Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
I saw it any number of times while teaching: give a child a musical instrument, or the discovery of any other talent, whether art, or sports, or some special interest; and it just transforms that life. The vision of the excellence he or she can achieve, the beauty she or he can create, unlocks vast positive energies. The mediocre-at-best student comes to excel in every subject. The child who was awkward and socially withdrawn begins to shine.
My concept of evangelism entails holding up to anyone the vision of a better life that is “available to you. If you will live as Jesus taught, you can begin to have that life right now.”
Emmet Fox discusses how to discern the vision for oneself. From “Your heart’s desire:”
But how is one to find his true place in life? Is there any means whereby you may discover what it really is that God wishes you to do? You may feel inclined to say, “Even if it be true that God has some splendid thing that He wishes me to do, and to be, how can I possibly find out what it is?” Perhaps you may even be tempted to add, “I am a very plain, everyday sort of person; my circumstances are extremely restricted; the conditions of my life are just drab commonplace. How then can there be something wonderful, beautiful, splendid awaiting me? Or, even if there were, how could I possibly get to know about it?” And the answer is Divinely simple. Already in your past life from time to time, God Himself has whispered into your heart just that very wonderful thing, whatever it is, that He is wishing you to be, and to do, and to have. And that wonderful thing is nothing less than what is called Your Heart’s Desire. Nothing less than that. The most secret, sacred wish that lies deep down at the bottom of your heart, the wonderful thing that you hardly dare to look at, or to think about — the thing that you would rather die than have anyone else know of, because it seems to be so far beyond anything that you are, or have at the present time, that you fear that you would be cruelly ridiculed if the mere thought of it were known — that is just the very thing, that God is wishing you to do or to be for Him. And the birth of that marvelous wish in your soul — the dawning, of that secret dream — was the Voice of God Himself telling, you to arise and come up higher because He had need of you.
Remember that this call is the call of God, and when God calls you to His Service, He pays all the expenses in whatever kind of coin. “What soldier goeth to war at his own charge?” Whatever you may require to answer that call, God will provide. Money, opportunity, introductions, knowledge, training, freedom, leisure, strength, and courage — all will He furnish, if you be about His business and not your own.
The mention of “courage” tells me the path to one’s goal won’t necessarily be effortless or unobstructed. There will be work to do and obstacles to overcome.
Some recent experiences may have unlocked the vision for me. From my diary:
Sunday, 2014-05-18. 13:52. Little kid downstairs crying, “Spiderman! Spiderman!” in response to the poster. I’ve heard it often lately: “With great power comes great responsibility.” And as I say that, my sense of self abruptly shifts. [Compare Luke 12:48.]
Throughout the service, I was much aware of a heightened energy field throughout the church, as if this were a time when prayers were especially likely to be answered. That both Mark Oldenburg and Robin were present may have played a role. Mark’s long verbal prayer for me used unusually powerful language. He prayed for the realization of my gifts, and that I may be healed so as to heal others.
Sunday, 2014-06-01. The past few weeks I’ve been thinking more and more of the Worrall model as “catalytic,” and thinking more and more of what I want to become as an ideal catalyst. The images I’ve been receiving have been that this prayer will be answered, that it’s practically my destiny, as if fore-ordained.
The question is what my life will look like when that happens. I’ve got that Mark Oldenburg’s prayer was right on the money: that my life needs to be healed, including my material circumstances, to the end of my becoming the better intercessor.
I was praying on these things during worship. I got that I am willing to work to obtain these goals, including working at tangential tasks, e.g. obtaining a mundane job. I got that it’s legitimate for me to work at these interim tasks to serve that end.
Either at the exchange of the peace or after worship, Andrea approached me and asked how I’m doing. She said something to the effect that I need to go into the ministry. (? On reflection, my beliefs are too unorthodox to ever get through seminary now.) I said, “I want to be an intercessor.” She practically shouted, “You are! Your prayer is great.” She said the thing is sure to come, that God will make it happen. This strongly encourages me that I will find the right job in the right time.
(Originally posted 07/19/14.)