Many people continue to struggle with negative thoughts about themselves‚ lack of confidence‚ low self-esteem and generally lack of faith that God is interested in helping them make something good happen in their lives. Teaching people how to get rid of such thinking and how to become focused‚ purposeful and effective will continue to be important part of helping people. As Christians we have the advantage that we can draw our strength from God‚ renew our minds in His Word and rely not only on positive thinking of our own choosing‚ but on His promises‚ which are true and timeless.
Still‚ having a vision to succeed in life doesn’t fully match the Biblical concept of receiving a vision from God. This is sorely needed in the Church today. We don’t just need success stories‚ we need testimonies of God’s Spirit intervening in our lives and demonstrating the power of God.
How to receive a vision from God
In a sense‚ to have a vision from God has to do with laying down our own ideas‚ desires and even needs and asking Him to reveal his Kingdom purpose. God is faithful and he will speak to us. He will show us what He wants to make happen and also how we can be part of His work in the earth. To receive a vision from God really means to seek what is important to Him not to us.
This teaching might be difficult for people who are managing a crisis – financial‚ health related‚ marriage and family related‚ professionally and business related‚ etc. Most people‚ when they manage a crisis‚ develop a mental survival filter which “colors” their whole perception of God‚ the way they relate to God’s Word‚ the way they pray and hear from God‚ etc. For example‚ The Book of Psalms reveals the innermost spiritual life of king David. The way he relates to God when he is in crisis is very different from the moments of triumph. I have tried to learn through the years how to manage a crisis and I have the utmost compassion for anyone managing a crisis‚ while keeping my eyes on the big picture of God’s awesome promises!
It’s possible to set aside the pressing needs of your own circumstances‚ to let go of your fears‚ doubts‚ needs and concerns and to meet God at “the 30‚000 feet level” where the sun always shines and you can see and hear things only the spiritual man in us can comprehend. Chuck Pierce calls this “ascending in worship‚ descending in war.” We can learn how to worship in such a way so as to ascend by the Spirit to a place of encountering God apart from our earthly concerns and burdens. We can then receive fresh empowerment and descend on the enemy in war.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God‚ for they are folly to him‚ and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
(1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know‚ God knows.
(2 Corinthians 1’:2 ESV)
Here’s how I believe we get to a place of hearing from God – whether this means having a powerful vision and an encounter with him or discerning his “still small voice”.
a) Listen from a place of faith
You need to already know and have it established in your heart and mind that you are part of God’s Kingdom and as such‚ you have a place and a role in His Kingdom advancement. Now you are listening from a place of faith‚ not fear.
b) Get empty if you want to get full
You need to put aside what you already know and “empty” your spirit. We can’t hear or see from God if we already think we know it all.
c) Know your current positioning
God is a God of continuity. What he will speak to you today will connect with your past‚ present and future. However‚ you May be in a place where you need a clear cut with the past and a brand new beginning. Use caution. Your ability to accurately understand your current position is key to how you hear in regards to the future.
d) Secure the time and the place
You May need to take time to fast and pray. It May be a day‚ a weekend‚ a week or a month‚ depending on what you can afford and what your circumstances are. But you need to take the time to clear up your mind and spirit and tune in to God.
e) Don’t go into outer space
There’s not one true dream or vision from God that involves only you. Every true vision from God involves a greater covenantal body of relationships we all have in our lives – our families‚ as well as those Christian brothers and sisters we are in covenant with. Don’t fall into the trap of “I’m the only one who can hear from God”. Be ready and willing to submit your vision‚ what you hear and see from God to those in your life who represent Jesus’ oversight and authority‚ as well as mentors and trusted friends who have proven their love for you.
d) Write it down
I don’t care how much you saw and heard from the Spirit in your time of seeking him – write it down to the best of your ability. I seriously doubt people who don’t keep a spiritual journal‚ whether they have ever met God and if they are serious stewards of his Word.
God will speak to you. He is not deaf or dumb. He will show you things. He will reveal his will to you. Once he does‚ take it easy and seek him about what it means.