VISION 3... Hindrances to Vision
Hindrances to Your Vision
When we read the Scripture about the Lord being concerned over His House, He wants it to be taken care of.
Haggai 1 again:
7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways (your previous and present conduct) and how you have fared.ï»¿
8 ï»¿Go up to the hill country and bring lumber and rebuild [My] house, and I will take pleasure in it and I will be glorified, says the Lord [by accepting it as done for My glory and by displaying My glory in it].ï»¿
He doesn't reveal these things just to let you see how lazy or ignorant a previous generation was. His desire is to let us see how important His House is to Him and how each person is to play a significant part in building it.
He wants your time, talent and treasure to be mingled with your blood, sweat, and tears so His House will shine and bring Him glory.
The Bible speaks of a spiritual house that's made of living stones that will bring glory to the Lord.
These living stones are people who have been influenced by the church of the Lord Jesus and as a result have become part of the Kingdom of God and therefore important to the overall end time plan of God.
In order for the Church to perpetuate and continue to replicate itself, those who are part of the Kingdom must do what they can to ensure that other stones are added.
First Peter 2 NKJV
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
The Message Bible
4 Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor.
5 Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you'll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.
This is the spiritual house that He is concerned about. He wants a sanctuary that is vibrant with life.
Everything we do and every day we do it has as an end result the adding to the Kingdom of God.
No matter how menial the task or simple the witness, we are constructing a sanctuary that is vibrant with life. Something that's full of energy and pulsating with life. There's excitement and expectation when it comes to the things of God and we personally do what is necessary to add to the excitement.
For many of us, we're growing in the things of the Lord and our natural homes are being firmed up and reinforced with the energies that have been given to us by God.
We use His Word to declare the blessings of God over our lives and families and declare that we shall enjoy the blessings given to our forefather Abraham.
We make decisions and align our lives with the purpose for which God called us. We enjoy a season of prosperity that brings us great hope and ensures that our latter years are set up to be better than our previous years.
At the same time we're being blessed and increased, there are other people [Christian and non-Christian alike] who are malnourished and lack any outward appearance of God being in their lives.
They can't comprehend the fact that God loves them so much that He sent His one and only Son to die just for them let alone God giving them a purpose and vision along with joy, peace and favor.
They therefore remain uninterested towards the things of God and remain unconcerned towards their destiny or that of others. Neglecting to press on, their vision remains more of a wish and hope than a spiritual reality that is longing for natural expression.
Without seeing God work in someone else's life that was already affected by His love, mercy and grace they remain in a state of despair and hopelessness.
As you get involved with their lives and you speak hope and faith, the faith that is inside them becomes activated and they begin to see that their life is supposed to have meaning and fulfillment.
This is where they become aware of the fact that "How they have been seeing their lives on the inside is supposed to give an outward expression in their daily life. I can refer to this as a "revelation of manifestation.
It is this revelation of manifestation attracts opposition to what you long to see.
You see it, you can almost touch it and deep in your heart you know it˜s there, yet there are unseen hindrances that must be recognized and eliminated from your heart if you are ever going to walk in fulfilled vision.
The word "hinder means to "Impede; to delay and to render fruitless. Something that hinders does not kill you; it causes you to spend time that will not produce anything.
To spend much time without bearing fruit causes frustration that can even cause you to doubt that you heard from God.
One of the greatest safeguards against doubt creeping in is to be slow to make a decision but once you know it's what God is saying, be quick to carry it out.
Therefore when something is delayed, you must know that it is either:
God delaying it because you heard from God and you are now willing to wait as long as it takes for the manifestation
that satan hinders you and tries to cause you to forfeit what God has ordained
- The natural process of time that everyone must go through in order to see their vision become a reality
Besides these delays, there are things in the natural that "we do, can do or must do that we must be aware of and understand that until these are dealt with, the vision we have can be delayed indefinitely.
These hindrances include but are not limited to:
Lack of faith
Lack of preparation
Lack of patience
- Negative acquaintances
As important as each of these are, the most important one to you is the one you readily recognize as a hindrance yet have done nothing about it.
The first one to acknowledge here is your associations or "negative acquaintances.
Who are you allowing to speak into your life?
There are a lot of people that talk about God and how they know Him, but have no evident fruit in their own lives. They don't pray, they don't fast, they don't go to church, they don't read their Bibles and they operate from a carnal perspective.
