Thursday, 11 July 2019

Spiritual Visions

Scripture: Habakkuk 2 v 2 - 3: "And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
 3  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

When we are established in our walk with Jesus and have put off our worldly nature for the deeper spiritual life, the Lord begins to prepare us for the real purpose of our relationship with Him.

As we mature and discard foolish things, He starts to take us seriously and will start to map out the plan of our life.  We may know there is a calling on our life or it may be a surprise to discover that He needs us to fulfil our part in the scheme of things.

One of the ways He achieves this is by giving us a vision.  It may be something He reveals as a picture or series of pictures in our spirit that is viewed by our mind.  Some are like a video that can flow over days or weeks. Sometimes the information comes as thoughts filled with specific purposes.

Some people get very excited to just see a vision and take it no further.  Whole churches get caught up in rejoicing because there are people being shown visions but never actually acting on them.  A group of us visited a large church where three new pastors were being ordained.  I had with me a newly born again lady.

Someone in the congregation had a vision for the first new pastor, of an empty fountain pen lying next to an inkwell. (For the youngsters, at our schools we had desks with little china inkwells on them, filled with blue ink, so we could refill our fountain pens when they ran dry.) 

For the second pastor the vision was of a hosepipe connected to a tap but the tap was not turned on.  I cannot remember the third but it was similar.  The congregation rejoiced and clapped loudly that these visions had been given.  On our way home my new convert asked me why they did not fill the pen and turn on the tap to fill the new pastors with the Holy Spirit!

We must act on information that is given to us by the Lord.  We must analyse the visions and do what is logical.  Many prayers go unanswered if we fail to engage with the Holy Spirit and continue to implement His intimations.  

The same lady, before she was saved, woke up one night and was aware of something happening in her bedroom and the words Jesus Is Lord reverberating around her room.  Her son and mine were in the same class at school and two years before I had been parked behind her car and Jesus had said to me, Pray for her.  Which I did.

Two years later I had a note from her asking if her son could have a play date with mine the next day.  So he came, and said, we should have gone back to England today but the house sale fell through.  I did not know his mother was the lady I had been instructed to pray for until she fetched him.  She saw some things in my home that told her I was a Christian.  She had never attended any church in her life.

She told me about this vision she had in the night.  She had felt she must tell someone but did not know who.  Our God works in mysterious ways.  Over the next few weeks I taught her about the gospel and she started reading the New Testament.  One day she said, I am ready!  She is still a believer today, and our sons are now 45 years old.  She acted on her vision and was rewarded with salvation.

These visions can be played out over many years.  My prayer partner and I had a vision about my life that has been like that.  It started in 1982 and the visions lasted for a few months.  The first one was of me standing before two huge golden doors which I had to push open.  There were steps down to a boat in the river.

Jesus was already in the boat and there were various things happening to the boat that I had to learn to handle, like cross-currents, log jams, a bear in the water, people in need on the bank, stuck in mud, waiting for rain to lift the boat out of the mud.  Then there was another boat being towed by my boat, then there were others on the towed boat.  It has taken many years to travel through this vision and I am still not at the end but definitely much closer.

There have been many exciting experiences, but also long periods of just patiently waiting for Jesus to put things in order.  Learning not to get ahead of His plan by listening to Him.  Him letting me bump my head on certain things so I would learn not to be impatient, not to do things my way, but to be disciplined and obedient.  I must have been a slow learner at times!

But He has opportunities for each one of us and even if we stumble, or fall, or mess up, He will keep leading us until we get it.  Even if it takes long, He is very patient.  Sometimes it's just a carrot before the donkey's nose that He gives us and we must press on.  Sometimes we get frustrated or hopeless and He will tell us, Lean not on your own understanding, just trust Me.

We learn to trust Him, and our love for Him grows and so does our love for our family in Christ.  We are all a work in progress and should not look down on someone who has not yet arrived at our spot on the map.  He may have fallen and Jesus is waiting for us to lift him up, rather than kicking him when he is down.  Jesus says, What we do to the least of these His brethren, we do it to Him.

On a cautionary note, do not try to make or create your own vision.  This is called visualization!  It is an occult experience that will take us far from the true path into sometimes dangerous territory.  It is a very popular format in the godless world arena and has spilled over into the church in some places, causing many problems.

The churches using visualization do so because they are not in the right place with God.  They have lost their light and need to repent and do the first works to get back in line.  They are trying to create their own path and use self-justification to bolster their ideas.  Jesus calls them the blind leading the blind.  Some will never turn back to the right way which is very sad.  Jesus says come out from among them and be separated to Me.

To be separated to the purpose of Jesus is to begin to walk in holiness.  He is sinless and leads us in a true way when we refuse to compromise with sin.  When we are adamant that we want a closer walk with Him and are prepared to make any sacrifice to achieve it, that is when we truly understand the nature of His calling.

Joel 2 v 27 - 28: "And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
 28  And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:"

Write the vision down when it does come and keep it as a banner for the future days when the enemy tries to distract and frustrate us.  Trust Jesus to pull us through the doubts and fears and to strengthen us through them.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, when we receive spiritual visions we know without a doubt that they come from You.  They always enhance us and fit in with the path we are on.  Not every calling is for pastoring or preaching but our calling is for specific tasks to be completed.  Guide us into understanding what is best for us.  In Jesus' name. Amen.