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What does the Bible say about Vision?
According to the Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology, Visions often occur in the Bible as instruments of supernatural revelation. They are typically a communication between a heavenly being (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and angels) and an earthly recipient. In both the Old and New Testaments, vision is the act of seeing, observing, or perceiving.
In the Old Testament, visions were often used to receive a divine word. God talks about them in Numbers 12:6 when Aaron and Miriam oppose Moses. A great number of prophets had visions (see Ezekial 1:1, Hosea 12:10), but there were also false prophets proclaiming to have visions (Jeremiah 14:14). Visions of the Old Testament prophets weren’t just about what they were seeing, but often had information about a future state or promise.
In the New Testament, visions occur primarily in the Book of Revelation, Luke, and Acts. In Luke 1:26-27, the angel Gabriel tells Mary of her favor as she conceives Jesus having never been with a man. The apostles had visions to prepare them for events, encounters, or ministry (Acts 9:10-19) and (Acts:10:3-35). Peter’s sermon at the Pentecost (Acts 2:17) confirmed Old Testament prophet Joel’s prediction of an outpouring of visions.
Can Christians Have Visions?
I believe the answer is yes, based on what I’ve read and especially in light of Acts 2. However, I encourage you not to take my answer (or anyone else’s answer) as yours. You should always seek out answers directly through your relationship with God as well as in the Bible.
There are so many references to visions in the Bible, and I encourage you to dig deeper as you consider whether or not God has given you a vision. Obviously, you should make time to pray and seek wisdom and discernment. Also take time to dive into Scripture to ensure that your vision is in agreement with God’s Word. God will never tell you to do something contrary to what he’s provided in the Bible.
Can God Speak in Other Ways?
If you haven’t noticed…I don’t put limitations on God. My belief is that God can and does speak to His children. There are numerous examples in the Bible of God speaking directly to people in dreams and visions, but the most relevant example of God speaking directly to you is that “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit. Again, when you believe God has spoken to you, prayerfully seek wisdom and discernment.
Do I Need Vision to Have a Calling?
If God has given you a vision, you need to prayerfully take action with what God has put in your hand. But, you don’t necessarily need a vision to have a calling.
A calling is what God wants you to do with your life now and in the future. Some Christians have specific callings that they work in for their entire lives. However, for many Christians, their calling changes as the seasons of life change, as they mature both physically and spiritually, and based on the needs around them.
Often, you’ll have specific talents or gifts related to your calling, but God can also provide new gifts and talents for a calling he’s preparing you for. Regardless of your calling, the primary purpose of it is for good (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
What If I Don’t Have a Vision?
Could it be that you’re here on this Earth without purpose? Is it possible you’re only here riding out Earth until you return to Heaven? I doubt it. You’re reading this article because God has put something on your heart, and He’s ready for you to dig it out. It’s time to stop, be still, and pray. It’s time to ponder what God has already provided. It’s time to ask God to point you in His direction. Here are nine prompts to get you started:
- What am I passionate about?
- Is what I’m passionate about in line with my values and beliefs?
- Do my values and beliefs line up with Scripture?
- What skills, talents, abilities do I have today?
- What other resources has God provided to me today?
- How can I use what God put in my hand today to glorify Him? (Asking yourself about resources you have today helps you take action instead of being stuck)
- Are there other people who have similar gifts to mine? Where are they? What are they doing with it? (Knowing what others do helps provide inspiration for what you might do)
- How can I think bigger than what I have today? (Thinking beyond today helps you grow in faith and maturity)
- Based on the answers you’ve written, prayerfully write out your vision for 2020.
Believe it or not, where you are today is where God called you to be in this moment. If you’re not happy with where you are, thank God for the trials, ask Him for clarity and direction, and plan for a better future. It’s possible that your better future will arrive while you’re here on Earth, but I guarantee you that your best future is in the Kingdom with our Father.
Arnold, W. T. (1996). Visions. In Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 802). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
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