Visions of life

Ezekiel 47:1-12

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). We also read in the book of Acts, that’s part of the promise of God recalled from the prophet Joel. “Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams” (Acts 2:17).

Oh, how I want our people today to have vision!

Of course, we aren’t talking about vision statements or yearly ministry goals. Many church leaders tried to make Proverbs fit the business-world model. Our fawning over it is absurd. The Bible helps draws us deeper into communion with God not corporate buy-in.

What is this vision that brings life and where does it come from? It’s more than wishful thinking and effective planning. It starts with the acknowledgement of God’s reign and glory. From there, vision pours into the hearts of God’s people so that we can see what God wants us to see.

Read the book of Ezekiel for a Masterclass in visions. In today’s reading, the prophet sees a vision of water. This water comes from the temple. It starts small so that it’s easy to walk through. Before long, the water rises and you can only swim through it. The water will pour out into the surrounding areas and bring life to the rivers and other waters around it. The abundance will be a blessing.

Jesus would later call that living water.

That’s a vision!

Once we recognize God’s power, we can turn to ourselves and the world around us. What do we see now that we know isn’t as God would want it? Families in turmoil. Children suffering. Violence and abuse of power. Struggle, pain and desperation everywhere. Do we assume there’s nothing we can do about any of that?

Or do we ask the Lord to inspire us with new visions?

To be sure, the visions are there. There are those who see beyond what most of us can see by ourselves. But those visions often get set aside for less-than visions that appease and entertain. You may not see the vision. But we must learn to listen to those who do. Let those visions guide our worship and what your church calls ministry. And may God help us see new visions and live into our faith in new, faithful ways.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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