There are others that pray, fast, go to church and read their Bibles but are not supposed to be speaking into your life. Not everyone that is a Christian is going to embrace the greater calling that God places in the heart of the Saint that has a vision for their life that's been given to them by God.
We're commanded to not be unequally joined with unbelievers. This is a statement that is often confused with people that have no regard for God, but it is actually in reference to "people who do not believe¦ even if they say they do.
Although He was making reference to false prophets in Matthew chapter 7, the principle still holds true for our relationships when Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruit.
We're to be looking for the fruit of righteousness or right actions before we solicit and allow into our hearts and lives the opinion of those who say they have our best interests at heart.
Talk is cheap¦ we want to see who remains after the storms in our lives are over? Who is there after all your money is gone and you have nothing else to give them?
Those who live with you when you're in the pit are qualified to rule with you when you ascend to the palace.
Second Corinthians 6
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
17 Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.
As this speaks of being unequally yoked, this is in reference to marriage. Paul lays out God specifics in being joined with another person as you fulfill the mandate of being fruitful and multiplying.
The word unequal means: "to be from another yoke or a different yoke. In particular this means that you are not to be joined to a "different species.
This is important as Second Corinthians 5:17 says:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Being a "new creation what must be understood is that this is referencing a "new species that have never existed before.
You are joined to a special family which is the Family of God and in doing so you have become a "spiritually alive person. If someone that is spiritually alive is joined to another person in any endeavor who is spiritually dead, one will be influenced by the other and render the service you are desirous of performing for God ineffective.
Therefore being unequal in relationships is vital if you are going to see the vision you have for your life fulfilled. A carnal mate cannot fully support a vision that is built on the Word of God. There are principles that you are going to want to follow, that will not make sense to them.
You're from another yoke or a different yoke and you are not to be joined to a "different species.
As a Christian, you are a Believer in Christ and a believer in the Gospel He gave us. To embrace non Christian's or Carnal Christians who refuse to walk the same path as you and use their instruction and advice as God's counsel is not right.
This does not mean that you cut yourself off from the expertise that someone may have who may not be a Believer, but don't let a wolf in sheep's clothing get you off the things God has determined for your life.
Many a man or woman has brought untold heartache to another person's life because they knew the right things to say and had all the outward appearances of a Godly person.
After being joined to them and getting what they wanted, the real person comes to the surface and misuse and abuse occurs.
Remember, this is not just speaking of people that do not know Christ, but those who profess Christ yet refuse to make the Word of God their rule of conduct and manner for living by adjusting their lives and actions with what God wrote in the Word. They became settled on the fact that they know what the Bible says, yet will not try to live as they know.
Remember, satan tempted Jesus with the Word of God so, someone that knows what the Bible says is not to be the gage you use to determine the place they have in your life.
Luke 4 New Living Translation
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,
2 where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.
3 Then the devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.
4 But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, ˜People do not live by bread alone.'
5 Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 "I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them, the devil said, "because they are mine to give to anyone I please. 7 I will give it all to you if you will worship me.
8 Jesus replied, "The Scriptures say, ˜You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.'
9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off!
10 For the Scriptures say, ˜He will order his angels to protect and guard you.
11 And they will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.'
12 Jesus responded, "The Scriptures also say, ˜You must not test the Lord your God.'
13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
I have stated many times that I am not impressed with how much someone knows about the Bible; how many Scriptures they can quote or how well they can pray.
Matthew 7 verses 16 and 20 both say, "You will know them by their fruits. It's vital for you to observe someone else' life and determine the type of fruit they are bearing.
17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
How do they live? Where do they go? What are their associations like? Who is in their inner circle? Do they work and if so, do they keep a job? How are their relationships at home? How does their mate feel about them? How do they relate with their children?
Your associations are vital for you if you are going to attain your dream.
There's an old saying that is very important as we establish our circle of relationships: "A person is known by the company he keeps.
This is not speaking of casual acquaintances as we should all have people in our lives that we are trying to influence into the Kingdom of God. This is speaking of the people you spend the majority of your time with. People that you are entering into covenant with knowingly or unknowingly.
If they are not going anywhere in life, their tendency is to get you on that same turtle and ride it until Jesus comes back.
But if they are properly related to God through Christ, have a vision for their life and are working towards it¦ even if it may take years¦ you bring them into your life because that jet will eventually reach its destination.
