Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
Our vision determines our destination and sees farther than our human eyes. A vision from our heart helps us see farther than our eyes can see. A man without a vision is without a future. A man without a future will always return to the past.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
We all need the right kind of a vision. Where there’s no word of God or message from him, people will die and go to hell. We need our eyes open to turn to God. He hears everything we say. If we criticize or find fault in private, God hears it.
II Kings 6:8-12 Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such…a place shall be my camp. And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said…Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet…telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
Dothan was a city of 40,000 people and it was surrounded. The servant was looking at the situation through his human eyes of what he could do. Humanly we see fears, difficulty, depression, discouragement, and doubt. These will take away our peace and confidence in God. We need to pray that God will keep our eyes open to what he is and that he is in control – and remember his promises to us. It’s only the enemy that brings fear to us, not God!
II Kings 6:13-17 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him…Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early…behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said…Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed…Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw…the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
God promised Canaan land to the Israelites. The spies went to search the land. They saw the goodness of the land but looked at what could be done by them humanly. They saw the giants that were greater and stronger than they were.
Numbers 13:25-29 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. And they…came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation…unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word…and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the…south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea…
We have to keep our eyes on God and what he can do. Joshua and Caleb were confident God would provide and give victory as he promised. The other spies looked to themselves rather than God’s strength. We’ll fail if we look to ourselves for victory over the enemy. The song says, One man and God are always in majority. Lord let me always be one man with God. The Israelites feared and only saw what they could humanly do. They died in the wilderness and couldn’t go to Canaan.
Numbers 13:30-33 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men…with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched…saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants…and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Paul said he “thought within myself” when he was before King Agrippa. We won’t have a vision or victory if we only think in ourselves and not in God’s strength. On the road to Damascus Paul thought he was right but God gave him a vision of who Jesus was. He also saw that he was a sinner above all sinners. We have to see ourselves as God does so we can fully repent. When Edith came to the Church of God, she heard “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy…(Isaiah 55:7). At home on one side of a paper she wrote, If I continue to go to the church I was raised in: we can do what we want, go where we want, and be told falseness. She wrote on the other side: we probably won’t have any friends, we’ll get truth and go to heaven. She decided she wanted truth and was tired of people lying to her. We must see ourselves as God does or we’ll continue in our way and be lost.
Acts 26:9-15 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking…in the Hebrew tongue,Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said,I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
Jesus gave Paul a job to be a witness by a vision. We need to see souls are lost so we’re burdened for them to be saved.
Acts 26:16-19 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those…in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
After we receive the Holy Ghost, God want us to be witnesses. Jesus was burdened for souls to be saved. He saw the harvest was great but the laborers were few. Are you willing to be a witness?
Matthew 9:36-38 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples,The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Jesus sent out the 70 disciples by twos to every place, then he asked them to pray for more laborers in the harvest. To have a vision, you must have goals. Example: talk to 3 people about God every week. This could mean that God deals with 3 people that come to church. If one person has this goal, think of the result multiplied by the people of the congregation.
Luke 10:1-3 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them,The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
Anna was 84 years old and stayed at the temple serving God by fasting and praying. If someone isn’t able to get out to speak with people, they can fast and pray for others to reach souls.
Luke 2:36-38 And there was one Anna, a prophetess…she was of a great age…And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption…
God gave Peter and John boldness through the Holy Ghost to preach about Jesus.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
Our labor is not in vain. Be stedfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord.
I Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.