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Sunday, March 22, 2020

GETTING 20/20 SPIRITUAL VISION: A SIGHT For SORE EYES – PART 1 of 2


~ By James Fire

PROVERBS 29:18 states,
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Recently, in the first week of March, 2020, I attended a Pastors/Leadership Conference in Tucson, AZ (you can watch these teachings online here), and the theme was about getting the vision of GOD with clarity – 20/20 vision as it were. It was a tremendous blessing not only to receive the edification and teaching of these various pastors, but also to fellowship with the saints and worship of the LORD together as His bride.
Moses was the subject used for this study, and various passages from EXODUS, NUMBERS and JOSHUA were the texts used in “VISON THROUGH THE LIFE OF MOSES”. After learning about the vision that GOD gave to the Lawgiver of Israel, and to other saints in the Bible I’ve many things to share myself which I will share in Part 2.
First an overview from the first two of these teachers (links to the others are provided at the end of Part 1:


Robert spoke out of JOSHUA 1:1-9, looking at the end of the LORD’s servant, Moses’ ministry and life; then giving some insights in retrospect on what GOD wants for us, and from us, in accord – not with some ‘mystical vision’ – but with the Word of GOD, the Holy Scriptures.

In GOD’s plan as given to Moses, He wants to deliver the children of Israel from slavery not as an end of itself, but for the purpose of bringing them into the promised land, to establish the nation, to build the kingdom and bring about GOD’s ultimate plan of salvation through the Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ, the promised seed, the Word of GOD, that will bless all nations!

With the passing of Moses, there was a transition to leadership under Joshua; Robert relates the passing of Chuck Smith (founder of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa) and how Calvary Chapel ministries has also gone into a transition since he has gone to glory to receive his reward. With Moses now gone, Joshua takes the lead, and together Israel is prepared to cross the flooded Jordan river and enter into the land of Canaan.

This is where one crosses over from the wilderness of carnality and entering into the promises of GOD, entering into the spiritual life and leaving behind the old man – desiring and pledging one’s life in devotion and dedication to the LORD as we minister.

Just as Moses was very different than Joshua (just as GOD created them to be), the vision of GOD to them was also tailored specifically to these men. We therefore are unwise to compare ourselves among ourselves – we must run the race that GOD has given to us, not to someone else

We must follow the vision and calling that GOD has spoken to us through the WORD, but not someone else’s vision and calling. But both men were working towards the vision that GOD intended: the entire land of Israel (which is far greater than what they possess today) that encompassed the area from the Nile River in Egypt all the way to the Euphrates that would include virtually all of Iraq!

On the subject of stepping out in faith, Robert relates to various miracles of Elisha where the prophet tests people by firing off arrows out of windows (2 KINGS 13:17), by smiting arrows on the ground (2 KINGS 13:8), by digging ditches in the ground to receive water (2 KINGS 3:16). In each case, there was a measure of faith in obedience, but not entire faith was exercised in complete obedience; had they been completely obedient according to the “vision of GOD” as given by the prophet, their blessing would have been far greater than what they received.

JOSHUA 1:5
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee
.

GOD’s promise here to Joshua is similar to the promise that He has given to us, the church:

MATTHEW 16:18
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it
.

Robert admonishes us, that we have no excuse to not fulfill the vision that GOD has given to us; we have His promises! Here is another declaration of GOD’s vision:

JOSHUA 1:6-7
Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them
. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

Despite the struggles, the hardships in ministry, GOD delivers to us victory incrementally at times, so that we are not overwhelmed by the enormity of ‘territory’ conquered just as the LORD intended for the nation of Israel as they took over the land of Canaan by GOD’s enablement (EXOD 23:29-31). While Robert encouraged us to ‘stick with it, don’t quit, be courageous and finish the race’ he also stated that there are times when a season of ministry is done, is complete and the LORD wants to move us on to other things. Be sensitive and prayerful in seeking what GOD’s vision is for you, which might be a new vision, once the prior one is done.

Just as the LORD Jesus revealed the Father, the Holy Scriptures reveal to us Jesus – and the grand vision that the LORD desires for us, His church, is a vision that we must keep in front of us at all times, perceiving and understanding the LORD’s heart by the Spirit He has given to us! Then there shall be spiritual prosperity unparalleled and abundant!

JOSHUA 1:8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success
.

PSALM 1:2-3
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper
.

MATTHEW 7:24
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock
:

JOSHUA 1:9
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest
.


Pat gave an overview of EXODUS 1 and then got into some details in EXODUS 2.
Though the first word in EXODUS 1 is “Now” it really could be “And” because it’s just a continuation of what happened at the end of GENESIS.

While Joseph and the Pharaoh that was friendly to him were still alive, things were good for the people of Israel; but both died eventually and the next king of Egypt enslaved Israel – but no matter how much the people were oppressed, they prospered; in fact their prosperity was in proportion to the oppression. The harder Pharaoh leaned on them, the greater they became until the Egyptians became alarmed at the size of their population!

