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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Plain Lifestyle, Servants Of Christ » The Problem with Expanding Visions

The Problem with Expanding Visions

  It’s been a while since I wrote a new article and I apologize. It’s not that the Lord has stopped giving them. It’s just that I neglect to spend the time and write them down. This particular one has been around for a year or so, simmering in my spirit.

  I’m going to talk about visions. It seems that everyone has a vision these days. I’m not particularly talking about dreams and angels floating through your bedroom. The visions that I’m writing of are the ones that people or groups set as goals to accomplish.

   Given my almost fifty years of walking this life, I have accumulated a small amount of wisdom. It seems that most of it has come from my dumb mistakes and the more dumb ones seem to produce more wisdom. But as the Scripture says, if we’ll ask He will give it.

     Two observations that I’ve made on visions are: firstly, visions are good for people and secondly, people tend to expand them. What I’m talking about is this. Let’s suppose that a church gets a vision for a new building. Their present one seats around one hundred people and it is full most of the time. Everyone begins to pray, at the pastor’s request, and seek God on what to do. Generally, a decision is made to build a new building and make room for the church to grow. Up until this point the church is seeking God and asking particulars like “how many people do we want it to hold” and “how much money are we going to spend”.

      Let’s suppose that the number two hundred is arrived at and $250,000 will be spent. The funding begins and building permits are acquired. And then it happens – the expanding vision. As money begins to come in, some get the notion that they can do “more” than that. It might be a larger sanctuary or an additional room. Perhaps they decide to build a parking deck or some other building that was not in the original vision. Without fail, they will always make a mistake.

     In my years, I have seen people go beyond what the Lord has shown them, possibly believing the old adage that “if some is good, more is better”. They always do things that are not sanctioned by God when they do this.

A few years ago our family read “The Plain Reader” by Scott Savage. We read night after night and discovered that he had set a goal for his magazine “Plain” to get publication up to a certain number. When he reached that goal, he stopped. The demand for the magazine was high and mind you, he could have hired more employees, bought more equipment and invested more money to continue his business. But wisely, that was not his goal. Another story was of some Amish dairymen who had an opportunity to expand and get really big commercially with their operation. They chose to remain where they were as it was the original vision. They did very well.

A failing logic of humanity is “Success breeds success”.  We hear this all the time.  I say that it is false because it is not consistently accurate.  When the Lord places a vision upon our hearts, He does so with a specific purpose in mind.  He has a work for us to do and He has provided, in the spirit, all that we need to do accomplish that vision.  So as we step out in faith to follow the vision and do the work we begin to see it succeed.  Why?   Because it was planned and orchestrated by Almighty God.  It must succeed.  And then we add in our part. As I said before “if some is good, more is better”.

We see this repeatedly in scripture – Isaac was the vision, Ishmael was the human addition.  Almighty God as Lord and King was the vision, Saul was the human addition.  A sling and stones was the vision, armor and weaponry was the human addition.  To wash Peter’s feet was the Lord’s desire, Peter’s head and hands also was the human addition.  The point is that the human addition is sin and it is where disaster always strikes. 

   If we truly have a vision of something to accomplish and we feel in our hearts that we’ve heard from the Lord, we should remain at that even if we reach it quickly. The Lord knows the future and what we can and cannot do. He knows when enough is enough. We should really listen to what the Spirit has said to us when we have asked for the answer. The answer will not change!

paul

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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Filed under: Plain Lifestyle, Servants Of Christ

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