Although there's much more that can be said, the last thing I want to bring out is that you must be careful with whom you share your vision with.
Share it with the right people, those who will pray with and for you; those that will support you with faith filled words and encourage you when you have hit a road block.
Then don't be afraid to build an inner circle of your peers that will act as counsel to you and often go outside that circle to receive professional advice from those that have done similar things or overcome some of the same obstacles you may have overcome.
Proverbs 15:22 NKJV
22 Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.
New Living Translation
22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
God's Word Translation
22 Without advice plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed.
We must know that getting advice from someone else is commendable and good but we must be certain that those we receive our advice are credible or trustworthy.
If you get advice from a lawyer, get it from one that is credible;
If you get advice from a doctor make certain they are credible
If you get advice from a businessperson¦ make certain they are credible¦
If you get advice from a Christian¦ be certain they are credible.
Not being patient is the next hindrance to unfulfilled vision.
We must come to understand the timings of God in the earth and in our individual lives. Many Christians have walked away from God because things did not happen on their timetable or because things did not go according to how they thought it was supposed to go.
Instead of reading the Bible for themselves and understanding that "God is in charge and we are His subjects, they allow society to develop in them the vision they would like them to have.
Even some sermons or teachings taken out of context or not fully understood can cause someone to have expectations that God may not have ordained for them.
On the other side of the coin, there is the principle of patience that we hear about but often is not fully grasped by the masses.
The Scriptures have many instances of our being patient and one of the greatest examples of patience is when it comes to the Lord Jesus Christ returning as He said He would.
Second Peter 3
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
What must be understood is that longsuffering or patience on God's part requires that we as His people also cultivate a heart of patience.
However this heart of patience does not mean we sit back and let things get worse and worse and somehow God is going to get me out of this mess.
The example here shows us that as God is waiting for the fulfillment of the promise of salvation He made to us, He is saving people, healing people, delivering people and blessing people.
This scripture also shows us that God does not operate according to clocks and calendars as I've been saying, but "revelation of seasons. With God there days weeks, months and years are simply a gage that is used to bring us face to face with every promise He made to us and to determine the age we are.
In Genesis 8:22, after the earth was destroyed by the flood and God was preparing Noah and his family to replenish the earth according to the first commandment, God makes the revelation of seasons known.
"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.
This also reveals another Biblical principle as when it's time for God to fulfill His promise to you, "He watches over His Word to perform it.
The New Living Translation of Jeremiah 112 says:
And the Lord said, "That's right, and it means that I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all my plans.
Galatians 4:4 also says:
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
This is another very importance piece of our New Covenant as God intends to fulfill what He said.
For many of us we have waited, fasted, prayed, gave, served and we confessed only to seemingly have what we a=were doing fall on deaf ears.
Yet, there is a "fullness of times season that you will enter into in which God will send forth His son
This is true for the promises He made to each of us if we will not give in, give up or give out.
This fullness of the times season is a season of accomplishment; it's a season of completion; it's a time in which that which was promised in the Spirit finds a lodging place in our natural lives and becomes a testimony of the faithfulness of God to those around us.
In this season, you reach the intended goal and there's nothing left to the imagination. The great tragedy of a person that understands being patient while doing the will of God is people around them does not understand and often will fall off along the way.
The Book of James reveals an important principle of patience as we understand that the Christian who is following Christ because of what they can get from Him will not stand the test. James 1
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
I hope you take this statement right as often when we associate patience and trials, people begin to "look for things to go wrong. I'm not saying this to look for anything else negative or any more opposition, but to give you the reality of what people who are patient will sooner or later experience.
The trials of life and testing of your patience is what produces the patience necessary that allows you to live a perfect, complete and fulfilled life.
We've stood and prayed, fought and have battle scars, but God is saying that the faith you exhibited is producing in you what is necessary to receive what He promised you.
The reality is that you cannot fully receive the promises of God as they pertain to vision without both faith [receiving it in your heart] and patience [the ability to wait until it manifests].
So you have to receive it as fulfilled before you can experience the fulfillment of it.
Hebrews 6 in God's Word Translation says it this way:
10 God is fair. He won't forget what you've done or the love you've shown for him. You helped his holy people, and you continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to prove that you're working hard so that you will remain confident until the end. 12 Then, instead of being lazy, you will imitate those who are receiving the promises through faith and patience.
