indicate that even this great Patriarch’s faith did fail when he consulted natural wisdom as opposed to relying fully on God.
Let me end with one final illustration of perfect spiritual discipline from the life of the Apostle Paul. In Galatians 1:15-18 the Apostle Paul describes how he didn’t consult flesh and blood, i.e., natural wisdom, but sought solitude with God in the Arabian Desert. In Acts 9:20-31 we read about Paul’s initial evangelical experience which wasn’t very successful as he was almost killed (Acts 9:29) and had to be rescued by the brothers in Damascus (Acts 9:30).
So you see friends, it’s a wonderful blessing to receive a vision from the Lord. The vision will indeed become reality, but God’s way and in God’s good time. There’s a lag time between the vision and it becoming a reality. We shouldn’t run ahead of God and in our human enthusiasm try to do God’s will our way. Maybe God has given some of you a vision to become a missionary, to commence a new Tech start up, to expand your business internationally, or just teach Sunday school to the kids at church. Whatever your vision may be, please wait upon the Lord to accomplish His will, in His way and in His good time. Amen.
Dear friends, I’m quite certain that all of you are sanctified, Holy Ghost baptized saints. Should there be any among you that don’t know the Lord yet, I pray that the Lord of the Universe will set you free from sin and disobedience into His glorious light and freedom. Amen.