Summary: We must have the Mind of Christ if we are going to have a proper vision for our churches.
People With a Vision
By Pastor Jim May
What does it mean to have a vision? I want to quickly give you a few definitions that I believe pertain to everyone of us tonight. We must be people with a vision, but what does that mean?
Having vision is defined as:
-the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight (both physical and spiritual)
-the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be (having the right frame of mind and a good ability to discern what’s happening and anticipate the future)
an experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often under the influence of a divine or other agency
-a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation (the closer we are to the mind of Christ, the more vivid our vision will be.
While modern philosophers make the statement that, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive, he can achieve”, the Mind of Christ is more concerned with what is the will of God, and not of man. If God gives us the vision, then he also gives us the ability to see it come to pass.
-a scene, person, etc., of extraordinary beauty – This is all about Jesus and his working in us. The world doesn’t see Jesus as anything beautiful. I submit to you that many in the church don’t have a proper vision of Jesus either.
Isaiah 53:1-6, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
The world sees him as nothing more than a man, and even as a common criminal that died on a cross. The world sees nothing but suffering, blood, death and then no more than any other “holy man” except that he makes a claim that none other can make, that he rose from the dead. They cannot see the beauty behind the veil of suffering and death.
Many in the church may confess him as Lord and know of him as a Savior, but they don’t truly know him. They see Jesus as a limiting factor in their lives, someone who tries to control them and keep them from enjoying life and doing what they want to do. Their vision is marred and limited, and they can’t see the true beauty of Christ because of the veil of sin that still separates them from that clear vision.
The opposite of vision is called blindness and I also want to add a lesser, but just as limiting condition known as shortsightedness. The physical aspects of these conditions are easily understood, but we need to understand that the spiritual aspects are vastly greater.
These conditions in the spiritual realm are the result of a wrong attitude of the mind and of the heart and are the causes for a lack of discernment.
God wants his people to be people with a vision, not just to see the past, or the here and now, but to see into the future far enough to have a dream, to create a passion, to stir the Spirit within them, and give them a reason and a purpose for living; something that will drive them out of their comfort zones, out of their lethargy, and out into the world with but one purpose – to build the Kingdom of God by leading souls to Jesus. Everything else that we do must be centered upon that one purpose alone. Whether its bringing new ministers into the organization or building facilities; whether its having special services like youth camps, rallies, camp meetings or conventions; or whether its coming together for times of fellowship – everything must be geared to one purpose – reaching souls for Christ.
If we get caught up in trying to do our own thing, we risk the chance of losing the Mind of Christ. If we get caught up in personalities, or promoting our own agenda, instead of God’s agenda, then it will only result in divisions and schisms in the Body of Christ. We must keep the Mind of Christ through prayer. Unity is only built and only maintained as long as we stay focused only on what Jesus wants and nothing else.