For many years I have prayed over Deuteronomy 34:7 NKJ “Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.”
From this verse I have (and continue) prayed for Vision and Vitality; praying for eyes to see something in front of me that God wants to do and for the physical vitality to do it.
Recently I have been focusing on Acts 16:9,10 in The Message, “That night Paul had a dream. A Macedonian stood on a far shore and called across the sea, come over to Macedonia and help us. The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.”
In 1st Samuel 3:1 (NLT) we read, “…now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.”
In Peter’s first sermon at Pentecost, quoting the Prophet Joel, he says that God would pour out his spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:17.
As I look back over these passages of Scripture about hearing from God, having dreams and visions from Him, here are a few observations, based on His word and my experience and thoughts:
It seems clear to me, from Genesis to Revelation, that God uses dreams/visions (asleep or awake) to speak to people and communicate his plans and purposes for them. He can continue to do so as he chooses.
It sadden’s me to read that at a point in time, visions were quite uncommon. I think that in many cases among leaders today there is not a lot of hearing from God as to what He wants to do. I believe it was George Barna who said that from his work he came to believe that only 3% of lead pastors are visionaries.
I’m personally motivated to pray and ask big as I seek Him for what He wants to do, not merely what I want to do. What does He have in mind, not what do I have in mind is what I want to motivate and drive me.
I’m an older man and it encourages me from Peter’s sermon that old men shall also dream dreams; not just younger men. I am always stoked when I think of Caleb who at 80 said he was as strong as he was at 40 and was asking God for a mountain to take. I will be 83 in December and have some dreams He is giving me in the few years I may have left. I’m definitely on my last lap having probably already lived 95% of my life, but I’m not through yet and He’s not through with me yet.
I love the thought that the dream gave Paul his map. Hearing from God can give me a pathway, a compass, a foundation to build on as I move into the future. I am easily tempted to dream too small, not too big. “Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring, for his grace and power are such none can ever ask too much”—John Newton.
Once I believe I’ve heard from God—a message, a dream, a clear word, a vision of what He has in mind, I want to do what Paul did—go to work at once to obey and follow the dream/vision. I want to have the confidence that God has called me to something much bigger than I am or can envision myself doing; confident that He will do it.
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” ~ Ephesians 3:20 The Message.
How about you my fellow leader?
- Are you spending adequate, quality time with Him so you can hear His dream/vision for you and what He’s calling you to do?
- Are you stepping out in responsive obedience to what you’re hearing?
- Are you coming with all kinds of excuses and reasons why you can’t or won’t respond to Him?
- Are you sharing what you’re hearing with others you work with so they can affirm, pray with you and join with you as you press ahead. Success is a team sport. It says in Acts 16:10 WE (Paul, Silas and Timothy) went to work at once.