Points to Ponder: It all began with a vision
Points to Ponder
It all began with a vision
As I was driving into town, I noticed that the Baptist church I passed had built its doors into the corner of the building. In effect, one side of the door frame was facing the side street while the other faced the main thoroughfare. I wondered if the original planners of this church put that door at the intersection of two streets as a way of encouraging any pedestrian walking down either street to come into their sanctuary. Did the men who designed that structure sit around a table and discuss the possibilities of several options for locating the doors? Some brilliant soul perhaps surmised that a corner entry way sends a message: "be you on the side street in obscurity, or roaming on the main in the flow of the world passing by, you are welcome to enter God's house."
I thought to myself, as I pondered the variety of buildings and houses (some new and some historic) that each structure began as a drawing on a piece of paper. If you take the time and find the right file downtown, you can probably see that drawing. What you'll see is the finished, formally catalogued clean copy. But if you could go farther back, you'd find a first draft somewhere. There was a day when someone envisioned in their mind this house or that business and put pencil to paper with their own hand. Even the dilapidated, rundown sections of any town or city started out as a thought in someone's mind. That thought was the product of a vision for something needed. There was a problem to be solved, or an opportunity to start a venture for the good of the community; then someone sat down with pencil and paper and put their thoughts into picture form.
What makes a slum? What makes the business districts of some cities depressed and broken down? Is it not because the original vision was lost? Everything we seek to build starts as a dream. But if we don't keep the dream fresh and alive in our own minds, we cannot expect others to put their hearts into something they never saw themselves.
The role of Spirit-filled people is to see things from a spiritual perspective.
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).
To prophesy is to bear witness, to understand and thus be enabled to proclaim and to teach the word of God. Take what Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth.
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God" (1 Corinthians 2:12).
Imagine, if you are regularly in the scripture, seeking insights from God, and then you look at the world around you; a vision of what could be may come to mind. A dream of how the impossible will be made possible by faith in the Power that is beyond you yet resides within your heart.
"These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:13-14).
People may think that you are strange, having the ideas and concepts about the world that are so "unrealistic." Yet, because our God is Real, He is Sovereign over reality. And by His grace and through faith in Him reality can be changed.
What does it mean when Paul says: "But we have the mind of Christ" (vs.16)? With ready access to scripture - His word - and the presence of His Spirit dwelling in our hearts, there is a way to see and to perceive the world around you.
Is there something you are failing to see that you would do well to look over again? Are you giving up on something too soon? If nothing is too hard for the Lord (Gen. 18;14), and "with God nothing will be impossible" (Luke 1:37), then how ought you be praying? Is there a picture in your mind of what could be if you gave the matter to God and followed His vision and embraced His dream? If everything began as a vision, why not begin again?
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring, MD (1/4 mile east of Clear Spring on Rt. 40). Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 7:50pm, both days. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.