Summary: This message deals with the process involved in biblical vision. Just because one is led by God to see what He intends for a particular work, does not mean that all will remain static, and without obstacles.
Text: Ex. 3:7-10; Ex. 4:29-31; Prov. 29:18
Intro: When one uses the word “vision” he could be talking about any number of things. One could be talking about the faculty of sight, a perception gained by supernatural means, or simply intelligent foresight. However, the biblical concept of vision with which this message will be concerned, though involving intelligent foresight, actually goes beyond mere human intellect. That is because biblical vision has as its foundation, faith in the faithfulness of God. This vision originates in the mind of God, and with the work of God’s Spirit upon the heart of His child, not with one’s fleshly or selfish desires, however lofty they may seem.
One definition of biblical vision is, “…a divine expectancy grounded in the faithfulness of God and the knowledge of His revealed will.”1 Hebrews 11:1 puts it this way: “Now faith is the substance (ground or confidence) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In other words, vision is a confident expectancy based on faith in the revealed will of God. Vision and faith go hand-in-hand.
However, like faith, conflict often tests our vision to reveal whether it is merely a matter of the head, or a matter of the heart. Sometimes God permits the testing of our vision to move us away from operating on head knowledge alone to operating on heart knowledge; or more accurately, heart confidence and assurance—whether we simply feel good about a particular prospect, or we are truly convinced by faith.
In the passages just read, the Israelites had received the revelation that God was going to deliver them from bondage. They believed that revealed truth, and responded with worship toward God. The whole atmosphere of Exodus 4:31 is one of expectancy.
However, the story does not stop here. The Israelites did not realize that God would sorely test their vision of deliverance. When things did not work out as smoothly as they imagined, they began to have doubts about the vision. They began to feel misguided in their expectations.
I want us to look at three steps that take place in the life of the Christian concerning vision, or expectations for the future. It helps to know these things when testings come our way.
Theme: The three steps involved in spiritual vision are…
I. THE FORMING of the VISION
A. God’s Will was Revealed.
Ex. 3:7 “And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jubusites.
10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.”
NOTE:  God had originally promised Abraham that he would possess the land of Canaan (Gen. 13:4-17; Gen. 15:18). God later repeated this promise to Isaac and Jacob (Gen. 50:24). All the Israelites in Egypt were well aware of God’s promise. Their bondage in Egypt must have seemed like a gross contradiction to God’s earlier promise of an inheritance.
 Vision is the ability to see with the eyes of one’s heart and faith that which is not yet physically visible. It gives one purpose for life, as is evident in the following:
It started like so many evenings—Mom and Dad at home and Jimmy playing after dinner. Mom and Dad were absorbed with jobs and did not notice the time. It was a full moon, and some of the light seeped through the windows. Then Mom glanced at the clock. “Jimmy, it’s time to go to bed. Go up now and I’ll come and settle you later.” Unlike usual, Jimmy went straight upstairs to his room.
An hour or so later his mother came up to check if all was well, and to her astonishment found that her son was staring quietly out of his window at the moonlit scenery. “What are you doing, Jimmy?”
“I’m looking at the moon, Mommy.”
“Well, it’s time to go to bed now.”
As one reluctant boy settled down, he said, “Mommy, you know one day I’m going to walk on the moon.”
Who could have known that the boy in whom the dream was planted that night would survive a near fatal motorbike crash, which broke almost every bone in his body, and would bring to fruition this dream 32 years later when James Irwin stepped on the moon’s surface, just one of the 12 representatives of the human race to have done so?2