From a Vision to a Cause

(The following is an excerpt from Bob Nichol’s book, “The Secret Power of a Cause.”

What exactly is a vision?  A vision is a compass providing steady guidance along the path that God is leading you.  It is a divine point of reference that steadies you and keeps your eyes off of present circumstances and allows you to see the prize ahead of you.  When difficulties arise, the vision reminds you of your future success.  The Bible has many things to say about the importance of a vision.  Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Without a vision, there is no sense of direction.  The vision is vitally important to the believer, but it does not guarantee success.  The problem with a vision is that it can be put on the shelf.  It is optional.  If the glamorous vision becomes too difficult to achieve, it can easily be put aside.  A vision is needed, but there is something more.

In Acts chapter 26, Paul is testifying before King Agrippa about his encounter with Jesus.  He tells the king about how Jesus changed his life and how he knew he had to accomplish what God wanted him to do.  A vision was birthed in his heart on the road to Damascus.  In verse 19 of chapter 26, Paul tells the king that he had “not been disobedient to the heavenly vision.”  Paul kept the vision before him.  He knew his duty was to spread the good news and his vision kept him on track.  His vision provided a reference point that encouraged him to continue “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14).  Paul was given a vision on the road to Damascus, but somewhere along the way there was a shift that took place.  He knew his vision would not come to pass unless he went to work.  The vision that God gave to Paul on the road to Damascus became a passionate cause.  His vision became a cause.

The Time is Now

“Build your faith before the storm.

 

47Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:  48He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  49But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Luke 6:47-49

 

Victory Action

I will build my faith before the storm by daily obeying God’s Word.

The Time is Now

“Build your faith before the storm.

 

47Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:  48He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  49But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Luke 6:47-49

 

Victory Action

I will build my faith before the storm by daily obeying God’s Word.

How Do You See Yourself

“Are you a grasshopper or a grape eater?

 

23And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.  30And 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. 31But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.   33And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Numbers 13:23, 30-31, 33

 

Victory Action

God has promised that I can “possess” my land.  I choose to see myself as God sees me: a victorious grape eater.

Faith Works By Love

“Love is the fuel that activates faith.

6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Galatians 5:6

2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

I Corinthians 13:2

 

Victory Action

I will make sure my “tank” is full of love before I “accelerate” in faith.

Faith Moves Mountains

If you do not like the mountain, move it.”

 22And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:22-24

 Victory Action

I will speak in faith to any obstacle in my path, and watch that mountain move!

Winning with God

“If you can win in the wilderness, you can win anywhere.

1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. 3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Matthew 4:1-11

Victory Action

Following Jesus’ example, I will use The Word and win over all, even in the wilderness.

Taking Your Temperature

“The tongue is the thermometer of your spirit.

  26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.  James 1:26

 

 35A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  Matthew 12:35-37

 

Victory Action

I will fill my spirit with the things of God, so when under pressure, my words will be good words.