A VISION FROM GOD – FULFILLING IT – PART 1
Acts 16:9-15 “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; And from there to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony; and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women who resorted there. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, who worshipped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there. And she constrained us”
DO YOU HAVE A VISION?
What is the vision of your life? Where are you going from here? We need to be able to individually answer these questions to our own heart’s satisfaction. God has not called us to be “accidents going somewhere to happen.” He wants us to be people of vision, purpose and direction. Having got a vision, how do you fulfil it?
WAYS TO FULFIL A VISION:
These are some steps that Apostle Paul took in order to fulfil the vision God had given unto him.
“Where there is no vision (“the ability to perceive future developments”), the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). The literal Hebrew translation is, “Without a prophetic vision, the people perish.” People are perishing because, in many respects, they have never seen the impact of our vision. We must have a vision because a vision is life giving; especially a vision that is “born of God” in our heart.
Paul had a vision – what we know as the Macedonian call. Where was Paul when the vision came? Well, he was in quite a nice little place called Troas, right by the seaside, maybe a little holiday resort. But Paul was also looking to God: “Where do You want me to go from here?” And the vision came – “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Macedonia wasn’t down the next street. It wasn’t even just outside of the city. It was right across the seas in another land altogether.
God gave to Paul a large vision! What do you do when you get a vision? God wants us to be able to fulfil the vision! And you can’t fulfil a vision if you haven’t got one! Let God give you a vision and not you take it by yourself. The same principles that applied to Paul fulfilling his vision apply to every one of us with the vision we have from God.
First of all, it will mean change. To fulfil a vision you cannot sit where you are, doing the things you have been doing up until now. What was the first thing Paul did when he got the vision? “Immediately,” verse 10 tells us, “he endeavoured to fulfil it.” Immediately! What does that mean? It means that immediately he set about with cutting his links and his responsibilities with the place he was already at. To fulfil it, he was going to have to loose himself from all the responsibilities that he had in Troas. And immediately he set about this because now, in his heart, he had a call and a vision that the next place was to be Macedonia.
KNOW THE VISION IS OF GOD
Secondly, he was assured that the vision and the call was of God. This is important. * How do you know your vision is of God? You can know. God can speak through His Word. God can answer your prayers. The Holy Spirit can speak to your heart and cause you to know and to understand that which has come into your life is not born of the flesh, nor of self-ego, but of the Spirit of God. The Bible says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). God can confirm it.
Another area of confirmation should involve your leadership – the oversight of your church. This is one of the responsibilities of leadership – that leadership should be able to be approached by the people, who can submit their proposals, their vision for their future, their family, their everything. The relationships should be such that they know something of God’s purpose for your life.
In Acts 16:10, Paul, after he had seen the vision, immediately endeavoured to go to Macedonia,“assuredly gathering.” Now those two words are quite important. It is the only place in the New Testament where they are used with this specific meaning. It means this: “to cause to put together, to examine closely, to conclude from laying circumstances together.” So, not only do we hear the vision from God, and can check out the spiritual avenues of confirmation that are available to us, but we also have an added advantage of being able to lay down together all the circumstances that are happening around us. In the light of the previous, we can act accordingly, to bring about a positive fulfilment of the vision. If we do nothing about it, the vision will eventually die.
With a vision, we need to be able to look at the circumstances that God is bringing about in our lives, and say, “Yes, God is in that. God caused that to happen.” Begin to lay the circumstances out that are happening in your life. Let us never forget that God is much bigger than our circumstances; He can dissolve, remove or work with or around them in order for us to do His will! He wants to be GOD in us as we fulfil His vision in and for our lives! He does not work in a “hit and miss” way! Paul was assured that the vision was of God. That gives you confidence to do something about it.
For further study:
Hebrews 13:7, 17, 20-25,
Personal declaration for the day:
I will fulfil the vision of God for my life.
Questions for you to reflect on:
Have you embarked on the vision of God for your life?