Obtaining a Vision ~ Feb 22nd, 2012

» Posted by on Feb 23, 2012 in Pastor Michael Bondanza | 0 comments

The message of the Lord tonight (2/22/12) given to His people:

Christianity 101 – Bible Study
“Catching the Vision”
(Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keeps the law, happy is he.)

Thomas A. Edison was the most prolific inventor in modern times—perhaps ever. He made scores of attempts to re-invent the light bulb. After an unsuccessful effort, one of his associates said, “Well, you have failed again.” “No,” replied Edison, “I have succeeded again. I now know another way how not to make a light bulb.”

You can’t fight or strive for something if you don’t envision a victory or hope in something.  There has to be a mental picture of the end result.  What I am going to show you tonight is what the Lord has shown me regarding obtaining a vision.  The devil knows that we are dangerous, much like Thomas Edison – how he didn’t give up, when we have a vision.  So, he (the devil) knows that if he can rob us of that picture within our soul (mind) of the goal and victory then he has already defeated us with little effort.  Everything we do without a goal or vision is done in vanity and will not succeed.  Therefore, there are three things that I want to show you regarding obtaining or “catching” the vision.

  1. The first thing is that with a vision, you are unstoppable and driven (impelled) to accomplish the victory and achievement of the vision.
  2. The second thing is that there is a principle to catching the vision and two parts to the principle.  I will cover these later.
  3. The third thing is that there is a huge deception in American Christianity that will rob you of your vision.  If you know the tactics of the enemy, you can surely counter them!

So, what is a vision?  I think Phil Grant said it best:

A vision is the dominant factor that governs your life.  It determines all the choices you are making; it’s what’s left after all the layers are peeled away like an onion.  Clinging like glue to the inside of your rib cage.  It’s what your mind naturally gravitates toward when it is not legitimately concentrating on something else.  It’s what determines your friendships and your relationships that you are cultivating.  It’s what your prayers are about—what you dream about and are giving money toward.
—Phil Grant

When you have a vision, there is nothing that will stand in your way.  You will overcome any obstacle that may stand in your way.  You are committed to it, not just interested in it.  Example:  A lot of people are interested in improving their physical appearance, but aren’t willing to commit to the work involved (paying the price).  A person interested in exercise will wake up in the morning and if it’s raining say “I’ll exercise tomorrow, it’s raining”.  A person who is committed will get up and see it’s raining and say “I need to find another place to exercise”.

The Apostles who turned the world upside down did it because they had a vision in their hearts.

This brings me to point number 2: The principle.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Proverbs 28:19 and never saw this.  There is a principle there plain as day.  Look at the second part to that verse “but he that keeps the law, happy is he”.  If you’re like me, you might say “What in the world does this have to do with a vision?”  So I did what any man should do and I asked the Lord and wow!!! God is so awesome and faithful to reveal Himself to those who seek Him!

I began to see a pattern unveil throughout the Bible.  The first thing the Lord showed me was the context of which we (in our culture) think of the words “Thou shalt not…”. For years I heard those words in my head as an old man with a long beard and a angry scowl looking down at a poor person pointing a finger and shaking it as if to say “THOU SHALT NOT ____ OR ELSE!!!”.  But God showed me something through my Awesome Savior, Jesus Christ!  In John chapter 14 verses 15-24 Jesus says “If you love me, you’ll keep my commands” three times.  So, as Jesus is the image that expresses God, I see “Thou Shalt Not” now as “If you love me, you won’t”  This pattern is seen in Leviticus 18:3, Proverbs 7:1-3, and Proverbs 19:16 just to name a few.

So what does this have to do with a vision you’re still wondering?  Well, remember the second part to Proverbs 29:18.  Keeping His Word… That’s the key.  If we love Him, truly love Him and we have not only named Him, but live our lives with Him as LORD of ALL, we WILL keep His Word.  That is the first part of the principle of obtaining a vision.  Look at the gospel of John with me, chapter 9, verses 1-7.

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

Look at what happened when the blind man kept His (Jesus’) word!  He received his vision!  A physical manifestation of a spiritual principle!  Get this!  Don’t let it slip past you!  If you don’t remember anything else I say, remember this: You can only obtain the vision AFTER you keep His Word!   Wow!

This brings me to the Third point of catching the vision: The Deception.

In order to keep His Word, we have to know it.  That means we have to READ it.  That means there is an obvious VALUE to His Word for us in our lives.  If His Word is valuable to us, then the devil certainly knows it too.  This is the great deception in American Christianity and why people and churches are perishing in this country; as it is written: “without a vision the people perish”.  The deception is in “daily devotionals”.  Yes, that’s right.  I said it.  For those of you who are reading a daily devotional every day, the devil is snatching your vision right out of your life and you’re dying spiritually.  Daily devotionals may contain (and I’ll be generous) three (3) verses of scripture for each day of the year, for a year’s time.  Three is a generous number.  I looked at several and most only contain one verse per day.  But let’s do some math, shall we?  The entire Bible contains 30,102 verses in the Old and New Testaments.  So let’s say you read your daily devotional every day that has three verses.  Did you know that it would take you 27.5 years to read the whole Bible?  Let’s say you are a super-trooper and you go above and beyond and read your three verses in the daily devotional and then add seven more from the Bible.  It will still take you 8.25 years to read the Bible.  Now, consider that these devotionals are only for one year and even if you bought a new one every year, they will NEVER contain EVERY scripture.  The third point is that if you read a daily devotional instead of the Bible, you will never catch a vision.  This is of the UTMOST importance!  THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR THE BIBLE, THE HOLY AND LIVING WORD OF GOD!  Those who are reading a one verse devotional every day don’t realize that reading only one verse a day will take a person 82.5 years to read the whole Bible.  It will never happen.  They will never catch a vision and they perish in dead religion.  Some more numbers for you.  The New Testament contains 7,958 Verses.  Just reading 3 verses a day will take you 7 years to read JUST THE NEW TESTAMENT!  Reading 10 verses a day will take you 2 years.  Just one verse from the New Testament a day will take you 22 years to read it.  The average number of verses per chapter in the Bible is 26.  If you want to read the Bible in 1 year (which I strongly encourage you to do), then that means you have to read 82.5 verses a day.  That breaks down to a hair over 3 chapters a day.

That’s where commitment comes in.  Remember the difference between being “interested” and “committed”?  Remember Jesus’ words “If you love me, you will keep my words”?  How committed are we really?  Are you saying “Wow, I can’t read that much every day… I have too much stuff to do…”  Some of you are saying that, some of you will catch this and rise up to the call because you see and acknowledge dead religion and you don’t want to be a part of it any longer.  Some of you will be stirred to the very core of your being.  Some of you are looking at your life and asking yourselves “Do I really love God?  Am I keeping His Word?” and you will see how we miss the mark.  My hope and prayer is that all of you would catch the vision.  If you’re in agreement and you’re saying in your heart “God, I haven’t kept your word.  I don’t know what your word really says, but I want to.”  Then, cry out to Jesus right now from your heart!  Nobody should have to lead you in a prayer.  It must come from your own heart.  If you don’t know what to say, then you do not truly see your sin from God’s perspective.

Pastor Michael

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