"DEATH of a VISION - WHAT THEN??" -by Jim W. The Lord brought revelation to me recently about a situation that I have been going through. This revelation will encourage others... I was powerfully saved at the age of 31, twelve years ago. Ever since then, all I have ever wanted to do was serve God in ministry. It has been such a strong desire. I believe it is the vision that God has placed in my heart for the remainder of my life here on Earth. Over the years I have taken every step I know of to make that vision become a reality. I have helped out in local churches and ministries, I have gone to a small local Bible College, I have spent much time in prayer, praise, preparation and God's presence. Everything in my life seemed to be on a slow path to fulfillment of my heart's desire. Then, all of a sudden, there was a change. The ministry we were involved with encountered some serious self-inflicted problems, and the Lord led us to leave that ministry. The Lord led us into a larger local church rather convincingly, but in the year and a half we have been there, it has become very apparent that I will never be allowed to do much there. My heart became crushed and I sunk to the depths of hopelessness, believing that there had for some unknown reason been a death to the vision God had placed in my heart. All I had ever wanted to do was serve God in ministry, and it seemed as though that was never going to happen. Surely, I must have done something to disqualify myself. I had forgotten the scripture that says the 'giftings and callings of God are without repentance.' My heart was broken. A few weeks ago I was watching a teaching video by a well known pastor. He was talking about Abraham and Isaac. God had promised that Abraham would be the father of many nations. Then, all of a sudden, God asks Abraham to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham's vision was about to encounter a sudden unexpected death. At that moment, the Lord spoke to me and simply said, "Death to a vision sometimes only appears that way." I asked Him what He meant by that and immediately He brought to my remembrance a number of situations in the Bible that explained exactly what He meant. It is so encouraging! Each situation follows a similar pattern. Various people in the Bible had some idea of the vision/calling for their life. Each began taking steps toward it. Each had some unexpected occurrence that brought death to their vision. Sometimes God brought about the occurrence. Sometimes it came as a result of other people's actions. Sometimes it came because of mistakes the person made themselves. In every case, there was a period of time (like Lazarus in the tomb), and then God resurrected the vision/calling and fulfilled His plan for that person's life. The death of the vision was not what it appeared to be. God told Abraham to offer up Isaac. Abraham obeyed and God provided a substitute sacrifice, sparing Isaac. Abraham went on to become the father of many nations. Joseph had dreams of the sun, moon, & stars bowing down to him. He knew he would be a leader over his family. Suddenly, he was sold into slavery and even ended up in prison. Many years later, God brings him out of prison and makes him ruler over all Egypt, fulfilling the dreams that had apparently died. Moses knew he was born to help his people (Acts 7:23-29). He came to the defense of a Hebrew slave and killed an Egyptian. He had to flee for his life. He lived forty years in a foreign country and then God called to him from the burning bush, sending him back to Egypt to fulfill the call on his life. Moses delivered Israel from Egypt. Joshua spied out the promised land and knew they could overtake it. He tried to convince the others but was unsuccessful. The unbelief of the others caused him to spend forty years in the desert. God then chose him to succeed Moses and he led Israel into the Promised Land and took it. David was anointed by Samuel as a young man to be king of Israel. He ended up in the palace playing music for Saul and becoming best friends with Jonathan. Suddenly, David has to flee for his life because Saul is trying to kill him. Saul chased David for many years. Finally, Saul died in Battle and David became king. Jesus was known by His disciples to be the promised Messiah. The disciples had followed Him for 3 years, seeing the miracles and hearing the teaching. They thought He would become king and rescue them from Rome. Suddenly, Jesus was crucified and the disciples scattered. Three days later, He was raised from the dead. Shortly thereafter, Pentecost came and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began their ministry. There is a definite pattern here. I believe there are many Christians out there that are going through the same thing. God has placed an exciting vision in your heart. You have taken steps in the right direction, but suddenly something came to bring an apparent death to the vision or calling upon your life. At this moment, you may be hopeless or may have given up. You are in good company - Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Paul, and the disciples of Jesus. It would seem that this is the same pattern of many people that God has used in powerful ways throughout the ages. Perhaps the vision God has for your life is much bigger than you realize, and there has to be an apparent death. Remember what God said, "Death to a vision sometimes only appears that way." The Lord has placed three scriptures on my heart regarding this. "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6). Romans 4:18-21 tells how Abraham never lost faith while he walked that long road on the way to sacrifice Issac. He knew God would still do what He promised. John 12:24 says that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it cannot bring forth life. May this encourage all of you as it has me. May the Lord bless you and may He bring about all that is needed to fulfill the call of God on your life and the dreams He has put in your heart!