Verse 12 in the Amplified Bible says:
"In order that you may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith (by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises.
When speaking of patient endurance, the Greek text has patience as "putting up with someone and endurance meaning "putting up with things or circumstances.
Defined, patience is "Forbearance [self control or tolerance], long“suffering [distress and affliction], and self“restraint [discipline] before proceeding to action. In dealing with people, it's "the quality of a person who is able to avenge himself yet refrains from doing so.
In understanding these definitions, neither is intended for you to just sit back and let people or demons use and abuse you. You fight while you wait¦ You stand while you advance¦ you worship while you war.
This is where knowing and understanding God's Word and voice becomes vital as you must not be ignorant of the devil's schemes and when the circumstance is contrary to God's Word and will, you fight until the promises of God are secured.
The Book of Hebrews chapter 10 gives us the importance of being patient from a different perspective.
What many neglect to realize it that in order to receive what God has promised there are certain characteristics that must be in your life. These are "confidence, patient [put up with people] endurance [put up with circumstances] and then, you must fully accomplish the will of God.
An example of being patient is when we began the ministry, souls was the reason and some 25 years later, nothing has changed.
There is a cry in the heart of the God to see His house filled and in this, we must be certain that we first of all don't lose our confidence and our patience, and in the meantime, do the will of God.
We had to put up with circumstances, people, lack and various personal tests and trials in order to be at the point we currently are as we are confident we're closer to seeing God manifest His glory and draw many to Himself than ever before.
This same principle is true for you as you seek to fulfill your individual vision.
The thing God called you to must find fulfillment but you have to line your thinking and your life up with how God intends and not try to make God line up with what you think is right without any Scripture to support our actions.
Hebrews 10 New Living Translation:
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
37 "For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.
38 And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away. 39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.
The walk each of us has embarked upon is a personal walk just as the relationship we have with Christ is personal.
No one can exercise faith for you, they can't exercise patience for you and they cannot be your hope. All our confidence must be in and remain in God.
To refuse or neglect to grow by doing what is necessary only thwarts the greater plan for your life that God wants.
What I have come to realize is you cannot make anyone grow in the things of God. It's up to the individual to set aside the necessary time to fellowship with God and adjust his or her weekly schedule to attend services and Bible studies so they can be greatly impacted by the Word of God.
It's this impact that gives them confidence to become the witness that Christ said they were supposed to be. The reality is that Jesus Christ Himself has a vision for His Church and we're expected to align our own lives and visions up with His.
This is also why in our church we place great importance on the Word of God and becoming sensitive to the Spirit of God. The balance of the whole counsel that's revealed in the Word is vital for you if you are to avoid being labeled and associated with those who the world views as "flaky Christians.
Your responsibility becomes, "not being discouraged during those times of delay.
I've said many times that when you experience the delays of God, they are not necessarily God's denial of your request or desire. Never forget that the purpose for the delay is often because God is interested in developing a much greater character than you're currently displaying in your life, no matter how God centered it is.
Further character development allows you to excel on the level that God is bringing you to. His desire is that He would rule and reign from your new position of authority on that level. The tragedy of many people is they want more from life than they're willing to invest in. Without making the investment needed which will allow you to operate on effectively on the level God is bringing you, you will never enjoy the change in your life that you're hoping for.
It's been the altering of this character that you've been working on since you received Jesus as your personal Savior. My hope is that the Holy Spirit has revealed areas of your bad character and you have made up your mind to eliminate them from your life, replacing them with good Godly character.
The irony of life is, "We really don't want anyone to tell us that we have areas in our life that need to be changed - not even God.
Doing what is wrong and treating others in a "lessor manner, who may not think like us, live like us, or even have the same level of education that we have, actually comes naturally. This has to be worked on while we make up our minds to do what is right!
We talk about this often and our hope is that if we say it enough, you will be balanced and become the envy of the unbeliever.
Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. ï»¿
Almost everyone can associate with this, as we know that when our dreams and visions appear elusive for a long time, that there is a tendency to give up hope.
However the end of this verse gives a great reward for your persistence. It says when the desire (remember, your vision often comes in the form of a desire that's placed in your heart) is fulfilled; it's a tree of life or is a cause for rejoicing or a cause of happiness.