Pharaoh tries a couple plans to staunch the population: the midwives were to kill the male children; then he commands the people to drown all the male children of Israel – both plans were satanically inspired of course because if Israel was wiped out, with just the women to intermarry among the Egyptians, then the Messiah couldn’t come and fulfill the vision of GOD’s salvation for us!

Now on to EXODUS 2:
Pat relates the story of Moses’ parents and the birth of this beautiful child. Yet this couple already had two children, and the edict from Pharaoh commanded that all male Hebrew children were to be drowned – why would these two people risk having another child, when they could have been satisfied with two? 
Because GOD had a vision to deliver Israel, and He didn’t start with a full-grown man, but with an infant that his mother hid for three months.

Then she brought Moses to the Nile and let him down in the crocodile-infested river in a basket; this was a woman of faith that trusted GOD. This was a dangerous, seemingly reckless plan that didn’t make sense but trust was essential – ministry is often times like that: a dangerous, seemingly reckless, senseless plan – but if it’s GOD’s plan, if it’s GOD’s vision, then we need to trust Him and His Word – and step out in faith.

VISION, from our perspective, is “taking chances” – from GOD’s perspective, it’s fulfilling His vision. This was an astounding example of faith – how many of you mothers would do this to your three-month-old baby? Yet what about Miriam, Moses’s older sister? Her faith seems even greater, because she follows her baby brother’s pathway downstream to see ‘what GOD will do’ in the life of this newborn!

Pastors and leaders: when was the last time you attended service and in your heart you said, “GOD is going to do something great here – not because of me – but because GOD is going to move!” Have the faith, the heart of seven-year-old Miriam! Expectation of GOD moving and doing the marvelous!

EXODUS 2:5-6
And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children
.

Pharaoh’s daughter finds this baby, identifies him as a Hebrew child, but doesn’t follow her own father’s command!? What’s going on here? GOD is at work! That’s the GOD that we serve! When everything seems to be going wrong, our people are enslaved and messed up, they can’t get anything right – who is working? GOD (despite all of our troubles, our problems, our ineptness). Homework to read, to get all of this in context, check out EXOD 3, ACTS 7 and HEB 11; specifically: HEB 11:24-25; ACTS 7:24-25.

Want to see GOD’s plan go even further? See what happens next!

EXODUS 2:7-9
Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the women took the child and nursed it
.

Here we have the same government that commanded the death of all Hebrew male babies, subsidizing the care of this child, paying his own mother, to take care of him for Pharaoh’s daughter! TALK ABOUT GOD AT WORK! This child who when he grows up is going to be used to free the very slaves that Egypt has in bondage!
This isn’t just a story – this is real life that we can apply to our own personal lives and our ministries!

EXODUS 2:10
10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water
.

This story of Moses is then propelled forty years from this point (those three chapters for homework will fill in some of what’s passed over here). Let’s understand things from the people of Israel’s perspective: they are slaves, they are oppressed, they are hated by their task masters who treat them cruelly; they are commanded to drown their own children, and some have already had their children killed. This is a dark, grievous, heavy situation – but the children of Israel didn’t have the vision that Moses’ parents and sister had: these three know that GOD is up to something!

Let’s be like these three, and not like all the others – though we may be in the midst of heavy situations, let us express hope in GOD’s vision!

EXODUS 2:11-12
11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand
.

Moses here is getting a little ahead of GOD; he knew he was to be the Deliverer and he rejected all the wealth and pleasures of Egypt – he was intent on delivering a single brother Hebrew, but GOD’s vision was far grander – to deliver the entire nation! Moses messed up, and so have we in ministry. Have we ever killed anyone in ministry like Moses? Maybe so, at least in our hearts, right? 
Are we getting ahead of GOD? If we wonder where GOD is in the midst of our ministry, look back and see if maybe He’s there (or perhaps, ahead, because we’re dragging our feet). After seriously messing up, what did he do? 

He disappeared, he fled Egypt and resided in a remote desert and became a shepherd of someone else’s sheep – in other words, he became a nobody. From Prince of Egypt to a nobody! “A zero that would come to serve the Hero!
But he became a husband to Zipporah, the daughter of Reuel of Midian (EXOD 2:21-22), and a stranger in a strange land. 

Moses parents poured Scripture and knowledge of the Most High into him; Egypt poured all their religion, culture, science and military knowledge into him; then he came to the desert and that’s where he really learned! GOD placed Moses in that desert, and became familiar with that land, so he’ll be able to lead the children of Israel through that land. This is a place of humbling, a place of solitude, a place of intimacy with the Most High – and a place we must all experience in our walks and ministry!

EXODUS 2:23-25
23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them
.

GOD’s plan, His purpose, His vision is continuing from those days to now! He as the sovereign GOD of all creation is going to see the fulfillment of His plan and His vision for you is just as certain – if we will only trust Him!

If these teachings have been a blessing for you, check out the other pastors and what they had to share in regard to GOD’s VISION at the links provided below. Part Two will be my own input on this highest priority message!


This ends Part One and Part Two will be published soon! May the LORD Jesus Christ bless, encourage, challenge and lead you deeper into His Holy Kingdom!

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