Every great leader’s decision is determined by the vision he has. Proverbs 29:18 says: "Where there is no vision, the people perish." So the question is, how can I get a vision so that my people and I will not perish? This is a very profound question that every man/woman that wants to make a meaning out of his/her life must ask because the truth is, some people do not see beyond their nose, if you can’t see far then your vision is myopic, it can’t take you anywhere.
The only way we can get a correct vision is to look up, and when we look up we should see nothing other than God. Why did I say this? Is it possible to look at the mirror and see yourself? You are a reflection of God, and if you can see God you can find purpose and vision.
My subject of discussion today is very interesting; the power of vision. I am sure a lot of us are familiar with this topic, but the Holy Spirit wants us to see it in a fresh new light. I find this topic very interesting because it talks about vision, it talks about making the right decision, consequences of bad decision, and little things that can hinder God from communicating His vision, purpose and counsel to a man.
Therefore, if you are a youth and you are yet to find a vision or you are already a leader, then this piece would be relevant for you. The focus is why it is important for one to have a vision and most importantly, why should a man get a correct vision?
Let us begin our meditation from the book of Genesis 13:10-18.
10 - And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 11 - Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 12 - Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 - But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD. 14 - And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are--northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 - for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 17 - Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." 18 - Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD”
It was a decision time for Abraham and Lot, and Abraham was not in a rush, but lot out of greed and negligence for God; quickly looked up and saw what his eyes wanted to see. Any time you refuse to acknowledge God before taking a decision, you will always see what is pleasing to the eyes and appealing to the senses. It will automatically end you in shame frustration and pain. Lot lifted up his eyes and the only thing he could see was the plain of Jordan. How it was well watered and looking like the garden of Eden, and how it had glory like Egypt, the then world super power.
Going to verse 11, the Bible says Lot chose for himself, and we must note that word. This is where a lot of people miss out of the will of God. We usually choose for ourselves neglecting and sidelining Gods opinion concerning a matter. In order to make the right decision, free from pain and heartache we must wait for God to choose things for us. His options are far better. He doesn’t do guess work, His decisions are precise and straight on point.
Looking at verse 12, after making his decision, after choosing for himself what he wanted, he pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. I want us to note this word “he pitched his tent as far as Sodom.” In other words, it was close to the city whose inhabitants are wicked men and women who do not fear God and they are doomed for destruction. That’s what decision without God could do to a man. But on the contrary in verse 18, Abraham lifted up his eyes and what he saw was a place to pitch his tent and build an altar for the Lord, a place where nothing will hinder his relationship with God. While Lots decision drew him closer to a place where sin is celebrated, Abraham’s decision led him to a place where he can speak with God and fellowship with Him.
Looking critically into verse 18, the features of the land Abraham saw, you will notice there was nothing significant about the land he saw except for the Terebinth trees of Mamre. What does this signify? It means that when the Holy Spirit helps you to make decision, it gives you rest. Gods decision for Abraham gave him a place of rest. Rest is very vital to life. Trees are meant to provide shed and shelter, thereby giving a fresh air when there is a scorching sun in the heat of the day. Not only did Abraham have a place to pray, he also had a place to rest and a place to pitch his tenth. No wonder he had to attract angels in visitation. The only time angels visited Lot, we knew the story of what happened, but when they visited Abraham in the land God chose for him it attracted blessings and a prophecy of a son.
Another important lesson we must learn from this is that Lot didn’t settle in that land for long, the land got consumed by fire and brimstone making it uninhabitable for man to live even up till this day, but before then his security was also threatened, he was taken hostage and Abraham was required to rescue him. Decisions without involving God does not lead to a generational inheritance and blessing. But what about Abraham? His land is flourishing up till this day, his descendants inherited it, he dwelt there in peace and God continued to bless and to prosper him. We all knew what happened to Lot, is wife and his family. But Abraham's peace was not threatened for once, does it mean he had no enemies? No! The simple reason is because he dwelt where God has chosen and prepared for him.
Most times, it seems as if Gods will for our lives is not something we should accept but in it lies our peace, stability, progress and security and trans generational inheritance. When you look at God's will and vision for us, it looks as if it doesn’t hold water, there is nothing to be desired in it, but in it lies your strength and glory.
As a leader do not lift up your eyes and make a decision that is influenced by the well watered plain. But rather how God can be glorified in it.
When you subject two people; one with vision and the other without vision in the same extremely difficult situations, you will notice that a man with vision will come out through it, and the other will get consumed by that situation. This is to show how important vision is, the success or failure of our leadership is depending on this, Abraham was successful and made a right decision because he lifted his eyes and saw differently from what Lot saw, an important lesson that we must all learn from.
A man without vision is a man that is heading no where. By the things you do, it will be easy to predict if a man is running with a vision or not. A man without vision is like a man with no sight and his life will eventually head for a crash simply because he cannot see clearly, these set of people usually end up in a pit.
Vision drives the world, vision ultimately determines the status of a man in the society, vision influences a man activity, it makes him take decisions as to what should be first on his priority list.
Genesis 13:14 - And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are--northward, southward, eastward, and westward;
"Now the Lord said to Abram after Lot had separated from him"
I want us to note that word, there must be a complete separation before God would be able to speak certain things to you. God spoke to Abram in Genesis 12:1 to depart! He obeyed. But he still carried along other forms of noise and distractions. The reason why God asked him to depart was to get his attention and begin a proper walk with him. But he held on to other things that would prevent God from speaking further to him. It is not enough to obey God and depart or separate as he has instructed, what are you carrying along with that has the capacity to block your ears from listening to further instructions from God. Until you are separated from your belief system, bad habits and other forms of secret sin, you will by no means hear the voice of the Lord. Obedience to depart is not enough, you require total, permanent and complete separation.
Now let us look at what verse 15 and 16 says;
Genesis 13:14 - And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are--northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 - for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 - And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.
Abraham lifted up his eyes and what did he see? Cardinal points. This means that the possibilities of what he was going to inherit was endless. When you read downwards God began to equate his descendants with the sand of the sea shore. This is the kind of thing he needed to hear rather than settling strife between him and his brother. A lot of us are carried away with family problems, entangled in relationships and emotions and personal issues that we are too busy to grow our relationship with God. In doing that you won’t hear what God is saying per time.
We must separate completely in other to receive all the blessings we need.
And then verse 17 says Arise!!! Arise!!! - Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." What was God saying here? What you have seen is good, it’s a big dream, the task I have given you is enormous, the responsibility is huge, the land you must cover is very large but you must arise to dominate and take possession.
You can’t do this by sitting down idle, do what ever it takes to take possession of what you have seen or dreamt of. If it requires that you acquire knowledge, you should, if it requires that you go through a training and every necessary process you should do it. For Abram, he needed to arise and walk through and that is what God is saying to us today, Arise and walk through and as you do it leaving no stone unturned, covering all and meeting all the requirements, He will give it to you, you will accomplish that dream.
The place of vision cannot be over emphasized, Lot lifted his eyes and saw nothing, Abraham lifted his eyes and saw limitless possibilities. Vision has the capacity and power to set a man up or destroy a man or shift his status, it all depends on his willingness to arise and build a capacity to become and receive what God has prepared for him. Never forget you must begin by looking up to God for a vision then arise and finally walk through. May the Lord clear up our eyes and lift up our heads to see clearly, and as you do this, God will crown you with glory in Jesus name. Amen.
[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]