Humans are “eye-minded”. Our minds work from images and our memory retains images. We are so strongly visual that a simple visual image, such as a parable, can explain a difficult and complex subject to almost anyone.
Moses, Jacob, David, Isaiah, Jesus, and Paul were all outstanding visionaries of God’s Word. They were men of action and sentiment whose life and work was communicated and assisted through visions they received. This insight grew their character, allowing them to bring order to the spiritual and physical worlds.
A vision starts with faith, and faith demands fellowship with the Lord. We need to embrace Him with our whole being and life. From there we can begin to see Him as He is and know that He is God. The Spirit teaches our hearts to focus on the Lord. We must possess His image in our hearts and set ourselves apart to Him before we can see His need or His leading.
Visions provide knowledge and wisdom for our life’s work, but the Spirit does not command us to do things. As with Paul, He shows us a need, and we must choose whether or not we will be obedient to His calling. When a vision is imparted to us and we obey, we then gain discernment and the ability to perceive truth from the Lord’s viewpoint.
Authentic visions are wedded directly to God’s Word and made alive by His Spirit. They lift us up and allow us to perceive the domain where Jesus lives. If they do not, they are not real visions, but delusions.
For Paul, the Gospel was to be preached to everyone, everywhere, anytime; but for that time, only in Macedonia. His journey had been stopped by the Holy Spirit, and this surely brought tension to his life. But, as was his custom, Paul prayed, seeking the Lord’s will and purpose; and he was obedient, glorifying Christ. As he said in Philippians 4:11&13, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances… I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Pastor Odom’s message can be heard each Sunday on Radio KAML, AM 990, at 8:30 a.m. Choate Baptist Church meets for Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., Worship at 11 a.m., and Sunday and Wednesday Evening Services at 7 p.m.