24th April 2012

Vision And Faith

“Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see.”
Hebrews 11:1 (Phillips)

There are many situations in the Bible when the servants of God were given visions to strengthen their faith and give them courage for the long journey ahead. They were allowed by God to see what others couldn’t see. Elisha’s servant, for example, in 2 Kings, chapter 6. This individual saw the massed armies of the King of Syria surrounding the city and in his fear for their safety asked his master; “What shall we do?” Elisha replied, “Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.” Then he prayed: “‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (verses 15-17 NRSV).

Sight looks to appearance and fears; while faith looks to God and all is well. Read in Acts chapter 10—both Cornelius, an Italian centurion, and the Apostle Peter have a vision during the time of prayer (Chapter 3:1), and the outcome is an amazing visit by Peter to a Gentile’s home and a message for him that, in Christ, no one is to be looked upon as inferior!

The Apostle Paul also experienced visions from God giving him guidance and direction. In Acts 16:9 we see that during the night Paul had a vision. There stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” So Paul and his party went immediately to that area and reading verses 11 to 15 we find that the “man” of Macedonia turned out to be a lady called Lydia! God has a sense of humour!

Vision and faith are bed-fellows, so, when we look at the ‘Faith chapter’, Hebrews 11, we read that Abraham looked forward to a “city with foundations, whose architect and builder was God.” (Verse 10 NIV UK). Moses is recorded as leaving Egypt, “not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (Verse 27). To bring these two verses up to date by means of the Message Translation we find that Abraham remained faithful by “keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.” And Moses, “by an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king’s blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going.” These amazing men of vision and faith are our examples for today as we follow in their footsteps on our own journey of faith.

Great Father, continue to give us eyes to see the invisible, and faith to believe you.

Study by Cliff Neill

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