TESTING YOUR VISION
by Pam Clark
In my younger days, vision was given to me. Then (to make a long story short), I realized I could have my own visions! Some of them were pretty good and some of them were pretty wild and gangly. Some just totally needed to be cast out but discerning the good from the bad, or the real from the false did take a learning curve.
What do you do with a vision? You have to hold it up to the tests. There is the test of the Scriptures and the tests of people, the test of good sense and foolishness (to see where it aligns) and the test of endurance, to see if it will stand.
Like I just shared, when I was young, vision was given to me. And a lot of it was good, and I am very grateful for that, but I had a hunger for more and God visited ME (like He will you) and I realized that more vision was going on than what I had just been taught. There is more Life in God, always!
If you have parents at the time all this is going on, they will usually help you a lot. Then also you will find pastors if you are on that Spiritual journey who will help you learn. I thank God I have had some good ones along the way. I remember one pastor who had an open door to the youth so they could ask him questions. Some of them went on to do great and international things!
In the Church you will find that some crazy things come up. Sometimes they are shocking things. The world outside has also found its way inside and there are reasons for that. One big one is that lost people who come in also bring their baggage. And the other reason is that even believers have been known to sin. That is why you will read about scandals, and while at first they seem shocking and “news worthy”, they are also seen to be quite damaging to other believers.
Some people make instant decisions on things they hear without ever going to God. Others take an offense that they never let go of. And even worse in some cases are those who say it doesn’t matter, anything goes. Most of that is not the true Church!
But visions were made to be tested. The Scriptures say this about Joseph:
16 Moreover He called for a famine in the land; He destroyed all the provision of bread. 17 He sent a man before them— Joseph—who was sold as a slave. 18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. 19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him. 20 The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free. 21 He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions, 22 To bind his princes at his pleasure, And teach his elders wisdom.
Joseph was a dreamer if you remember. (Genesis 37 on) He had favorable dreams but when he shared them, there was enough anointing on them to provoke his brothers. He kept on sharing them, and the persecution got worse, to the point that he was sold out by his brothers and sold as a slave to foreigners who did know anything about him.
Joseph went to a strange land that did not fear or even know the God he knew. As a slave, he was a witness to them. In his anguish of soul, which no one took personal, he was tried and tested and for all accounts and purposes, he looked just like everyone else who hated where they were in life. “So what’s new?”
But something else was going on. There was a vision and it was from God. The vision was being tested. I have no doubt that there were days when Joseph wanted to donate the vision to anyone who would take it. But God was faithful, and little by little He gave Joseph signs that the vision from Him was still there and He was real.
A foolish boy’s dreams had many fantasies, but God had to knock those down. Probably most who read this know what the game “king of the hill” is and have probably played it at one time or another. But this vision was not about “might makes right” but wisdom.
For his dream to prosper, he had to learn how it worked! It had all but seemed to die. It certainly had all the marks of impossibility written on it. But there was the God Factor and the fact that the dream did not come from Joseph but from God. It was a God vision, not a man vision. The dream would serve God’s purposes.
Many lives would be saved; many souls would be won. Even the brothers who sold him out would come to repentance, and he would see his father again, and his younger brother from the same mother. Things that were lightly esteemed before as just “normal” and “of course it is that way,” now took on value and treasured meaning.
God is still doing that today. He is reaching out to the nations. He is constantly arranging things so that more souls can be won. But He will start you off small, even very small, so that you can realize the power that is from His Hands.
He knows the plans He has for you, Jeremiah 29:11 says. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope, a good expected end. Many times we would like to go with our own ideas on this and we certainly can give those to God in prayer. We can even present them before people. Sometimes they are blessed!
But the plan that will work and the plan that will stay is the plan from God and He will share the aspects of it with you if you will obey. There are so many movies out today with all these elaborate schemes and intrigue. Some of them are pretty amazing but they will bow at the Throne of God. God will show that He can do an end run around the best of them.
If we get real with God, He will reveal who He is but He doesn’t sell out cheap. In fact, He doesn’t sell out at all, He holds all the strings. We are the ones who limit Him. The truth is that He is unlimited.
Don’t fear your visions, just wisely test them. You will make some mistakes that seem so foolish, but if that was done in the effort to know God more, you will come out on top. He sees the heart. He made the heart! And He knows that He can afford to give it choices.
NOTHING in this world is lost to God. Even John the Baptist said that God could raise up stones as sons to Abraham. No man is leader of the world, save that one Man Jesus. He is the Rock that does not fail.
Explore your visions in wise ways. Do your best to submit them before God. His Vision is to see all men find a Home in Him. There are crazy people out there with crazy visions. Some of it is really sad, but the greater vision, the one that is in Him, will live. The King of Eternity wins.