“Isn’t it great to be able to see?” This is how Pastor Phyl began his sermon. He talked about how we often don’t see or appreciate the things we have. Helen Keller once said, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet”. We need to develop an attitude of gratitude. It is great to be able to see. It is great to have sight.
In his sermon last week, Pastor Phyl told us about some Welsh words that escape literal translation, but this week, he told us about some silly Welsh phrases. He said that his favourite one was “Don’t turn round but look behind you”. It would be really cool if we could look behind us, but God created us this way as we are supposed to look forward, and not backwards.
Sight is a very interesting concept. The Bible uses sight and vision a lot, but the whole premise of Christianity is ‘faith’, which is the belief in something not seen. In a way, we have an upside down faith, as vision, seeing and sight is littered throughout the Bible, but Jesus is telling us to believe even when we can’t see.
Proverbs 29:18 says that “Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained; But happy and blessed is he who keeps the laws of God”. The scripture doesn’t talk about blindness, but rather, uses the word vision.
As humans, we have eyes in the front of our head, whereas animals have eyes to the side. This gives them a wider field of vision, but God has shaped us to go forward. We are called to be a people of vision.
Psalm 37:23-24 says “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand”. Reading this passage of scripture, we can become questioning. It tells us that we might stumble. We see this as a failure and as something against us, and not of God, but in truth, this is how God builds our character.
The truth is that God is good, and that a powerful vision is built on God Himself. It can be difficult to understand, as the way that seems right to man, but it leads to destruction. Proverbs 29:18, talks of a people unrestrained. They have no compass with which to gain direction.
Pastor Phyl then said that he had six things to tell us, about vision from the revelation of God and His word, using the acronym “VISION”.
- Values are good. Trust; integrity; respect. The Bible challenges us to take these values and write them on our hearts. The truth is that God loves everyone, and that if we are to truly do as we are called to do, then so must we. God gives us the fruits of the spirit, in Galatians 5:22 as core values for life. If we are to truly follow His vision, then we must embody these and behave in a way that shows love to others in the same way that He shows love for us.
- Integrity is present. Pastor Phyl used an illustration of a balloon to show integrity, asking what would happen if he compressed it. The answer, of course was that it would pop. It would pop at it’s weakest point; a point with a lack of integrity. Like the balloon, our vision, if it lacks integrity, is not of God, and will likely be destroyed when a little pressure is applied. We must not allow a lack of integrity into our lives.
- Strength of character. This could be referred to as a determinedness of will, where we see what is good and right, and have the strength within our character to push for it, regardless of the trials that may come our way. The truth is that Christianity changes people. They are transformed, sometimes, beyond recognition, all because they have the courage to trust God, and to follow the vision that He has laid upon their hearts.
- Innovation abounds. This simply translates to creativity. When we align our vision with God’s, new gifts are unlocked within us. We see our fruits flourish as a result of our obedience to His will.
- Others focused. We must be prepared to be selfless. We have been called to seek and to serve. We have to serve. We must put ourselves last, and put others first. This is a godly vision.
- No one is excluded. We have a faith that is inclusive of everyone, and we are called to make sure that no one is left out. We must not get caught up in the side show, but be careful to make sure that every person feels included. Jesus created an environment where no one was excluded. He loved everyone. God loves the unlovely.
In closing, Pastor Phyl asked us to work to have a vision that makes us restrained by the correct revelation of God.
Scriptures: Proverbs 29:18, Psalm 37:23-24, Galatians 5:22.