Sunday, April 24, 2011

Vision: A Definition

Many years ago when my two eldest children were active in debate, they discovered the importance of defining terminology.  Words have meanings.  Those meanings may change as society changes. Therefore, ddefining words or terminology.  The Webster 1828 defines vision (other than physical sight) as: "something imagined to be seen, though not real, a phantom, a specter"  or "in Scripture, a revelation for God, and appearance or exhibition of something supernaturally presented to the minds of the prophets, by which they were informed of future events. 

The Hebrew word in verse18 of Proverbs 29 simply means: 'a sight' - a mental sight in your mind, a dream, a revelation, an oracle, a vision. It comes from the Hebrew root word 'to gaze at', to gaze upon or mentally perceive, to contemplate with pleasure.

Inherent within these various definitions is the following concept: having a picture in your mind of the future which excites your heart.  Something for which you seek after with passion.  This concept applies to our physical lives but also to our spiritual eyes. 

Let's get practical...

Remember back to when you were a young boy or girl and someone asked you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?  You answered that question with "a fireman, a policeman, a teacher, a princess, etc."  That was a vision. As you grew older that vision most likely changed.

Here's a vision which I grew up with.  My Dad use to tell me that I would go to college, get an engineering degree and go to work somewhere other than my hometown.  Guess what happened?  I went away to college, didn't get an engineering degree, but a chemistry degree and got a job somewhere other than my hometown. Thus, my father's vision for me was fulfilled.

As individuals we can have many visions for ourselves, our spouses and our children. Did you know that God has a vision?  We may not think of them as visions but they are give us "sight" into who He is.  If we adopt His principles, His precepts, and allow the Holy Spirit to create a passion within our hearts, then they are visions according to our definition. 

Consider these passages:

Exodus 20:5-6 - "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments."

John 3:16:  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not  perish, but have eternal life."

These are just two examples of God's vision for us to embrace. Yes, we can have individual visions, but the one which we should be embracing with all of our being are those which God sets before us.

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." (Deut. 6:5)  May I encourage you to embrace our Heavenly Father's vision for us.

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