Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint .
In the verse above, the word chazon (often translated ‘vision’) speaks of direct communication from God to His prophetic people, rather than about people setting their own goals.
One night as I was falling asleep, I saw a girl of student age crying out, ‘Lord, I’m so lonely.’ I woke up and asked the Lord for details. He supplied me with the address. We went to visit the house the next day, but it was deserted. When we knocked on the door of the neighbouring flat – there was the young lady in question, just as I had seen her in the vision – lonely, and ready to hear about the Lord Jesus.
Because our minds are fully conscious when we receive visions from God, there is usually less subliminal clutter to filter out than is the case with dreams. Whether the emphasis is on words, (which is what we normally associate with ‘prophecy’) or on pictures (‘visions’) there is no limit to what the Lord may choose to speak about.
Visions can range from fleeting impressions and steering touches on the screen of our minds to the full-scale trance that Peter experienced on the rooftop, which so powerfully opened his eyes to the Lord’s desire to reach the Gentile world.
What we need then is a separate set of skills to know what to do with what the Lord has been showing us. Is it something that we are to share or act on straightaway? Or to share in the first instance with leaders? Or is it wisest just to keep the matter between ourselves and God in prayer until we sense the time has come to pass it on? We may often need the wisdom of friends and mentors at this point to help us know how best to proceed.
On other occasions it really is a message for that particular moment, and not to share it there and then would be to miss the mark. Sometimes we hold back because we can’t fully understand what the Lord is telling us. However yours might be just the contribution that makes sense of the larger picture. The Lord so often gives a starting image to someone and then other pieces of the jigsaw to someone else, building the picture up as it were in ‘layers’ and interlocking shapes.
For Reflection and Prayer
Lord, You love to share ‘living’ words with Your people. We are so grateful to You for all those who have paid the price and had the courage to pass them on, to us and to many others.
Pause and remember examples where you have seen prophetic words and visions being passed on.
Pray to be open first to hear His Still Small Voice – and then to know what to do with the words and visions that He gives.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.